Candlebox’s Kevin Martin Talks Return To Seattle

Originally from Seattle, rock band Candlebox is celebrating the 20th birthday of its debut self-titled album on Saturday at the Moore Theatre.

That’s right, on July 20 1993 the then four-piece released this sucker on Maverick Records and soon found themselves on MTV with hit singles “Change,” “You,” “Cover Me” — and most notably “Far Behind”:

Twenty years later, the band continues to tour and put out albums — in April of last year Candlebox released its fifth studio album entitled Love Stories & Other Musings which peaked at #12 on US Indie charts.

Frontman Kevin Martin called into JACK FM to talk about the upcoming celebration (and show).

What does it mean to you to be playing a 20th anniversary show?
It’s pretty shocking – for all of us involved, we may have thought at one time that we’d be around for 20 years, but when you start a band, that’s just a dream, not something you set out to do. And now that we’re here, every day you’re thanking god that you got the greatest job in the world – even though it’s not really a job. It pays my rent, I get to hang out with great friends and I get to play music for people who love music – it’s just a shock that 20 years later we still have a career…we couldn’t be happier. We’re making some of the best music now that we’ve ever made. The opportunity that was given to us back in 1993 by Maverick Records is something that we’ll never forget.

Does it feel like a different city when you come back to play in Seattle?
Oh yeah, it’s an entirely different thing. I’m still shocked by the amount of growth that Seattle’s gone through over the past 20 years. My brother still lives in Sammamish and I get to come up and see the family at least once or twice a year…and even in those brief periods there seems to be something new happening and going up. I never would have expected Georgetown to be as hip and cool as it is now…Just the downtown nightlife and the fact that there are so many things for people to do.  I think it’s unfortunately taken away a lot of the beauty of what Seattle was and what that city was founded on – ya know, small clubs. There were only a few and we had to go to those to see our favorite bands. I don’t even think people bother to go see live music anymore which is unfortunate. I know there are some fantastic venues, but there’s nothing like there used to be.

If Candlebox were to be starting out today, you wouldn’t be having the career you’re having now?
Absolutely not. I don’t think people would even take a second glance at a band like Candlebox now.

What has been the strangest or most surprising thing you’ve encountered in the music business?
(Laughs) ah, that’s a good question. That people still love Candlebox, I mean that’s my biggest surprise. I’ve often said that I’m in the wrong band – we’re the happiest accident that’s happened to one another. If I had my way I’d be in some band like the Clash or the National or an Alberta Cross type of band. It just so happens I sing a blues-based rock ‘n’ roll style and it works for Candlebox. The biggest surprise is that we’re still here 20 years later – people still love us and we still sell records and it seems like no one has ever forgotten about us … I’ve seen a lot of things and played to 300,000 people, 30,000 people and 300 people and it never ceases to amaze me. We had 10,000 people the other night in Detroit and they’re all singing our songs.

Who or what has been the biggest ally to help the longevity of your guys’ career?
I think honestly it’s the fans. We’ve got kids coming to our shows now that are 18 – their parents were pregnant when they first saw Candlebox and loved the band so much they passed it on to their children …. As dumb as it may sound, you just can’t seem to get enough Candlebox which still to this day shocks me – it makes me happy and makes me proud to be in the band that I’m in.

Are there plans to release an album next year?
We’ve talked about doing an acoustic record, but what we decided ultimately is to start doing songs and putting them out [immediately]. We’ve kinda come to the realization that the 20-, 30-, 40-thousand records that we sell per album – it’s not making or breaking the band. We’d much rather have people just hear music. Ultimately what I think we’re going to do is put two songs per month out on our Facebook page or on our webpage…


Candlebox plays the Moore Theatre on Saturday, Jul 20 at 8:00 pm (doors are an hour earlier). Tickets can be purchased through STG right here.


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