Welcome to episode # 65 of the Rock Interview Series. For this feature, guitarist / composer / producer Andy La Rocque is the featured guest.
Andy has been a member of the iconic metal band King Diamond’s band since 1985. He has performed on every King Diamond release ever since. And has established himself as one of the most innovative guitarist in metal music.
Currently, Andy has been busy as a producer in his Sonic Train Studio in Sweden. He is also writing for the upcoming King Diamond release entitled “The Institute. “
What follows is an exclusive interview with Andy La Rocque in which we discuss the future plans of the band King Diamond, his past history and much more.
KING DIAMOND guitarist Andy La Rocque spoke to Thomas S. Orwat, Jr. of Rock Interview Series about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band’s long-awaited new album. Titled “The Institute”, KING DIAMOND’s first studio LP in 16 years is tentatively due in 2023 via Metal Blade. It will be made available as a two-LP horror concept story, with the second part arriving at a later date. Andy said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Well, all I can say is that we’re definitely working on it. Let me put it like this. In January, I sent a bunch of songs to [KING DIAMOND frontman and namesake] King, actually, that were kind of ready to start recording. They were like a really good demo — eight tracks with rhythm guitars, keyboards, drum machine and demo bass and all that. But the structure of the songs were kind of finished. But then we, of course, had to rearrange a few things and move around things. And we actually started doing that this spring until King got busy with MERCYFUL FATE and they were doing this summer tour and now this U.S. tour. So we started working on it, and then we just had to take a break from it too, until he’s done with that. But we’ve got a lot of songs, and also he’s gonna come up with some songs too, of course, obviously. And he will do that as soon as they’re done with the MERCYFUL FATE touring stuff. So it’s in the loop, definitely.”
Asked if KING DIAMOND songs usually get written by Andy presenting King with the music first and King then writing the lyrics to the music that Andy sends him, the guitarist said: “Yeah, something like that. That’s usually how we do it. That’s the only way we have done it, actually. But, of course, he’s got some ideas — long ago, he’s got some ideas for this ‘Institute’ thing. And then we just try to match up the songs in the storyline, so they fit into the right mood and all that. But, of course, it’s quite different and difficult to do it that way too, because you’ve really got to hit that right mood into the songs. And it’s gotta fit with the lyrics and everything. So that takes a while, of course. But that’s usually how we do it. I send him a bunch of songs. He sends me some songs that he thinks would fit into the story of the album. And we talk about it. If there’s any parts that need to be changed, we just do it and send things to each other until we’re done. That’s how we’re gonna do it now too.”