Michael Denner- The 80's Parental Advisory PMRC 15 Song List Helped Mercyful Fate

September 11, 2019

Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice recently Spoke to original Mercyful Fate's guitarist Michael Denner (Denner /Shermann). Denner spoke about his new band Denner's Inferno and new album In Amber that will be released November 15 2019 on Mighty Music. He also spoke about not being invited to the upcoming Mercyful Fate reunion, the making of the classic Mercyful Fate albums, Melissa and Don't break the Oath as well as gave an update on former Ex Mercyful Fate Drummer Kim Ruzz where beings   and bassist Timi Hansen's health update. And how the 1980's PMRC helped Mercyful Fate back in the 1980's.

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 When asked about the musical direction of his new album Denner's Inferno 'In Amber'
"I have always been an old school fan of heavy rock of the early 70's , which is the main part of my record collection which is 3000-4000 albums from these bands of the early 70's. I have done tons of heavy metal albums but this time I wanted to do what I was a fan of as a collector. So on this album I added in a 70's vibe and tried to record the songs the way it was done in the old days and I think we achieved that we captured that organic rock sound. A Blue Oyster Cult vibe which  is one of my favorite bands and there are also elements of Mercyful Fate. I cannot run away from my past from what I have been doing from the 80's. I wanted it to be 70's but not outdated. "

When asked about new singer Chandler Mogel and his singing style on the new album
"My aim was not to have a screamer (nothing wrong with Screamers) this time around. This time I wanted something different. Chandler is a fan of Uriah Heep's David Byron and Deep Purple singers. Chandler has this very melodic vocals and a broad range and he sings very emotional. "


 When asked about his tour plans and set list 
"We have done booking some shows in Scandinavia and after these shows we will look and see if we can book some shows in Europe and play Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium and so on and hopefully US and Canada/ South America later on.  As the set list  I will bring in one or two Mercyful Fate songs, maybe adding some songs from of Force of Evil or Denner Shermann I have so much music to choose from. I need to find a good Mercyful Fate song from those days that is not too satanic or too high pitched, no one can copy King Diamonds vocals. Chandler is not that kind of singer but I will locate and good song or two from the Mercyful Fate catalogue."

When asked about his feeling towards not being invited to the upcoming Mercyful Fate reunion
"Mercyful Fate did two albums before they folded and laid it to rest over 20 years ago. So it seems they wanted to continue with the same lineup before it folded. But what surprised me I didn't know anything about this reunion until two days before it was officially released. Somehow in there it looked like it was supposed to be the original line-up with the songs from the first three albums. That took me by surprise because I was very much apart of these albums. I felt a bit sad about it. But then again I felt happy on what I am doing now. If this is what Shermann and King want to do I cannot force them to bring me in the band . I wish them best of luck and I want to move on doing my own stuff.  I think it is Metal Blade Records who own the rights to the name Mercyful Fate. I don't want to make a big deal, I was a big part of the Mercyful Fate history but I cannot force them to change their mind. "


 When asked about his relationship with Guitarist Hank Shermann in regards to this reunion
"That was the big surprise, I didn't expect Hank to just keep quiet about the reunion, that was a big shock. I lost contact with King years ago we had some differences, small arguments. So I didn't expect King to call me for the reunion but Hank it's a different story because we were working very close together for a long time. Hank even helped me with my new album, he did some of the guitar recordings and helped with the artwork." 

When asked if they called him up tomorrow to join the reunion would he participate
"It would be very hard, it would not be enough. I would need some serious explanations. That is a hard question to answer because my feeling were a bit hurt when it occurred  3-4 weeks ago, so now I am healing. But also this is perfect timing in a way cause my new album is being released. I have not said anything bad about Hank or King even though they disappointed me the way it happened. "

When asked about former Mercyful Fate's bassist Timi Hansen health 
"He is doing better , we have been friends since we were 12 years old, he lives just a mile down the road from me. But now I do feel like things are going better for him. I think he is recovering.  I doubt if he will ever play bass again, he hasn't had a bass in over ten years he is not active anymore."

 When asked if King Diamond pushed  Satanism too far in the early days
"In the beginning King only wrote lyrics about motorbikes and fights but then we started talking about the occult . King and I spent many hours late at night listening to the first Black Sabbath album sitting together talking about these deep things occult and spirits. As my interest in the subject moved away he got more and more into it and finally he found this Satanic bible and he got deeper and deeper into it and he was serious like a religion. I was very scared of the dark when I was young, it scared me. So when I grew up  ried to move away from it and not be scared anymore. I left it and King just grabbed it. "

When asked about Mercyful Fate's success on Don't break the Oath
"After Melissa album there were more and more fans and it started to build up for us. Also in the US. once we got onto the PMRC filthy 15 songs list, then suddenly there was a lot of interest for the band."

 His new band American vocalist Chandler Mogel (OUTLOUD, PUNKY MEADOWS, RADIO EXILE), bassist Flemming Muus (TRICKBACK, JOYTOWN) and a drummer with a common MERCYFUL FATE link, Bjarne T Holm (played in the '90s and also involved in the reunion recently announced). Together, they play heavy metal that should appeal to fans of MERCYFUL FATE, CANDLEMASS and '70s retro rock.

"In Amber" track listing:

01. Matriarch
02. Fountain Of Grace
03. Up And On
04. Sometimes
05. Taxman (Mr. Thief)
06. Vens Of The Night
07. Run For Cover
08. Pearls On A String
09. Loser
10. Castrum Doloris

The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) was an American committee formed in 1985 with the stated goal of increasing parental control over the access of children to music deemed to have violent, drug-related or sexual themes via labeling albums with Parental Advisory stickers. The committee was founded by four women known as the "Washington Wives" – a reference to their husbands' connections with government in the Washington, D.C. area. The women who founded the PMRC are Tipper Gore, wife of Senator and later Vice President Al Gore; Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker; Pam Howar, wife of Washington realtor Raymond Howar; and Sally Nevius, wife of former Washington City Council Chairman John Nevius. The PMRC eventually grew to include 22 participants before shutting down in the mid-to-late 1990s.  


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