heavy metal

King Diamond Interview

King Diamond has long been one of the premier entertainers in metal music, consistently delivering superlative studio albums defined by dark and mysterious themes and subject matter. Listening to a single King Diamond song can have the same effect as watching the best part of your favorite movie. Finally, we get a recorded glimpse of an entire concert with the release of 'Deadly Lullabyes Live".
The record is well produced and brings to light the entire audio experience of these skilled artisans in a concert setting. Herein, the King gives us some insight into this new record as the group prepares to head out in continued support of 'The Puppet Master', King Diamond's latest studio release? Fans both new and old will enjoy 'Deadly Lullabyes', and the album can give you a good idea as to what you can expect from these performers on their upcoming tour...

Erin Fox: Why did you finally decide to release a live album?

King Diamond: Well, it's actually been a very long time to wait to release one, its way overdue. The only live album that came out is the live Abigail album and when we did that it was in fact, straight cassette tape, recorded straight onto a cassette deck from the soundboard. We have many times asked the labels 'What do you think of doing a live album and they are often not interested at this time. This is the thing, you always have to negotiate with the label while you are doing the tour. It has always taken too long. Two, three weeks into the tour and you are still negotiating this, then you would have to get things around so quickly. That is the reason we did Abigail in that way. This time we took a different approach, saying 'We're not sure if this is going to be released, but we're gonna record it anyway' So we were recording from the start, from the first night. It did fall into place right after the tour started.

Erin Fox: Tell us a bit about the recording of 'Deadly Lullabyes'?How important is the interaction with the fans?

King Diamond: There were a lot of songs?I had a feeling that we we're going to have a very strong recording. We didn't want it to be a best of live, we intended to keep the set list, we didn't change the set list at all. We got a very good sound that was one of the more difficult tasks because we wanted to keep the sounds and feeling of the audience. Of course, things were recorded much better than before, but we did not want too much production. We went for a very realistic recording. That was one task to find out, how can the record maintain the quality that you are looking for and still have the crowd on the recording, singing along and the responses that you have from them. When you are recording with dry signals, you have so much set up to do in order to get it right. I would say that we ended up with eighty-five percent right. You don't ever get it to 100%. You can always find something to make better.

Erin Fox: In my review of the album, I pointed out the presence of the crowd, I really like that aspect of it.

King Diamond: It sounds really authentic. But, that was important, to keep the crowd as a part of the recording?Here we had to figure out, how loud do we want the audience to be on the recording? That was one thing we couldn't do, turn down the audience, because they sing along. You don't take it away, that would be insane. This is what happened, this is what it was like had you been there. As true as you can get to the sound in your home. I really feel like you should feel as if you are a part of the audience while standing in your living room. We could have fiddled and fiddled with the sounds and done a lot of post production but we wanted to keep that feeling of being there intact. There are songs where the audience is so important It's authentic, it's very honest, the whole thing. The interesting thing is how the audience starts chanting when 'Eye of the Witch' starts. The melody line is in 5/7 or 9/8, it makes it turn around the beat, it's interesting and with the crowd singing along, it really adds to it?I think we got a strong sound on the record.

Erin Fox: In the past, King Diamond has been known for your visual theatrics. What are the theatrical Highlights of your performance?

King Diamond: I wouldn't call it highlights, because there are a lot of things happening that's a blend of Theatrics and the presence of the band?there's other songs where the focus is more on the band and the music. But, you have different aspects that are there, the coffin, the baby doll. And there is the iron fence at the beginning which creates a different atmosphere. You start having the
thing of the iron fence where you just get used to it and the crew takes it away. And the barrier between the band and the audience is removed and then it is a whole different feeling. The wheelchair is there, Grandma. But if you have just effect after effect, that would take away from the band. It distracts from the performance.

Erin Fox: Describe the feelings that you get after a performance?

King Diamond: Total exhaustion. I lose so much from performing. The lights are so bright, and in those places it is like the oxygen is drained from the entire room. It doesn't make sense for me to wear all of this, these coats and this costume. By the second song I am sweating and it is like I could have been in the shower. Just drenched. So it is very exhausting and after we are done playing, I go and relax for
a bit.

Erin Fox: Do you find that younger fans are enjoying the older material live?

King Diamond: You see fourteen and fifteen year olds in the front row and they know every single lyric. Older fans are there too and they enjoy it as well, but it's many of the younger kids that are getting into it as well. Most A & R want
bands to follow the trend. They have so many to take from if they want to do that. For them the longevity of the act is just not that important. No other band sounds just like King Diamond. We've always been very consistent and we play and perform music that comes from the heart. that is why there is so much room to add things to it.

Erin Fox: How do you feel that your vocal performance has progressed over the years?

King Diamond: This last tour, several things have stepped up. The pressure is higher than ever before to put on a great performance. I felt I've never sung that good live. I sang as well though, like this before On this last tour I felt that I could hit every single note, when you hear the reaction of the audience to the lyrics it is amazing. 'Welcome Home', 'Eye Of the Witch', 'Invisible Guest', it was really on most of the time. I'm super critical of myself. There were times in the past when the fans thought it was 100 % and I would feel I was eighty-five percent or seventy. I might have four shows on a tour where I feel that I am ninety-five percent. But, on this tour it was the norm that makes me feel like we're on top of everything. The band, I know they know their part. The same goes for our crew, a great bunch of professional tour people. The monitor system that I use for my vocals is great, it was designed specifically for my vocals. There were four monitors that were specifically built for me. There's nothing but vocals coming out of those four. I can feel my voice from them, not just hear it. Most will have music blasting, I have nothing but vocals there. Some of these more difficult passages this time around, I was looking forward and I felt like I had more control over my voice than ever before.

Erin Fox: I understand that you will be undertaking a second leg of 'The Puppet Master' tour where fans can have another chance to see this great show?

King Diamond: The tour is supposed to start on the 14th of April, and then we go to Europe after that. I feel we've found our roots in 'The Puppet Master' album, It's just what came out of us?more double kick, more half beats and that sort of thing. I know we're never gonna get gold or platinum, but this is for those fans of the band who really enjoy this music. I Hope our fans are entertained, it takes all of us to do it, and they are as much a part of it as we are. Every night is different, I'm pleased to say that things are going very well. The fans are so dedicated and we work hard to make every night special for them.

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Tags:  King Diamond  , King Diamondinterviews

    December 27, 2004

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