This interview with Leif Edling appeared in issue #32
I talked to Messiah. I told him how godly his vocals were on the Nightfall album, and he made a face. This was just a conversation, not an interview. He said that he was told to relax the vibrato, but it was the vibrato that made him a god. Were you criticizing him?
When he made that face to you, I am pretty sure I know what that was. He didn’t like his singing on Nightfall. He went to a vocal coach between Nightfall and Ancient Dreams, so he got taught how to breathe. That is why his vibrato is too much on Ancient Dreams, personally speaking, of course. I really like how he sang on Nightfall. It was very natural. On Ancient Dreams, he was very proud of his vibrato, and he got many compliments. A lot of people I meet think it was exaggerated. During the Tales of Creation album, we told him to relax the vibrato, but Messiah being Messiah – he told us to fuck off. During the Chapter VI album, we told him again, and he told everybody to fuck off again.
I am happy to hear the reason for that face.
Yes. Now you can sleep (laughs).
There is a rumor that Messiah is extremely difficult to work with, and the relationship with the band has been nasty.
I don’t really want to go into details. It’s just the way he is. It’s like a bad marriage. You have your good days with him, but there are times when there are going to be major outbursts. It’s like walking on thin ice. It’s not easy when a person refuses to discuss things in the band. That’s a big thing for me. It’s a band, and I think you should listen to our guitar player when he says something, or when I say something. That’s just normal decency. Even if you don’t like what people say, you should listen. Something good can even come out of our drummer’s mouth (laughs).
Is Candlemass, at this point, a band or a project?
A band, of course. We looked for a replacement for Messiah because we wanted to go out an play.
Was the Leif Edling double CD your idea?
No. I was asked by GMR of we could do something like that. People really wanted to hear the Nemesis tracks (ed – Candlemass songs in which Leif sang), and there are lots of Abstract Algebra freaks who knew that we had a song that wasn’t on the album.
There were moments in the past when you sang live.
Messiah fucked up his voice in Baltimore. Maybe you went to that gig.
You play bass, but are you really a guitar player in your heart?
No. I’m a one-trick pony. I play some guitar, but never in Candlemass.
Have the rights been returned to you, like for the Nightfall and Ancient Dreams albums?
Oh yeah! That’s why we released the remasters with the bonus tracks. We tried to make the ultimate releases. I’m really proud of those.
Years ago, I asked Messiah if it were true that he fell through a stage while doom-dancing, and when you played in New York, he fell through the stage!
When he doom-dances, sometimes he really tries to break the floor. Being a big guy, and he’s really strong, he did that famous thing in New York.
I heard that, in Stockholm, if there is a dark-skinned person in school, it is forbidden to sing the Swedish National Anthem because it is considered racist.
Our immigrants, if you want to call them that – they think that we are stupid for not being more proud of being Swedish than we are. They think it is stupid that we cannot sing our national anthem with pride. I know that in some schools you cannot sing the national anthem, and that really pisses me off.
You shouldn’t be called a racist for having pride in your own culture.
Absolutely not. I am proud of being Swedish.