KING DIAMOND guitarist Andy La Rocque was recently interviewed by Italy's "Heavy Demons" radio show. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On the projects he's currently working on at Sonic Train, the Swedish recording studio he owns:
Andy: "I'm doing the final touches with the live stuff that's going to be released later this year with KING DIAMOND, and it's in the final phase now. It's not a lot of things left, actually. Other than that, I'm working with Neil Turbin, the ex-ANTHRAX vocalist. I'm working with his stuff. There's actually a lot of things going on — small things going on in the studio. It's very hectic, but mainly, for the last couple of months, I've been working with this live DVD thing with KING DIAMOND."
On the status of the next KING DIAMOND album:
Andy: "I talked to King last night, and he has some great ideas for the next album when it comes to the story and all that. He's got a lot of ideas already — lines and rhymes and all that. I was actually surprised to hear how far he's gotten with that. So far, I've got a few, I would say, not-complete songs, but I got a few songs and a lot of riffs that we're going to try out for the next album. So we have started; it's just a matter of time to get everything rolling. I would think about in a month or so, I will fly over to King in Dallas and make sure that everything works the way it should when it comes to his recording gear. He's got his own recording studio, so I'll fly over there, make sure everything works and start to set everything up so he can start composing songs on the computer."
On his memories of working with KING DIAMOND in the 1980s:
Andy: "[Laughs] Oh, man. Some of the stuff was so crazy, I can't even tell you. When you were young and the first couple of tours, everything was crazy, because it was a new experience, you know? Rolling around the U.S. and Europe, and we were young and hungry. We're still hungry, but it was totally different back in the '80s. A lot of partying and all that. That's different now. You look at it in a different way now. I think you concentrate more on the music now and everything's that's around it."
On whether he has a favorite KING DIAMOND album:
Andy: "I would say one of my favorites that always comes back to me is 'Abigail', because we caught a really good atmosphere on that album. The songs are really good; I like the sound of the album, the melodies; and the whole atmosphere around the recording process was spectacular. If I had to pick one, that's definitely my favorite KING DIAMOND album."
On whether he's still in touch with Roberto Falcao, who engineered "Abigail" and played keyboards on the album:
Andy: "Yes, I actually talked to him a few weeks ago. Who knows? Maybe he's doing some keyboard [work] on the next album. We'll see. That would be really, really cool."
On how he started producing other artists' music:
Andy: "I think it was somewhere around 1992 or '93. I bought some simple recording equipment, like a four-track portable recording studio, and started just to record my ideas. Then people said, 'Wow, that sounds really good. Can you maybe record me — a couple of my songs?' I did that, and that got me some inspiration to get some better gear and more tracks and more channels and all that. After a couple years, I got a 24-track tape machine and 32-channel mixing console, and I started from there. It was because of bands and musicians around my area that thought it sounded really good, and they wanted to do something with me. That's how the idea was born."
On his influences:
Andy: "When I started to listen to music back in the '70s, I listened to everything from [THE] SWEET, SLADE, STATUS QUO, Suzi Quatro, BLACK SABBATH, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, URIAH HEEP, you name it. When it comes to guitar players that inspired me, one of my main influences was probably Randy Rhoads, Steve Vai and a lot of guitarists around in that era."
KING DIAMOND's long-awaited follow-up to 2007's "Give Me Your Soul... Please" album is not expected until next year at the earliest. The band is also putting the finishing touches on the Blu-ray and DVD filmed during its 2015-2016 "Abigail In Concert" tour.