METAL UPDATE: A lot of people are really upset
about the cancellations you've had on this
tour. What happened?
OLE BANG: Well, the band is very upset as
well. The crew was very upset. The show
didn't happen because the local promoter didn't
provide what he was supposed to provide.
MU: We're talking about San Francisco, right?
OB: San Francisco. That's the only show that
has been cancelled. Out of like fifty shows
we've done for this album. Well, basically,
there was no monitor equipment. Without
monitor equipment, King can't hear, the band
can't play, and no one can work onstage
performing and sound like Mercyful Fate. It's
MU: But a lot of people traveled hours to get
there, only to find a sign on the door of the
venue saying the show had been cancelled. Why
can't these issues get worked out in advance?
OB: Well, they were straightened out in
advance, and contracts were sent out with
specific requirements. Our sound people speak
to each club. And everything is supposed to be
OK. And when we showed up, they actually had
the gall to say our sound guy had said that we
didn't need monitor equipment. We had flown
equipment in from Europe - front monitor
wedges, for King to be able to hear what he is
supposed to. But there has to be a mixing
console. We have a sound guy. We have a
monitor technician. Two people doing the
sound. And we don't bring them out and pay
them a lot of money, and then turn around and
say we don't really need the mixing console.
MU: So for the people who don't understand the
technicalities of live sound production, the
bottom line is that Mercyful Fate very much
wanted to play those shows.
OB: Oh, absolutely. We were there at load-in
time, and we stayed there until a quarter to
seven, trying to -- in corroboration with the
local people -- to find a monitor-mixing desk.
And the necessary cables, and the outboard gear
that comes with the whole setup of monitor for
the band to be able to hear themselves on
stage. And it wasn't possible to get it. At,
like, a quarter to seven o'clock we had to say,
"OK, if it's not possible to get it then we'll
just have to leave." And the band was equally
upset when we had to call back and tell them.
MU: And for those people who wonder why you
couldn't just play the show without the monitor
mix . . .
OB: When the band is onstage, each person
onstage technically has to hear what the other
guys are doing. Which means, King needs to
hear a certain amount of guitar, and very
little of bass maybe. The bass guitar needs to
hear the drums and not too much vocals maybe.
Everybody has a separate mix onstage of what
everybody else is doing - which most bands do.
Some bands can get away with less because they
either are not that particular about how well
they hear the stuff onstage or maybe they play
a different style of music. But with King's
high pitched vocals, and all the little fills
and riffs and things happening with Mercyful
Fate music, it would be like four people trying
to play music without hearing each other in
four separate rooms and the vocalist being on
the top floor of the same building. It's just
not possible to make it sound like a
Shortly after speaking with Ole, I turned to
find none other than Fate bassist and metal
utility man Sharlee D'Angelo ready talk a
little metal . . .
METAL UPDATE: How's the tour going so far?
SHARLEE D'ANGELO: Pretty good, pretty good. A
lot of travelling, though. Too much.
MU: You're in a lot of bands!
SD: Yeah, a few.
MU: Who are you playing with these days?
SD: These days, what am I doing? Uh . . .
Mercyful Fate, Witchery, Arch Enemy, basically.
MU: Who will you be touring with? Will you be
touring with Witchery or Arch Enemy this year?
SD: Right after this tour, I go to Japan with
Arch Enemy. And maybe we'll go back to the
states with them. I'm not sure yet, but
nothing has been confirmed about that. And
hopefully something in Europe with Witchery
later on this year.
MU: Where do your loyalties lie? Are you a
"gun for hire"?
SD: My loyalties lie with metal. (laughs)
No, no I'm not a gun for hire, I'm not. Well,
if you pay me well enough I might be, but then
we'd be talking about big figures. (laughs)
Otherwise, I mean I just do what I do.
MU: Would you play bass for the Rolling Stones
if the money was right?
SD: I would do it if I could just stand back
there and be like Bill. (laughs) But I could
never be as cool as him. 'Cause he's one of
the coolest ever.
MU: Do you get all these cool gigs 'cause
you're friends with people, is it a work thing,
SD: It usually starts out with being friends.
Usually. And then, if the musical thing is
right, if fits, then . . . It's like all of the
things I've been involved with, was because
they just made me an offer I couldn't refuse.
Now we're not talking financially, we're
talking musically. It's like, you know, people
that I like to work with. You only see the
things that I do. You don't see the things
that I turn down.
MU: Is Mercyful Fate the most popular band you
SD: Depending on what territory you're talking
MU: The United States.
SD: In the United States, yes.
SD: Well, I think worldwide altogether too.
MU: The Arch Enemy record is selling well.
SD: Yes, especially in Japan. I think its
something like 25,000 in six days or
MU: You play on that record right?
MU: So are you a member of these bands? Are
you a member of Mercyful Fate?
SD: Yes. And yes.
MU: Did you grow up listening to Mercyful
SD: Yep, I did.
MU: What was it like when you first met King
SD: By the time that I met him the first time,
I mean, if I would have met him when I was
fifteen or fourteen, it would probably have
been a really, really big deal. I guess I
half-way idolized him in a way. But by the
time I got into the band, I mean I already knew
so many people who had played with him before,
and its like I'd grown up myself and started to
play and all that so . . .
MU: It was demystified a bit for you . . .
SD: So yeah, I wasn't so like . . .
MU: So he really is just another human?
