KING DIAMOND and MERCYFUL FATE are on the verge of signing new record deals with Metal Blade Records and Massacre Records for the North American and European territories, respectively. Licensing deals for Japan, Australia, and South America are still pending.In an official statement posted at KING DIAMOND/MERCYFUL FATE's official web site, King Diamond (the man) explains that as a result of increased music-downloading and CD-burning in the recent months, the bands' record sales have taken a plunge, and consequently, the groups are no longer able to command the kinds of recording advances they were able to in the past. However, to insure that the bands' albums remain of the same quality as in the past in spite of the smaller budgets, a plan was devised to record much of the music for the next KING DIAMOND album, titled The Puppet Master, at Diamond's home studio in Dallas and guitarist Andy LaRocque's Los Angered studio in a suburb of Gothenburg, Sweden. "From now until the end of October, we will be writing all the new music," Diamond reveals. "During November and December, I will be writing the lyrics (the story is already done). "Then I will, for the first time, do demo vocals at my house, especially for [bassist] Hal Patino's sake, so that he has the vocal melodies to work his bass lines in and out of. Hal's style is to follow nothing and everything at the same time. He's all over the place without ever being in the wrong place. He is definitely my personal favorite bass player. "Mid-February, we ship half of Andy's studio to Dallas, to be set up in my house, including his mobile ProTools system, and a bunch of outboard gear etc. etc. It's all going to be the same kind of top-quality gear that we are used to work with. "So my house is where the actual recording process will start. We will record all rhythm guitars, bass guitars, most keyboards and possibly most of the harmony guitars there, too. These things will be mixed into a rough mix, which Andy and I will bring to a studio here in Dallas where Matt [Thompson] will be recording all of his drum tracks. Then Andy and I will do another rough mix of everything that's been recorded so far. Several copies will be made of this. Andy will bring a copy with him back to Sweden, and I will bring a copy of the rough mixes to a studio here in Dallas to record the vocals. When Andy and [guitarist] Mike [Wead] are done with their solos in Sweden, and I am done with the vocals, then Andy comes back to Dallas, where he and I will be mixing the album and mastering it too. We hope to be able to send the finished master tapes to the record labels before the summer, so we can have it released just before Halloween next year. "This procedure might seem a little chaotic, but it's not. It will definitely be a little more work than usual, but it's the only way we can do it financially without sacrificing the quality of the product. The big savings for us will come by staying out of the big expensive studios as much as we can. This we can only do because of Andy and his Los Angered Recording studio in Sweden, which will turn into Los Angered Recording studio in Dallas for a little while. Another very important thing is that we are not going to be charged a high dollar amount per hour, which we would in a normal studio. Not for most of the time. That will give us more time to spend on all the details, which in the end will give all of you a better product to listen to." To read King's official statement in its entirety, follow these links: page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5.
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