Posts Tagged ‘Sweden Rock’

King Diamond och Satyricon gör temaspelningar på Sweden Rock

3 november, 2015

Idag klockan 09:00 släppte Sweden Rock Festival 22 av sina 82 band. Bland många ointressanta rockband, och för den delen nåt eller några intressanta metalband, finns en del saker att mys-krama händerna lite extra åt:

• Satyricon spelar hela Nemesis Divina-albumet. Som innehåller en av världens allra bästa låtar någonsin, ifall ni har missat Mother North.

• ”We are gathered here tonight…” King Diamond gör en temaspelning på hela Abigail-albumet.

• Twisted Sister, vars avskedsturné tydligen inte har tagit slut ännu trots att bandet i Töreboda öppet hånade Scorpions för att aldrig lägga av, spelar (återigen) på Sweden Rock.

• Loudness dyker upp. Jag har dålig koll på hur unikt detta är, men det kanske inte spelar någon roll.

 

Annonser

Sweden Rock Festival från A till Ö – den enda lista du behöver för att överleva

2 juni, 2014

För tidningen ETC gjorde jag en Sweden Rock Festival-guide som gick från A till O (en tidning är ju likosm begränsad i utrymme). Detta är hela versionen, från A till Ö.

arch-enemy-new

Arch Enemy – Svenskbandet har precis bytt sångerska. Arch Enemy tittade åt Kanada, såg Alissa White-Gluz från metalbandet The Agonist och ropade: ”Henne ska vi ha!”. The Agonist råkar dessutom ligga på samma skivbolag som Arch Enemy. Dålig grannsämja hädanefter?

Bill Ward – Black Sabbaths trummis Bill Ward är inte med på SRF. Han erbjöds ett dåligt kontrakt och vägrade att skriva på. Resten av gänget valde att hyra in Tommy Clufetos från Ozzy Osbournes soloband istället. Trummis som trummis liksom.

Chris Holmes – När W.A.S.P. går upp på SRFs scen är det utan gitarristen Chris Holmes. Han lämnade bandet 2001, och släppte istället hårdrockens sämsta låt någonsin 2012: They all lie and cheat.

Death SS – Initialerna lär stå för sångarens namn Steve Sylvester. Detta är Italiens mest legendariska metalband. På debutalbumets bandbilder syns Döden, en mumie, en vampyr, en zombie och en varulv. Kan det bli fler rätt?

Emperor – Black metal-bandet avslöjade i tidningen Close-Up att deras debutalbum In the Nightside Eclipse växte fram på luncher som bestod av vetebullar och chokladdryck. Två år senare satt två av tre medlemmar i fängelse. Kontrasternas band?

Föredettingar – Det råder inget tvivel om att hårdrocksfans är fans som hyllar föredettingar. De har status. Och särskilt live på SRF eller Muskelrock. I år är det Paul Dianno, Blaze Bayley och Jake E Lee som tar emot folkets jubel från småfulla fyrtio- och femtioåringar.

Gubbsjuk – Danger Danger är seriösa, till skillnad mot gubbsjuka plojbandet Steel Panther, men med låtar som Slipped her the big one och Naughty naughty hoppas man att det är på skoj.

Holland – Asphyx och Within Temptation representerar Nederländerna på SRF. Asphyx är creddigast. Within Temptation är populärast.

InstagramIsDown-52186Instagram – Det går att vara uppkopplad på wi-fi i år på festivalområdet. Skönt för alla metal-hipsters som vill ägna sig åt Instagram och plåta burkmaten.

Jaguar – Vem var först med speed metal? Jaguar svarar somliga. Men vem bryr sig? Allra minst Jaguar, som hellre beskriver sig som ett NWOBHM-band. Det är bättre marknadsföring.

Kvelertak – Detta är det stora rocknamnet på den norska himlen just nu. Kvelertak har lyckats göra ugglan till sitt speciella band-djur. Om frontmannen Erlend Hjelvik tar med sig sin huvudprydnad till SRF förstår du varför.

Lever – Vad vore en musikfestival utan Eddie Meduzas sånger? Eddie Meduza är visserligen död, men hans kompband lever, och heter just Eddie Meduza Lever.

Magnum – Vad är det? En glass? En TV-serie? En serietidning? Nej, det är ett band som säger att du är vuxen, mogen och över femtio om du gillar dem.

Nybörjarna – Barn mellan 3 och13 år tultar in gratis om någon vuxen hänger med. De måste dock ha med sig hörselkåpor in på festivalområdet. Barnen alltså.

Omfång – År 1992 varade SRF i en dag. Redan året därpå blev det en tvådagarsfestival, år 2000 växlade den upp till tre dagar och sedan 2007 har den varat i fyra dagar.

