We had a chance to sit down with King Diamonds only original member, (besides the King himself) guitar player, Andy LaRocque, and discuss the Monster Energy Mayhem Festival 2015 as well as future plans the band has with recording and touring.

Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us. So this is King Diamond’s first time on Mayhem Fest. What has it been like?
It’s been really good, you know, different because we’re not used to doing this kind of touring thing, you know? It’s quite different from festivals in Europe where you have different locations and different bands every night. And also, I mean, over you Europe there aren’t festivals like every day, it’s more like on a weekend thing. So it’s quite different, but it’s been really, you know, great to be on this Mayhem Fest and everybody seems happy to have us here and we play for some new fans every night too, so it’s working out great. It’s really cool.

Awesome. What are some of your inspirations to be a musician?
Oh early inspirations is like music from the 70’s; Black Sabbath, uh, UFO, don’t know if you’ve heard about that band…Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, you know, all kinds of old stuff from the 70’s, and also early 80’s like Ozzy. Ozzy Osbourne with Randy Rhoads for example, uh, stuff like that.

Some King Diamond albums are concept albums that tell fascinating horror stories. Which would you say is your favorite?
When it comes to the story you mean? Uh, I would say probably Abigail and Them. That kind of concept right there I think is pretty interesting.

Why would you pick those as your favorites?
I think the atmosphere and the whole, you know, the eerie atmosphere and I just think the stories are great.

They’re my favorites as well.
Yeah, they’re probably my favorite.

You were on Death’s album, Individual Thought Patterns. Tell us about that. What was it like working with Chuck Schuldiner?
That was great, man. Uh, we had a little down time with King Diamond at that time. That was back in early ’93, so through our record label at the time, our previous record company, they contacted me and asked me if I wanted to come over and do some lead, you know, solos with Death. I met Chuck earlier back in ’89, it was something like that, I believe. So I said, “yeah sure, why not. I have nothing else to do right now,” you know? So I fly over for like two weeks, and you know, helped him out with some solos, and uh, he treated me very well. We had a great time, you know? This is a funny story because Gene Hoglan was playing the drums on the album and he left the day before I got over there, so I never had a chance to meet him until I think it was like, two years ago, I met him in a festival in Europe. So it was like twenty years apart but we still played on the same album.

If you could choose one band to play with, even as just a guest for one track, who would you pick?
Ooh, wow that’s a tricky question. That’s weird man, who would that be? Maybe for this tour, Slayer. That would be cool.

Good choice. What are some future plans for King Diamond? Are you guys working on any new material?
We don’t start writing new material after New Years. That’s the plan. Uh, but you know, plans can change of course, you know. That’s what we’ve been talking about. And we don’t know how long that’s going to take. And then as soon as we have time we’re going to start recording, of course, you know. When is that going to be? We don’t know. That’s kind of the initial plan. And, uh, before that we’re coming back here doing a thing.

So if you were asked to do another US tour like this, would you guys jump on that?
Oh yeah! That would be real cool, man.

And last question. If you could choose to tour with any band, who would you want to tour with?
Uh, I think it would be Metallica, Black Sabbath, or Slipknot.

Slipknot? That’s interesting. Are you a Slipknot fan?
Well you know, I like their kind of style. I can’t really say I’m a fan because I haven’t listened to them that much, but I’ve watched a few concerts because my son is actually a Slipknot fan. So I’ve watched a few concerts with him and, uh, I think they have an interesting thing going on. Definitley.

Awesome. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us.
Alright, you’re welcome.

Interview by Rich E. Braden

Story by Dave Minyard

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