Ramone of the 107.7 WRKR-FM radio station in Kalamazoo, Michigan recently conducted an interview with legendary Danish heavy metal singer King Diamond. You can now listen to the chat in two parts at this location.
Speaking about the open-heart triple-bypass surgery he underwent in November 2010, King said: "I wasn't here for a couple of hours, to be quite honest. But bad experiences, if you really want, you can often turn into something positive, and I think that has happened here so far. A lot of good has come out of that bad experience…
"No cigarettes, of course, is a big difference. I cut it out, my wife cut it out. That's almost four years ago now. Not a drag. I changed the diet and I do all the things that doctors have told me to do, and that's, for exercise, walking five days a week, 1.3 miles. For the heart, that's the best, they're saying. And so when I go up and get the blood checked out, the cholesterol, [they ask me], 'What are you doing? How do you get the figures like that?' That's how good the numbers are. [And I tell them], 'I do what you told me. That's what I do.'"
He said: "Our [KING DIAMOND stage] production is two stories now; there are stairs leading up to a second story. I am up and down those stairs several times throughout the set. The set is an hour and a half, full blast. And it's not easy, when you sing my style of vocals. You don't think about that often that I get much less oxygen than the rest of the band. 'Cause I will take a big breath and then I will let it out slowly while I'm controlling the outflow and I can sing long lines and keep talking and keep talking and keep it up, and I can go for a while longer. So it's a lot less oxygen you get into your blood. While the other [guys in the band], they can get as much oxygen as they want, practically. I can't. So you have to really learn to economize with what's going on. But now, after those 90 minutes, when we get off stage, I literally today feel, 'Was that it?' And you can talk to me and this and that, and it's not a problem."
The 58-year-old singer, whose real name is Kim Bendix Petersen, in December 2012 signed a new three-album worldwide deal with Metal Blade Records and is working on a new album from his namesake band, tentatively due next year.
"The last thing we did right before we [went] to Europe [to play several festival shows this summer] was I had a vocal studio finished here at my house [in Texas]," he said. "So that's really gonna be absolutely awesome.
"When we get back from this U.S. [tour], I'm gonna start hardcore to learn Pro Tools. I mean, I know some of it, but I need to really know all the details. 'Cause I have a Pro Tools system now and I had a vocal booth from Oregon, something called VocalBooth.com, ship 1,800 pounds of wood and metal and stuff here that me and my friends put together; one guy owns a studio and another guy has worked at one. So we put that together. And it's a vocal booth like you'll find in any studio, with double insulated walls, floating floors, all this stuff… So I can do all my vocals now from home. And that means I will never have to sing with a hoarse voice in the studio again. Like, 'The clock, it's still ticking. C'mon.' There's nothing like that now. I can work 40-voice choirs together if I want to while writing music. If I sit and work on a verse and a chorus, I can go straight in after I've done that and feel good about it and check if it's good to sing to. It's gonna be amazing. Andy [La Rocque, KING DIAMOND guitarist] has the same speakers now; he has a big studio in Sweden and lots of bands have been there recording albums. So I have lot of the same stuff here now. I can't record drums here, but I can pretty much record everything else here."
KING DIAMOND received a Grammy nomination in the "Best Metal Performance" category for the track "Never Ending Hill" off the group's latest album, 2007's "Give Me Your Soul … Please".
"Give Me Your Soul ... Please" entered the Swedish national chart at position No. 28. The CD also landed at No. 58 on the Danish chart. The effort sold 4,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 174 on The Billboard 200 chart.
KING DIAMOND's North American tour will kick off on October 11 in Atlanta, Georgia.