During an interview hosted by Metal Hammer, King Diamond was asked about the details of an alleged rift with Kiss bassist Gene Simmons. According to metal lore, Simmons once intended to sue the Mercyful Fate vocalist for using makeup in his stage performances and photography. King Diamond graciously cleared the air about the rumor after being asked "Gene Simmons sued you for allegedly ripping off his makeup. Have you bumped into him since?" by a fan during the interview.
"No, I haven't," he replied. "I think that would be a lot of fun. I have no outstanding stuff with him. There's a lot of reasons why this happened: [Kiss] dropped their makeup around this time, but they still had the copyright on the look. I was never influenced by them – my influences were Peter Gabriel and Alice Cooper. I said, 'I don't have a lot of money that you can sue me for, but you have a lot of money that other people can sue you for.' They were not the first to wear makeup. It never got to be a lawsuit, it just got stirred up."
Sounds like that was enough to give Gene pause. But, aside from the fact it's a massive stretch to claim copyright infringement, it's curious that Simmons—a self-proclaimed branding genius—hadn't considered this himself.
As for King Diamond and Mercyful Fate, the band played their first show in 23 years in Germany last week, and—as King Diamond alluded to earlier this month—Mercyful Fate played their first new song since 1999, “The Jackal of Salzburg.”
Of "The Jackal Of Salzburg," King Diamond recently said "It's quite a monster, I would say. It's almost nine minutes long. So, it's not just a quick little [song]. We hope we can play it. We're gonna do everything in our power to play it. It's not recorded yet. So whatever version we might play for you could change before it is fully recorded. Some drums have been recorded — that's what I can say.
"But we will do our damnedest to play it. We [may] put it early in the set, even. But that's something to look forward to… Now we've gotta make it sound correct, 'cause the early demo versions have lots of stuff on it that create a certain mood in the whole thing, which we can't do [live]. The live version will be different. I can't do the backing vocals, naturally, that is intended for the song. But that's also a challenge, to do a version that works live… It's gonna be fun. It's gonna be heavy."
You can watch the performance of "The Jackal of Salzburg" below.
Mercyful Fate will continue to tour through the summer, and you can find those dates below.
6/10 – Sweden Rock – Sölvesborg, Sweden
6/14 – Wuhlheide – Berlin, Germany (w/ Volbeat)
6/16 – Graspop Metal Meeting – Dessel, Belgium
6/18 – Copenhell – Copenhagen, Denmark
6/24 – Rock The Castle – Verona, Italy
6/26 – Hellfest Open Air Festival – Clisson, France
7/1 – Rock Fest Barcelona – Barcelona, Spain
7/2 – Tuska Open Air – Helsinki, Finland
7/22 – Hills Of Rock – Plovdiv, Bulgaria
7/24 – Artmania Festival – Sibiu, Romania
7/28 – Fezen Festival – Székesfehérvár, Hungary
7/29 – Metaldays – Tolmin, Slovenia
8/4 – Wacken Open Air – Wacken, Germany
8/6 – Beyond The Gates – Bergen, Norway
8/11 – Brutal Assault – Jaromer, Czech Republic
8/13 – Bloodstock Open Air – Derbyshire, UK
8/21 – Psycho Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV