Mercyful Fate is currently out on the road in Europe playing a handful of festival and preparing their first new album since 1999. The band's current lineup includes original vocalist King Diamond and guitarist Hank Shermann, as well as '90s members drummer Bjarne T. Holm and guitarist Mike Wead. The band also recruited bassist Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning) in place of Timi "Grabber" Hansen, who passed away in 2019.
When asked in an interview with Creem how it feels to be back on stage with Mercyful Fate's current iteration, Diamond said it's fantastic but clarified that this is not a "reunion" and not meant to be viewed as one.
"It's very cool and a lot of fun, but people have misunderstood what we are doing now. This is not a reunion. We are just picking it up again because the stars are aligned correctly now. And that's been the thing all the time. Before when people asked, 'Do you think you're going to play with Mercy again?' I would never say never. But it's got to be completely right. I don't want to go out there and try to milk a cow and do a show with the backdrop and then collect and say, 'That was that.' That's not right. And Hank has the same philosophy. Either we do it 200%, or we don't do it."
Diamoond also elaborated on comments made by former guitarist Michael Denner in a recent interview. Denner played with Mercyful Fate between 1981 and 1985, again between 1993 and 1996, and then for some reunion shows in 2008 and 2011. Denner claimed that nobody ever contacted him about the new iteration of the band and that he misses his old bandmates. While Diamond doesn't specify that Denner said that was false, just that he made some claims that aren't true.
"There are reasons Michael Denner and [drummer] Kim Ruzz are simply not here. I know that Michael Denner did an interview recently, and I'm not going to get into it, but he said a lot of things that are absolutely not true. I could go into a lot of details about the reasons that this is not a lineup with him in it, or Kim Ruzz in it. I don't want to say anything bad about anybody, but you can't say, 'Hey, I should have played there.' Why? Should I throw out a band member that is absolutely perfect for the band, that goes all out for the band all the time, no matter what? And his skill is beyond anything I played with on that spot in the band? There's no way that he's going to get fired because someone else is suddenly interested in the band. That's completely wrong. There's no way I would ever treat anyone like that."