Ville Krannila of JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing's Steel Mill web site recently conducted an interview with KING DIAMOND guitarist/producer Andy La Rocque. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow.
Q: Can you describe your creative relationship with King? When composing a new album does he come up with the concept first and then you write music around that or the other way around?
La Rocque: "It usually starts with the music even though King might have a vague idea of a story, but making the music first and when he has a more detailed version of the story he puts the songs in sequence to get the right expression, to make the music support the story, and the lyrics to enhance the modes of the music."
Q: When MERCYFUL FATE reunited in early 1990s, did you ever think that would spell the end of KING DIAMOND band, or was it clear from the beginning both groups would continue to co-exist?
La Rocque: "The strange thing is that I didnt hear it straight from King himself at first, I just heard rumours about the MF reunion and it actually crossed my mind that maybe there was an end to the era of KING DIAMOND. At that time we were still looking for a record deal, things went really slow and it took almost four years from the release of 'The Eye' until we started to record 'The Spider's Lullaby', and it gave me some time to work with DEATH, and also write some songs for the band ILLWILL, that featured Sharlee D'Angelo and Snowy Shaw even though the album wasnt released until 1998. But the KD fans screamed for more from the band, albums and concerts, so after that period we got pretty active again. 'The Graveyard', 'Voodoo', 'House Of God', 'Abigail 2' etc. were released with not too long time in between."
Q: You worked with DEATH on their classic "Individual Through Patterns" album? How was the experience and how do you remember the late, great Chuck Schuldiner?
La Rocque: "Well, people always ask me that question regarding Chuck, I thought he was a great person to work with, very friendly, respectful and cool! I thought we got along great during the recording of the album, which was a really cool experience for me, everyone was really friendly at the Morrissound too! The music was somewhat different to what I was used to playing, but when Monte [Conner] from Roadrunner Records called me up and asked me if I wanted to go to Florida to record with DEATH, I said to myself, 'Sure! Why not?' Just for the great experience! So I had a great time with the music and the guys and I thought the album turned out good too! After that session Chuck called me up every New Year's Eve just to say hi and chat. I met him the last time on a KING DIAMOND show in Florida '98 right after he had a surgery and you couldnt even tell he was that ill, he was in a great shape, it was really cool to see him."
Read the entire interview at this location.