King Diamond Talks Mayhem Festival, Hanging With Anthrax, New Music + More
King Diamond was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s weekend radio show. In the interview, the Danish legend talked about the highly anticipated Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, hanging with Anthrax and more. Check it out below:
So happy to have you on the show and so excited about the Mayhem Festival this summer. Are you excited for this festival?
Oh, big time. The whole band is. We're getting ready for a nice chance to go out and reach a lot of people who've probably never gave us a chance. They can get a feel of what we're about. We're bringing the whole production, even though we only play an hour. We’re not the headliner, but we do bring the whole production. Even though some places we might not be on after dark, but we're bringing the entire thing anyway… all the extra lights that fit on the production. Some places will get the full experiences, some places it'll just come as we go, because it'll get darker, but at least we're bringing the entire thing. So, people will definitely get some cool stuff out of it.
What criteria go into putting together a set list for this type of festival tour?
Well, you have to think about… a lot of people, you're not going to be looking at fans that have already heard your stuff. You have to approach it like a best of thing, but you still want to give those from last time around something that they haven't heard. We're digging deep and bringing at least one song out from the good old ‘Abigail Tour,’ which hasn't been played since then. That's going to be a real cool thing to add into it. Like I said, it's a one hour set, it's going to be different to see us under these different circumstances no matter what. Even for those who saw us last autumn on that tour, it'll still be a different experience for them. It'll be twilight and that's a different look and atmosphere to the whole thing. We've added a couple of things to our production as well… it's a mix and ever evolving production. It'll keep changing and keep being added too, there will be some new stuff for those who saw us last time and it'll keep being evolved down the road. We have a lot more stuff to go this year.
You always put on a very theatrical show. Tell us more about what kind of production you have for the Mayhem Festival.
Well, it's going to be an evolvement. Something has been added since the autumn tour last year, which was an indoor theater tour. But that production was taken from ‘Waken Open Air,’ which is one of the biggest festivals in Europe. It was that same production we managed to cram into the theaters, to build in a certain way that makes it work in both scenarios. You can play big open air and it fills up the whole stage or you can actually cram it into a theater. There were a couple of places last year where they had to cut part of a doorframe off to get it in, because it can only get so small. It's solid metal. It's done in a certain way where we can get it away in 20 minutes. It'll be in front of Slayer's production and has to be able to get off stage in 20 minutes. I've been promised they'll get it away in 15. I can't believe it until I see it. It seems too big for that but it's built in a very… you can say, tour friendly way. All the amps and the speakers are all bolted onto the production when it rolls in. It's all ready to connect.
Mercyful Fate has had a lot of influence on a lot of bands. Do you feel at all uncomfortable when fans share the impact you've had on them?
It's great to hear! I was very honored the other day, I went and saw my friends in Volbeat play in Dallas. Anthrax was supporting. I met Scott Ian before, but I met all of them this time around and got to really talk to them. What an amazing bunch of guys, really great human beings and nice people. It was amazing. They just play and put on an amazing show. So it was a very good evening and it was great. They were also talking about like, “Hey! Let's do ‘Am I Evil.’” “Okay, I can do ‘Evil’ in my sleep so we can do that if you want to,” and then one of the other guys was like, “Hey there's a little more to it than just that [laughs] it can quickly go wrong if you haven't tested it properly. So we'll do it another time.” I remember, the drummer said that he could play the entire Melissa album if need be. It's nice to hear that people are really into that old music still.
Tell us, what makes the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival a good starting point to thinking about making new music?
It's always good to do while you're on tour. I was supposed to be in the middle of writing right now when suddenly we were planning our own tour for this autumn and suddenly we got the offer to do this. But this is very important to do, so we don't want to be rushed into doing a new album anyway, so we're not going to take our time and it'll be the best you've ever heard from us, no doubt in my mind because we have all the tools at our fingertips this time. But we've put the brakes on starting that process, so we'll pick it up when ‘Mayhem’ is done. But it's always great to come off a tour and start writing because you're very inspired, I am.
What can you tell us about your plans beyond the summer?
I can't tell you a lot right now, but soon I will be able to. I can only hint at, we have some other surprises up our sleeves for later this year. But I can't talk about it right now.
When do you think we'll hear more about that, after the summer?
Yeah, when we're done with ‘Mayhem,’ then you'll know.
Many thanks to King Diamond for the interview. The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival also features Slayer, Hellyeah, The Devil Wears Prada + more. The tour kicks off on June 26 in Chula Vista, Calif. For all the tour dates click here. Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.