SD: Yeah, except for the fact that he sleeps
in a coffin and eats babies for breakfast. (laughs)
MU: (laughs) You say that your loyalties lie
with metal. As a fan, right now, what are you
SD: Lately I haven't been listening to so
much, just because I've been involved with so
much music, I don't really have time. Ah, but
there are a few things. An album that's been
spinning in my CD player, like I've never
taken it out, is Defleshed 'Under the
Blade', it's just a fantastic record.
Otherwise, anything that's nice or hard
basically . . .
MU: Are you into black metal?
SD: Yeah, little bit.
MU: Is Mercyful Fate a black metal band?
SD: They used to call it that. I don't know,
maybe if it you take it to mean the image and
the occult kind of thing . . .
MU: How do you feel about the occult and Satan
and . . .
SD: I think it's just, you know, it's just
nice and real. It's just something that I'm
not real deeply into it, myself. But I think
it's like a cool piece of imagery that you can
use because it fits the music very well. And
if you have someone in the band like we do who
is actually doing it for real, and taking
it seriously, then it, you know, it gets more
MU: Arch Enemy has toured Europe - and
Japan is next - what are the chances of
an Arch Enemy tour in the United States?
SD: There was actually . . . I got a fax from
management a couple of days ago where they said
that we might be doing something in the very
near future. One of the things that it talked
about was that San Antonio thing . . .
MU: The November to Dismember?
SD: Yeah, exactly.
MU: Cool. Any other tour rumors you can give
SD: Well, I don't know anything about this at
all, but, there's been talk about a Nevermore,
Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquility tour in the
MU: Awesome. That's the kinda tour we need
SD: Although, I don't think it would be very
good for the health of everybody involved.
MU: Why not?
SD: Because I know all of these guys. (laughs)
MU: It would be good fun!
SD: It would be good fun, but bad for our
MU: Have you ever played L'Amour [Brooklyn,
SD: Actually I've never been here before. So
I never saw the place.
MU: But you'd heard of it?
SD: Of course, I mean, everybody has heard of
MU: There havenít been shows here in a really
SD: Yeah somebody told me that they split the
room in two and all that. So now the gig place
is really small. Somebody said it used to be a
MU: I saw that poster on the wall advertising
that Ratt is coming here later this month.
What do you think of Ratt? Is that metal?
SD: I guess it is, in a way, as long as it is
loud guitars and long hair, it's got to be
metal. Well, not always, of course, but . . .
I don't know what to call that but it is some
sort of metal.
MU: Is this U.S. tour going better than some
of your previous ones? People talk about the
resurgence of metal and such . . .
SD: Nah, not really. We haven't seen anything
like that. Although, if you look at other
bands, newer bands, that are new to most of the
American audience, you see that like with
Emperor's tour, like the thing that they did .
I think bands like that see it. The thing
is we've always been around.
MU: Are people coming out pretty solid right
across this whole tour?
SD: We do good, yes.
MU: What happened in San Francisco? People
SD: Of course. I can understand that. But I
mean, there are certain limits to what we can do
if there's like . . . we come in, and there is
no monitor system, it's like what can we do?
What people don't understand is that we don't
cancel, well, sometimes. Like we did in
Milwaukee just, not too long ago.
MU: What was the Milwaukee cancellation about?
SD: Milwaukee was about King's voice going
down. But we postponed that show and we're
doing it at the end of the tour instead. But
where San Francisco was one of those things
where the promoter just doesn't give a shit
MU: Was that at Maritime Hall?
MU: You've played there before?
SD: Yep. But back then I think it was a
different promoter, because that time
everything was fine when we did that last year,
but this year's like -- we send out a technical
rider that specifies everything that we need.
And if they have a problem with that, well
then, they have to contact us about that. They
just didn't bring in anything that we needed,
so we couldn't do the show with what was there.
That's what we told them, exactly. "You've got
to bring in this, this, and this in order for
us to play the show." So it's not about, you
know, not enough big lights, or not the right
kind of M&M's back stage, it's nothing to do
with that. It's that you have the right
equipment to play.
MU: And what do you say to the fans who came
from far away to check out the show?
SD: I am so sorry. I am so really sorry.
Nobody was more disappointed than I was, that
we couldn't play.
MU: That's why you got on the bus and drove
there that day.
SD: Exactly. I wouldn't have been there at
all. Because we lost a lot of money not doing
the show. But there's no way we could have
done it. We could have just done . . . it
would have been just like getting up on a
MU: How are the Mercyful Fate fans taking to
Nevermore on this tour?
SD: Great, I think. I mean, they have had a
huge response every night too. They're a great
live band. And when the revered Warrel Dane
gets up on stage and preaches . . .
MU: You work for so many different bands.
Each on different labels. Which is your
favorite underground metal label? If you had a
band right now that was looking to sign to a
label, who would you go with?
SD: It's very hard to say, because different
labels are good in different aspects. Metal
Blade are really good, because if you are on
Metal Blade, you're records will be out
everywhere, because their distribution is just,
like, unheard of within the independent metal
scene. Nuclear Blast, they're really
aggressive when it comes to marketing artists.
That's one of the reasons why we've had so many
successes the past year. The company has
grown. Although they're not doing so well in
the states right now, I think it's getting
better, but they have a problem with
distribution too. Century Media's great too,
in a way, because they're really enthusiastic,
but what I really want is a label like
Necropolis. I mean they're just so wonderful
to work with. Because they're, you know -- it
just takes one phone call, and you reach the
top man. So a Necropolis with more financial
backing would be the best. But the thing is,
even if, if you get the financial backing, you
get more and more success. The company has to
grow, and once the company grows, well, there
you go again. Its hard to keep it underground.