David E. Gehlke of DeadRhetoric.com recently conducted an interview with AVATARIUM/CANDLEMASS mainman Leif Edling. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
DeadRhetoric.com: Next to KRUX, the last new band you launched was ABSTRAKT ALGEBRA, which was 20 years ago. For you, what are the differences in launching one today, versus back then?
Edling: [pauses] That's a good question. [laughs]
DeadRhetoric.com: If you think about when you launched ABSTRAKT, it was hard because you had all of this success with CANDLEMASS and people wanted one thing from you. So now because of time, it might be a bit different.
Edling: The thing is I can think about is what you're aiming at is that it's a little harder getting a record deal today, and to get signed by a bigger label. It's a relief to be a signed by a label if you don't expect anything, if you're okay with 2,000 euros or 3,000 euros…maybe $5,000. Something like that, and then they expect you to make an album and it's really hard to make an album. And somebody is expecting to make money from [it]. But I understand it because of the downloading. It's not easy to get a record deal and I felt it when we talked to some labels and what they offered you. At the same time, you understand them. But you need money to record a decent album. I'm going to use old-school studios. I'm going to do it the old-fashioned way with real drums and a real studio, but it's not easy when you're offered $5,000 and it has to be enough to record and mix the album. I can't really work like that, but I'm not making excuses. I want the album to sound good and then you have to have a real mix. I want the drums to sound good, but you have to record those in the studio. There's no way around it. The album will cost $10 - 15,000 dollars. That's just how it is. [laughs] I'm not making any money out of that. [laughs] Back in the day, it wasn't difficult to get $20,000 to record.
DeadRhetoric.com: The [CANDLEMASS] singer switch last year took some people by surprise, including me. However, I saw you in Cleveland in 2008 and I remember Robert [Lowe] reading the lyrics from a notebook while on stage and it bothered me. Was it a long time coming to make a change?
Edling: I would say that. Robert was not easy to deal [with] and he could have learned the lyrics.
DeadRhetoric.com: He was reading some of the classics. I think the crowd knew them better than he did.
Edling: Yeah, yeah, I know. I would say that after every gig. Still, he has an amazing voice. He's one of the best singers in the world at that. He has a gift from God, but working with Mats [Levén] now — he's a true professional. He can sing every CANDLEMASS song inside out and he can do it as good, if not better than Robert or Messiah [Marcolin], or whoever. These gigs we've done lately have been fucking tremendous. I can't praise Mats enough. Maybe we should have approached him earlier. [laughs]
DeadRhetoric.com: I have to ask: You're playing "Ancient Dreams" in full now, but it's no secret it's not one of your favorite CANDLEMASS albums. Revisiting that album after 25 years, has it given you a different perspective?
Edling: A little bit. Now when we remastered the album and it sounds a bit better now, I'm more at peace with the album. There were too many problems going on at the time, so you don't have this great sound. We haven't played those songs so much live. We played a lot of songs live with CANDLEMASS over the past few years, but we haven't done too many off "Ancient Dreams". It feels like a fresh area to go to, to play like "Battle Of Cain". We've never played "Incarnation Of Evil" live. When we played "Darkness In Paradise" in Stockholm, people were yelling… they've never heard it live. People loved it. I'm looking forward to it, but of course, we need to rehearse like idiots. [laughs]
Read the entire interview at DeadRhetoric.com.