ROCKWiRED MAGAZiNE PRESENTS OUR EXCLUSIVE iNTERViEW WiTH KEViN MARTiN OF CANDLEBOX REGARDiNG THEiR NEW ALBUM DiSAPPEARiNG iN AiRPORTS!!!
When you're as old as I am 22 years feels like it goes in a flash and because of that the debut album from CANDLEBOX feels like it was a released just yesterday. Memories of it come back to me in the form of that album's singles CHANGE, FAR BEHIND and YOU and for the fact that the band was signed to MADONNA's MAVERICK RECORDS - a proposition that probably helped the album attain multi-platinum status. I seem to remember a few grunge folks being puzzled by the signing and leery of the success. Ah fuck them and fuck the nineties. CANDLEBOX deserved every bit of their success.Two more albums would follow on the MAVERICK label (1995's LUCY and 1998's HAPPY PILLS). After a ten year hiatus CANDLEBOX reunited for the 2008 album INTO THE SUN (SILENT MAJORITY GROUP) and 2012's LOVE STORIES & OTHER MUSINGS (AUDIONEST). Now after four years CANDLEBOX has signed to PAVEMENT ENTERTAINMENT and has now released the curiously titled DISAPPEARING IN AIRPORTS. Having worked with producers CARSON SLOVAK and GRANT McFARLAND (AUGUST BURNS RED, EVERCLEAR) CANDLEBOX now embraces a modern sound that is more immediate and visceral than any they've issued in the past - a taste of which could be provided in the albums first single VEXATIOUS. ROCKWIRED has a chance to speak with the band's front man KEVIN MARTIN regarding the new release. Here is how the interview went.
I'm getting you at a rather exciting time with the album DISAPPEARING IN AIRPORTS coming out in just a few days. Tell me all that's going through your head about this new album?
It's really exciting. The biggest thing with me right now is wondering how this record is going to be received. We haven't released an album in four years and this is a really different album for us. It's a different line up and the music is a lot more visceral. I'm wandering what's going to happen here. Hopefully it's all good.
CHECK OUT THE MUSIC ViDEO FOR THEiR NEW SiNGLE VEXATiOUS!!!
The last time I spoke with you was last Summer and you were busy with your side project LE PROJET so I'm baffled by how you found the time to come up with a brand new CANDLEBOX record. Explain the logistics of all of this.
When I started LE PROJET it was a friends idea . He wanted to do this record with me and MORGAN ROSE (of SEVENDUST) and at that time I really hadn't thought about working on CANDLEBOX. When a break came with LE PROJET and this deal with PAVEMENT ENTERTAINMENT was about to happen it started to feel like I needed to get serious again. I really don't know how all of it ended up working out to be honest with you. I have so many things going on sometimes that I need to really check my schedule before I start picking things to do. That's what my wife tells me. I'm thankful to PAVEMENT for giving us the opportunity to make this record. When I told MORGAN and LENNY that I needed to do this CANDLEBOX record they were very understanding. So here we are. We've made the album and now we're out on the road doing what we love. I've got no complaints.
I've been acquainted with the folks at PAVEMENT ENTERTAINMENT for a while and They seem to be doing something that most record labels these days no longer do - nurture and develop artists. From your perspective what is the relationship between the band and this label like?
It's super-positive. They've been nothing but supportive and very gracious in allowing us to do the record that we wanted to do and make it the way that we wanted to make it. Sure there were times when we bumped heads over the order of the tracks but at the end of the day we won because it's our record and they were supportive and cool with us making that choice. They were respectful of our decision. I don't have bad things to say about them. I hope this relationship lasts for a lot more records. They just get it.
Were the other labels you were signed to in the past not get it?
