Behemoth frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski took to Facebook to issue a statement responding to allegations of racism. He posted a screenshot of an email that he says his management team received from MetalSucks, saying they planned to publish an article but first wanted to give him the chance to provide comment.
The email referred to two photos that were posted to Instagram (that's one above) of Nergal hanging with Rob Darken from Graveland, who are widely considered a NSBM-linked band (their slot at 2016's Messe Des Morts festival in Montreal lead to Antifa protests that lead to the cancellation of the festival). It points out that, in one of the photos, Nergal is wearing a Bölzer shirt, and that Bölzer frontman Okoi "KzR" Jones has also been accused of national socialist ties (as Nergal points out, Okoi has denied those allegations).
The email also refers to Nergal's now-infamous quote that "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 per cent. We are everything." And it also references a since-amended Instagram post by Nergal about Poland and Senegal's soccer teams, which featured an image, text, and comments that many deemed racist, and which MetalSucks' email said "seemed to tacitly endorse eugenics."
Instead of providing a comment to MetalSucks, Nergal went straight to the public with his response, which reads:
My management team today received this email below from Ben Umanov and Matt Rosenberg @ Metal Sucks.
What we have here is a media outlet trying to create a controversial story in order to get clicks by whatever means they can. In this case they are trying to interpret comments, posts, photos and even t-shirts to paint me as something I’m not. For profit. They wanted me to give them a quote for their story to tell my side of things. But, I don’t feel compelled to help them with their news business. Instead, I will address the issues that they imply with my own statement in my own words direct to those who care to read it.
First I will say this - I am my own person and am against any form of racism, fascism, discrimination or hate. As many of you know, I say a lot of crazy stuff, but I am prejudice against no human-being. I’m a controversial character, I’ll admit it…it’s part of me and sometimes I like to stir things up on purpose. When will I learn? Likely never. But, the simple fact is, I am an open-minded, loving, loyal person. I think the people that I meet in my daily life and musical travels as well as those that follow me on social media know this.
Rob Darken - I took some photos recently backstage in Poland after a Behemoth show with Rob from Graveland, a buddy and fellow Pole. I have known Rob for many years since 1992 and we hang out sometimes in Wroclaw. He did some recordings on our first and second demo tapes. He also has a photo published in my book “Confessions Of A Heretic”. Rob and I share a love of black metal and its rich history. But aside from that, I don’t condone Rob’s personal ideals and agenda because I don’t know them. I can’t take responsibility for every person I take a photo with.
Bolzer - We’re friends and we’ve toured several times. I don’t have to say much more myself about Okoi and Bolzer other than what Okoi says himself here: https://www.facebook.com/erosatarms/posts/it-is-disgusting-totally-infuriating-and-frankly-embarassing-the-lengths-some-pe/1637456716287584/
Eugenics – I have little knowledge and no interest in the subject. I made a comment about my countrymen not being suited to play football. It’s true, the post was removed, but I reposted moments later (still there) with an image more appropriate to the text as the previous was misconstrued. Story of my life!
More on this story if and when it continues to develop.