Interview with Candlemass: Grey Islands In The New World

Tell me about the European shows. What were the crowds like, and do you expect anything different for the US?

Well, being over in Europe, obviously doom metal is a little more accessible to the audience than it is in the States. I have no clue what it’s like up on the East Coast there. But we were anywhere from 1,000–2,000 a night, easy. And the two festivals we did, Dynamo and another, you get festival-sized crowds. That went extremely well. I couldn’t have asked for more from a first tour with these guys. I’m actually worried about when we get over to the West Coast. I know doom metal’s for shit here in Texas, so (laughs).

Texas has the Doom Shall Rise and Doomed To Fall festivals. There’s some doom metal in Texas.

Well, if there is, I don’t know about it (laughs). Actually, Solitude was going to do Doom Shall Rise, but I was gone that weekend. Whoops. I don’t know about that one.

Is the scene just worse on the West Coast then? Is that the reason for that apprehension?

I’m a little apprehensive just in general. Having toured the States several times with Solitude, I’ve kind of got a picture in my head of what it’s going to look like, because with Solitude there were nights where the place was full and the next night there was 15 people. I don’t fucking know. I’m a little afraid. I think it might be afraid, but I honestly don’t expect the size crowds we had overseas. I could be wrong.

Would be nice to be proved wrong in that case.

Hell yeah (laughs)!

Singing the songs of King Of The Grey Islands, is that any different for you than singing the band’s older material?

Actually, I love doing the old stuff just as much as doing the stuff off the new album. As far as I’m concerned, the material on the new album is really good so it’s a lot of fun to do, and I enjoy doing the old stuff, like “Gallows End,” because the crowd’s stoked and we’re able to prove to them, hey, we still fucking got it, if not better, from what it was before. So it’s fun to do it all in there.

Are there any plans for more writing for a full– length, or is it just the EP and the tour?

We just did the EP, we’ve got the tour, and then I’ll be going back over [to Sweden] in August to write for a new album, which I think should be due first of the new year.

That seems awfully soon, but I guess it will have been two years.

Yeah, King Of The Grey Islands was 2007, so we write everything this year and then the next one’ll be released first of 2009, so it’s right on schedule.

The record doesn’t seem that old to me, I guess.

No, it doesn’t I was just thinking about that, it was yea just did this and now we already got the new material.

Quick year.

It was. It really was, because when I found out about getting the gig, it was Feb. 2007, so I was hardly here for the whole year. It went by very quickly. Leif had already finished [the album] in 2006, and it was supposed to come out then, but they put it back a bit because they had to find a new singer. And it was funny because the week I was slated to go do it was the same week Solitude was supposed to go to Poland and record that live DVD [Solitude Aeturnus’ Hour Of Despair, recorded live in Poland and released by Metal Mind Productions] and do a couple live shows over there. I had to hop in the studio, I knocked it out in four days, and then took off that weekend to record that DVD and do those shows. It was pretty tight. Then, as soon as I got back from Poland, I had to fly back to Sweden to do press photos for the album for magazines and stuff. Needless to say, I’ve got about 800,000,000,000 SkyMiles right about now (laughs).

Candlemass’ new EP will be released later this year. King Of The Grey Islands is available now through Nuclear Blast, and the band hits Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ, on May 21. For more info on the band, hit up or