With other labels it's like everybody thinks that they know how to run a band and how to work a record or make an album for an artist. At the end of the day it's about the music. In this day and age record labels have forgotten how important bands and artists are to their careers and the longevity of their label. PAVEMENT hasn't forgotten. Of all of the bands that I have spoken to that have signed with them I hear that they've always been like 'What would you guys like ot do?', 'What can we help you with?' They haven't forgotten where they come from. At the end of the day music is the only thing that is going to give these guys business. Most labels don't understand that anymore. They want you to make this record and that record and work with this producer and these songwriters. We just don't do that . PAVEMENT doesn't do that. They firmly believe in their artists and support them.
I'm not the type to ask for a story behind a band name or an album title but you've intirgued me with the title DISAPPEARING IN AIRPORTS. What's the story?
The painting on the album cover was done by a friend of mine. I asked him to do a painting for the cover of our last album LOVE STORIES & OTHER MUSINGS and our label at that time didn't want us to use it. They had something else in mind. When it came time to do this album I called him up and said 'I really want you to do something for this album.' He started working on it but then he suffered a massive heart attack and died at the age of forty-one. He never finished the painting. After he died his people contacted me about this painting of his that he really loved and when I saw it I knew that it was going to be the cover for the new album. The painting was called DISAPPEARING IN AIRPORTS. The album was named in honor of SCOTT and his artwork and his craft and who he was as a human being and who he was as an artist. We wanted to pay respects to someone who is no longr with us - someone that we felt was going to make a difference in the world of art.
What inspired this set of songs for this album?
Life. I'm inspired by the daily readings of CNN and BBC, my relationships at home with my wife, my son, my firends, my band and even my ex-bandmates. I'm political as hell. I'm inspired by this world of people arguing ove their second ammendment rights being taken away from them which is total bullshit so I wrote a song about that. I'm really affected by my day to day. With this album I let the songs tell me what lyrics to write. I let the music create the mood of what I'm trying to say. In my humble opinion this is the best record I've ever written as a lyricists and as a musician. The songs have opened themselves up to m which hasn't happened to me in a long long time.
When I interviewed you last I came away with a sense that you know what to do with behind a console. Was that the case with this album?
I'd love to be the one behind the console but I'm not that good. We worked with CARSON SLOVAK and GRANT McFARLAND. They were nominated for a GRAMMY this year. I had heard a couple of albums that they had produced and I loved their contemporary approach toward music. That was what we were looking for. They're both great songwriters as well.
You're self-titled debut album was released twenty years ago. What kind of place does it hold in your heart now?
I don't listen to it. I love the songs. I love singing them and playing them live but it's not a record that I listen to. I was never a big fan of that album. It's too wet for my taste. Obviously it did very well for us and I am in way saying that it's not a great record. 4.5 million copies of it were sold and people really love it but it's not the album that I would go back and listen to. As for the new album, I've listened to it everyday since November. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing but I feel like this is where I'm at in my life and this is where I've always wanted to be. I'm more focused on what I'm writing now. I think back then I was new to it as a lyricist and a singer. Before all of that I was a drummer and had never sung in a band before. Now I've found my voice and I know how all of this works. I know what I can do with it and I know what it's capable of.
What songs off of DISAPPEARING IN AIRPORTS have you most excited to get people to hear and why?
I want people to hear the whole record. Every song on it has something to say. It's poignant. It's real. It's excited. It's urgent. It's dark. It's moody. Every song has something in it. I would love to play this entire record live. I want people to hear every song on this record.
And what has been the reaction from live audiences to the new music?
It's been great! We haven't heard one 'boo'.
You are currently in the midst of a tour to promote this album. How music longer will you guys be on the road?
We're about three weeks into it with two and a half weeks to go. We'll get a week off after that and then there will be a bunch of radio festivals. It's going to be work for the rest of the year thankfully. It looks like the album is going to come off strong in terms of sales. We'll see how the cards lay when the album comes out.
And what would you like for people to come away with after they hear this album?
We're happy to still be here and happy to still be making music and thankfully people still love our music and still buy it. I want people to feel as attachd to this music as we are.
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