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MERCYFUL FATE Bassist BECKY BALDWIN On Joining The Band As Permanent Member: "I Guess The Idea Was Floating Around For A While"

"It was a natural progression."

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Mercyful Fate recently announced they have officially recruited bassist Becky Baldwin as a permanent member, making her the first woman to hold the position in the band's history. Just months ago, she was filling in for another musician. Now, she's poised to shred alongside heavy metal royalty for the foreseeable future.

So, how did this Birmingham-based musician end up in the Mercyful Fate ranks in the first place? As Baldwin recently told The Metal Voice, it all started with a suggestion from guitarist Hank Shermann, who championed her talent and challenged the band's traditional approach. Becky's skills impressed King Diamond himself, and after a killer performance at Bloodstock festival, she was officially in.

"I think the main person for bringing me into the picture was Hank Shermann. So he was the person who suggested me when they started looking at, like, 'Okay, well, actually, this whole list of male bass players that we're looking through, it doesn't have to be a guy. Who else do we know? Should we start looking somewhere else? Because there aren't any women on this list, and maybe that could be a thing, that could work out for Mercyful Fate.'

"And then I was kind of at the top of Hank's list. And then when he showed King and the rest of the management and stuff some of my videos, it was literally the weekend of Bloodstock Open Air festival in the summer of 2022. And they were, like, 'Okay, let's go. Let's go to Bloodstock. And she's gonna be at Bloodstock festival. Let's ask her there.'"

Asked if the idea of her becoming a permanent member of the band was something that was discussed previously, Baldwin revealed: "I guess the idea was floating around for a while, but it's quite recent still, the news that I was going to be permanent in Mercyful Fate.

"But I guess, as any band does when you've got a lot coming up and there's some kind of — I don't wanna say insecurity within the band, because it's not that; it was just kind of, like, a question about how busy Joey was, and I guess it was kind of in the back of their minds. And the way that the fans reacted when I did the tour was very positive. So it was a natural progression, I guess. But yeah, it all just kind of came about very, very recently in terms of being solid, like, 'Yes, this is what's happening. And you are gonna be a full-time member of Mercyful Fate.'"

Becky is confident about injecting her own flavor into the basslines for their upcoming album: "I think the songwriting is still gonna be very much King Diamond and Hank Shermann kind of heading up most of that, but definitely writing bass lines. I've studied all of Timi's bass lines very meticulously now, and so I really feel like I can bring some of that into the new bass lines for the next record."

And the "satanic stuff"? No worries there. While Mercyful Fate's dark themes might seem daunting, Becky embraces the challenge and confesses it doesn't scare her: "No, not really. I mean, I guess just their legacy in itself is scary. It's such a big thing. It was such a big part of my life growing up that it's all just very daunting, I guess. And trying to get it right is daunting and scary. But the satanic stuff, no, not really. [Laughs]"

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