Behemoth is supposed to be on their three week Russian Satanist tour run through Russia, but instead the band has been detained in Yekaterinburg because they don’t have the proper visas allowing them to work.
Now, after performing just 4 of the 13 scheduled show dates, Behemoth has been ordered to leave the country. They also received a fine of 2,000 rubles ($58 USD) each. After the verdict, frontman Nergal stated to Polish TV channel Polsat News:
It seemed like we actually got a really nice judge. And wise, because this was a humane decision… it felt like she sympathised with us… We actually received the minimal fine with a recommendation for how to leave Russia as quickly as possible.
Shortly after their arrest yesterday, May 21st, Nergal posted a message (in Polish) to the band’s Facebook page. Some of what he said includes:
When I said I do not move from the club without the presence of someone from the Polish Embassy, they threatened us with force.
They took us in a bus, in the company of about 10 officers, to the Federal Migration Service. We tried [by phone] to reach to the Polish Consulate in Yekaterinburg – but no one picks up.
Wheninterviewed Nergal last month I had asked him if he was concerned about performing in Russia considering what’s going on between Russia and the Ukraine. At the time he wasn’t too concerned, and this certainly has nothing to do with that, but it does raise the question about Russia’s stance and treatment of certain musical acts, some of whom have faced imprisonment without bail and hard labor.
Recently, there have been issues with Pussy Riot, Lady Gaga, and Madonna.
For now, Behemoth is looking forward to getting home for some rest. They’re expected to perform at the Download Festival in June.
What do you think of Russia’s treatment of artists?
Rock Hard \m/