Side projects are often a really exciting venture for well-known artists, particularly when they allow the artist to demonstrate their talents in a completely different style or genre altogether. Such is the case for Me And That Man, a new project from the infamous Nergal (Adam Darski), frontman of the mighty Behemoth.
Me And That Man sees Nergal team up with John Porter to create music that’s been described as “Southern gothic folk.” While it’s a far cry from the extreme, guttural howls of the Polish death metal band, it does kind of fall within the same gritty, tormented universe.
MATM will be releasing their debut album Songs of Love & Death on March 24 via Cooking Vinyl, and in the meantime, they have debuted first single My Church Is Black. The track evokes the kind of deep melodies and coarse bluesy rhythms you’d expect more from Nick Cave, Johnny Cash or Mark Lanegan than Nergal, but that’s exactly why it’s so thrilling.
Speaking to Noisey, Nergal broke the song down: “My Church is Black was the first song for Me and That Man. I wrote the main theme and instinctively started singing these lyrics, it flowed organically and I embraced it. I picked the song as first single, and opening track of the record. This song is a statement. It’s a new energy, exploring new dimensions of the genre I’ve not known before… but somehow, naturally, the song builds a bridge between these two worlds, the radical scene where I originally come from, to this new domain… full of shadows and question marks. Yet the trip is highly exciting and inspirational.”
The track also comes along with a tantalisingly NSFW video clip that immediately reminded me of the opening credits to Southern vampire TV show True Blood, and indeed the song itself totally harks back to the program’s raunchy theme song.
The video was directed by Olga Czyzkyiewicz (Which is pronounced along the lines of ch-je-ke-vitch). “She’s known for more artistic approach to her productions—it’s not direct, it’s metaphorical and metaphysical,” says Nergal. “The script tells the story of a man lost in the carnal world, searching for some sense and light on the way to enlightenment. There are revelant signs and scenes throughout. He’s there all alone, facing his demons… with the ultimate goal being to “know thyself”. The Greek maxim “GNOTIS AUTON” is a key theme.””
In a nutshell, this project looks and sounds like it’s going to be really fucking cool. I can’t wait to hear the rest.