Features – JOHAN LÄNGQUIST talks about CANDLEMASS Studio’s upcoming album: “There are a lot of great songs here”

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By David E. Gehlke

Johan LangquistThe Full Enlistment of 2018 with Legendary Swedish Doom Metallers CANDLE MACE closed the loop on a circuitous journey for both parties. Langquist performed session vocals on CANDLE MACElandmark 1986 “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” beginning but immediately pursued other career interests. Even though his successor was the fearsome monk in the doom-dancing robe Messiah Marcolin, Langquistthe performance of “Epicus” easily stood the test of time, paving the way for a new generation of doom singers less inclined to sound like Ozzy Osbourne and more informed by melody. It wasn’t until years after the release of the album that Langquist had no idea of ​​his impact – he spent his time away from the metal scene in a variety of bands in Sweden.

CANDLE MACE probably changed vocalists more than founding member/bassist/songwriter Leif Edling would have liked, but around 2022, Landquist is clearly the right person for the job. With work nearing completion on the 2019 acclaim follow-up “The Gate of Fate” and shows lined up that will see the band play “Epicus” in full, Landquist caught up BLABBERMOUTH.NET.

Blabbermouth: How was your recent series of concerts in the United States?

Johan“It’s been two years, hasn’t it? First we went to Boston and I think it was a full house. It was a great night. Then we went to Houston and it was also a packed house. The audience knew the lyrics and all that; they sing along to the choruses, which was pretty amazing. Then we went to Chicago and I don’t know if it was a totally packed house, but pretty close. It was three wonderful evenings for me. I had a great time.

Blabbermouth: Were you a little rusty going into these concerts?

Johan“We had a few rehearsals before we left. That’s about enough. The other guys, they’ve been playing these songs for, I don’t know, 35 years. And I’ve been doing them for four years. I can do the rehearsals at my house and in my head keeping the lyrics up there, we don’t have a lot of meetings for rehearsals. [Laughs]”

Blabbermouth: You sing some of Messiahthe songs of , which are in a different register. How do you approach them?

Johan: “I have to say that I really like these songs. They are great songs. Of course, he has a higher tone than me. I have to push myself a lot, but I think I’m comfortable with it when I have to push a lot, for sure, to hit some of those notes Sometimes I think I get a little hoarse, but that’s okay in the middle of the metal. [Laughs]”

Blabbermouth: If things had gone in a different direction, you probably would have sung those songs in the first place. Have you ever thought, “Oh, I would have sung that part differently”?

Johan“Yeah. The very first time I did the Messiah songs, I made them my way. Then, after a few shows, I realized that I had to follow certain parts exactly as they were because the audience was singing them. The first time I did them, I sang them exactly the way they suited me, but realized I couldn’t do it that way all over the song. If I’m a little longer in one tone or shorter in another, I have to do some of the choruses exactly like Messiah did them because of the audience. I don’t have a problem with that. We have to do it together when there’s a chant in the chorus.”

Blabbermouth: Do you have a favorite Messiah song to sing?

Johan: “I can’t say anything, but I love them all. They are great songs. We want to have a good rhythm when we compose the setlist. Of course, we have to play the old classics. People want to I don’t have problem with that because I love all the songs that I do. It’s true. If I felt something else about a song, we would talk about it and they would probably say, ‘Okay, we let’s put that one aside. For me, it’s very important to like the songs I sing, I’m a bad actor. [Laughs] I don’t have a problem with that because I like the songs.”

Blabbermouth: You jumped on stage as a guest with other CANDLE MACE singers before joining, but have you ever met Messiah?

Johan: “No. I met everyone but Messiah. I’ve met Robert [Lowe] several times. I met Carpet [Levén]I met Thomas Vikström. But, Messiah, I haven’t met him yet. I am sad about this. It would be great to meet him one day. Maybe I would. I do not know.”

Blabbermouth: You will play “Epicus” entirely at decibel beer festival in June. Does singing it from cover to cover pose any unique challenges?

Johan: “It’s not exactly a challenge. I’ve been comfortable enough to do all the songs on ‘Epicus’but some parts are very high, even for me. [Laughs] I have to push a lot, but lately I always try to make them the way they were. It’s my ambition, but the older you get, the lower your tone. But I’m willing to try every time. If I fail, that’s it. I also try to find the very high notes. If I’m not, I have to do something else, but that’s my ambition. I do them pretty much as they were.”

Blabbermouth: What is the most difficult? “Crystal ball”?

Johan“I think the hardest part is “Under the Oak”. The part that comes after the solo where I have to push a lot. [Laughs] If I get a little cold, which I unfortunately do quite often, I may need to take some notes. Not all tones, but the highest. My ambition is to try every time.”

Blabbermouth: Do you think your performance was so good on “Epicus” because you weren’t a so-called “metal” singer?

Johan: “Well, I had a metal band at the time, but when I heard the songs leif wrote, I said, ‘Wow. I have never heard anything like it before! I thought it sounded very interesting and I was ready to help guys and do my best. I don’t know why it became so popular. I can’t put my finger on it. I can say my ambition when we did the recordings, I think the recordings took two nights or maybe three. It was a very quick recording. At that time, I remember thinking that the songs only had one chord and that I had to put as much melody into the vocals as possible. It was one of my main ambitions at that time.”

Blabbermouth: You never followed the riff like ozy made in BLACK SABBATH. You always had a melody.

Johan: “Absolutely. I love distorted guitar. I’m totally blown away by heavy guitars, but I don’t feel like singing there. I sing between the riffs where there’s a big gap, then the riff comes .I’m not that much to follow cues with my singing.I want to find my own way if possible.I write songs myself,not for CANDLE MACE, but all my life. I’ve done all kinds of songs, hundreds of thousands of times. I’ve been in all the chords all my life. It helps me find ways and try many different voices on a song. But, I have to say leif is M. CANDLE MACE when it comes to songwriting. He knows how he wants it to sound and to be arranged. We’re having a great time in the studio. He asks me, ‘Can you try that? Can you do like this?’ I try it and sing a few lines and do a twist somewhere, and then it’s, ‘Oh! We got it.’ It has the red line and, of course, we can bypass it. But what’s important is that we have fun and have a good time trying out all these different types of voices.”

Blabbermouth: Does this mean that there is progress in monitoring “The Gate of Fate”?

Johan“Yeah! I’m almost done. There will be something new. It’s no secret. I don’t know how many other guys have talked about it. Pretty much everything is recorded so far. There’s a guy who mixes and we get copies to listen to and give him our opinion on it.”

Blabbermouth: Without giving too much away, what can people expect?

Johan“I don’t think they’ll be disappointed. I can say that. There are a lot of great songs here. I’ve never heard songs exactly as they are, but they’re so beautiful and you must have heavy You get a lot from the album I’m pretty sure a few songs will hit the top of CANDLE MACE song lists.”

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