KING DIAMOND: 'No Band Sounds Like Us'
Michael Christopher of Vanyaland recently conducted an interview with legendary Danish heavy metal singer King Diamond (KING DIAMOND, MERCYFUL FATE). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Vanyaland: Why [perform the entire] “Abigail” [album on the current tour], why now?
King Diamond: I don’t know. It’s not like some big thing came around. We planned on doing a headline tour and after we did [Rockstar Energy Drink] Mayhem [Festival], and we were, like, “Do we do this and not do our headline tour?” And then it was, “No fucking way.” We had to do our headline tour that we talked about doing. It was there I came up that it would be nice to do a very different set and that would be the right way to do it. We have never done it. And I know some people are writing in comments, “Oh, I saw it back in 1987.” Well, you really didn’t, because we never played all the songs in one go — never. Not even when the album first came out. It’s become a thing that is really good seeing, and I don’t think we ever did anything that was this awesome to watch. It’s turned out to be amazing.
Vanyaland: What do you think about “Abigail” that is so enduring?
It was the first concert we ever did. “Fatal Portrait”, half the album, say, was a mini-concert. But that was the first concert where we jumped in with both feet, you know? It had a heavy impact as such, and it was the first horror concert — ever. I don’t know any other band that had a horror concert as an album. And no band still sounds like us, in my opinion. It’s like the first time I ever heard BLACK SABBATH; I had never heard anything close to it; such a heavy band, that first album. But after you do the he second, the third, the fourth the impact is less, even though the albums may be just as striking. That’s how it is, so it has a lot to do with that, I’m sure.
Vanyaland: One of the things that’s been happening in recent years in heavy music is bands doing their so-called “final tour.” You have MÖTLEY CRÜE wrapping theirs up now, BLACK SABBATH is calling it a day next year. But you seem to be getting stronger with your touring while these bands are hanging it up.
King Diamond: I think a lot of it has to do with how it feels at this time. Touring is tough for us, too. You probably remember I had a herniated disc awhile back. I was trying to get through that period without having to go and being operated on. I was lucky the way I could do things the way I did. I had to either stand up or lie down; I simply could not sit. Eventually I got a Temper-Pedic mattress and did all the right things. But the bus rides and all that shit? It sucks hardcore. I feel sometimes like I’m wasting my life [laughs], wasting some time, because you can’t do anything constructive — nothing. Most of the time you can’t get that. So it gets tough. Then comes that hour and a half, just over the top. But it can get harder and harder so I can see how some bands there comes a point where you don’t have to do it. Maybe they think they’d like to see their kids more — and I don’t have kids — or they want to do this or that more. People retire at their jobs, you know? It’s very different from band to band and who’s in the band and how their health is, or family.