Volbeat Frontman Michael Poulsen Recalls Early Worship of King Diamond + Mercyful Fate
When listening to Danish act Volbeat, it’s clear that the band was influenced by great number of bands and genres, and frontman Michael Poulsen says that fellow Danish rocker King Diamond and his influential band Mercyful Fate are among the acts that truly inspired him.
King Diamond appears as a guest on the track ‘Room 24″ off Volbeat’s latest album ‘Outlaw Gentleman & Shady Ladies,’ and when we asked Poulsen about working with the metal icon, he told us his admiration for both King Diamond and his band Mercyful Fate dates back to his childhood, even relating some fun stories about his efforts to see the band play live, as well as his quest to get a Mercyful Fate tattoo even though he was too young to get one. Check out Poulsen’s very intriguing account of his childhood passion for King Diamond and Mercyful Fate below:
I’ve been a huge King Diamond fan since I was very young. I met him for the first time in 1995, then a couple years after. My first tattoo was a Mercyful Fate tattoo. I was not even old enough to get that tattoo and I just remember calling up the tattoo artist and saying, “Come on you need to give me this tattoo, I’ve found this band Mercyful Fate and I want the cover of ‘Don’t Break the Oath’,” and he was like, “Michael, you’re not old enough, you know that,” and I’m like, “I need it!” And I was begging and he said, “Okay if you come now, I’ll do it but don’t tell anybody,” and I say, “I can’t come now I’m about to take an exam at school,” and he said, “I don’t care,” and I said, “Yeah, me too, I’m coming.”
Of course I told King Diamond that story. I even told him about the first time I went to his show and I couldn’t afford it so I sold my bike to buy a concert ticket because I was still very young living at my parent’s house and they were saying, “How are you going to buy merchandise, train ticket, food, concert ticket — sounds like an expensive trip.” So they said, “We’re going to give you the ticket but all the other stuff you have to figure out for yourself.”
So I went down to the garage and took my BMX bicycle and went to the local store and went, “How much can I get for this?” He gave me enough money so I could take that trip to watch King Diamond. I came back home and my father’s like, “Why are you walking, where the bicycle?” I was like, “I sold it because I needed to go to the King Diamond concert.” At first he was very furious but after he was laughing because he knew that was a pretty smart move because he had to buy me another bicycle so I could get to school the day after. [Laughs]
The Volbeat frontman also spoke about the track ‘Room 24’ where King Diamond supplies guest vocals and how the musical union came to be:
When Volbeat started touring America, we were in Dallas, Texas, and King came to the show and was hanging out and he had just went through triple bypass surgery and he was eager to get back on the road and after that he invited me to a show in Sweden where I was up onstage singing with him. I took that as a huge compliment because that’s the first time he ever invited a guest singer.
We were back in Dallas again playing Gigantour and that’s when we started talking about doing something together. I told King that I had some ideas I’d like to play for him so I actually ended up writing ‘Room 24’ on the road and I sent the demo version to King and he was very excited and he really wanted to do it.
We started talking about how we should do it because he wanted to do his own lines and melodies so when we recorded it in the studio we just sent the files to his home in Texas and he went into a studio and we were just waiting at the other end of the world in Denmark. When he sent it back, it sounded amazing – I’m so proud to have him on the record.