By Photojournalist Chaz Dykes of Chaz D photography
Candlebox is touring to support their 7th studio release, Wolves. I was lucky enough to have a conversation with the noted front man, Kevin Martin. We talked about music, the tour, the album, the past and present, and something special that’s in the works.
One of the first things was how music was always a part of his life, even as a child. He said, “I came from a musical family. My father played all the woodwinds and my mother played piano and was a singer. There were all kinds of music to listen to, and that helped make me into the musician that I am.”
Kevin is happy to be out on the road performing the new songs along with the fan favorites from previous albums. He said, “The record is doing well,” and also “Getting a lot of streams,” There are different ranges in the music on the record. “All Down Hill From Here,” “Nothing Left to Lose” and “Criminals” are a few songs that I like a lot.
I asked Kevin if he had a fav song from the record. His choice was “Nothing Left to Lose.” “It’s so visceral. it speaks volumes as to where people’s mindsets are right now, especially mine.” He went on to say, “It was inspired by Motorhead and Lemmy Kilmister, because I’m a big Motorhead fan. I muttered the first words of that song at preproduction, it fell out of my mouth, ‘I’m attempted murder’ and I was like ok, this is going to be a fucking fun song for me. And it really was.”
The song “All Down Hill From Here” was “written with Christopher Thorn from Blind Melon. It’s funky and dark and has all the things that people love about Candlebox.” It start from conversations about being older and were they are in life, and Kevin jokingly said, “well it’s all downhill from here.” And Chris said, “That’s the title of the song.”
Back in December of 2021, the original members got together to perform a show in Seattle. I asked him how that felt to be back on stage together. “It was amazing. We made so much great music together in such a short time. We created two and a half albums of music over 6 years, including B-Sides that people have not heard yet.”
Earlier I mentioned something special. Kevin told us that next year the original members will come together and go on tour to celebrate their 30-year anniversary of their first record. They are also releasing a special edition box set of vinyl that will include 7 or 8 pieces of vinyl. The release will have of bunch of songs that have never been heard before. Some out takes, live performances, and songs that have been remastered. Kevin said, “This will be a special set for the fans.”
But that’s not all. Kevin also told us that they are working on a Documentary with Warner Bros Films. They started working on it in May of 2021 and it’s being produced by Charlie Cohen who also worked on the Tom Petty documentary. It’s titled, Far Behind the Story. It’s their ‘Origin Story’. It will have interviews, unseen footage, and take fans into the early years of the band when they were starting out and follow their journey to the present. The documentary will hit the big screen as a limited theatrical release sometime next year.
It is now show time. Candlebox is waiting in the wings at the Hard Rock Event Center in Tampa, Florida. The crowd is anxious. They are chanting the band’s name while every little movement on stage would cause a loud burst of cheers.
Finally, the band emerges from the dark and the crowd erupts like a volcano of cheers and whistles, releasing all that built up excitement. They open the show with one of my fav’s, “All Down Hill From Here.” The entire performance was commanding. Adam Kury (bass) and BJ Kerwin (drums), were thunderous and laid down a grinding groove filled foundation while Brian Quinn and Island Styles (guitars) just shredded. Kevin Martin’s performance was nothing less than stellar.
As if witnessing galactic performance wasn’t enough, Kevin announced they had a special guest that was going to join them on stage. It was the original guitar player and current Tampa resident, Peter Klett. Once again, the crowd erupted in cheers welcoming Peter to the Stage. Peter performed “Cover Me,” “You” and “Far Behind.” What a great surprise. Peter killed it. It was like he never left, and you could tell he was enjoying it as much as the crowd was.
The night was just amazing, and the band couldn’t have been any better in my opinion. It really was that good. I am looking forward to the release of the 30-year Anniversary Box Set and the Documentary. But most of all, I am hoping that Tampa will be included in the list of cities lucky enough to see the original members when they hit the road sometime next year.
I want to take the time to mention that Kevin started a foundation with Peter Cornell, the brother of the late singer Chris Cornell, called Riptide Society.Org. The foundation is dedicated to helping young adults and at-risk youth by identifying and implementing ways to lift up individuals out of the unique riptide they are caught in, and settle onto a new, safe and healthy wave where they can thrive. This work is very important to Kevin. Please visit https://riptidesociety.org to learn more about it and most importantly to donate to help change the lives of those in need.
On behalf of myself and Tampa Bay Music News, I would like to thank Kevin for taking the time to speak to us and his Management and PR team for thinking of us. We really appreciate it.
For more tour dates and info, please visit their website http://www.candleboxrocks.com