King Diamond on the NEW ALBUM & Gene Simmons’ Lawsuit Threat: “They were not the first to wear makeup” – 2022
When will Mercyful Fate’s new album be out?
“King Diamond’s album will be out first. The label wanted that first and that’s what you’re going to get. It’s all a big push-back [because of Covid], but when we come back with Mercyful Fate we are going to be coming with new songs, and it’s going to be a production like you’ve never seen. So, King Diamond album first and then we’ll get down to business with Mercyful Fate.”
When did you discover you could sing that high?
“It happened when an early fan told me I should work on my falsetto. He said the high notes really suit what we were doing; this was in an early version of Black Rose [King’s pre-Mercyful Fate band]. I didn’t really know what he was talking about, but I decided to try and give it a go. That fan is an important part of my career. I can still picture him now, I could draw him for you if you gave me a pencil, haha!”
Gene Simmons sued you for allegedly ripping off his makeup. Have you bumped into him since?
“No, I haven’t. I think that would be a lot of fun. I have no outstanding stuff with him. There’s a lot of reasons why this happened: they’d dropped their makeup around this time, but they still had the copyright on the look. I was never influenced by them – my influences were Peter Gabriel and Alice Cooper.
I said, ‘I don’t have a lot of money that you can sue me for, but you have a lot of money that other people can sue you for.’ They were not the first to wear makeup. It never got to be a lawsuit, it just got stirred up.”
How do you feel about celebrities wearing metal t-shirts? Ever seen any wearing a Mercyful Fate shirt?
“Oh, yes. The drummer from Blink 182 had one [Travis Barker]. Jason Mewes from Jay and Silent Bob has one on a lot – they used Welcome Home and The Invisible Guests in Clerks II. I met them on my tour in 2019, outside my hotel. We were checking out and they had just finished a show.
There they were, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes coming out of the elevator. They had seen our flight cases so they knew King Diamond was in the hotel. I said, ‘Hey guys!’ And they said, ‘Are you with the King Diamond band?’ I said, ‘Kinda… this is King!’ They freaked out! It was very funny.”
During a 2017 conversation on the Talk is Jericho podcast, Gene Simmons talked about suing King:
Did you want to sue King Diamond for his makeup?
It was looking kind of like yours.
That’s what we thought, so he stopped.
It was just easier to send a letter to him?
The letter is cheaper than testing us in court. We’ve never lost a case. By the way, I’m a fan. I liked his stuff, I thought he was doing cool stuff. Make up your own stuff, don’t come into my house unless you’re invited.