Mercyful Fate vocalist King Diamond recently answered fan questions via Louder Sound and opened up about Gene Simmons‘ lawsuit against him over his stage makeup. The vocalist denied the allegations and stated that KISS never influenced him.
King Diamond is known for the falsetto screams that he showed throughout his songs with his band Merciful Fate. He is also known to be one of the heavy metal representatives that goes on stage with makeup to give the shock rock effect to his audience. Wearing makeup is not an unfamiliar concept in rock music, which is associated with musicians like Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson.
KISS is also a band that is famous for each member’s makeup. They became known for their extravagant costumes and stage personas through the makeup they used. They are very careful with their legacy, especially Gene Simmons. Aside from their music, they also preserved their image by forming a KISS museum in Las Vegas, showcasing the band’s aesthetics. They also copyrighted most of their show items, including their iconic makeup.
King Diamond recently opened up about how Gene Simmons once tried to sue him for ripping off his makeup. The vocalist did a makeup resembling Gene’s the Demon look; however, unlike Simmons’ claims, King Diamond was influenced by Alice Cooper and not by KISS. He stated that KISS wasn’t the first band to wear makeup since there were other bands and musicians who used makeup as a part of their shows. King Diamond added that Simmons never sued him due to his claims.
Here is the question asked:
“Gene Simmons sued you for allegedly ripping off his makeup. Have you bumped into him since?”
King Diamond replied:
“No, I haven’t. I think that would be a lot of fun. I have no outstanding stuff with him. There are a lot of reasons why this happened: they’d dropped their makeup around this time, but they still had the copyright on the look. I was never influenced by them – my influences were Peter Gabriel and Alice Cooper.
I said, ‘I don’t have a lot of money that you can sue me for, but you have a lot of money that other people can sue you for.’ They were not the first to wear makeup. It never got to be a lawsuit; it just got stirred up.”
Gene Simmons is a well-known businessman as well as a world-famous rock star. He has been making successful investments in different fields of business in addition to making money over the licensed KISS products. When it comes to KISS makeup, Simmons also wanted to protect the band’s legacy that he and Paul Stanley founded almost 50 years ago.