Polish Metal Band Jailed and Then Deported from Russia

[Metalhead correspondent Andrew Epstein reports. – AC]

Polish extreme metallers Behemoth have endured their fair share of hardship. Despite consistent success that has inexplicably brought them to the edge of mainstream culture, the band has faced resistance at home, and now abroad.

At home frontman Nergal has twice been charged for insulting the Roman Catholic Church after tearing up a bible on-stage, and faced a potential two year sentence. This time however the band found themselves in trouble on their recent “Russian Satanist Tour”. They attracted attention from conservative Christian groups with some dates being cancelled. Apparently things did get physical at some stops. Finally in the city of Yekaterinburg, the band was detained for not having the correct visa.

Seven members of band and crew spent a night in a narrow cell with feces smeared on the walls and were forced to urinate in bottles. The next day they were deported back to Poland. In the end, they were only able to play four of the thirteen Russian dates they had scheduled.

In my recent interview with Nergal, he spoke directly about how he feels about people who oppose his band, including the charges he faced at home, and his unlikely relationship with mainstream culture (and of course, Satan).

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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