|We discovered through the reunion tour that there were so many fans that still went crazy for Candlemass and it would be a shame to leave all of those people without a new album.|
|This is the second time that I had the chance to talk to Leif Edling about his musical activities. The first one was when the debut album of Krux was released and now is the second time and the main topic is the return of the mighty Candlemass. We also found some time to share some thoughts about other interesting topics as well. Leif is a very interesting person and talking to him is always something I really enjoy very much. Well enough with the introductions. Candlemass has returned and Leif Edling is answering the questions. Enjoy.|
First of all I want to ask why it took you so much time to return with a new studio album?
Actually we needed that time man! After the reunion we did lots of shows, yes so many great shows that we really enjoyed. Last summer we made the decision to disband because we could not agree on how to make the new record. But after all we realized that we made a big mistake and we decided to re-activate the band. You know back then I thought that I had a bunch of good songs written and after all if you got a bunch of good songs and you got a band why don’t you make a record? Thinking like that, the decision to re-activate Candlemass was taken quickly.
Are you satisfied enough with Candlemass' new album and would you change anything if you could?
Well you know the curse of being a song writer is that you are never satisfied. On the other hand I am not the type of person that makes changes just to make changes. There should be a point when the whole thing must be completed, at this point you say: OK, release it! Otherwise you will work on a record for years and years and the whole thing will be like Axl Rose's 'Chinese Democracy' (laughs), a record that has been delayed so much and as it seems will never be released. Well, we really did a lot of work for this record and we spend lots of hours in the studio for the mix and all those things. I really love this record you know.
In the past we have come across Candlemass songs that had been written years before their official appearance on a specific album (for example the 'Tales Of Creation' album). Did you choose older songs for the new album or have all of the songs been written recently?
One and a half year ago I wrote 'Witches' and another track that were recorded in a studio as a demo. This demo version of 'Witches' can be heard on the 'Essential Doom' compilation CD. 'Witches' survived after all (laughs). It is a really good song and we finally included it on the record. As far as the other songs on the record, I wrote all of them last summer.
Talking about the past, I wanted to ask this: Candlemass officially broke up a year ago. This took place after your first official reunion with Messiah on vocals. Soon after you decided to re-activate the band. You have already referred to this in a previous answer, but I want to concentrate on this now to find out why it happened.
Well as I already said we could not really decide on how to proceed with the band and how to make the new record. We had four or five different opinions. We had already decided –after the first reunion- that we would tour for two years anyway. We were not sure if we were going to make a record or not –back then- so it was not a difficult decision to say “bye bye” and break the whole thing up. Instead of breaking up the band I think that we should have taken one year off.
I think that a very important reason that made you reunite –for a second time- was the large number of fans that was waiting for this new Candlemass album. Am I right?
Absolutely. We discovered through the reunion tour that there were so many fans that still went crazy for Candlemass and it would be a shame to leave all of those people without a new album, and after all, if you have so many good new songs written why not make a record after all?
Lets look into some other projects of yours. What happened with Krux?
I was about to record a new Krux album last year but I went through some problems with Mascot Records –the label that released the previous album. So I had to cancel the whole thing for a while. I was going to set the whole thing up again and record the album in April 2005 but I was to busy with Candlemass so we will finally record the album this autumn.
The drummer of Entombed told us that the album will be called 'Krux Part 2' is it true?
I think so, I do not know yet. Anything can happened but, yes this is the working title.
Recently a compilation CD was released that contained a lot of unreleased Leif Edling stuff, including the Nemesis album, some Abstract Algebra demos, etc. What is your opinion on this release and what extra info can you give us about it?
Well to tell you truth, that was released mostly for you Greek fans (laughs)... The Greeks keep on searching for all the obscure demo stuff of their favourite bands. They want to have everything, you know... Yes that is right. When we were here for live shows everyone was asking for unreleased demo material. I thought that I really got a bunch of demo stuff so why don’t make this release after all? Now everyone can have this stuff officially. This release is a good chance for people to find out how everything actually began.
OK, lets change subject now. The last 3-4 years the doom metal scene has been getting even bigger. There are lots of new bands and lots of new fans in the scene. Some may say that this is good because the scene is getting bigger. Others may say it's negative because they think doom metal should not be a trend. What is your opinion?
First of all I must say that I am really pleased that the doom metal scene is expanding because it has always been so small... and Underground... I think it is still very underground, but there are more bands now and there is more attention for those bands. Well, even though we (Candlemass) play classic doom I can still listen to Reverend Bizarre, I can enjoy SunnO))), and I really like Electric Wizard. I think they are great bands, but in general, personally I like songs with melodies and choruses and I am getting bored listening to a one riff song lasting seven minutes...
In my opinion, when some bands are trying to mix some stoner rock elements, or some gothic or ambient elements with heavy guitars in slow tempos and then present it as doom metal are 100% wrong. That stuff has nothing to do with doom metal. What I am trying to say is that doom metal is that kind of music that we got through Candlemass, Trouble, Solitude Aeturnus etc. What is your opinion about that?
I think you are right in a way. When we speak about classic doom metal, all those bands you mentioned –Trouble, Solitude Aeturnus or even Pentagram- are the first ones that come to mind. All those bands have songs with riffs, choruses, melodies etc. All those classic doom metal bands have their roots in the 70s, that is why they sound like that. On the other hand I think it's good to have sub-genres in doom metal like drone or extreme doom metal. Some of those bands have really heavy riffs. I can still enjoy SunnO))). They did a gig some days ago and I couldn’t go because I had a video recording to do. But if I hadn’t, I would be at the show and after three beers I am sure that I would fucking love the show (laughs). But do you think that all those bands should be classed as “doom metal”? Yeah why not? If there is a distinction there... If the bands class themselves as extreme or sludge or drone or sub doom -I don’t know how all those bands are calling themselves at all- and they don’t mess with the fans, then it’s OK.
Do you like stoner rock?
I liked stoner rock but think it is kind of dying off.
Do you think that stoner rock has anything to do with doom metal?
No. I think that stoner rock came out from 'Hole in the Sky' and 'Symptom of the Universe' –Black Sabbath tunes. But I think the stoner rock sound got a bit boring after a couple of years. Kyuss are still the fucking rulers of stoner rock to me.
By the way, I have to point out that I recently heard a magnificent debut from a Swedish doom metal band. They're called Isole and their debut is out on the Swedish label I Hate Records. If you want to hear some good doom metal check them out.
Oh! Really? I will look out for it man! Well Leif, I think that it is time to wind up this interview. Thanks very much for your time. It is always a pleasure to talk to people like you. Doom on!
The pleasure was mine man! Keep on dooming