While under the wonderful new world of lockdown, Shan Siva got the opportunity to interview Candlemass founder bassist LEIF EDLING, which after the release of their latest EP “The Pendulum” proved to be an opportunity too good to resist!
1. I’m so glad you released “The Pendulum”, it’s a truly amazing set of songs that complement “Door To Doom”, so tell me why you didn’t just release a double album – wouldn’t that have been the first for Candlemass?
LEIF: That was my first thought but 5 minutes later I knew it was better to just release one album that was trimmed to down to 8 really good songs. Double albums are very overrated and would just have bored our audience to death.
2. I’m still trying to get my head around the return of Johan Längquist – after 32 years that’s a pretty amazing comeback and probably a world record ha ha! Why did he leave in the first place back in 1986 after “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus”? I mean, Candlemass has had some pretty incredible vocalists from Messiah (Marcolin) to Thomas (Vikström) to Rob (Lowe) and finally Mats (Levén), so I have to ask, was Johan your ‘true’ singer all along such that his return finally completes a long journey in returning the band to its original foundation?
LEIF: Johan was never a part of Candlemass. He sang on the album but didn’t want to be in the band. We tried to persuade him of course. He’s a great singer and we wanted him. In the end he stuck with his own band Jonah Hex. A pity but we had to respect his wish/choice. NOW many years later it so amazing he’s back! The circle is completed! Back to the roots!
4. How does your Grammy nomination especially on a track (‘Astorolus: The Great Octopus’) that featured non other than Tony Iommi make you feel – surely that must mean doom metal has finally got some kinda (mainstream) recogition after all these years?
LEIF: We were totally overwhelmed that Tony Iommi wanted to do it. Of course😊 And extremely unexpected to be nominated for a US Grammy. But fun! We don’t feel that mainstream to be honest. Sure, we are a popular Doom metal band and play in front of many people, even so, I think we have a bit left to go before we’re a household name all over. Maybe with the next record ha ha ha ha!
5. Speaking of doom metal, has that always been your passion which is why Candlemass is doom or could the band (perhaps with a another name) have taken a different path in another style of metal?
LEIF: I don’t know. We got our sound and style. When you hear us you know it is Candlemass within seconds. That’s a strength I think , to have carved your own niche. Better to
be a smaller band that have your own unique sound than be just a name among others that maybe play a more popular style of metal.
6. Going back to “The Pendulum”, despite the difference between the songs i.e. acoustics, piano etc there seems to be a common thread of melancholia throughout so is that reflective of any experiences?
LEIF: I think I have always written my music like that. Dark, sad, epic, melancholic, emotional. Ways to express myself with music. Music without any emotion at all is just fake music. Lots of that around unfortunately. On the other hand I guess there’s a need for music for people with no clue about music. The day when I do music without emotion is the day I will stop making music.
7. Candlemass has disbanded twice in its life and you guys can’t be too far off my own (middle) age, so is there a plan to keep going – or is it that you just can’t stop (and when you do, you just want to go back to it again) ha ha?!
LEIF: We nearly called it a day during the recording of this album. Too many discussions but with Johan back things are fun again and we will probably do another album hopefully next year. When you have such a long career it would be strange if you didn’t disband once or twice during 35 years ha ha ha! I have no clue for how long we can go this time. We do it as long as we have fun doing it. Last year was great for instance, one of the better years in our career. Tour with Ghost, album gets super reviews, loads of fantastic gigs, US grammy nomination, Swedish grammy win. Then this corona infected shit year 2020 appeared and everything goes down the drain. Let’s hope 2021 will be better😊😊😊