You have just released the newest album of yours, "House Of God". What one would discover in this album, comparing it to your previous works?
- I think, the way I hear this album is... is that it seems, there's more of everything in it. It is quite a bit more aggressive in a long time, maybe it could be the most aggressive album of KING DIAMOND. It is very aggressive but at the same time, there seems to be more melody in the album, also the songs have this... quite complex, in some cases, really complex but when you listen to it without paying too much attention, you don't really feel it. The complexity is not destructive but it fits very well. And the vocals are a little bit more in the old fashioned way. There're more vocals, you know, a lot of harmonies and choirs and I use the high vocal a little more in this album. So it helps more the old style but a lot of it, is in a different way, you know.
Kol Marshall appears as the co-producer of "House Of God"; are you satisfied with the way he's done his work? Do you think you could have done it on your own?
- He is a very good team guy to work with, because I can't do one of our albums alone simply because when I'm singing at the studio with headphones on, headphones are so loud, and sometimes it is very difficult to hear with very loud headphones, to hear my voice, is pitching a hundred per cent, you know. And that's where he can hear that, he has a very good pitching and stuff you know, and he tells me: "You are a little bit under the pitch you know, you need to..." It's not quite there, I know that is right what he says but even if I can't hear with the headphones, but if it was a person that I didn't trust, that I didn't know, I couldn't do it, I would have to walk all the way from the studio into the control room, and listen to it and make sure that it was all pitched, you know, and that goes for all aspects mainly, and he has some great ideas too, and it's very easy to work with him. It's almost sometimes like we both know what we have to change. We do the mixing and suddenly we look at each other, and... I know the high head is too loud and something like that, you know, so it's very comfortable working with him and he works extremely hard. We were three months in the studio. The last month was just the co-producer and me, working on vocals and mixing the album, and yeah, he works real hard and not only the music, he's at the whole thing. Right now I wouldn't want anyone else.
The recording, mixing and mastering of this CD took place at the Nomad Recording Studios in Texas. Why was you guided by, choosing Nomad? Because you live in Texas, I suppose?
- We've been in that same studio many times
now, and we have a great
relationship you know, but the studio seems to get better every time. The owner is not the kind of guy that drives a big expensive studio that is always the same. When he makes money he puts it back into the studio and gets new equipment, better equipment, that's why now he has some very good equipment to master the album as well, you know. So you could go the whole way in that one same studio. I mean we have full control, we recorded there, we mixed there, and we even mastered there. We don't have to send it to someone else who will just do the standard thing you do the albums. We can really think and go into detail about what we want, what we like, and it is a very good studio and they have very good equipment there and it gets better and better every year.
Andy La Roque has
his own recording studio in Europe... Have you ever thought about recording
at his place? Had he ever offered you his services?
- Not really. His studio doesn't at this point have the same as a normal recording house. Even though there it is a very good studio, even, well you can see that, he is recording mini albums there for other bands. But he has... It's the same kind of thing, Andy re-invests the money that comes into the studio to make it better and better and better.
Perhaps, it would be more uncomfortable for you to go to Europe in order to get the album recorded...
- No, that would actually be exit to be not so good, because I have some very precious speakers at home, and it's the same speakers we have at the studio in the mastering. Well you have to own the best speakers, that's to get all frequencies, and if you suddenly can hear all frequencies, you can go very wrong, because you think you hear something but that's not what you are hearing, and those things are becoming more and more important today, because five years ago, then most people brought a stereo, the speakers would not reproduce all frequencies, you know, they would not. But today, when you buy a stereo most of the time, it comes with a swaft woofer and now most of the people can hear the bottom in. There're frequencies down there that they were never heard on the speaker they mixed on.
CD format... it's
a great improvement in music industry, isn'it...
- That's the reason why it is very good for me to be here, because when we have done something on the studio I can hear it on the same speakers that they have on the studio, where we mastered, but in a normal living room and it's very important. When we started on it for the first mix, that's where we found something out that we needed to change, because we where listening at my home, and it's just because it's very important I can't really carry speakers and everything with me and fit it in a room with me, to put it in a room that I don't know, because different rooms, sound different even with the same speakers in. So it's just one of those things that is very important, because right now, me and other two band members are here in Dallas, so we are three guys, here in Dallas and then there's one from
Toronto in Canada, and then Andy, he has to be away also from his things in Sweden to really concentrate when he has to do this thing.
"House Of God"
witnessed the invitement of two neophytes, Glen Drover and David Harbour.
What let you to include them in your actual line up?
- The same thing for both guys, after we achieved the "Voodoo", Glen
Simon decided he had to stay home, he couldn't tour anymore, for his family, I mean his wife, what happens to people when they have a family. The life sometimes like changes and one has to make a priority you know, keep touring or stop playing. Or keep touring and I might not be there, because I'm tired and I've never been here, you know, It's that kind of thing, so at that time I called Glen Drover, whom I knew for six years at that time, and had been waiting and waiting for a chance, and I knew how good he was. Then we were about to start the "Voodoo" tour, that's when it happened so he actually did the whole "Voodoo" tour in America. And then we went into the studio to do "House Of God", that was another thing because I had never been in the studio with him before, and it was unbelievable. That kid is very quick. So it's a big improvement, and then for the bass, after we had done the "Voodoo" tour Chris Estes was the bass player. He got married with a girl who had a ten year old girl and suddenly he was like a father, you know. They got married and they bought a house. He was a family dad, you know. I totally understand it, and there's nothing wrong in it, it's simply life, that's what happens. Then we found David Harbour, who is an old friend of our drummer; John, and he's probably the best bass player I've ever played with. It's unbelievable what he can do, but fortunately he doesn't have that big ego. You can imagine sometimes, if you got a guy that is really really good, you try and play bass, all over the place but David has a very good ear for arrangement, he just needs to play straight and pump all over the bass, he will do that, he can hear what's best for the song, and in different parts, sometimes when it's right. It's another very big improvement, so you can say that it's irritating when you have to change the line-up or change people in the band, so as long as it is for the better it doesn't matter to me, but it is very irritating when you have to do it all the time. But then it's again life, I've been doing this for so long. Jimmy Hanson was the same thing, most of those guys they has done the same thing, they suddenly start a family and they had kids. And I can't tour anymore with my wife, she's going crazy and I have the kids over there, and I understand it, it's fine. There are many good players in this world, and they are not gonna change the style or what KING DIAMOND or MERCYFUL FATE is, because they will always be the song writers, who decide what the style is and then there are the ones that wrote the music, and that's why I say there are so many good musicians in the world and you can find someone if you look for them, and let them play your music, and that's what it's always been, that's why there's styles are not exactly the same, but it's the same kind of style, and it's never gonna hurt the band, not as long as they're not bad musicians.
