Interview: Candlemass

Interview: Candlemass

- in Written interviews


Candlemass… you guys have been making music for thirty years! In my opinion, you are the pioneers of Doom Metal. A truly awesome, epic band, you bring a perfect blend of darkness, metal, and doom that isnt too depressing or gloomy/sleepy.

1. Introduce yourselves please.
Lars Johansson & Mats Bjorkman

2. Candlemass, in my opinion, is just as good and right up there with bands such as Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, etc…Messiah Marcolin (a former vocalist of Candlemass) once stated Candlemass was influenced by Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, and Judas Priest. Has Candlemass just not gotten the press or recognition that these other bands have gotten? Why do you think Candlemass has remained “underground” so to speak even though you were signed onto labels like Nuclear Blast, and have played with many well-known bands?
Maybe because we didn´t tour ourselfes to death, and we never actually have done any “radio-hits´´

3. What inspired Candlemass’ dark, heavy, doomy sound?
At the time when there was almost only whimpy metal or thash metal, we felt that true slow and heavy is the only right thing 🙂

4. What’s the thing that’s kept bringing you guys back together again after three disbandments? All the current members have been a part of Candlemass basically since it started except Mats Levin, who just joined up as the new vocalist. Mats however has sung on two of Leif’s other projects, Abstrakt Algebra and Krux, plus was singing for you guys in 2012. Lars, Mats Bjorkman, and Jan have been there throughout basically the whole history of Candlemass EXCEPT there is a five year period that Leif was the only one out of the current members who was Candlemass. Why the five year absence on the others part?
You´re questions are little difficult to anser…
If we begin with the fact that the guitars, the drums and the bass together makes the sound that will change if someone is replaced then add the fact that we’re good friends then you´ll know what kept bringing us together after different mishaps with vocalists… The 5 years of absence might have been in a period of life when people had other things to do such as beeing with our family’s, Having time for solo projects and so on.
Mats also sings in FAT.MO.MAC (a blues project from Lars) and his name is Levén…

5. I love the themes in Candlemass. Are these everyones interests in life? Why these epic themes of dark fantasy, good and evil, as opposed to politics, love/romance (yes i said love/romance) and war type stuff?
Since Leif is writing all the music & lyrics, and we have all our faith in what he comes up with…
And many times his lyrics has other meanings than what´s obvius, it works with the music perfectly…

6. Psalms of the Dead was supposed to be the last studio album for Candlemass. I quote Leif in a 2012 statement to Terrorizer magazine “We want to stop before we get too old and start putting out half-lame albums” Now you guys are putting out an anniversary EP with four new songs that are reportedly “very heavy and very metal” (this is coming from your own website!) Doesn’t sound lame to me. Why did you decide to put out this new EP?
We have our 30Years anniversary…. and wanted to make our fans happy.
Also since Mats came along and our live gigs became better we wanted his voice “on print´´

7. In the beginning Candlemass was a heavy, faster band inspired by Anvil, Accept, and Venom. You wanted to be even heavier so you took out the faster stuff in Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, the first Candlemass studio album. What made you think to yourselves “Hey, we want to make our music heavier”. What inspired the change in the sound of your music to what it is now?
Again a strange question…
Candlemass has never change the sound exept in the production / mix. It has always been a walk between heavy / slow / and shifty riffs…

8. What has been the most memorable tour/show/festival for Candlemass? Have you ever had a “bad” tour experience?
Dynamo festival 88 was the most memorable and important gig for the C-mass career.

9. You guys go back a long way having played on a five week tour in the United States with Venom, Trouble, Liege Lord, and Stone back in 1989. Besides that tour, have you played any more in the States since then? How has your experience been playing in the States? Any more plans for another U.S. tour?
We did a 6 weeks tour in 2007 , and in August we will do a festival in Vegas. We also did the Maryland Death Festival a year ago. I Think that one showed that c-mass have a great fanbase in the states. The tour 2007 wasn’t that good, but the Maryland festival was a blast.

10. What are your best live memories for Candlemass? Do you still think you do better live than in the studio?
We were a much better band in the studio when Robert was in the band. Right now when Mats is in the band, we are a better liveband than ever.

11. You’ve supported a lot of bands. What are some bands that have supported Candlemass?
Not easy to remember, because there use to be local bands.

12. Who comes up with the album artwork?
Leif use to come up with the ideas, then we work it out together.with some good graphic designer.

13. Fans can find you on There is lots of interesting stuff on the site about past albums, classic old photos from the very beginnings of the band as well as current ones, and cool stuff from Candlemass past AND present. Do you guys have any other places the fans can go to check you guys out?
Only facebook, but the homepage have more old stuff. Facebook is more of whats gonna happen.

14. Let’s talk Candlemass 2016 and beyond… what will you guys be doing this year? I know Mats Levén just joined up as the new, permanent vocalist… also you are working on a four song EP slated for a 2016 release which I know fans are very eagerly waiting for… talk about Mats’ new position as vocalist and the EP. Any new tours lined up? festivals?
The EP will be released in July, and we will do some festivals, South America in April, and we will have some more 30 year anniversary gigs in 2016.

15. Candlemass trivia time! We need to hear some other things about you guys besides the fact you play awesome music. Can I get some interesting facts about the others that I’m sure fans would find interesting? any hobbies? other interests such as sports or books?
Leif is actually a very good fotball player and I ( Mappe ) am a totally diehard fan of Laurel and Hardy… haha…


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