It took a while to write this interview and the reason is simple: when I feel that I had such a great interview, I’m always afraid that I will not be able to “show” how great it was. Actually, that happened this time. We had such a great talk with Orion (alias Tomasz Wróblewski) in Helsinki, and I hope you will love reading this article as much as we enjoyed to do that.
Usually, I always start with a “how is your day so far?” question (I just call it a “bullshit one”) – I think of that as a prologue. But for Orion – as he said – it matters him the most. “At least for me…” – he added. “That’s what my life is and I do enjoy it, and I love what I do. So… It matters a lot that how is my day, and it’s been awesome so far! We had a travel day yesterday, we came here by a ferry from Stockholm, so we spent our time on a ferry. It was fun! Obviously, as a ferry is. (smiles) Yeah, it’s been great so far! Just, you know, a regular day on a tour. We are on a very tight schedule, so there’s a lot of things happening at the same time but so far so good!”
Orion used to study at the University of Warsaw – and I bet you won’t guess what. “I’m from Warsaw and this is where I was going to school and then to University. What I studied was Philology. So, yeah, I got a degree in it and you know, as soon as I was done with my master’s exam I just never had anything else in common with that, ever.
But it was fun because it let me read a lot of things that I would probably never read.
Which was interesting. But the last two years of my studies I was already touring, so it was kinda harsh in the end but I made it, somehow…”
“I don’t think I can tell any kind of literature” – he replied when I asked him about his favorite book. “I mean I used to read more than I do now, and I hold it against myself recently, we were just talking about books – just a few minutes ago actually. And recently I’ve been keen on its mostly biographies of the people I admire somehow, but that’s just a recent thing. Normally… I don’t know, there’s a lot of great books, I wouldn’t pick any special kind of them.”
And what else would Orion do, if he wouldn’t be a musician? “I don’t know. I would probably stay with something connected with creativity, whatever that would be. But I’ve never tried imagining my life in any other way than it is. And I’m not gonna do it until I have to. Because that’s probably gonna happen at some point.
But the world is now open – if you’re intelligent enough, and if you try hard enough you can basically do whatever you want.
And I don’t really see it as a problem in the future. Hopefully.”
If you are a hardcore Behemoth fan, you may already know that Orion used to play volleyball. “I was into sports when I was in high school. I played in a regional volleyball team for the school where I was at, for like 3 years the most. But that’s it. I mean I never felt like continuing it any time later. That was just an incident in my life. I didn’t really go this way.
It’s not only professional sports actually that damage people’s bodies. We have some professional drinkers in our team (smiles), and their bodies get damage too. But yeah, I feel like whatever you do professionally 100% it makes some sort of impact on your body. Even if you have a job just sitting at the desk and computer it affects your body too. With sports obviously…a lot of kind of damage you can get.
From these 3 years of volleyball, I do have some little injuries here and there, but it’s nothing really significant. I mean the thing that damage my body way more is touring.
So, I’ve been through some a little spine injuries you know and all this kind of bullshit. If you spend years and years sleeping in a van, not eating healthy and carrying heavy stuff – you know, you are not supposed to be doing this. It affects your body, so… Yeah. Most of the touring musicians have such problems here and there.
Once I realized being a touring musician is my life actually, I quit treating being on tour as a vacation.
So, it just what it takes. When you’re on tour, when you’re away with the band, you need to take care of yourself. It’s not really that hard if you try. When I’m on tour now, with technology and everything is the easiest thing ever! You come to the city in the morning, go and take a shower at the venue or whatever, and you can Google the nearest gym and some good food around and you just go and get it. It works everywhere. Like gyms at around every corner, and there’s a lot of food everywhere, and you don’t need to eat shitty pizza at the venue or
you don’t need to just harm yourself of drinking more and more. It’s just not necessary.
And somehow it sets up my day if I started it with a workout. You know, it works well! It keeps me going and I actually feel better when I’m done with the workout, then I felt before that. So, it’s good! It’s important.”