The number 13 is a cursed number in many cultures, and as I have noticed "House Of God" is comprised of thirteen songs. Has it been premeditated? What is your opinion on superstition in general?
- I'm not superstitious myself, but it's
a coincidence that there's thirteen numbers in the album. I didn't say
there has to be thirteen numbers in the album, we never do that. Because
we had done so much of that already, then it would just be repeating ourselves,
so it's simply a coincidence that there are thirteen songs on there, but
the numerology kind of thing, yea, we played around with the number nine
before, because if you multiply nine by any number, you get a result, and
you keep adding those figures up and it always come back to nine. And it's
like nine times nine is eighty-one and eight and one is nine, and it doesn't
matter what figure you do it with. And we also go into a tittle that's
a little bit more hidden, but the seventh
day of July of seventeen seven to seven, this kind of thing, you know, because July is the seventh month, that's one time seven and then you have the seventh, and you know three more sevens, so that's five times seven in all, plus a one. Like three and six is nine, and then there's another. I don't know what you call it coincidence, or what ever nine multiplied but I don't remember what number it is. But that gives you the result of six six six, and then add them up six and six and six is eighteen and then again one and eight is nine. It's a funny little thing, that people can't always imagine a number comes back to itself. It's a full circle, so that's why we used it way back. Numerology is not like going changing letters in to
numbers and see what's gonna happen, and stuff. I don't really believe in that thing. I'm in control of my own business.
"House Of God" obviously is a conceptual piece; can you tell us about the story it's based on?
- It's a different kind of KING DIAMOND's story, than you have seen before. How can I say this, man? Most of the KING DIAMOND's albums have a straight story that hopefully is interesting, but there's some deeper meaning behind, even if the story took place two hundred years ago, there are things that talked about that you can use today, things that people say, wow!, but that happened to me, too; and I have tried that. And in that respect this album has some of that too, all of a sudden towards the end. I mean there's not just the story and a simple meaning, there's also a deep opinion, that is when you get the almost catacombs. This place is terrible, that's where the whole point of the story is happening, all the other stuff have happened before, you can say, most of just the story, there's deeper thing because you talked about relationship but almost a love story at some point, it starts out with all this... kind of Abigail beginning, "arrival" feel... and this person travelling to a specific place and then there's a wolf that leads this guy into a mountain where there's an old church, that looks horrible, but once he follows the wolf into the church, it all changes and becomes beautiful, everything, and the wolf changes into a beautiful woman. You've never seen anything so beautiful, and he falls in love with her, immediately. And then you hear how they make love everywhere in the church. It's a little bit strange, but then you hear that the church is not really just a normal church, this church seems to have both sides; Jesus on the Cross, but also there's a figure of a Devil. There are two pulpits, two places where the priest could stand and talk to people: one of them has gargoyles, they are like protectors, and the other one is like full of demons, so there're strange things in this church, that is not normal, and this kind of like then you look at it, it makes no sense, it's chaos, and then when it continues the story, you suddenly find out that the guy that there's something wrong, that she has to tell him, and then she explains that she has signed a test, to take care of this church, and she would have one year to find someone else to do it, otherwise she would die, and she could only leave the church in the shape of a wolf, that's why he first time saw her as a wolf. So now she tells him: you have two choices, and they are not good, any of them. You can stay with me, here for my last seven days that I have left, and we can have more fun, but then suddenly you will have to watch me die, or you can sign the pact and be the next one to have a year, and then you will set me free, and then I can leave this church but not as a wolf but as a woman; but the second I walk out of the door my memory will be gone. I will be not able to remember you, I will not know that you are in the church. So he's gonna loose her, so he lets her free, and the story continues with just a shadow and this guy getting like very lonely and sad, start drinking, just not good, he doesn't understand why he is in this church and then comes he starts calling help, he starts to get desperate, and starts to get very angry, and it also turns into insanity, where he can't handle anymore, there's a lot of mirrors in the church and they all have crosses in them and he can't stand looking in the mirror and see there his own face, so he can see how miserable he is, so he starts smashing all the mirrors and his hands are bleeding completely, he goes crazy, and when he smashes the last mirror in the church, he triggers a mechanism that makes the alter move, and the alter moves and reveals a big hole in the floor and through that, cool, there's stairs leading down into what he's finds out to be a catacomb and he has to go down there and in this catacomb, you see how in "love story II", to loneliness, depression, anger, insanity, and then suddenly, (now comes the horror part) where he goes into this catacomb, and a lot of little chambers, it's also dark, he only has a candle, and all those little rooms are along the hall ways, they are full of human bones, and he thinks: What the hell is this, and then he sees, from one of the hall chambers, that there's a light coming out, and he goes to that chamber, and in there there's a statue of the Virgin Mary, full size made of wood, and he smashes the head of that Virgin and he finds something inside, there's a mummy inside, and that mummy is sitting with a crown of thorns on the head just like Jesus and then he starts taking the bandages away and of course there's no eyes anymore, there's only two black holes, but from one of those holes there's a light coming out of one of his eyes, and then he hears a scream coming from the inside of this mummy of Jesus, and he turns around and he runs for his life back to the catacomb, trying to get back into the church, and this light comes out and follows him all the way and then he gets back to the hole into the church, and then the light comes after him, and fills the entire church and he can see there're faces and bodies that swing around in the air, and then this entity, starts talking to him and says: I'm the highest God, there's no one higher than me, and you have gone to a place where you should not have gone, no human being should have gone in there, and then he starts to say you'll never will find out, even when you've seen the Jesus mummified down there, you will never find out why he is there, and then is this maybe we will have to keep him down there, so he will never walk on earth again, to keep him away from God, but also keep him away from people like you because you want to try to crucify him again, they're protecting it will happen again. It could be many things, but we are not gonna tell you what it is. And he says that God and Satan the way you've known them, are nothing but two little puppets on a string that I control and I have created them in your head just so they could be conflict in your little head, that's complexities of life of God here, it doesn't matter what you think, that we are the only things that matter. You know that we are, and we