Pudelrock – Många band har gått in i eran av pudelfrisyrer. Men eftersom vi är på bokstaven P så får danska Pretty Maids symbolisera pudelrocken. Kolla in den här videon.

Queensrÿche – Du har väl inte missat bråket? Före detta sångaren Geoff Tate och Queensrÿche har gått skilda vägar, och dessutom gjort upp i domstol. Resultatet är att sångaren med den karismatiska rösten får lov att kalla sig (i promotionsammanhang) ”original lead singer of QUEENSRŸCHE” eller ”formerly of QUEENSRŸCHE” i två års tid. Sedan ska han bara kalla sig Geoff Tate.

Retro – Finns det något band som bättre låter åttiotal än Black Trip. Bara Metal uppmärksammade Peter Stjärnvinds band innan de släppte album, nu gör bloggen det igen. Med brasklappen att Black Trip själva säkert inte ser sig som retro.

Sodom – Sodom och grundaren Tom Angelripper ger aldrig upp och slutar aldrig ge ut album. Sedan 1981 har Sodom tragglat på, genom grunge, death metal och nu metal, ständigt trogen sin tyska thrash.

Thundermother – När gitarristen Giorgia Carteri inte spelar AC/DC-gitarr i Thundermother, så jobbar hon på Close-Up. Bara en sån sak liksom.

U.D.O. – Favorit i repris? Förutom att ha låtit tillverka en pinsam hammare i plast till alla fans som köpte hans de luxe-variant till album, så lovar Udo Dirkschneider att spela extra många Accept-låtar under sin spelning på SRF. Precis som Accept gjorde förra året alltså. Spelade Accept-låtar.

V-tecknet – Ozzy Osbournes version av hårdrockstecknet.Vsign.sized

Welcome to the Graveyard – har du inte hört Ferals dösmetall så tipsar jag dig om att börja med den här låten. Kolla in på Youtube. Den välkomnar dig på mysigaste sätt, med headbanging i skogen.

X – Det kultförklarade amerikanska bandet Madam X gav ut ett album 1984, fick mängder av fans i Sverige, och försvann sedan från kartan. Madam X har aldrig tidigare spelat i Sverige.

Y&T – Om jag minns rätt ställde Y&T in sin konsert med Mötley Crüe 1986 i Göteborg, för att Sverige låg för nära Tjernobyl som då hade haft en reaktorkatastrof. Nu vågar de sig till Sverige igen, för att träffa sina muterade fans.

Zombie – Nej, han heter inte så i efternamn, Rob Zombie, utan han heter istället Robert Bartleh Cummings. I år spelar han före Alice Cooper, varpå SRF-besökarna får två stycken chockrockare på raken. Bra planering!

Åttiotalet – Det var årtiondet då hårdrock etablerade sig och tog form. Det är också det årtionde som brukar förknippas med SRF.

Äta – Alltså. Festivalmat funkar alltid. Kolla efter Extreme Food till exempel.

Öl – Alltså. Behöver det förklaras?

Sweden Rock bojkottar sitt kära fotbollslag på söndag

18 september, 2013

imagesSweden Rock Festival gick i onsdagskväll ut med följande på sin Facebooksida:

”[Vi] sponsrar sedan flera år Sölvesborgs mest framstående idrottsförening, Mjällby AIF. Nu på söndag, den 22 september, planerar Mjällby att i samband med en allsvensk fotbollsmatch låta lokala minkfarmare ställa ut levande minkar i burar på lagets hemmaarena Strandvallen. Då vi från Sweden Rocks sida ställer oss frågande till det planerade evenemanget har vi bett Mjällby AIF att få samtliga Sweden Rock-logotyper bortplockade från arenan och matchtröjorna inför söndagens match.”

På film: Paul Stanley kraxar sig igenom SRF

17 juni, 2013

451px-KISSPaulStanley2008Efter Kiss spelning på Sweden Rock har de flesta slagit fast att Paul Stanley numer sjunger riktigt kasst. Sunkigt. Populära facebooksida Ginza Hårdrock liknade det vid att Paul Stanley kraxade sig genom konserten.

Bara Metal har hittat ett klipp från konserten, Lick it up, som enkelt illustrerar det folk har klagat på. Faktum är att detta var det första klipp som dök upp, så det är inget styrt urval. Döm själva. Eller nej, förresten, läs min dom först: Det är outhärdligt dåligt, Paul Stanley försöker prata sig igenom svåra partier och den mjuka finessen i hans röst – borta. Dessutom låter refrängen som ett svenskt dansband.

Men en Kiss-konsert är så klart mer än Paul Stanleys sångröst.

Exclusive interview – Accept: ”Their ambition was to destroy us”

8 juni, 2013

Accept spelar på Sweden Rock. Här är en pinfärsk intervju med Wolf Hoffmann.

