Mercyful Fate bassist Timi Hansen has revealed that he is battling cancer in a statement posted through the Facebook page of frontman King Diamond’s wife, Livia Zita-Bendix. Yesterday it was announced that Mercyful Fate would reunite for an unspecified number of shows across Europe in 2020, but with Armored Saint’s Joey Vera standing in for Hansen on bass.
“There are many questions about why I won’t appear as part of the Mercyful Fate reunion in 2020,” Hansen said in the statement. “The honest explanation is simply that I am currently fighting a fight against cancer. But believe me I will fight everything I can to be ready.”
He added, “It’s my big dream to be on stage again playing the old Mercyful Fate numbers in front of all of you very loyal fans. If this wasn’t going to happen, I’d like to ask you to take good care of Joey Vera. I totally agree with King that he is a perfect ‘stand in’, so take good care of him.”
The Mercyful Fate reunion, which will mark the legendary Danish metal band’s first shows in more than 20 years, will feature the band’s 9 album lineup of guitarists Hank Shermann and Mike Wead, drummer Bjarne T. Holm, frontman King Diamond, and Vera in place of Hansen. However, the tour will see the band playing material from the first three releases — the Mercyful Fate EP, Melissa, and Don’t Break the Oath — and brand-new songs written in that style.
“We asked Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning) to fill in because he has a very unique style and sound playing with his fingers, much like that of Timi Hansen,” the band commented in yesterday’s statement.
Thus far, only a June 17th, 2020, appearance at Copenhell Festival in 2020 in Copenhagen, Denmark, has been confirmed.