New MERCYFUL FATE bassist Becky Baldwin says new music is “in the works” and “on the way”
Speaking with the That Metal Interview podcast, MERCYFUL FATE bassist Becky Baldwin discussed joining the iconic metal band as well as when fans can expect new music. The Birmingham, England-based bassist previously toured with MERCYFUL FATE in 2022, filling in for Joey Vera who was unable to join the band for the trek due to a scheduling conflict with his other band ARMORED SAINT.
When asked how it feels to be a member of MERCYFUL FATE, Becky said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “It’s great. It’s just really nice to feel settled into the position now.
“I did those couple of runs of shows back in 2022, and, of course, it was great to do those, but always being able to see the end in sight and knowing that the next show is probably going to be Joey coming back in to do the live shows. And so now I just feel — I don’t know — like a sigh of relief almost that I know that I did a good job doing that first tour and that I feel welcomed and just that my role is stable.
“I guess before I just wanted to do a good job and make a good impression. And not because I wanted the job permanently — of course, I wanted it, but I never thought that that would be an option. But just to know that such a band that I have so much respect for that I would do a good job, and to know that I did that, because they want me back. It’s just very reassuring.”
When asked when fans can expect a new studio album from MERCYFUL FATE, Becky replied: “I’m guessing, my guess is gonna be toward 2025, maybe towards the end of 2025. But it depends how it all goes, ’cause King [Diamond, MERCYFUL FATE frontman] is working on a KING DIAMOND album first. So we’ve got a little bit of time there. And they’ll have to tour that as well, give it the full world-tour treatment and everything. But there is something in the works.
“I’ve listened to Hank‘s [Shermann, MERCYFUL FATE guitarist] demos. He sent me, I think about nine songs, a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been listening through those. So it’s on the way. It’s all just been in the works for kind of a while and now things are just starting to fall into place.”
Just last month at the Metal Hall Of Fame gala in Garden Grove, California, Becky was asked by The Metal Voice if her joining MERCYFUL FATE as a permanent member had been planned for awhile, to which she responded: “I guess the idea was floating around for a while, but it’s quite recent still, the news that I was going to be permanent in MERCYFUL FATE.
“But I guess, as any band does when you’ve got a lot coming up and there’s some kind of — I don’t wanna say insecurity within the band, because it’s not that; it was just kind of, like, a question about how busy Joey was, and I guess it was kind of in the back of their minds. And the way that the fans reacted when I did the tour was very positive. So it was a natural progression, I guess. But yeah, it all just kind of came about very, very recently in terms of being solidly, like, ‘Yes, this is what’s happening. And you are gonna be a full-time member of MERCYFUL FATE.'”
Regarding how she came to play for MERCYFUL FATE originally, Becky said: “I think the main person for bringing me into the picture was Hank Shermann. So he was the person who suggested me when they started looking at, like, ‘Okay, well, actually, this whole list of male bass players that we’re looking through, it doesn’t have to be a guy. Who else do we know? Should we start looking somewhere else?
“Because there aren’t any women on this list, and maybe that could be a thing, that could work out for MERCYFUL FATE.’ And then I was kind of at the top of Hank‘s list. And then when he showed King and the rest of the management and stuff some of my videos, it was literally the weekend of Bloodstock [Open Air] festival in the summer of 2022. And they were, like, ‘Okay, let’s go. Let’s go to Bloodstock. And she’s gonna be at Bloodstock festival. Let’s ask her there.'”
When asked if she is looking forward to perhaps contributing to the songwriting in MERCYFUL FATE as well, Becky said: “I think the songwriting is still gonna be very much King Diamond and Hank Shermann kind of heading up most of that, but definitely writing bass lines. I’ve studied all of Timi‘s [Hansen, original MERCYFUL FATE bassist] bass lines very meticulously now, and so I really feel like I can bring some of that into the new bass lines for the next record.”
When Becky‘s addition to MERCYFUL FATE was first announced earlier in January, she said in a statement: “It is a great honor to now be a permanent member of MERCYFUL FATE. I can’t wait to join the recording of the new album.
“When I joined as a stand-in on the 2022 U.S. tour, the acceptance and encouragement from the fans was exceptional. A huge thanks to the band, team and fans for the warm welcome.
See you in Chile and Brazil this coming April.”
Becky found her passion for music through playing the piano at a young age, but it was during her teenage years that she discovered her love for the bass guitar. Growing up in Trowbridge, she began performing with bands at school, honing her skills and fueling her musical ambitions. In pursuit of her passion, Becky made the move to Bristol in 2009 to study at BIMM Bristol, immersing herself in the vibrant music scene of the city.
Graduating with a BA Honours degree in Professional Musicianship, Becky then found herself drawn to the birthplace of heavy metal, Birmingham, where she currently resides. Known for her energetic live performances and proficient recording abilities, Becky specializes in fingerstyle bass guitar playing across various rock and metal genres.
Since 2012, Becky has been a consistent presence on the live music circuit, averaging around 100 gigs per year. Her versatility shines through as she lends her talents to an eclectic range of bands, covering genres from metal to folk, urban, funk, pop, jazz, and beyond. Her musical journey has taken her across Europe and into the USA for touring and recording sessions, enriching her experiences and expanding her horizons.
In addition to her performance endeavors, Becky is a co-founder of the Bristol Rock Centre, a specialist private tuition company providing teaching and rehearsal facilities in Mangotsfield. She has also contributed to exam board Rockschool by assisting in the creation and proofing of tuition and exam materials. Furthermore, Becky has shared her expertise through workshops, lectures, and teaching positions at institutions like BIMM Bristol, ACM Birmingham, and Access Creative College.
On a different note, earlier in January, it was announced that Joey Vera and MERCYFUL FATE had amicably decided to part ways. Vera had been slated to replace Hansen for the band’s summer 2020 European festival appearances due to Hansen‘s cancer diagnosis in 2019. Unfortunately, Hansen passed away later that year, leading to the rescheduling of MERCYFUL FATE‘s 2020 summer festival appearances to 2021 and then to 2022. The band’s North American tour, featuring support from KREATOR and MIDNIGHT, followed their headline performance at the 2022 edition of Psycho Las Vegas.