800px-Hoffmann

So you are writing songs again…

– Oh yeah, we are already working on album number three.

You call it album number three? I thought that one was done years ago in the eighties – this means that you look upon Accept today like a fresh new start?

– Absolutely. It feels like that. A lot of people know that we have had a long break. These three last years seem like a rebirth, a restart for us.

Back to my question. Is it the same thing now as it was in the eighties – writing songs?

(more…)

King Diamond live på Sweden Rock – låtarna och filmerna

10 juni, 2012

Up from the Grave, Sleepless Nights… många av låttexterna påminner om vad King Diamond själv har gått igenom. Här är låtlistan från Sweden Rock + länkar till de livevideor som har poppat upp på Youtube från hans återkomst till livescenen. All cred till Lita77swe och mathiasnielsen66 som har lagt upp filmerna.

The Candle
Welcome Home
Voodoo
At the Graves
Up From the Grave
Let it Be Done
Dreams
Sleepless Nights
Shapes of Black
Come to the Sabbath
Eye of the Witch

The Family Ghost
Halloween
Black Horsemen

MER KING DIAMOND, SWEDEN ROCK: YA och Expressen recenserer, SvD har varit på presskonferensen, AB recenserar King Diamond: ”Det är svårt att behålla den ockulta stämningen med Michael Poulsen på scen” och SDS har recenserat.

Exclusive interview – King Diamond: ”I had serious doubts if I was here in another form”

6 juni, 2012

This interview took place in March 1st 2012, about 15 months after King Diamond had his open heart triple bypass surgery. We spoke for 80 minutes, so it was a looooong interview with great answers about his surgical operation, recovery, haunted boots, cigarette butts, the radio friendly Abigail songs and the famous nun picture.

You played live with Metallica in December 2011, and you looked really happy!

– Yes, it was great to get back on stage, and it was a big test so to speak [link here]. I had not sung since the heart surgery, well, I had had a test at a local place called House of Blues here nearby. I went there to meet a band which members I know, some of them. I went there to say hi in the afternoon, and during their sound check I went up on stage to see what it felt like. And my old chest was rattling, I had to get the hell out of there, it was very, very uncomfortable! And right now I have a pretty thick metal string all the way down my chest, inside under the skin, that ties together the whole chest, all the bones. They sawed my chest, they pretty much open your chest up like a double door.

– It has to grow back together that is why I have it there. So when I came up to the Metallica show, I did not know if I would feel the same bad things as I felt in Dallas, and when they turned up the sound I thought ”Oh my god, either I should just head home or it will work again”. And then the sound came up and I did not feel anything. It was like it had grown together really well. And I had been at the surgeons just three weeks before just to know everything was really good, he had done an x-ray and told me it was growing together really well.

– But that was just singing, then comes the second part. I have stopped smoking, and changed all of my habits. No smoking for over a year. And I can feel that on my voice, it really changes a lot. It has become so much crispier, it is much easier to sing all of those difficult high things. You can imagine – I have never been a singer and not been a smoker. This is the first time I feel what my voice is like without smoking. And it is a big difference, I can tell you. It’s easier, it’s like a brand new voice. But this new one is much better than the old one ever was. I’m really looking forward to do the other stuff.

– I had actually one more test, because San Francisco was like a test. Also the breathing, because when they do the operation they collapse your lungs. And you have to work hard to get your capacity back to normal. There was a showcase here in Dallas [in January 2012] where bands were battling for prizes, and there I got the chance to sing three songs. No one knew about it, I was just there as a presenter. But we did three songs and I picked those songs particularly for a test: The Family Ghost, old King Diamond from Abigail with lots of difficult high voices – it has never been that easy to sing it before. And Burn from the Eye, which… it is very difficult to catch a breath here and there. Such long lines to be sung. It was to test the breathing. And that worked fine too. And then we did Evil in the end, simply as a safety if I got out of breath or something. Often, the people that are there, the fans will sing every line in the first two verses. But I did not need that, afterwards I was not out of breath, I have never felt that good about singing… I think that was the best I’ve ever sung, that I did here two months ago.

– So I’m looking forward to get everything up. It’s a big process for us of course because we have not done anything for five years, because I had a disc-problem earlier you know. But this might be a good thing, in the end, if everything goes well you might feel much younger than you really are. That is what the surgeon says. And I stick to a new diet and exercise every day. I go to an athletic center, things I did not do before. And the fact that I’m eating healthier and no cigarettes, I can feel it you know.

Did I understand correctly, do you still have this metal thread?

– Yeah, yeah. It will be there forever, it has grown in to the bone. I can feel it through the skin. So now I got real metal in my chest!

You mentioned your voice is much better – before this better voice of yours, were you ever afraid to lose your ability to hit those high notes?