are everything as we are so much more than you can understand, so therefore you should just live your life the best way you can, I mean leave the best to us, but this guy says: I can't do that, I'm sorry, Mr. big God, I can't be one that supports someone that's unknown, I don't know what you are about, you won't tell me anything, I mean, why don't you show yourself to everybody on earth? Show that you exist, and that you are the only real God there is, and then explain the chaos of life we have here on earth, give us a reason for living, why do we live our lives, give us the fact proof, you know, but then again he says: I'm sure you don't even know the truth, because you are not probably the highest God, you are maybe another little puppet in another string, and another string, and another string... Who knows who holds the biggest string up in the top, you'll probably never know that, it could go for ever, just like the universe, that we live in. We don't know how big it is, we don't know how it started, we don't know how, or if it would ever end, I mean were just human being, we can not know these things, and then at the end of this thing, he says, like ar... You can't tell me, what's my life's about on earth, and why I should stay here and serve you. I would make my own choices. I want to know why I'm here, but I guess, that is impossible to find out why I'm here, as long as I'm here the first chance you get to find out why you're here will be when you are not here any more, when you are dead. So this guy is in this church and he can't leave it, it's like being in a prison, and he doesn't want to be there and he doesn't want to be around this God. He says: I make my own choices now, I choose death or what you big God expect you can stop me from, cause you are not really a God at all, so he goes up the stairs to the church tower and, he puts a rope around his neck and he throws himself out and hangs himself and he finds he gets peace of mind at the end. But it's a story actually, I would never do that, I would never because, I'm not in the situation, but I can leave my house here, I can do things, this guy is stuck, he can't do anything and he has nothing left, when he finally is about to find the truth, maybe, he finally finds out that the truth is not there, just not there, he will never know, maybe when he dies he will know, but not as long as he's alive, and he can't just keep living in this church, there's nothing there, for him at all, so what does he really talk about, in the end. If you talk about the deep meaning of the world, you can see that he is talking about, these strings that keep going on, you don't know how long they could go, they could go for ever, what is forever, it's just like infinity, as we talk about the universe as we know it. And that's where I would like to make people to try to think a bit about these things. Imagine if the universe as we know, was only a little grain of sand on a beach, then it is very, very small, and it's so, so big to us, and then imagine in that little grain of sand, there's this little thing called earth, which is so, so little in the universe we know, so small is me and you, human beings, suddenly we are so small that you can't even see us, you see, and we become meaningless in the big picture. And it gets even worse when you think about, why are we here. I don't know why I'm here, I don't know why I'm living a life. I wish that if there was a real God no matter what that God is called "Lala" I don't care, but if it could show himself to everybody at the same time so everybody in the earth knew, here is the fact, the proof, there is only one and this is the one, we wouldn't have to believe in so many different Gods. And we wouldn't have all those wars, you know 90% of wars today they have religious background, today they really do. I mean like Islam fight the Jews, the Christians and the Christians will fight the Jews and the Christians will fight each other protestants will fight Catholics. I mean nobody has the proof that they are right, it's a feeling they have made up in their own minds, it's pretty much what it is. And that's why I say if there's really a God it should show himself so that everyone could knew. Well we know there are no other's we've got the prove for it, but since we don't have the prove that's why we believe in all these different kinds of Gods to make up ourselves, and I think it would be a much better world if people could forget about all these Gods and stuff, wasting all that time I think, on worshipping and fighting each other over something that they can't even prove anyway, and then that is a positive, that is positive in the end I think, because if that could happen it would be positive but in the other front, you can say it's pretty horrible to think about that we might be completely meaningless in the big picture, we have no meaning at all, plus you think you don't know why you're here, you have no idea, you don't know what your goal is, but what I'm supposed to do with life, and if I do it right, then what do I get? Where do I go? There's no proof an all. And that's why if you are Christian and you get older and older and suddenly you get close to death, they get scared too. They might believe there's a heaven, but inside they know they don't have the proof, it's just another false, in their heads. So instead of going around been scared of this, is gonna happen to us all just not knowing anything, except you don't know it, just say OK I don't know these things, I'll probably never will know until someday when I die, but I do know some other things, and then you start to talk about the fact, I know that I'm here, walking on a planet called Earth, that I know, I that there are some things that make, whatever it is, I have inside that creates feelings, I know that there's some things that make me feel good to do, I'm not gonna waste all time thinking about religion, if there're gods or not. No I'd rather get all that time and use it to do more of those good things that will make good stuff for me too, That's fact. You know that; the things you like, you know that you like it truths like that. That's what the album has a lot to do with, it's not that funny at first when you start talking about it, cause I remember, when I wrote the story for it. I talked to Andy about it. At one point. Andy has two kids here I and I'm talking to Andy telling him that your life is meaningless and your kid's life is completely meaningless. And he said: What? What? Oh god, this is not good. I don't feel good at all. Hey, wait, there's more and you don't know why and where you're going, and you have no clue, no proof, but you do know something, you do know you are here you do know things, that you like to go to the beach man. That is next, make some effort to do more the stuff that you like, and don't waste time on sitting, thinking, oh! what's gonna happen later, or when you don't know anyway. So that's what the album is very much about. It's a really different King Diamond's album, because it got some very deep ideas, but you don't have to think those thoughts but hopefully when you get to that point like a busy end, you have to think, you have to think something about this guy talking, this God or what they are talking about but it's like I said, when you get to a certain point, it's not funny, but you do come to a point in the end what make's sense and which is not bad but we talked in the studio the co-producer and me and the cover other guys it's quite strange how suddenly everybody had to run out and get coffee it's the room just got empty when it got to that point in the conversation because it was not funny at all, just sit and listen to how important you are in the big picture, cause we all have that feeling, we all want to be the centre of the universe we think we are.
You deal with plenty
of themes often considered "occult" and "malicious" by narrow-minded ones,
when it comes to all of your works...
