In December of 2010, King Diamond underwent triple-bypass heart surgery after a series of heart attacks. Diamond has since been doing much better and is now out on road with Mercyful Fate performing their first headlining North American tour in over 20 years. And if you've seen any footage of Mercyful Fate lately, then you already know Diamond sounds phenomenal.
In an interview with Metal Injection, Diamond discussed how he had to change his vocal technique on the spot before joining Metallica for their 30th anniversary show in San Francisco during 2011, and how he feels his voice has only gotten better. But before hitting the rehearsals with Metallica, Diamond said he had a pretty scary incident at a Volbeat show involving the metal rods holding his rib cage together that shook his confidence.
"[At a Volbeat show about five months after the surgery] I had discovered that the metal rods had not completely [fused with my rib cage to hold it together] and it started shaking inside my chest. I thought I was dying. I couldn't really run at that time, but I got out of there as fast as I could because I thought I was dying. Because of the loud sounds and vibrations, [the sounds] would vibrate this metal rod inside. So I expected something like that would happen while I was in San Francisco [with Metallica]. It was exactly one year after the operation. But it was firm. There was nothing happening. I was like 'cool, I don't have to fly home right now.' Then we tried playing."
"I had to change my technique of singing on the spot because I had a bigger lung capacity than before. I could take really giant breaths. So something changed because of the whole rearranging inside, so that has helped me [along with] stopping cold turkey with smoking cigarettes. My voice came back. It was like, 'here's a new one if you want one.' It feels like it's better than when I recorded the Abigail and Don't Break The Oath albums. The way I was singing them back then, I'm singing them stronger than I did back then."
He also touched on his recent performances with Mercyful Fate, saying "I have so much joy singing a song like that now. It's very challenging, but it's so much fun."
"[The old Mercyful Fate material] feel so awesome to sing today. Much better than I've ever felt singing them before. It's much more fun too, and a lot of that fun has to do with that we have an awesome crew. Great sounds, great lights, it looks great – all the players are on top of their stuff."
10/27 Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Financial Theatre [Tickets]
10/29 Inglewood, CA – Youtube Theater [Tickets]
10/30 Wheatland, CA – Hard Rock Live Sacramento [Tickets]
11/1 Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium [Tickets]
11/3 Gary, IN – Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana [Tickets]
11/4 Cincinnati, OH – The Andrew J. Brady Music Center [Tickets]
11/5 Detroit, MI – Masonic [Tickets]
11/8 Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore Silver Spring [Tickets]
11/10 Brooklyn, NY – Kings Theater [Tickets]
11/11 Laval, QC – Place Bell [Tickets]
11/13 Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall At Fenway [Tickets]
11/14 Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore Philadelphia [Tickets]
11/16 Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle [Tickets]