– No, that I have never felt. Through the years I have felt that it has grown slightly stronger and stronger and stronger. But other things play a role – it has to do with the overall, not that I have never lacked confidence in being on stage, it is the whole surrounding, you have more professional crew through the years, and I know on stage, I know that they have got everything right when they put everything up, including monitor sound. I have hade the same line up for a long time now and it is the best one I’ve played with ever in my life. I know exactly what they are doing. Something has to go really wrong, a broken string or something, for anything to be different. So it is a lot of confidence on stage, we have much more space and time for enjoying the whole procedure, having fun with the people who are there. Much more of that now.

– In the old days, when we came to like the end of Black Horsemen, there is an extremely high note, and those places in the old days were scary to get to, because if the monitor sound is not the best possible, you push harder, and then your voice gets a bit scratchy on top.

– But if you have the perfect great sound on stage, then you relax. You don’t put any more pressure on the vocal chords than is needed to take the notes. So there is a big difference there. But now – there is so much more of a difference. I felt some of that with Metallica, but I knew that I could not quite judge that because Metallica detunes very, very slightly. So that meant that those Mercy-songs that were detuned, they would have been easier for me to sing.

– But the stuff we did here in Dallas. Our drummer was here and three other guys, super musicians, actually one of them is the guy who produce and records all my vocals for my albums, he is a multi musician, he can play all kinds of instruments. We rehearsed the three songs two times and that was it, but it was in normal tune so it would have been as hard as it has always been, but it was only pleasure. And I felt something that I had never felt before – that I sang perfectly. And those who were there they could certainly hear it too. That’s what they said.

You sound eager to get on tour to do it live.

– Yeah, yeah, we are building a new production now and there is so much stuff to do. We are in some ways starting from scratch, working on a new record deal. We got a new booking agent. We are working on a new Internet shop where the fans can finally be able to get some genuine King Diamond merchandise, official stuff. For the first time in our career we are finally coming out and actually doing things the right way, the way we should have done from the beginning. But you never get too old to learn.

– Sweden Rock and then Hellfest one week later – it’s not a test, but it is a test. It will be the first full show we do since that happened. But I can’t see what would go wrong. I’ve already tested things that I needed tested for myself.

You had a break that lasted a whole year – what did you do?

– Well, we did keep up with people. A lot. We started a thing where… it’s a Skype-website where people will sign up. And now and then I will call up fans and we talk. We have done that several times. We will call up three fans through that way, ”King Diamond is calling you” and it could be one from Puerto Rico, one from Sweden, one from Scotland. We pick them randomly, but not the same person twice. Then we sit and talk for an hour. They can ask anything. They usually have a lot of question that are the same as the fans ask in the fan club, the Coven. So we get a lot of info out that way, and we upload it so other can listen to it. We are certainly in touch with our fans.

During that year, 2011 – you did not start writing your autobiography?

– No. One day it would be nice because I have tons of cool stories. But it has to be the right time. Now everything is concentrated on getting set for the festivals. We might do something in the US this year, I’m not sure. Not right now. We are getting everything right, the right contracts, than next year we will be touring, and start writing new material, probably already this year. We have a lot to do. And I am a million percent sure that a lot of those experiences which happened at the hospital will be in the lyrics for the next album. I have things that I have to get out of my system.

So… there will be new music in 2013?

– That is absolutely the plan. Something has to go totally wrong for us not to do that. We will write material this fall. Hopefully during the autumn, we might do something here in the US, after the festivals. But we will not be doing a long tour, it is still a test, we will see what happens. We do not want to take stupid chances, it has to be done properly. And we have a lot to do still, but things are looking good.

But King, did you not play any guitar during 2011, like sort of, ”Wow, I just made a new song.”

– No.

No?

– I write some ideas on notepads, rhymes, some notes I want to memorize. I have probably basic material for three different stories right now. It is just stored in a little box here. That is how it happens… for instance, when we did the Puppet Master, I can tell you that the main ideas came when Mercyful Fate was out playing with Metallica in the festivals in Europe. We had a day off and took a walk in the old Budapest. When we got into narrow streets we came to an area where all the puppet stores were. It was a Sunday, everything was closed and there was no light, so we had to get close to the window to see anything. Man, it was creepy!

– Walking further, there was this open gate to a backyard, and there it says The National Puppet Theatre. I started getting stories immediately. ”What will it be like in there?” It was a full size theatre! ”How big is it? It must take a lot of capacity, 1000 people? How can they see the tiny puppets? They must be huge! The puppeteer must be walking on the walkway in the ceiling?!” That is what they do, said my wife. So I hit it right. Everything was correct except for that they don’t make puppets out of human beings.