- Well, you know, I don't know if you can say there's a lot of evil things, you know. In KING DIAMOND's albums there are horror stories, but behind the horror stories, there's life philosophy, things about how human beings treat each other, every single day, like «Voodoo», it talk's all about how you are not willing to listen to other people, people with another kind of religious influences, you don't what to listen to them, you rather see them as being dangerous instead of reading about what is in what they believe in. Do I have to be scared of them, like these people, they move into this house,
they are scared when they hear the Voodoo drums going in, and the singing, and they just want to get rid of them, instead they could have read a book about "Voodoo", and find out; - Hey, there's no problem, but instead it turns into a war because they try to destroy that graveyard it's one of the holiest things, there is to a "Voodoo" cult, because they feel they have to feed that dead family members. that's that they do. They leave food and drinks by their tombstones, and if they don't do it, they believe the family members spear will come after them and hurt them, so it means everything to them, and if you try to take that away they will fight until the bitter death, to try to stop it, and that's what it happens there, but, it's, ignorance sometimes when the people do not wanna make a little extra effort, to make sure they themselves are not doing something wrong, or just another people. Just to open their minds. Yea. completely, I mean there's so many things like that; a graveyard, you can say it's a horrible story, yea, but you got to look at the bigger picture like when you talk about Charles Manson, things that most people don't want to talk about it because if you start talking about it, other people will point their fingers and say why are you talking so much about this? maybe you are one. So you rather shut up and don't mention it. But take an example like, say you are visiting some of
your friends and they have a little girl, she is four years old or whatever, but you are very good with kids, let's say you know how to play with them and they think you are funny and Bla, bla bla... completely honest, and then you finish playing, coffee is served, come on into the living room, sit at the table and have coffee, and then the little girl come to you and I want to sit in your lap, I love you, you're so great, and then you sit with the little girl in your lap, and she would sit there for hours if it was up to her, and there would be no harm, but probably because we have these weird
thoughts in our head and we don't talk enough about it. You might be the one sitting there thinking. Oh my god! I hope the mother and father doesn't think I'm sitting here, been perverted with her on my leg for so long, so you take the little girl and you say now go away, go, go on. Because you don't want them to think that, and the little girl, she doesn't know anything. She thinks, what? I thought he like me now, he hate's me what is... I mean there's a problem, and if there's a problem then say it, or don't say it but those are the things that is on there and we left Steven and a number on there for America at least he could call us if he had problems an all. but I mean there's not all bad, even there's some horrible stories but they really reflects what it's going on, in life even when some of the stories take place in the eighteenth century, it's things that all go on today and I think it's important for people to think about, at least it's another question I ask. What do you think of this? How do you feel when you hear this? And then maybe somebody may think and do something. And I talked to a journalist after the "Graveyard" album, and he told me, - I feel horrible, when I read your lyrics, you made me feel horrible, he said. - And I said: why? He said - Because I have a little daughter myself. - So? - Well, actually, I believe it was good because I change the way I worked. I started to go later to work and come home later, but in that way I could take my little girl to school every morning and make sure she was safe going to school. So I said that was great then something may not happen to her, or bad something not happen to her. At least not some guy taking her right on front of school and kidnap her anyway. So I mean there's a little positive thing there an sure there's other people that I had not heard from that had experienced the same kind of thing, so there is those different kind of things behind those stories, but it's like people should look at what is going on in the story what are the people doing to each other it doesn't matter if one person is the hero and the other is the bad guy in my stories, that doesn't matter, it matters what they are doing to each other, the action, doesn't matter who wins or loses it matters that you see some action going on and you think like others: That's fucking horrible and you gonna say - Yes, man, he got him there, and then you make up your own mind because of that. And that is much what my stories go and it goes quite a bit deeper and talks about god / God, gods / Gods and religion.
Lyrically, what are your principal influences? Some of your stories seem to be influenced by Poe and Lovecraft. Is it correct?
- I wouldn't really say so it is some...
I don't read the whole lot any more, I don't watch that horrible movies
anymore, I don't really have much time to do things like that. What I take
from it's just from... I always have my eyes open, wherever I go I'm always
very open minded listen to people talking about whatever and you can see
so many things, just by been open minded and keep your eyes open, I can
see it in a bar and drink water and have a great time just watching people.
I mean, like you can see a boy and his girlfriend sitting on a bar and
suddenly they are shouting each other, just because the girl won't want
to buy him another beer and he's just bought her two, or whatever, he's
crazy. And he says: Oh, my God. Wo and that's their world, that's the things
that are in there world, then you start thinking about every single person
in this earth are different to each other, even twins are different, and
we like different things, everything if we have a big world, every single
one of us, we see all these things everyday that give's us feelings inside
too, and sometimes people in relationship don't pay attention. What it's
amazing is to see how different people's world are, you can go to a football
game or a race or whatever, but say you wanna buy a hot dog and you go
and you stand there in a line and there's a guy up in front and he starts
getting mad and why are you getting mad. arh.. there's no more ketchup
and you start thinking o.. he's getting mad because they have no ketchup.
And five miles from here there's a children's hospital where probably a
little boy or girl has just been born without a hand, and he's getting
mad about the ketchup, but that's shows how different our worlds are each
world has different values at different times, and that's what interests
me a lot. And that's what I'm trying a lot of into my stories. You have
a straight normal story if you don't want to go too deep, but there's a
lot of deeper stuff as well. My inspiration is almost eternal and
that's where I get most inspiration, in those situations I have experienced
last year I've seen things and I've... Wow! I can't fuck this at all. And
then I use those situations, in a story that takes place in a completely
Which one would you name as your favourite book, and why?
- It would be... oh man! My fave writer is a guy called James Herbert, he's a horror writer from England. James Herbert, I really like the way he writes. I like the fact that very often his books start with.. you get a first right in your from the first page. He doesn't start building up for twenty pages. He often gives you a shock right from the beginning, where you just sit and you have to put the book down and sit and think; Owe God, this is horrible I can't believe this, and you read it again and you say Oh my God ! it make's me sick to think about it, that's the way he writes the horror parts of it. It's disgusting but it's done in a good way, if you know what I mean. He can really make you feel ugh... And then the stories itself, the way he twist the occult and horror. It's my favourite writer, I can't put his books down, the best-seller kind of thing, I really like Steven King a lot too, but I think, compared to James Herbert, for me, for my taste, Steven King uses a lot of pages just to describe, kind of things that he has read about and now knows, how to make a word for a car, things that is not really important to the story but it almost seems just to do some pages. I'm not talking down about KING DIAMOND, I think his books and stories are great, but sometimes I sit down and say come on, come on now.
You get stuck, don't you?
- Yea, I feel I can put it down now, and I can start reading about this thing another day, but with James Herbert it's like I want to see what is in next page is going to happen now.
The stories your albums are based on, appear as doubtlessly imaginative and simply very well written. Have you ever thought of putting out a book compiling all of these plots?
- Yeah, and maybe I will love one day, when
I'm not doing this anymore because it takes a lot of time. Two bands, you
know, and the thing is; it's not just recording and then touring, because
I am doing half part of doing all the business too, there's a guy in Copenhagen,
that helps me do and we do 98% of the business for the band, so we know
what the business is about and that's a good thing, but it takes out a
lot of time and it's like any other business, it's a rotten business you
got to be really careful and you got to know what are you talking about,
and what you're doing. So it's interesting but it also takes a lot of time.
So I have very little time that I can't even sit and see a movie actually.
Always something, I haven't have a vacation in eight years. That's the
way I do it, I'm not complaining, but that's just the way it is, and that's
why there's not really time to sit and write a book, at this time maybe
when I don't play music anymore, that would be very interesting. The thing
I like about it is the situations between
human beings but I'm also fascinated by the occult and the unknown. And then there is the whole matter, because you became a mini-god because you sit and create these people and you give them different things, you decide what they look like and what they feel and all these stuff. And it's like a kind of power trip.
For how long have you worked on "House Of God", starting with composing lyrical canavas and finishing with it's musical interpretation?
- Well, I started last year, right after
we finish to tour with MERCYFUL FATE, and that was two months before Christmas
last year, we would been there??? in the USA, other tour in South America.
