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Comrade Aleks grabs some quick-fire responses, in a break between recording sessions, from Candlemass vocalist Mats Levén.

Interview with Candlemass.
"Next year Candlemass will celebrate the 30th anniversary of legendary album 'Epicus Doomicus Metallicus'. But what to do when their last vocalist, Robert Lowe, left the band about three years ago? The band found the way to solve this situation, and some time ago invited Mats Levén to become the new Candlemass frontman. He had already recorded the demo of 'King of the Grey Islands' with them, as well as singing in Abstract Algebra and Krux, other projects of Leif Edling. The band is finishing a new EP which will be released in January 2016. This literally blitz interview was provided by Mats in one brief break between recording sessions and rehearsals."

Mats Levén.

Hail Mats! How are you? What's going on in the Candlemass camp? Are you already finishing the new EP?

Hey - I'm fine thanks! We're waiting to hear the mixes of the EP.

The band's working in the studio now, how many songs do you have for this record?

4 songs on the EP.

The band: Mats Levén, Mats Björkman (Rhythm Guitar), Lars Johansson (Guitar), Jan Lindh (Drums) and Leif Edling (Bass).

Do you feel it is a challenge to replace Robert Lowe after all the work he has done?

Well, I've been involved in every album since 2005 (doing instr+vox demos) anyway so it wasn't that hard.

This EP is dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Candlemass, and it must be something special. Can you share some details of this recording session for our readers?

The other guys recorded most of their stuff at GhostWard studio w/ David Castillo. I recorded my vocals in my own studio.

The band was founded in 1984: why has Leif taken the decision to celebrate this anniversary now? And will you play any special gigs to celebrate it?

Candlemass made the decision, not Leif. It's 30 years since the first album. We might do some special shows.

You worked with the band in 2006 recording the 'King of Grey Islands' demo, what prevented you taking part in work over the full length album?

Nuclear Blast needed to hear the new songs with vocals, so I went in and did the songs in a few hours. Never discussed having me at the time, Krux was enough.

How did you get the invitation to Candlemass this time?

Rob was out and they needed someone to help out for mainly the release party.

Correct me if I'm wrong but you sing in a few bands at the same time, how do you plan to combine such intensive work with Candlemass activity? How will you plan a tour schedule and other things?

I don't sing in any other band, just with Gus G who's more of a solo artist.

Mats, how do you see your mission in Candlemass? And how do you understand the essence of the band? What's its core for you?

I try to have much respect for how the songs are meant to sound, much respect for the original singers.

The early stuff is the core for me.

Candlemass – 'Psalms For The Dead' (Live, Wacken 2013):

The band is going to tour in South America in April 2016. How many venues do you already have in your list?

10 or 11 I think.

Have you ever played in South America with other bands you're involved with before? What specific places did you ever play?

Played with Yngwie Malmsteen in 1998 and with Therion 2004/2005.

La Paz and San Salvador was cool.

Candlemass will take part in the Eindhoven Metal Meeting on 11th December. What is the set list you're rehearsing?

Pretty much what we did at Hammer Of Doom!

Is there any technical difference for you which songs to sing - the ones of the Marcolin era or the ones which Robert Lowe did?

Well, obviously Messiah's voice is harder to totally emulate.

Mats, you sang on the Abstract Algebra album released back in 1996. Was that the first time when you met Leif?


What are your memories of that recording session?

Many laughs in Soundtrade Studio.

Live at Fall of Summer 2015, with Per Wiberg standing in for Leif on bass.

You're also involved in another band started by Leif - Krux. How did this experience differ from the ones you had in Candlemass and Abstract Algebra?

Abstract Algebra was more a shortlived project, with Krux we've done more shows and the band is fantastic live.

Candlemass is a totally different beast to work with ha ha...

Krux's third album 'III – He Who Sleeps Amongst the Stars' was released four years ago, does the band plan to work on new songs?

Not at the moment.

One of your latest works is the Aeonsgate project. What's the story behind it?

Jondix needed help w/ some vocals, we became friends and I'm now fortunate enough to wear two tattoos of his.

Mats, you sang in more than twenty bands, what were the most difficult bands for you?

Nope, probably sang in maximum 10 bands during 26 years, the rest is project or guest appearances.

Yngwie was a challenge at the time, but I think I handled it well.

Thanks to Mona Miluski for organizing the interview.

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Interviewed on 2015-12-29 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
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