– I went home and started writing on the hotel’s notepad paper, which I still have just for souvenir you know, all those things, the names, the theatre, what would happen – all these different things. I looked through a phone book to find typical Hungarian names, actually, Laszlo, I borrowed that name from my wife’s dad. He created an amazing handwork for me, a scalpel with inlaid silver, like the one on the cover. All these things, these notes, they go down… this happened in 1999, and the album did not come until years later. We did one or two albums in between, I looked at my notes but they did not appeal to me. So I have several things in there that I might use, but I could also do something new, I told Andy abut it just days ago, the things that happened to me, things I saw, how I saw them after I came to after the operation… Oh, the horror I experienced was just fucking… It’s a long story. It will be in the next album for sure, some way or the other.

You are still in the US, although you are married to a European woman – right? Are you coming back to Europe?

– No, it’s really good here. My wife has taken the citizenship test, she passed it, and I am myself both a Danish and a US citizen. To be precise, I am one quarter Swedish.

That’s in your blood – not in your passport…

– Ha ha ha! No, they don’t write that. It’s definitely in the bloodline!

Do you have the set list ready for the festivals?

– No, I have a lot of songs to choose between but I won’t read the list to you. There are so many songs. Where do we begin?!

Sounds like a nice problem though, picking songs?

– It is! It really is. ”Oh, how can we fill this out? Should we play two songs twice?” That we actually did back in the days with Mercyful Fate, at Dynamo Club in Eindhoven. We went out of songs. We had released some demos, which songs would later be on the Melissa album. They wanted more, and we told them that we didn’t have anymore. ”We can play some of the songs again?”

But for Sweden Rock and Hellfest you have the other side of the problem – too many songs.

– Waaaaaaaaay to many! But it is not the last time we will play. But there will be songs that we have never played before. I’m sure of it. There is one song here on the list, I’m starring at it right now, that I am sure that we have never ever played before. An older one, stuff we have not played since Conspiracy. It will be really cool.

Mastodon will be playing at Sweden Rock – I once interviewed their drummer, who had a King Diamond t-shirt. I asked him about it, and he said: ”King Diamond gave me so much as a young teenager, and I want to give him back.”

– Awesome to hear! That is great!

…and then there is sort of a New Wave of Swedish Heavy Metal going on right now, and they are all mentioning Mercyful Fate as their biggest inspiration.

– I know about… ehhh… It’s great to hear! It’s an honor to be mentioned… I had the same thing for me. People ask me what made me want to start playing, and I say it was the guitar sound from Jimmy Page on the first… the second album. When I heard that, I had to get a guitar. So I saved allowance for a long time, many years, and I was so inexperienced, that when I finally bought one, I did not understand why I did not get any sound. What was wrong? Then someone told me I had to have an amp and speakers and stuff. Ha ha! I was just a teenager: ”What the hell is this…?” Some person helped me build my first amp and my first stack. Two twelve in each. And that homebuilt amp was silver all over, a red button that turned it on and off, and a black button, and when you pushed that in, it was like…yes! That’s the shit!

– Influence, lyrical or performance or sound, that is cool. Not copying, you want your own style. It’s great that they mention us. Metallica mentions us, Megadeth does it. It is great to meet so many people that tell us what we have meant to them. Certainly not only Mercyful Fate, King Diamond as well, things like, stuff that has helped them in hard times. I hear that all the time. The fans mention that the music ”helped me when I had this horrible experience”, or ”during these hard times”. There was a soldier, he’s wife wrote me and asked if I could sign anything, because our music helped him get better in the hospital. One soldier had his birthday in Afghanistan, and he’s wife asked me to sign something that she sent to him during his birthday there, together with his battalion. It made his birthday better.

Let’s talk about your history – have your record company ever asked you to make a hit?

– They have. A long time ago they asked us, or told us – I hate it when people tell me what to do – back when we were about to do Abigail. They said: ”Hey, you need to do more radio friendly songs, at least three or four.”

– I answered: ”Don’t worry, you don’t have to send anyone up here, we realize that ourselves after the last album. We have about at least three songs like that already, we can do one more, no problem. But of course we did not do any of that. We finished the album and sent it to them. And the same day they received it the boss Cees Wessels was on the phone.

This was Roadrunner?

– Yes. He is a guy I have always had so much respect of. He’s taught me so much. I owe him a lot. Back then he was on the phone and asked: ”Where are those radio friendly songs?” I just mentioned four songs, it did not matter which to me, ”Oh they are Black Horsemen, 7:th Day Of July…” and he said: ”Okay, you got me. The album absolutely works, I just wanted to hear you explain where the hell they were.” But that was the only time, I’ve made sure that the record companies don’t come and say what we should or should not do. ”Then sign another band!” We have full control. And our fans know this and respect this.

– That is why many records [by other bands] have so different styles, a lot of bands are forced to change because the producer is forced to change the band. Often bands do not recognize themselves when they hear the final product. It must suck to go through that. We have been lucky. We have great respect from the record company. They trust us, and do not hear anything until the album is done.