But I started two months before Christmas and then I actually did work
every second I was away, two months, and I only saw two people, and that
was our drummer and the guy that owns the studio, I saw them once, and
once each, so I talked to people two different times. otherwise, every
time I woke up I went to straight into continue the music until I was so
tired I had to go to bed and then I woke up and went straight in, for two
months, straight, with nothing else. I've
never done it like that before, but that was what I felt like doing this time, and then from there, I went pretty much straight into the studio, we started in the 3rd of January then it was totally three months, for me and the co-producer, as we were Andy left when was one month more to go, he had to go home to do his stuff there. He had been there recording, the co-producer and I continued on recording vocals and mixing the album and everything so him and I , were there for three months and we had three days off in the whole period, otherwise we were working every single day twelve to fourteen hours, so it was a long procedure.
Do you work on KING DIAMOND's and MERCYFUL FATE's songs at the same time? It has to be quite difficult, hasn't it?
- No, it often happens in between each other at the same time, sometimes because, usually when I start writing I don't know where the song is gonna end up, if it's gonna be a KING DIAMOND's or a MERCYFUL FATE's song, I really don't know that when I start, unless I start playing on a harpsichord that's probably gonna be a KING DIAMOND's song, but if I sit and compose the guitar, I let it just come from inside, it's just feelings from inside and that's how I just let it flow and then suddenly you realise: oh god! This is a MERCYFUL FATE's song. After a while working on a song, it's a matter of how it feels, how the song feels, suddenly it's like wow, this is definitely MERCYFUL FATE or this is a KING DIAMOND's song, there's no doubt about it. And from that point, then you start think how it would be a KING DIAMOND's song. And then I might do things that it would be more KING DIAMOND like. But the basic thing for running a new song when you start up you give the first verse and chorus and things like that. When I first work I have no idea what is gonna happen to it, you know, it might end up in the trash can too!
What's your opinion on the main differences and parallels between MERCYFUL FATE and KIND DIAMOND?
- I think, that with the lyrics I know, because KING DIAMOND's is full concept stories, that's one thing, when MERCYFUL FATE is always individual songs. And MERCYFUL FATE is more about the old legends, myth and religion. At this time sure, but in general MERCYFUL FATE is like more old legends about the "headless rider" or "the Bellwitch", or that type of stuff, but KING DIAMOND is like more like the genuine horror stories and a full story, and then like I said, there's life philosophy in there that describes how you've been with each other.
So it's completely
different to you.
- Oh yes, completely different. Sometimes it is more difficult to write a short individual song, because you realise, wow I have very little space to describe things on. And it's nice to do in those two different ways, even when I sing it's different, because in MERCYFUL FATE I use the normal voice a little bit more than I use the high voice and at KING DIAMOND I at least use the high voice as much as the normal voice and there's usually more choirs and stuff going on, and I use more different voices at KING DIAMOND, because it's like a story, so in that respect there's a different way of singing too, even when there's the same person singing, it's a different approach, a different feel when you do it. and musically, of course I write
some stuff for MERCYFUL FATE and like I told you I find out along the way where the songs belong. But Hank is involved into MERCUFUL FATE writing and last time he wrote one song music, but KING DIAMOND is Andy and I, and Andy writes completely different from Hank, so the music gets quite different from each other, and also the fact that it is all different musicians in the two bands, that they are playing instruments, they have their different styles of playing guitar, different drumming styles and they play on different instruments, even the instruments sound different, different amplifiers and stuff. So right there it gets quite different, the sound is very different from MERCYFUL FATE "9" TO KING DIAMOND's "House Of God", very different, but that's like it gets, it's like the way it will be because it is two completely different bands. I think KING DIAMOND's songs are a little bit more melodic, but in the same time more aggressive. I think a little bit more complex, I know MERCYFUL FATE is doing some songs that are crazy, but in general KING DIAMOND, there's always something very complex in the songs.
KING DIAMOND appears as a part of Massacre Records' roster, while MERCYFUL FATE has a deal with Metal Blade. What differences do you see between both record companies? Which are their best and worst characteristic qualities?
- Oh. I would never tell you that, because we have a good relationship with both record labels, we really do. KING DIAMOND is in both record labels. You know KING DIAMOND is on Massacre for Europe and Metal Blade for the rest of the world, and MERCYFUL FATE is worldwide with Metal Blade Records, but of course, they have different approaches, that I mean Massacre doesn't have a US department, so they would look at things in different ways, I'm sure they would like to do a video for instance.
So there's no one
better than the other, they're different.
- Yea, because of different things, Metal Blade would certainly want to do a video with MERCYFUL FATE, because they have them for the world, so it makes sense for them. But it is a little bit different even KING DIAMOND has more albums that MERCYFUL FATE we always have, but the thing is that for two record labels to work together, to do a video and split the costs, they would want to get something out of it both of them and here in America and does like MTV doesn't have any heavy metal anymore, there's nothing that plays really heavy metal unless you sell platinum albums like METALLICA. They use to be Headbangers Ball on this, but there is not here anymore, in Europe you have, what is the BH1, that play's heavy metal and MTV heavy
metal. But anyway you get value for it if you do a video in Europe, you get something out of it because it is been seen. But if you do one for America, you might not see a band like us on any shows, except maybe some small local shows, and then it's too much money to spend it's better to spend that money on radio commercials or touring or something like that, and I can understand that, but that is the difference of being with two different labels, that then they can agree, they can agree in doing a video, because one would get something for it's money the other will not because they don't have the territory of Europe, but for Metal Blade they would do another commercial video for MERCYFUL FATE because well, they also have
Europe, so if they do a video they can uses it there, you know it won't be seen by too many over in America.
You have released quite a lot records with both MERCYFUL FATE and KING DIAMOND in a pretty short time. As you mentioned above, you're truly a "workaholic". What is your secret, or what pushes you to work so hard being in two bands in at same time and coming up with so many astounding songs?
- I really like the style of both bands,
it's two different sides but I like both sides, that's why otherwise I
would stay with one band, and they are very different and I like both things,
It's very different to tour with MERCYFUL FATE and then go and tour with
KING DIAMOND, With KING DIAMOND there are a production and actors on stage,
and all is crazy stuff going on it's very different and both things are
cool, so that's interesting. But the thing about always working and working
and... It's so many ideas in mind, and there's always inspiration. Maybe
I love that I'm doing so much. It's really a strange situation because,
if I had the choice of going to Hawaii
for a week, or sitting and writing guitarist, I would probably sit and write guitarist, because if I went to Hawaii, there might be one guitarist, I could have done that would made a great song. Then I feel guilty, or that, Even I know it may be stupid, but that's kind I'm.
it takes us to the next question. Are there any tours planned? Will you
tour with KING DIAMOND or you will go on tour with both bands?
