KING DIAMOND: 'We Were Always Given The Artistic Freedom To Play Straight From The Heart'

Dark Winter of Crypt magazine recently conducted an interview with King Diamond. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Crypt: So, how are you feeling, I heard you damaged your back.

King Diamond: Yeah, herniated disk. It was pretty bad. It's getting better. It's a slow process for that kind of stuff, but you just gotta take it as it comes. I think it's probably the biggest challenge I've ever had regarding patience and willpower.

Crypt: Yeah, I know. I hurt my back a few years ago. I know how tough it can be.

King Diamond: Fuck it, man, you can't do what you normally do, you know. Well, the doctors definitely got it right when they told me it's the worst pain a human can experience. No doubt about it. Yeah, I would say so. I mean the worst earache, the worst toothache you can ever imagine compared to this it's like being in the park watching the birds sing. You can't really describe what that pain is like. There's 75 steps to get completely healed, and I'm on step 50 or something. So, it's definitely going in the right direction, but there's still a way to go.

Crypt: So, what are you doing in all of your downtime right now?

King Diamond: Well, there's still time to do other stuff. The video was done even with a bad back. For right now, we have interest with these old recorded retro DVDs. We have our own video material that was shot a long time ago that no one has ever seen, because it's ours. Then we have some really cool stuff from both KING DIAMOND and MERCYFUL FATE that I think the fans would really love. Brian Slagel has seen the material here at my house, and I told him it was really cool stuff. When he saw it, he went "Oh my god, I didn't know it was this cool." One of the KING DIAMOND shows was outdoors Sunday afternoon in a big park in Copenhagen where we played a free concert. While we were recording "The Eye". We had just recorded "Eye of the Witch" two days before in the studio. We don't play it too good, but we play it alright. (laughs) We have five camera angles on that.

There's some really cool shit to watch, I can tell you that. Some live MERCYFUL FATE stuff from "The Oath" and "Time". There's some interesting stuff there that I hope we can get some of the downtime to get something productive out of it too. There's some other things that is going on also...

Crypt: So, when you heard you were nominated for the Grammy, how did you feel?

King Diamond: I was a little shocked (laughs) Brian Slagel called me that morning. I never really paid any attention to any of that, because I've never seen KING DIAMOND as being the type of band that would ever get any nomination for anything. We've always done our own thing and have our own style, and become a little bit timeless. Because we've never followed any trends with the music. We were always given the artistic freedom from the record label to play straight from the heart, as we have done. That creates a very unique sound and stuff. So, we were never really right by the trend was. But, we were also near out of time, because we had our own thing going.

Crypt: When they told me that you got nominated for the Grammy I thought I had a heart attack.

King Diamond: (laughs) My response was why? Why would they do that? Because it was so far from anything I could imagine. The cool thing is of course that when you think about it, in the end you were selected for that category with four others. Amongst everyone who plays music in that category all over the world. Then it's pretty nice to be recognized like that. On the other hand, it doesn't make you better or worse. It doesn't change anything really. But definitely it's an honor you got chosen by those people who do this thing. But, I can also tell you honestly I never watched the Grammys. The only few times I've watched the Grammys is if METALLICA was performing. I'm honored that they chose us absolutlely, but for me it's much more of a testament to our fans. Their undying support that has been there the whole time. It's much more their nomination than ours in my book. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them.

Crypt: Now you did the voice over work for "Metalocalypse" recently.

King Diamond: Yeah, yeah, yeah! That was fun!

Crypt: We were watching it, and we were like "is that King?" We had to go look it up, and (we found out) "oh my god, it is!"

King Diamond: I gave them three different voices for each of those characters so they could choose which one they felt fit the film. The one with that black devil, I had a much better voice for that. They chose the one that was most normal. That voice was not the coolest one. There's a game that's coming out sometime in 2008 called "Brutal Legend." I've seen a lot of screenshots and little things from it. They have showed interest in using some KING DIAMOND music in there, and they've also talked about maybe doing a voice-over.

Crypt: Oh, wow.

King Diamond: I know that Halford has done a voice-over for that game, and Dio is doing stuff in there. Lemmy is doing a voice over. It's about a roadie of a band that goes to Hell, and he has to fight his way out of Hell. The landscapes look like classic album covers that you would recognize. I heard this thing about Lemmy Kilmister, they have a character there called "The Killmaster." Which is Lemmy's character and he's riding a motorcycle up in the sky. (laughs) It sounds really cool, and the graphics that I've seen look pretty damn cool. They went into a merger with someone else, so it was put on ice a little bit until that merger has been finalized. But they were gonna get back to us. So, hopefully they haven't forgotten us. We'll see what happens there, you know. Nothing's for sure, but it could happen.

Read the entire interview at


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