What about within the band – have band members ever told you to do more radio friendly songs?

– No, never. We all play from the heart. It goes for everybody. We play for the songs, not for our egos.

Do you remember the day you tried the falsetto, and it worked? Was it…?

– Yes I remember! It was the first audition for a band called Black Rose. I was in a band called Brainstorm before, but only played guitar. Three musicians were looking for a singer. They had put up a note in a grocery store: ”Band looking for singer.” I had my Gibson guitar and a Marshall amp. So I sneaked in as a singer/guitarist. No, no, no, they did not want any more guitarists. They played Rainbow and Deep Purple. We played Space Truckin’ and I tried to get up there, but I couldn’t, I tried so I screamed. I had no voice when I came home from rehearsal. But my voice could come up there.

– During those rehearsals it started. And during softer places in the song, I could not scream, so I tried something differently, more powerful without screaming. That was how it developed. And then it helped a lot when I realized that, hey, when I sing these parts I really move my stomach muscles differently. And then I realized that the way I move my stomach muscles control, that is how much pressure I put on my vocal chords. Aha – I understood the system.

– If you listen to Black Rose, our own songs, there you can here the beginning of the falsetto. It was during one of the Black Rose’s shows that a fan came forward and said: ”You should do more of those falsetto. It sounds great when you do it.” I had to ask him what he meant by that, because I had never heard that word. Falsetto? ”When you sing high.” Okay, I’ll try.

Please tell me about the famous nun picture…

Ahhh, yeah. I’m kind of feeling my way around her.

Could you tell me the story of how that picture came about?

– It was taken in my apartment. That was a last minute thing. I called her and said, ”Hey, could you come up” I think they actually brought that [nun] dress, Malcolm Dome I think it was, and Ray Palmer, photographer for Kerrang. They came to visit and to do an interview at my haunted apartment in Denmark. And then I called my friend and asked her if she wanted to do a photo session, be a part of it, yeah sure, no problem. We said: ”Okay, cool. Do you mind doing this or that?” Okay. Great. So we got that shot.

– They slept on the floor in my living room, and I slept in my bedroom. The next morning, they spent the night there actually. They had to catch a plane, but in the morning, around nine, Ray Palmer went to the bathroom – and a lot of sick things have happened in that apartment, things you cannot explain, other people have seen and felt things – and he came out, white as a sheet. ”I’m gonna leave for the airport right now.” I said ”No no, we have hours left, you leave at noon.” ”I have to leave now”. I said ”Did something growl at you?” ”How do you know that” – ”It is not the first time. There are things that live here, and you just have to accept and respect that, and then there is no problem.” He said: ”We are leaving now!” He packed his stuff and left, took Malcolm Dome with him. So much happened at that apartment.

So who is living there right now?

– I’m sure they are still there. Living with someone else.

– Last time we were in Copenhagen. My brother took me and my wife there. It felt like in the movie the Exorcist, when the priest is looking up at the light. I felt like that even though it was daylight. I saw the window to the bathroom, where all those things went in and out that way. The next window is the kitchen, where the bottles were taken and moved around in my apartment. It was so weird knowing that all that stuff still probably was there.

– We have some of that even in this house. Not as much. Andy was smacked over the head when he was recording Give me Your Soul here. I had to change one of the lines so that he never forgets it. It is in Black of Night, one of Andy’s songs. It’s a line where I say ”Something hit me on the head.” He was recording and I was watching TV without the sound, he sat there and I thought that he had an electric spike from the earphones. ”No, something hit me in the head.” “Well”, I said, ”then you have to play better.” Hal had the same experience during the recording of the Puppet Master.

– So there are things that happen here. I got a Christmas present – My father-in-law knows that I am interested in the Second World War. My dad was a freedom fighter, he did so much, he was part of the sabotage group during the war. I have his outfit from his Danish brigade. Anyway – I am interested in the Second World War and Livia’s father had found a pair of Nazi boots which he bought from a farmer in a small village next to a village where he has his summerhouse.

– He knew the story, when the Russians came and ”liberated” Hungary, took it over, the Germans tried to get away, to blend in with the population. So this officer went to this farmer to try to get civilian clothes, and the story goes that this farmer killed the German officer. He says: ”No, no, I just got his clothes in exchange.” But the story goes that the officer died in those boots. And now they stand next to my fireplace. I tested them, they fitted perfectly, but there was something weird about them, they have a stamp inside that says ”Made by Dr Klöckner [?]” and when I put them on I felt superior, it’s psychological you know, I almost started ordering around my father-in-law: ”Give me a cup of coffee – now!” Some day I will try to track down the faith of this person, where he was stationed.