- We have done twice with two bands together, once in Europe and in South America, we haven't done in America yet, but we will not do it again in Europe or South America, because then it gets cheap, it was a special thing, that you were able to see both bands in the same bill, on the same night, but if you keep doing that it's ridiculous, because in both bands that have two released albums that's almost, might on top of each other, and then you get into a situation, where you say; Why do they have two bands? I know they are different, but so still you know, so it becomes, cheap, I think. It could still happen in America, if they would be interested in, but they didn't find that idea too interesting, at that when we did it in Europe, and South America, because that was probably one in two, but they said: Ah.. we don't think that's gonna be so extra special, ok, I think the fans would, but the promoters say believe that. But we will start the US tour on July 20th, and then we will be touring the US and Canada up until, I guess, one week until September. Then the whole production will be ship to Europe in a container in a ship and we should be able to start our European tour one to two weeks in to October, and there is just suddenly one thing, that came up, because we had no plans to going to Europe until October but suddenly, one of the guys of ZZ TOP became ill, and they are supposed to headline the last day of a something called "The Sweden Rock Festival", which is the big festival in Sweden, for three days and is there's two that headline the second day, I know and is like DIO, and THIN LIZZY, there's a bunch of bands, playing. But they had to cancel on the last day, and they were headline up course, so the festival took the second band and move them up to the headline, but then they needed another band to be number two on the last day, and then they asked on the web side, the festival goers, if they had some suggestion for it, and there was a lot of people that suggested KING DIAMOND so they called us and said: Can you help us? We need a band. And there's a lot of people who would like to see you guys here, and it is not very good for us, because we are just in the middle of preparing the US tour. And this thing is in the 11th of June, and that's very short time. Two of the guys in the band don't even have their passports right now, and we had to leave on Saturday, to go to Copenhagen and rehearse for five days, and then play the festival, but we're doing it anyway, but it's another challenge.
So then you are going to do the trip, just in order to participate in the festival you mentioned...
- Yea, and then we are going back and continue working and getting ready for the US, but we will be back on October, for our European Tour. And there probably by the middle or beginning of October we will start.
It must be hard to be the singer for two acts at the same time in the same night, as you said before.
- It certainly was doing both. And the difficult part was really that. When I'm finish singing with the style, I'm singing, it's almost like, the voice has been used so much that it closes down, and then you can't just go and sing 45 minutes later, the voice would sound Grr... if you rest then it's fine the next day, but so with MERCYFUL FATE, in between KING DIAMOND coming on after, I would change the make up, while they change the gear, and I would sit and sing, still singing, while I'm off stage, in between the two bands, just to keep the voice warm, and then and go up and sing KING
DIAMOND. Yea, it was tough, you have to take better care of yourself make sure you sleep right, make sure you got your sleep, and listen this and that. I don't party anyway on tours, I would like to, but I have too much respect for our fans. If I went out and drank, and got drunk one night, you know what your voice sounds like next day, if you've been out drinking. It doesn't sound pretty. And then having to sing with that kind of voice, I would not sound good, and I'm not that kind of person, that I just go up there, and say Agg.. yea I sound like shit today, but we had a fucking night. Fuck you, I can't do that. I know why I'm able to do what I love to do so it's all because of the fans or I may offence the fans, they make the wheels go round. So if they suddenly stop buying the albums, there would be
no more. I'm not gonna change the style just because to sell an album, that's another thing about me. If I can't stand 100% behind when I'm doing, I'd rather stop.
Have you ever had any aphonia trouble with your voice?
- Oh, yea, absolutely, is almost every tour, that you do that somebody gets sick, there's the crew and the whole band, right? You are driving on buses for sometimes 8 - 12 hours, and it's one guy that Gruagg.. Oh I'm so sick man. And you think Oh, fuck man. You're sitting on a bus and it's a very closed area, so you will get sick. It's a matter of when do you get sick, how long and I'm usually the last one to get sick of everybody. Cause I have a very strong immune system. But it's like some guys sitting there almost breathing in your face. How can you avoid it? ---It's a close place -Oh yea, and there's no chance. Once they start getting sick, you say: Oh shit! who knows someday comes my turn and I've been up singing and actually sounded good, when which I don't understand sometimes when which I don't understand myself, with big white spots in my throat, that's a throat infection. And still been able to sing and just not talking all day long, and just take care and drinking lots of tea, and somebody just ask me a question and I just wave at him and say good bye, go away; that's the only way you can try to do those things. But it's difficult, it 's really difficult, you really have to be careful.
Your live performance are definitely spectacular, especially that "coffin" thing... Aren't you going to use it again?
- Oh... that was a long time ago, there was probably in 83 and 84 MERCYFUL FATE.
Yes, it was a long time ago, but why don't you use it anymore? Maybe you had any sort of technical drawbacks with the "Burning Coffin" or the "Cross"?
- There was a lot of problems with that Cross, man. We once supported URIAH HEEP in Copenhagen, and we had this Cross, and started burning and then these things that was around the Cross, to make it burn, started falling of on the keyboard and shit and it was like. Oh, no! They had to take the Cross out in the backstore and it wouldn't fall in the audience because it started bending even it was made of iron. It was like trouble, dangerous, and firemen came and they had to, with these bomb extinguishers try to get the fire out.
So it was quite dangerous.
- Too much. Bullshit.
Would it be possible to see you performing live without makeup?
- No, I've been on stage without make up. We played "Hagen", I was with METALLICA in Milan, last year, when they did the only show they did MERCYFUL FATE met me on and they invited "Hagen", and I came up and played with them the whole night, and of course no one knew I was there, It was just me. It was just my bones and my hair. So that's OK, but I think for when it's a KING DIAMOND's show or a MERCYFUL FATE's show I think that make up, it belong there. I think it's one of the things that give the people something extra to take back with them home. And they can remember these things. There's a new make up for new album. Yes I've change the make up design and it looks... Well I have a call from the record label and it said: My God!
What have you done? and I said what do you mean? You look so angry and insane, man. And I said we had a vote decision down in the studio and I said I tried to make a new make up. To try to express how do I feel. There's a lot of crosses in the face. There's seven crosses in my face. Four upside down and three normal ones. So if I can't make up my mind what's right. And that's exactly relating to the story, of course, and the make up around the eyes is different and I can make the eyes look really sick. Without using any context or anything like that but you will see it on the album.
Yet another KING DIAMOND's tribute CD is about to be released... What is your opinion on these, let's say homages?
- Whenever I hear about them it's a great honour. Because it means a lot to me that... we've been in this business for so long fighting and always trying to stand behind what we're doing. And we don't listen to another people. There's no record label to tell us: No, you need to do an album like this. No don't tell me what MERCIFUL FATE or KING DIAMOND should sound like. I'll tell you what it should sound like. And it sounds really unique I think, also we have our own style. Why should we change that? So we are honest about what we do. We don't pretend to be something different. We are exactly what you hear, what we're about. And I think the fans respect that a lot. And then to have been able to influence other people to make a band.