“I do mostly just heavyweights and stretching, but I also mix it with some elements of… I don’t know, a lot of things” – replied Orion, when we asked about his workout routine. “I mean working with so many people, some personal trainers you catch things and accommodate for yourself. I’m not professional at it, at all! I’m not a bodybuilder, I never will be and I never wanted to be. I’m not any sort of sportsman. I’m a musician. But it makes my body better and it makes me feel better, so I just pick things that I might like, and since I’m doing it – for a very long time now – I kinda feel what works best for me. So, I’m leaving it to my own judgment, what to do and what not to do, which just probably not the best idea, but I just like it this way.”
Some of you may remember, when last year Behemoth was a support act of Slayer during their USA tour. Once Nergal and Orion went for finding a gym (as it revealed Nergal’s Instagram stories) they found a Catholic one. Well, I was quite curious about the whole story. “Yeah, there’s everywhere in the States. The chain is called YMCA – you probably heard the song, right? (at that point he started singing the chorus – editor’s note) They also own gyms in the entire United States. So, you can actually find their gyms in every major city in the States.
There were a lot of funny bible quotes on the walls and people were looking weird at the tattoos, and you know… We just being feeling like absurd there.
And I’m not a big fan of it, but Nergal loves these gyms and he just makes fun of them all the time, but… I mean, there’s something interesting in the things that are contradictory, that challenge you at some levels. It’s not like you go there to fight people, you just observe. And it’s interesting. Honestly, I think somebody should start another chain of gym in the US and make them as close to YMCA’s as possible and called them, I don’t know, Youth Against Christ or something – I would go to these ones!”
Here another question popped up: do people want to talk to him about religion?
“I talk about Jesus, I love that!
Why not? You know, it’s usually the opposite. That people don’t really wanna talk to us about these things. And they would rather avoid us then get everything like… I don’t know how to call it. Let’s put it this way: in Poland, there’s been a lot of protests around our shows. It hasn’t been happening recently but it did happen quite a few times in the past.
And it’s usually just a few people – not even older, there were younger people too – and just holding these banners and talking about Christ. And we tried to talk to them. Just to know, what exactly are they doing, why are they here for, what are they protesting. And they would never talk to us. We were approaching them. So, you know, if somebody knocks on my door and then asks me if I want to talk about Jesus, then I say no, of course. Because that’s my home and get the fuck out of here. But if that happens on tour or anywhere that we’re public, then sure, I can do it. Why not?”
Here comes the fun part: horror movies
MyTouche Blog: -If I know well, you used to watch horror films but you don’t actually prefer the new ones.
Orion: -Who said that? (laughs)
MyTouche Blog: -You, in an interview.
Orion: –You know what? We did have an actor. That was a Polish guy, he is dead now. In every interview, he was giving, for the same question, he was giving different answers. And somebody finally noticed that – I mean there was no internet, so it was kinda hard to notice these things. But somebody finally did and ask him: why always giving different explanations for the same things? And he was like: otherwise, my life would be so fucking boring if I would saying the same thing. So, I’m not sure what did I say back then. (laughs)
MyTouche Blog: -It was actually a few years ago.
Orion: –Okay, and what was that exactly, just remind me. I try to explain it.
MyTouche Blog: -That you don’t really a fan of new horror movies because these are a bit funny for you.
Orion: -That’s actually true, that’s not very far from what I think. I know there’s a lot of horror fans between metal musicians. I do appreciate and respect some of the old school horror movies, but whatever… I think the last good thing I’ve seen recently – because I did see a few good horrors recently – was called The Witch. It’s very different from the Hollywood style horror movies. The other one that I enjoyed a lot is actually a Hollywood movie, and it’s the remake of Susperia – it was a great movie already back then. But then this new one with a very renewed approach to what it’s about, it’s pretty cool. But other than that, I quite often leave the movie theaters from horror movies, because they don’t scare me, they don’t seem inspiring. The only thing you see is – you know – blood or funny monsters showing up in the dark. That doesn’t scare me, it would rather make me laugh. So I’m not a big fan of horror movies in general, but there are some really good things here and there.
MyTouche Blog: –If you would be a horror movie character which would you be and why?
Orion: –I don’t know. I have no idea. I would probably can’t pick anyone, just you know… Just to make it funny I would be Freddy Krueger and just slash some people.
Don’t forget to check out the full gallery of Behemoth gig at The Circus (Helsinki).
Interview: Afrodite Szeleczky
Copy editor: Alexandra Égi
Photos: Péter Tepliczky
Artwork: Dalla Chiara Artwork
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