– Anyway, when I got these boots, during the night, I heard a gigantic noise in the living room. It was not the cat, I saw the cat, but everything above the fireplace had been taken down, it was a gigantic noise. We thought it was a break in, I got my gun out, I was ready to blow them to hell. Livia’s sister was here, and her parents, spending the Christmas here, I told them to get down, turned on the lights strategically, so that I could see them but they could not see me, but there was no one there! Nothing! It was snow outside, we do get it here you know, and no footprints left. I was shining the light up on the roof. Nothing. I looked in the attic. Nothing. Not a single thing had moved. It was like he had shown his presence here, so, okay.

You got your gun out? You are becoming a true American now?!

– I’ve had it since I came here. A police officer I know in San Antonio got it for me. We went out shooting together. He gave me two Winchester guns as well, they are the most powerful Winchester, kicks like a mule. I have one of the last ones ever made, smaller category. It was one of my big wishes when I got here, a Winchester rifle. My gun is a semi automatic that they have in Los Angeles, the highway patrol. There are actually a lot of policemen and soldiers that are into King Diamond. I have the biggest respect for them as well. As well as hospital staff!

You mentioned smoking earlier. You played with Metallica in 1987 in Gothenburg, my friend met you backstage, and he collected your cigarette butts as a souvenir.

– Wow! Does he still have them?

No, he smoked them as a ritual thing. He was young…

– Ha ha! They are worth a lot now, because there won’t be any more of those. Nope. Never.

That is true. They are long gone.

– I really enjoyed smoking. The taste, the feel, but there is no room for that anymore. It is that simple for me.

It is gone. And your voice is better.

– I mean singing – it was really amazing to feel, moving up and down in different ranges.

You should’ve quit years ago!

– I know. But this is the time in most singers career that if they do sing a lot of high register stuff, they soften a little, and when they play live they detune a little bit. We have never ever done that. But I have heard of other bands doing that. It is a natural thing when the voice gets older. But I’m having the opposite – my voice is better than ever.

– I mean, the results you get, when you get tested by the doctor, to see what your cholesterol is and what’s this and what’s that – those results are mind blowing. And they just get better and better because we keep improving our diet and exercising, finding more new things that are even healthier. And I’m not sacrificing anything. And the smoking, my wife also used to smoke, we both stopped, cold turkey. I’m not even missing the smoking, I used to long for a certain cigarette – it’s not there anymore. I don’t care. If I ever want to smoke, I trick my mind: There is no thing called a cigarette. Just like there is no car that can drive you around town on its own. It does not exist. Forget dreaming about it.

And now – do you appreciate life and the so-called little things?

– I have a lot of stories to tell you that happened after the surgery. I’ve not changed as a person. But now I suddenly can smell nature. I pay more attention. And I do not take anything for granted. Yes, I appreciate life more, it is a bit different, but it is not a personality change.

– I was out of the hospital after ten days. My wife had to help me out of the chair and change all bandages. For two weeks I had to sleep in a chair. But the doctors told me I had to walk: “After the second week, we want you to walk a mile.” Seriously? ”Yeah!” Ten days after, I was outside walking. I even walked during the stay at the hospital. I slept one hour, had a nightmare, than I went up walking. Just like the lyrics from the Graveyard. From one nurse station to the next: ”Oh, Mr. Petersen you must sleep, not walking.

– One strange thing at the beginning, it happens even today but is much more rare, I would literally ask my wife: “Do you see me? Can you feel when I do this?” I had serious doubts if I was here in another form. During the operation I died for a little over five hours. And then you are not in this world. Did I bring something back? I had these thoughts, and they come and go. I felt that, wow, I could seriously not be here.

I’m curious, how often do you speak to Anders Allhage?

– Several times a week! We are on Skype constantly, meeting, things for the show, decisions for what we should buy, working with actors, to find the right outfits, we talk a lot. It never stops!

In English or Scandinavian?

– He speaks Swedish and I speak Danish.

I’ve made bad research – I do not know where from you got ”king diamond”.

– Well, neither do I. You are not alone! I honsetly do not remember how I came up with that name. It was during the time with Brainstorm, around -76, -77, and the reason was that we felt that we were such great musicians and would become huge stars in no time. We were confident. So we needed artist names otherwise they could not pronounce our Danish names in the US or England or other countries. Our drummer named himself Jesse James. Kim Bendix Petersen? I became King Diamond and I have no clue why or how. I keep saying that it is because diamonds last forever. And I’m still here.

Who created the King Diamond logo with the bat?

– I came up with that, I draw it on a piece of paper, I have it somewhere here, I draw it with a ballpoint pen. So it is actually blue on a white piece of paper that has all these squares on it. They had to get the squares away later when they copied the logo, they cleaned it. And the bat, well, it fits: bats, Dracula, darkness.

Abigail was inspired by a photograph of a grave, is that true?