Start a band. What ever is that, has influenced to do that they are doing. Is a big, big honour. It really is for me personally, I got influenced by Jimmy Page guitar sound on their first LED ZEPPELIN album, that is the reason why I went out and brought an electric guitar. I wanted to have an electric guitar, sounding like Jimmy Page. And we've never tried to sound like LED ZEPPELIN, because you want to try to sound like yourself. But it's a big honour, it really is and the same thing, it doesn't matter who it is. It's the fact that somebody is making an extra effort to show me, that they really care about what I do and what I do has influenced them to do
something for themselves. And METALLICA even did it. which is a big honour you know. I think it's great.
It's obvious that you've greatly influenced numerous bands, mostly black metal ones; but what / whom was YOU influenced by? Jimmy Page, you said before...? Anyone else...?
- Yea, for buying the first guitar, but not for writing music. But his sound made me buy my first guitar. But I'm influenced by the bands that I grow up with, of course ALICE COOPER, but I try not to do the same things ALICE COOPER does, but he is the guy that influenced me to wear make up on the stage. I saw ALICE COOPER "Welcome To My Nightmare" in 1975, and it looked like he was not a human being. I mean from the way he moved, the things he did and then that make up. It was just like... If I could touch him he would
just disappear in the air, it seems as it was unreal, and that gave me something extra when I went home and still today when I visit "to my nightmare" I can see that whole show right before my eyes, I mean that's extra value for you money, so that inspired me to use make up. Not to use it like him or to look like him, with the make up, but to use the make up because I could feel what it does to people. So you can say I'm very inspired by him in the aspect of using make up and then to do a stage show that's more than just amplifiers and people playing, but I try to illustrate then I'm singing about too if is possible and then there's other bands that are very big influences of course. All the big him metal bands that I grew up with, and I saw in the early days; BLACK SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE, LED ZEPPELIN, URIAH HEEP, specially for vocals. So I mean there's a lot of those bands, but then I also listen to a lot of unknown bands from the late sixties to the seventies, very progressive, very heavy bands and there's so
many bands from that time that are believable good bands, but they never became big, because they were at the wrong time at the wrong place, or something. Even there's bands from Sweden from 72 called UNMARRIED, they did an album so heavy, such great music. I mean a little more norm band is catch beyond their first album it way ahead of their time, it's so heavy man, and such different styles, that playing. There's so many good bands, with such great stuff, like them. and a lot of them unknown.
I've heard you was a chemist before you've started MERCYFUL FATE...
- Oh, yes I worked in a laboratorium not as a chemist really, but as a laboratory assistant, but they call it a chemist, or that's the diploma you have. I was working developing medicines.
By that time you took part in a band called BLACK ROSE. What about telling us more regarding those times?
- Well, it was a five piece band. That's the band I started to singing in. I was in a band before called BRAIN STORM, but I only played guitar in that. But in BLACK ROSE I only sang, and it was the first band I started singing with. And it was like the old list; the organ, a bass guitar, and drums. It sounded like a thing between RAINBOW and DEEP PURPLE, and a little bit of ALICE COOPER here and there.
Do you believe in god, any supernatural being or whoever else?
- I'm an atheist. There's no proof that there's any god. There's never been a god that has showed himself to me, but there wouldn't be enough for me. If there's really is a god it ought to show himself for everybody in this earth at the same time, so we all know that this god is real. And that is the only one, I wish it could happen because, then we wouldn't have to have all those stupid wars, that ninety per cent of the wars. The 90% of the wars have their base on religion. That would mean why? Because we can't agree in which
one is the right one. Of course we can't agree because we don't have proof, that's why we can't agree on it. Because all the Gods that we believe in today, are made up by ourselves, and that's why nobody is right, because they can't prove that they are right. And then I think It makes no sense to me. That people just go out and kill each other just because, they have made a thought in their minds that there's a god, that there's only. And other people's god are not right, so those people who believe in it should die. It's just an idea, isn't it? It's exactly what it is, it's a conforming idea, to try and cope with chaos, our minds can't cope with chaos. Nobody's mind can cope with chaos. Human beings want to put things into little draws
and we need to understand, and it's terrible for us, human being not knowing how big the universe is. We will never understand how it started, what is the beginning of time, what was before the beginning of time. I how is gonna end is it ever never gonna end, it's time gonna end? We can't understand these things, we can't understand how big the universe is, it's impossible. And those thoughts are not fun because once you start, It's what the new album is about, some parts of it, where you talk about these things, of how big the universe is and how small we are where we become unimportant, we're meaningless in the big picture, because we're so so small, that if there is
something, it could be as big as we can think, as big as we can think could be; the nail of another person, or we could be a little bit of sugar in that person's coffee, as long as we have lived in this earth could be him just taking his blessing and say glub, I mean we don't know these things. We cannot understand them, and so we become in to a situation where actually our lives become meaningless in the big picture. Our life is important to us to were we understand it now, that's the fact, but it's also a fact that if you look at how big the universe could be and how small we could be, then we become meaningless in the big picture, we are no influence in the big
picture. And in the other hand when we talked about the existence or the non existence of god, that's really what the new album is about. But why are we fighting each other because we have made up different thoughts in our minds. Is the same thing as fighting over; I like yellow flowers and you like blue flowers let's fight each other for who's flowers are gonna win, It's doesn't make sense to me. And I think It would be much better to not waste all that time on thinking so much about these gods that we have no proof of anything, and we probably never will. And then use that for something that you know
for a feet. You know you're a human being here on earth, you know there are certain things that make you feel good inside. Take that other time for more than religious shit, and use it for those little things that make you feel better. Cause you never know anyway. You can have all these beliefs on heaven, but even the people that believe on heaven. When they get closer to death and they get older and all this. They start getting a little bit scared, because deep inside they know they don't have the proof of what they believe in, they can't even describe that the heaven is like, ow it's all
good, what they mean by good for me is different than good for you. So explain or prove to me what it is. And you can't and then you get like a doubtful, uneasy, you don't know what to do, but that is actually what the religion has been created for. It's for trying to explain how did it all start, we cannot understand these things, like God created, give me a proof that it was god. First time someone heard of that and then it spread, and more, more people and then it spread by violence, or it's like if you don't believe in god, I'll kill you, crusades, and then and then these inquisition like you just try and think you can heal a person with a flower, that is the
devil's work, we will burn you now. For absolutely no reason, just because you are smart. But I mean there's so many things. I mean there's so many things in time that just show that human beings are ... it's like a kind of instinct. We're full of greed's, we want power, a lot of us want power. The more power better, no matter what it costs and religion has definitely given some people a lot of power over other people, and some of the other people don't want to try take their own standards. I say OK, I don't believe in this because you can't prove it to me, that's just why I don't believe in it. And just because I said that now, then a lot of people take that person
and throw him away, we don't even came over here for coffee, because you are not welcome. If there's a little village hood, a little village, if everybody doesn't come to church, those two people who don't come to church: They are weird, they are strange. I'm not gonna invite them for the birthday, you know. And it's just because of that, and I cannot understand these things. But I mean they are interesting to look at, but I really don't understand it. And I'm not saying I know the answer, I'm saying exactly: I don't know the answer. But since I don't know the answer to all these things. I start concentrating on things I do know, and those other things I like to do. Make some more music make some more albums. Go and see some more ice hockey games, go and see some more races, listen to some more music, whatever it is I like to do, I'll do some more. The USA can be considered as a christian nation...
