Candlemass, Mappe Bjorkman Interview – ‘We Make the Music That We Like’


Candlemass by Linda Akerberg

Candlemass – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Linda Akerberg

Mappe Bjorkman of Swedish metal band Candlemass discusses the band’s new album, “Sweet Evil Sun,” in this interview feature

Grammy-nominated Swedish metal band Candlemass are back with a new studio album, “Sweet Evil Sun,” out Nov. 18 via Napalm Records. The band is known across the globe for their epic, doom metal sound that brings together heavy, sludgy riffs and gutting rhythms.

Songs off the new set, such as “Scandinavian Gods” and the album’s title track, offer a Nordic metal style, with dark, sludgy riffing and drum beats that hit you in the gut. Candlemass also have a classic, slow and swaying sound that recalls Black Sabbath or even a heavier Soundgarden.

Candlemass rhythm guitarist Mappe Bjorkman says the band didn’t really feel pressure when writing and recording “Sweet Evil Sun,” even though the record followed up the group’s Grammy-nominated 12th studio set, “The Door to Doom.”

“We make the music that we like,” he told Audio Ink Radio. Speaking on the phone from Sweden, Bjorkman gushes about the new set, and it’s obvious that he’s proud of what the band has accomplished. “We have to like the album and songs we’re working on. If you don’t like this album, you don’t like Candlemass 2022.”

“The last album got a Grammy nomination in America and won the Swedish version of the Grammy, so there was not really pressure, but we still wanted to do what we thought would be good,” he added. “We felt we had to do something creative because of the last album, so I think that’s a reason it came out so well. We are all proud of the result of the album.”

When it comes to metal music, the Scandinavian metal scene is legendary for its black and death metal bands. As for the Swedish metal scene, Bjorkman says it’s in a good place. He notes Grammy Awards-winning Swedish band Ghost, which is one of the biggest rock and metal bands in the world at the moment.

Candlemass currently have no North American tour dates on their roster. Right now, they have a special show at the Hammer of Doom Festival in Wurzburg, Germany, on Nov. 19, the day after the record drops. They also have a gig Dec. 3 at the Gefle Metal Festival Winter Edition in Gavle, Sweden.

That said, Bjorkman loves playing the States. As for the experience of coming to America to play shows, Bjorkman says it’s a happy one for the guys of Candlemass. “We love to play America, because they always liked us an were good to us,” he said. “We play smaller clubs for 800 people, and that’s amazing for us. There aren’t that many Swedish bands, aside from Ghost and Amon Amarth, that can come to America and play these sized shows. You see Swedish bands that are quite big in Sweden and Scandinavia but they have no chance in America. So, for us to come to America is fantastic for us.”

“We see new generations at our shows,” he added. “I see people in the audience that weren’t even born when our first album came out, and they’re signing along to those songs.”

Anne Erickson
Posted by Anne Erickson | Metal, Music, Rock News