This is the Christmas surprise you have all been waiting for! A strictly limited 12" EP by the kings of Doom. Two exclusive cover versions from Candlemass: "All along the Watchtower" by Jimi Hendrix and "Don't Fear The Reaper" by the criminally underrated Blue Öyster Cult (check out Martin Popoffs book on the band). Candlemass founder Leif Edling explains the reasoning behind choosing those two covers: "We all love those songs! 'Don't Fear the Reaper' in particular. It was Robert's idea about that one and he does a great job on it. Me and Mappe love the first four Blue Öyster Cult albums. Personally, I think their third release 'Secret Treaties' is a masterpiece. But I don't think they were underrated. In those days they sold millions of albums. Hmm … maybe these days they are a bit forgotten when I think about it. Not on the Classic Rock radio channel though, they play the hell out of them, he, he." Of course, they are not the only cover songs Candlemass have ever played during their long and fruitful career. Leif finds: "We've played plenty of covers live, like 'Over the Mountain', 'Gypsy', 'Not Fragile' etc … but only recorded our Black Sabbath medley, Nazareth's 'Not Faking It', and these two on the new vinyl. And for the record: the Nazareth song was only mixed down on a cassette that disappeared almost immediately." So another Candlemass collector's item to look out for! Just like the very obscure "Sigge Fürst" CD EP, which came out quite a while ago. Leif states: "I think 'Sigge Fürst' is pretty expensive these days if you find it on ebay. Somebody just bought it for 80 Euros I heard. Maybe the new vinyl will be as expensive later, but the main thing is to have something new and cool available for the fans at Debaser Medis." And the mentioned 12" EP might not be the last Candlemass release on High Roller Records as Leif Edling reflects: "We're not signed to Nuclear Blast anymore so it is not impossible." Good news, that is. The new vinyl though might not last very long, as Leif explains: "The plan is to sell it at our 25th year anniversary gigs at Debaser Medis in Stockholm and at Roadburn 2011 if there's any left. My friend Pål Olofsson has made an amazing cover for it. Very 70's! I heard that Electric Wizard made a special limited vinyl release for their anniversary party in London and thought it was a great idea. Why not do something like that? A nice limited vinyl 12" EP. Great to have nice-looking things at a party like this at the same time you offer people good products!" Leif must know as he ran a small label himself a couple of years ago: "I put out a number of 10" vinyl EP's à la Kozik and Man's Ruin. I planned to take the step to also make full-length CD's with cool Swedish bands like Bozeman's Simplex and Mustasch, but it never happened and we started up Candlemass again. Have had no time for a label since." So there is a new Candlemass studio album already in the can? Leif weighs his words: "Another tricky question. Nothing is planned. Right now we concentrate on the anniversary, and the Roadburn gig will probably be the last one for a while. Candlemass got nothing planned after that. If there will be another Candlemass album, it won't happen before 2012." If you ask me, Candlemass should have become as big as Black Sabbath and to this day I always wonder why that never happened. Leif does not bear a grudge: "In 1988-1989 we turned down an offer from a major label in London. If we would have signed with them, things might have looked a bit different. But on the other hand, I think we lasted longer staying on smaller labels. That's not a sure thing if you go major. I got no regrets."
Leif is a big vinyl collector himself, so he must have a huge collection. That's what I reckoned but he states: "Unfortunately I sold most of it some years ago when I was extremely poor and desperately in need for cash. It still hurts when I think about it. Sold my great Judas Priest collection, the Motörhead vinyls, the Venom stuff, Mercyful Fate, King Diamond etc. The only stuff I got left is my pretty extensive Black Sabbath collection, and the Rush stuff. But I'm planning to sell Rush as well to afford more Sabbath vinyl, he, he … I think Rush is more in demand these days now when the new DVD is a success, so the prices on ebay might be a bit higher."
There used to be some real cool second hand record shops in Stockholm. I remember that very well as I spent whole days of record shopping over there when I followed my local ice hockey team, the Eisbären Berlin (formerly Dynamo Berlin), to Sweden. Leif agrees: "Stockholm used to be a mecca for second hand vinyl, but a lot of these shops are closed now. But you can still find cool stuff for little money. I go to record shops and fairs frequently and you always see nice stuff!" Good lad!