Have you ever endured any problems because of your beliefs?
- No, I really haven't, once in 1983, but that was before we, even were in tour in America. But in 1983 we ended up on PMAC stupid 15 list, but if you look into that list there was a song called "Into The Coffin" Uhg.. it was so horrible. And Madonna was in their list. Something like a song called something about the virgin or something. because uhg.. you can consider that's against ... and it's saying something about the catholics or something like that. There's always trouble. They can find trouble in anything. So we were in that list, but all this gave us a but of promotion. It's all they really did, they didn't hurt us or anything like that, people got more interested, we got on front pages of the newspapers, just because of that. And We never go up so high if it was not for them, so thank you very much. That kind of thing is idiocy.
Censorship is a pretty huge problem nowadays, especially in USA. What about that?
- Well I can't relate to us because whatever
they try to censor, it never make's sense, it never make's sense. I mean
they want to censor movies that have people shooting each other and, because
some guy in the school killed 15 other students, then they say: It's because
of Hollywood and the industry and all those movies where they shoot each
other. I say bullshit, I think that's all ridiculous. It's like you need
more to look at what the parents are doing to these kids. because those
parents don't even know that those kids are going through, because they
are too busy making money. They have kids but they don't have time to care
for them. They never have time to
listen to Johny when he comes home and says, ow, I had a terrible day
everybody is making fun of me and you are like: Arg.. stop it, you are always complaining, dad is reading now the newspaper so shut up. Or they will think they are good parents and they say: You're not going to Frank's, because I know those people and they are just listening to that horrible devil music, you can't go over there, never again, and then because he can't do that and he really like the music. He can't go and view this friend, and the friend think he is weird because he is not allowed to listen to the music, so they don't what to hang around with him anymore, it's like Ow no go away Johny, so and then a young kind that's ___ up. I mean that kid that killed all others at that high school in Denmark. The parents didn't even
know he had a gun in his room.
But it has nothing to do with music!
- Absolutely not. Go and take a look to
at the parents, the parents that sit there and say. All this happens because
of those movies or because of that music. Just to try to throw the guilt
on something else, they now feel guilty, they know they fucked up. Think
about it everyday in the news, it's right about the time when you sit and
eat your dinner, and the kids are still up and stuff like that. If you
have a family. Everyday you have nothing but war and accidents, it's like
blood all over the TV. I've never heard that after watching the news, that
you see all this blood, and corpses and bodies everywhere and bodies everywhere.
That all the Americans having watched the news have gone out into the street
and shot each other, because they've seen that. And that's real we know
that's real. Blood in movies is
not real. And then again, you know, you have to think, in another way, which is that there are people in this world that have a strange mind, that have an unnormal mind, that have a tendency to go crazy, but you never know, who the crazy people are until they do something that's crazy, And then is the Alabama problem we had over here in America a guy that killed quite a few people by mailing bombs with letters, they found out that he was an old sixty something years old professor. Living in a little strange house in the woods, that's the guy that did that. So what are you gonna do now. I don't think he listened to heavy metal. Are you going to forbidden to listen to
Bach and the BEATLES now? Because that's probably what he listened to, it is that, what draw him insane and send bombs to everyone. You know it doesn't make sense, some people are crazy, and you can't help it, and the problem is you don't know, you can't tell who is crazy and who is not, until they do something is crazy.
What is your view on people like f.ex. Marilyn Manson? Do you consider him a man true to his beliefs?
- I don't know. I've never spoke to him, to Marilyn Manson in person. So I don't know what his life philosophy is all about. I really don't, so I couldn't say yes or no, because I really don't know.
Aren't you going to record an album solely dedicated to Anton La Vey, now, after it's been quite a while after his death?
- No, I don't think, I would. If someone would like to know something about him, they should go and buy some of his books.
I've heard that once you met him at San Francisco...
- Yea. We went to the church for all night, and we talked about his philosophy and stuff. I still see his family, I still see his daughters Carla La Vey, and Zeena La Vey sometimes, in San Francisco, and in Los Angeles, and even his grandson Sandor La Vey, I see sometimes, I mean every time I go around there. I see the family every year.
You went out with his daughter Zeena, didn't you?
- Yes, I did a couple of times, yea.
I think you love cats, don't you?
- Yea, I have two cats at home. they are extremely intelligent, they have a lot of personality. it's almost like having kids, having two cats. Most people don't have cats, they don't really understand what cats are all about, but it's like having a couple of human beings.
Well, that's all. Perhaps, you have any advice for bands, that are just starting out, or any final words, or whatever...
- It's always very individual, and it depends
on what people you end up working with and you should be always very careful,
and when people tell you something, keep asking questions until you understand
what are they talking about, don't just say, yes. Well the CD rate is gonna
be a 70%, in your contract, OK. No, not "OK": what is the CD rate? What
that does mean? How does that it work? Why do you say 70%? How do you calculate
it? Ask QUESTIONS. Don't worry you may look stupid or irritating, no, keep
on doing it. Because then you will understand a bit what is going on. Because
if you don't understand you will be screwed. Either you have a manager
that you trust 100%, that knows about the business, who can advice you
in these situations. And before you sign a contract always have a lawyer
to see it, always. A music lawyer. And they would tell you that's a good
deal or that's a bad deal... But again it is up to yourself in the end.
Sometimes you have a bad deal but want to have your album released, even
if it's a bad deal. Then what are you going to do? If there's no one else
who wants to release your album maybe you should go along even if it's
a bad deal. One advice is when you sign a record deal, sign it for as few
albums as you can. If you can sign it for one album, do just that although
no record company will let you do that, because if one album is good, they
want to have the next cover album. But one advice is when you sign a contract
for an album try to sign it for as few albums as possible. If you can sign
it for one album, do just that but no record label let you do that because
if one album sells good they want to have the next couple of albums. So
a record label would sign you for seven albums, and you might think "wow
seven albums that's great". No that's horrible. That means you have a shitty
deal for seven albums. That's pretty much your entire career, if you have
a normal career. And there's no way out of it, even if one sells good,
you still have a shitty deal. But if you have a two albums or three albums,
you start to getting good at it. Then you can start to talk to different
labels, when you're finish with your contract. And if you've done right,
it might give you an opportunity to get a better contract. Or your label
will give you a better contract.