Behemoth Frontman Nergal: "There's Adolf Hitler in Each One of You."
The Death/Black Metal Vocalist/Guitarist/Songwriter Appeared on the Metal Hammer Podcast for Some Statements for the Ages
10/16/18, 8:12 pm EDT
By John Corry, photo by Dhruv Kumar, from MyGlobalMind
“There’s Adolf Hitler in each one of you.”
Is that a ‘controversial’ statement? Is there any reason to think about the possibility for Absolute evil inherent in each of us, even our best and most ‘decent’? Should anyone even care what a blasphemous, sinning heavy metal-head has to say about anything? Is there any point, whatsoever, in recognizing the inherent capabilities of a potential subconscious? Or is it better to assume that we’re all good, and that no one has any natural proclivity for evil, conscious or otherwise, until it’s already been ‘proven’– until it’s too late?
Days after releasing the follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Satanist, Behemoth’s Adam "Nergal" Darski (‘Nergal’ is the Mesopotamian God of Death, pestilence, and plague, and the lord of the underworld), has been hitting the ‘talk show’ circuit. I Loved You At Your Darkest was released last Friday, and while it hasn’t been hailed as the classic The Satanist immediately was, it’s certainly not meeting with much backlash either– in fact, my current personal opinion is that it’s at least as good as The Satanist, however for different reasons, but this is all stupid if you haven’t heard it (be warned: this is death/black metal we’re talking about here, so proceed with caution, whatever that means to you)…
And here’s the first track on The Satanist.
Nergal has not been known to hold back his opinions. In an interview with Luke on the Metal Hammer Podcast, he gets into talking about hipsters, and how they ‘have the coolest spots on Earth’ thanks to craft beer and the recent resurgence of vinyl. It’s good to hear somebody finally say it…
But he goes on…
“Culturally, hipsters make the world evolve. Am I hipster myself? I don’t know because I try to run away from any definitions. People love to put stickers on your forehead, and my own forehead there’s a lot of space so I always get more than one. It’s cool. If it makes your life easier, it’s cool with me, but trust me, if I’m a hipster then fine, I’m a hipster and a billion other things at the same time. I throw the card out and I do it because that’s what the complexity of human nature is all about. We’re very complex beings and you people, you bashers and accusers, you better learn that. The sooner you learn about that the happier and less frustrated you’re going to be, the less violent and aggressive you’re going to be towards other people because it’s all about yourself.
“There’s hipster in each one of you. This is going to be very controversial for some people, but I bet there’s Adolf Hitler in each one of you as well, maybe a little percent. We are everything.”
To be clear, Nergal did not in any way endorse Hitler or the Nazis, and nor am I; the assertion that Hitler and the Nazis were simply not human beings, and should therefore be subjectively tossed aside, is one of the most dangerous thoughts of our time, because it leaves us with nothing but ignorance (on a moral or ethical level, at the very least) regarding one the most horrific situations in the history of our species. That was a pretty big thing, what happened between 1932 and 1945, and to ignore the potential lessons learned from it, out of fear or anxiety or what have you, is equivalent to the child who refuses to eat anything after she tasted a lemon for the first time and didn’t like it: sooner or later, you have to handle what you fear; we’re running away from what makes us who we are, and the fact that part of what we are is not perfect, and potentially evil, whether we like it or not, whether we realize it or not (hipsters).
Last week, Hillary Clinton called for incivility if the Democrats don’t win in the midterms. Eric Holder suggested ‘when they go low, we kick ‘em!’ The president of the United States today called an ex-lover ‘horseface’ and reveled in the fact that her defamation lawsuit was thrown out, to which she responded by making fun of his genitalia, and one of the frontrunners for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination provided ‘proof’ that she was Native American (1/1024 Native American, to be exact) so she could claim ‘diversity’ and so convince her constituents that she ‘really cares’ about the underrepresented, because, apparently, DNA is the the only way to know that.
Aristotle said “every man should be responsible to others, nor should any one be allowed to do just as he pleases; for where absolute freedom is allowed, there is nothing to restrain the evil which is inherent in every man.” Nietzsche pretty much formulated an entire philosophy, and an arguably more influential one than any philosopher since Aristotle (aside from Kant of course ;D), on the notion that man is inherently evil. (“There is an old illusion. It is called good and evil.” “Is it better to out-monster the monster or to be quietly devoured?” “What is done out of love always occurs beyond good and evil.”) Hannah Arendt coined the term ‘banality of evil’ to describe Nazi transporter Adolf Eichmann’s apparent indifference when it came to the moral implications of his actions, and of the actions of the Nazi’s. It’s not just that ‘every man is capable' of evil, that’s too obvious. It’s that ‘evil can creep up at any time, and absolutely will, given the opportunity.’
Whether that’s what Nergal was trying to say here, I’m not sure (I think he was at least alluding to it (if the ‘hipster’ comments have any connotation)), but the sentiment that we all have some monster in us, waiting to get out, no matter how ‘good’ or ‘moral’ we may strive to, or even actually, be, is indeed one we that should have learned back in ‘45. You think the shit-head neo-Nazi or the crazed Antifa member has ever given any kind of a thought to the possibility of a subconscious, malicious ‘arms dealer’? Of course not, because if they did they wouldn’t be able to justify their actions. it’s not whether or not they are evil, but whether they realize that they might be, and that they do not hold so many of the answers to warrant any right to them to make that call.
So what are you going to do about it? I’m going to go home and drink a beer. You gonna get pissed off at me for bringing this up? Call up the church and let them know that, once again, those crazy metalheads are turning us all into satanists? Or maybe just call the cops on me for my long hair and my disgusting Pantera t-shirt. I was listening to The Flaming Lips the last time that happened to me…
There’s an election coming up soon, or so I’ve heard. Maybe you should do some research on the candidates? Maybe that’s something I should do… Or maybe I should call Nergal and tell him that if he doesn’t specifically tell me who to vote for, no amount of research is going to do me any good anyway, because if Hitler was a human, that means that any thought I may have could be one Absolutely evil, so I just can’t trust it, I just can’t in good conscious do much of anything regarding power…
I really like his band’s new record…