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Mercyful Fate: Out From Under The Blade???

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Monday, January 21, 2002 @ 2:28 PM


King Diamond Comments That He

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Blabbermouth.net - have reported that Mercyful Fate have parted ways with Metal Blade Records after the label chose not to exercise their contractual option to renew the group's agreement for another album. According to Mercyful Fate/King Diamond manager Ole Bang, who dropped Blabbermouth a line from the MIDEM convention/music trade show in Cannes, France, a new deal is expected to be secured in the coming weeks and the band is likely to begin recording their eighth studio album in late summer for an early 2003 release. The parting comes nearly three years since the release of Mercyful Fate's last studio CD, 1999's 9, and exactly a decade after the group first inked a deal with the company. The band recorded five full-length efforts for Metal Blade during their tenure with the label: In The Shadows (1993), Time (1994), Into The Unknown (1996), Dead Again (1998) and 9.

Mercyful Fate leader King Diamond recently slammed Metal Blade over the record company's apparent inability/refusal to provide the band with adequate support necessary to put the group out on the road in support of their upcoming album Abigail II: The Revenge (due out January 29th). In a soon-to-be-published interview with the German Twilight magazine (which took place over the phone on January 16th), Diamond makes it clear that he is very unhappy with the group's current label situation and he indicates in no uncertain terms that he has every intention of leaving the company as soon as he is contractually permitted to. Here are some excerpts from the aforementioned interview (as transcribed by the magazine's editor, whose first language is German):

“Five months back, we were preparing a tour through the USA…and the first show was planned to be on the 14th of March. And the record label told us they wanted us to do at least two US tours and then do one European tour. And we said 'fine', and they wanted us to record a live album and two of the shows for a DVD. Superb, you know? It was great, all of it you know. And then, [the plan] for that was that we wanted to bring the Abigail story live, on the road. The whole story, we planned to play everything off the first album except one song, take “Possession” out, but [play] all of the other songs. Then we would have a small intermission set of three songs [from the] other albums and we would have four different intermission sets that we can switch between. And if you would get into the second half of the story, which is the new album, just take maybe two songs out of it and play all of the rest in the right order. That would be so unique to play almost two complete albums, you know?! Transcended as one story, and we [would] have great effects, which we have already planned out how to do, [which required] money [to make it happen], you know? And the four intermission sets of three songs were planned, because it was supposed to be a triple live album [that we were going to record]—two discs with the Abigail story and in one case of these four-intermission sets with 12 songs for all the other albums.”

“And then suddenly two days before Christmas, the label came and said, 'We can't [give you] the tour support. And we were like, 'What?? You must be kidding! You were talking all this shit and it changes now all of a sudden? (imitates Metal Blade guy) 'Yeah, you know...there have been these ...financial problems, it's tough times you know'. And they said that they had to cut back on a lot of things! And one of the things they had to cut back on was tour support for all of their bands. And then I, of course, turned around and said 'Hey, I am not just one of your sixty bands!' There are five bands that give Metal Blade a good profit and those are Six Feet Under, Cannibal Corpse, GWAR, Mercyful Fate and King Diamond. And they had to prioritize these bands, in my opinion, more than other bands they have just signed. Now you sign a new band and you take a chance and hope that one day you'll be one of the bands and they give you a lot of money. And of course you have to do those things. And the situation here is like some of those bands gotta stop going on tour so that we can go on tour, or let them wait some months, you know? Or you should stop signing new bands for a while. And use that money on that stuff, something like that is what you should do. Or wait [before sending someone] into the studio. And what they said is that they can't change anything, and this is what they HAVE to do, and this and that, and 'We'll give you one third of what you normally get,' and we don't get a lot normally, but of what we get we need EVERY PENNY! And they know it! And it's the same thing now we can't tour you know...”

“So this is where we stand with the situation right now. Normally I know exactly what's going on for the full year [ahead] but now... We were supposed to, like, tour the USA, and then in the summer time mix the live album, tour Europe from September and go back into USA again from the first of December for a little Christmas tour at the same time as the live album would be released, you know?! So it makes no sense. They [don't understand] that [with a] live album you don't get the same profit as [you do] from a normal King Diamond album because [live albums] are cheaper to record. This one might be a little more expensive than a normal [live] album since it's a triple live album, but it is cheaper to record [than a studio one], and it makes no sense! And then I have to look at it [this] way: 'What do they want us to do now? What is it the label is asking us to do?' They say, 'Can't you put your career on the shelf for a while? Maybe a year? Do it until we have money to [give you] tour support.' [And I'm like] 'What?? Are you fucking kidding?? How [can] I trust that you [will] suddenly get better and get money... And I can't wait for eight months to a year just sitting there looking at the sun, are you fucking crazy?' So I said, 'That is not an option! You'll have to check [everything at your end] and fix this up [somehow]! If you can't do it, [then] you [are forcing] me to look at what I'm gonna do [next]. Well, the next thing, according to my contract, is that I can do another Mercyful Fate album. Because that is long overdue, and we've given the label notice now, they have another week left to tell us if they [will pick up] the next Mercyful Fate option. But they know very well that [if] they don't have the money to send us on a tour [then] they don't have the money to [let us] record a Mercyful Fate album. And then they'll have to set us free. And then we could go to a good label and get the support we would normally get. And that same scenario will happen on the first of May when they are [having to decided as whether or not they want to pick up] the next King Diamond option. We'll have the same problem, and they won't have the money for that, they don't have the money right now for this year! They will lose both Mercyful Fate and King Diamond unless they change their minds now. It's not that we are trying to pressure them, it is that they are forcing us to do this. So I could be in the situation that when I'm done with doing all of the interviews [to promote the release of Abigail II] in two weeks or so, that I'll be full-blast writing again for the next Mercyful Fate album. If we don't get [the tour support for King Diamond] then I'll continue writing while the lawyers are looking for a new deal [for Mercyful Fate]. And maybe we'll have enough songs for a King Diamond and Mercyful Fate album by the time we find out if they can let King Diamond go. And hopefully by that time Mercyful Fate will have a deal so we can do that you know. I mean, we are not at a point where we [can] say, 'Oh, it's about to end'—not at ALL! The last Mercyful Fate [album] was 9 and it [was] one of the best we've done with Mercyful Fate. And with King Diamond, Abigail II is so much stronger, in our minds we feel that it's the strongest we've done, you know?! So it's like, 'Don't fucking come here and try stopping our career with that kind of sh.t! Either you find a way to arrange your priorities so we can do what we can normally do or if you can't do that, then obviously you are a company that is not very good anymore! For us anyway! You are hindering our career! We need to get away from you and if you are forcing us to do this! We WILL do it.' So that is a very strange situation right now. We are not knowing what the hell is going on [touring-wise] because they suddenly came up with that out of the blue and changed their minds [about giving us tour support]...”


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