– Yeah, you might say that. There was a girl from Seattle who sent me some photos. The date was on there, the 7th day of July 1777.

Have you ever visited this tombstone?

– No. I think it was two different tombstones. The date was on another tombstone. The thing that was so weird was that it came back to nine. The 7th day, that is one seven. July is the second seven. 1777, there you have five sevens altogether. That adds up to 35. Plus 1 [as in 1777]. That is 35 + 1, that is 36. Three and six that is nine. It all comes back full circle. That was the reason to have that, cause later in the album ”eighteen is actually nine” you know. But the name, Abigail, wow, once I saw that on the tombstone I fell for it.

Yes, I’ve read that your fans name their daughters Abigail.

– Yes! That journalist from Sweden Rock Magazine, his daughter’s middle name is Abigail.

I guess all journalists that speak to you have been fans for a long time. And they all say, ”it has been an honor to speak to you” – and they mean it.

– It is always nice. It is also cool because we talk about other things. It’s not only one question, one answer, next question, next answer.

Well, welcome to Europe and the festivals, it has been an honor to speak to you. Truly! Have a nice evening!

– It’s been my pleasure. Have a nice evening you too. Bye bye!

Sweden Rock förklarar sitt hävda fotoförbud

16 januari, 2012

Sweden Rock har lämnat följande besked – med förklaring – på sin hemsida:

”Från och med 2012 års upplaga av Sweden Rock Festival skrotas alla tidigare restriktioner mot olika typer av kameror på festivalområdet. Detta innebär att det nu står samtliga besökare fritt att ta med sig och använda alla typer av både stillbilds- och videokameror samt tillhörande objektiv och utrustning på festivalområdet.

De gamla restriktionerna existerade på grund av klausuler i många artistkontrakt som förbjöd teleobjektiv och videokameror i publiken för att stävja spridningen av bootlegvideor. Vissa band har fortfarande kvar sådana klausuler i sina kontrakt, men vi i festivalledningen anser att den tekniska utvecklingen har sprungit förbi dessa regler. Någon marknad för bootlegs existerar inte längre och nästan alla besökare har redan tidigare kunnat filma genom sina mobiltelefoner och stillbildskameror. Därför har vi valt att från och med nu tillåta alla typer av kameror på området.”

Sweden Rock ger Sebastian Bach en ny chans

12 december, 2011

Sweden Rock har precis gjort en fanfar för Sebastian Bach, och genast haglar kommentarerna i stil med ”hoppas han behagar dyka upp den här gången,” eftersom han och hans band inte lyckades ta sig till Sweden Rock-spelningen 2008. Melodic Net intervjuade Sebastian Bach om det i höstas, och han svarade då så här:

”Sweden Rock ville att vi skulle gå upp på scenen klockan ett på eftermiddagen. När vi spelade där förra gången gick vi på runt 16 eller 17 på eftermiddagen, precis som alla de stora banden, men de ville ha oss som mitt på dagen. Vi sa, ”visst, vi kan komma, men vi måste gå på 15 eller 16.” De svarade: Inte en chans, du måste chartra ett eget plan och komma hit, och jag svarade: ”Betalar ni för planet?” De sa nej, och jag har inga jävla 30 000 dollar eller har ens lust att betala för ett jävla flygplan”

Läs hela intervjun här.

För er som undrar hur en spelning med Sebastian Bach ser ut idag, så är åtta av hans tio mest spelade låtar live hämtade från Skid Row-tiden, i följande ordning:

Youth Gone Wild (Skid Row)

18 and Life (Skid Row)

I Remember You (Skid Row)

Monkey Business (Skid Row)

Slave to the Grind (Skid Row)

Here I Am (Skid Row)

Big Guns (Skid Row)

Piece of Me (Skid Row)

American Metalhead (PainmuseuM)

Stuck Inside

Lee Aaron skäms för hårdrocken – framför Metal Queen som om det vore en U2-låt

14 juni, 2011

Jag tappade faktiskt hakan när jag hörde detta. Lee Aaron, hon som kommer som åskan och reser sig från underjorden, spelade nyligen på Sweden Rock.

Där passade hon på att fullständigt massakrera sin egen gamla debutdänga Metal Queen. Den har gått från typisk enkel hårdrock till U2s Mysterious Ways: gitarrchickachicket, trummorna, den neddragna versen.

Det är en helt ny låt, fruktansvärt mycket sämre och… Alltså, spelar du på Sweden Rock ska du inte skämmas över att spela hårdrock. Go back to Canada! för att felcitera Barney i The Simpsons.

Ni behöver inte lyssna på hela låten, första 30 sekunder duger gott på alla dessa tre nedan. Eller förresten! Lee Aaron-videon är så klart en kulturhälsning från 1984 väl värd att ses.