KING DIAMOND guitarist Andy La Rocque says that his former bandmate Timi Hansen was "a great guy and a great bass player."
Hansen died on November 4 after a long battle with cancer.
La Rocque addressed his longtime friend's passing during a recent interview with Radio Free Satan's "Metal Invaders" show. He said: "It's very sad. I met him about two years ago. I met him at a SCORPIONS show in Copenhagen, and he looked perfectly fine. That was in November 2017. We went down to Copenhagen. We watched SCORPIONS; [former KING DIAMOND drummer] Mikkey Dee was playing drums. We had a good time. I met Timi there, and he looked fine. Then we met Timi last summer in Copenhagen when we played there. He didn't look well. He was smiling and all that, but we knew, 'He's not feeling very good.' And just a few days before we went over to the U.S. tour, I was in touch with him on Facebook. And then, a week later, he was gone. Yeah, [it's] very tragic. He was a great guy and a great bass player."
Timi went public with his diagnosis in early August after it was announced that he wouldn't participate in MERCYFUL FATE's 2020 reunion. Filling in for him will be ARMORED SAINT and FATES WARNING bassist Joey Vera.
The 61-year-old Hansen played in MERCYFUL FATE from 1981 to 1985 and again from 1992 to 1993. He was also a member of KING DIAMOND from 1985 to 1987.
KING DIAMOND frontman and namesake paid tribute to Hansen in a social media post just a few hours after his death. He wrote: "I just found out that I lost one of my dearest friends, who has been fighting cancer for a long time, in such an incredibly brave way. He was not just my roommate on the early MERCYFUL FATE tours, but he was always my favorite bass player of all times. I was fortunate to have been able to visit him at his apartment with some other good friends, and we had a great afternoon that will never be forgotten.
"When I last talked to Timi on the phone on October 24th, I could understand that things had gotten tougher than they ever were, and yet he said 'we fight on.'
"I feel so so sad for his entire family, you have my absolute deepest sympathy.
"Rest in Peace my dear dear friend."
MERCYFUL FATE will reunite for an unspecified number of concerts throughout Europe during the summer of 2020, including next year's edition of the Copenhell festival, set to take place June 17-20, 2020 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
In 1998, METALLICA paid tribute to MERCYFUL FATE by recording a medley of classic MERCYFUL FATE songs on the album "Garage Inc." Titled "Mercyful Fate", the medley included parts from "Satan's Fall", "Curse of the Pharaohs", "A Corpse Without Soul", "Into the Coven" and "Evil".
Lars Ulrich of METALLICA (a fellow Dane) played drums on a new version of MERCYFUL FATE's "Return of the Vampire" on the "In the Shadows" album, which came out in 1993.