Interview- Kevin Martin (Candlebox)

Kevin Martin
Lead Vocalist- Candlebox
Interview conducted on 4/25/12
By Joseph Suto



We recently had the honor to talk with Kevin Martin from Candlebox. They are currently out on the road in support of their latest album Love Stories and Other Musings. Kevin took time out from his busy tour schedule to give us an update on what is going on in the world of Candlebox and his other projects as well.

Rock Show Critique: How is the tour going so far? Do you have any other projects planned for the rest of 2012?

Kevin Martin: The tour is going fantastically, swimmingly well. Having fun playing the new stuff live has been great. New projects -we’re gonna focus on this record for the majority of the year. I got some time off in October so we’re gonna try to do some more Gracious Few stuff to try and get a record out for the spring. We’re also going to start recording another Candlebox record at some point this fall. I have another old old band called the Hiwatts I’ve got a record that’s been done for some time I’m trying to get out as well. So I’ve got a lot on my plate but the main focus is the Candlebox record.

RSC: So you pretty much write all the time?

KM: Pretty much. I will grab a notebook jot down some notes. We have two guitars that we have on the bus. We pretty much write or jam everyday. When I’m home I try to set up a once a week on Mondays, I go to my buddy Dave’s place and I’ll try to write or record at least two songs a day. Just to kind of get them in working order to gear up for the next record. That’s like the job Monday afternoon work. Everything else is the freedom that’s given to me as a musician. I play the guitar pretty much everyday.

RSC: In your case you have a few different projects, how do you decide which song your going to use for each project?

KM: With the Gracious Few I tend to stay away from the songwriting on that, I’ll just write the lyrics mostly. I don’t want to have my influence of what I learned from Candlebox on those types of tracks. The Hiwatts is kind of a project of just fun punk rock songs. They never find their way into Candlebox. I’m able to put my different working hat on for those other two projects. I know what Candlebox sounds like and I know what Pete’s guitar’s gonna sound like when I’m writing a song and when I leave space for his guitar patterns and stuff like that like that. That’s in the back of my mind the whole time where his parts are gonna fit so it makes it easy that way. I think because we’ve been working together so long. As for the other two projects their really just off the cuff songwriting, still kind of learning their so in their infancy that we’re still kind of learning abut each other musically. I’m sure at one point I’ll probably have to sit down and save this song for Candlebox or The Gracious Few but I haven’t had to do that yet thankfully.

RSC: Love Stories and Other Musings has been out now for a little bit, what made you decide to re-record some of your classics? What will be the next single and do you have much say in what singles are released these days?

KM: The re-records were basically, we were asked to do “Far Behind” and “You” for guitar hero for the game. So we recorded them and I guess that game went away. So we had those two songs and we were in the re-record clause in our contract where we can actually re-record these things and re-license them if we wanted to.So we figured those two were done, let’s do a couple others. We never released these songs in Europe or Asia or South America or South Africa or Australia so we can have a whole new life with these songs in other countries. So that was kind of the game plan behind it. I don’t think we ever really thought that we were gonna add it to the record until it got to a point where we had an opportunity to put them out this way. So for us its more about licensing thing in a nut a second life opportunity in other countries. It was challenging, I’ll tell you what it was not easy to do but it was a lot of fun at the same time. As for singles, we try to have as much say as we possibly can. Its difficult sometimes to argue with management or label executives over what the thought process is behind it. As far as I know “Sweet Summertime” I’m hoping their gearing up to release it sometime in May. But i’m not really sure.

RSC: Do you guys plan on putting out a live dvd in the near future?

KM: I think so we’re setting up a kind of interesting tour next year I can’t really discuss cause I don’t want to jinx it. If everything works out for what we’re trying to plan for next year, cause that will be the 20th anniversary of our first album and what not. We trying to plan on doing something special for that. We released the one back in 2006, it was a great time making that DVD. We did two nights at The Showbox. We’re always kicking around ideas about touring and ways to film those. We’re doing some filming right now on the road which we’re hoping we can use for a live DVD.

RSC: Do you have a bunch of old footage in the archives from when you first started.

KM: Yeah we have a bunch of stuff. We actually had a lot of fans send us a bunch of stuff as well. We recently put together this documentary about twenty years of the band. We posted a little note if you got any footage that you wouldn’t mind parting with, we’d love to use it. We got boxes and boxes of VHS tapes and minidisc things which is really interesting the technology advancements from 92 all the way up to now. We tend to film a lot on the road, we just have fun with it.

RSC: What bands did you enjoy growing up from the 70’s and 80’s?

KM: Well my favorite band is The Clash and then Led Zeppelin. I grew up with a lot of different music. My sister turned me on to the Cars when I was five years old. I really love the Cars every single one of their records. Otis Redding cause of my Mother, The Who because of my Brother Dennis. Rush, that’s probably about all my favorites. If you scroll through my ipod those are the ones that will come up from the sixties, seventies and eighties eras.

RSC: What is your take on how the music business is now as opposed to when you started out. Are you a fan of seeing the CD become obsolete?

KM: I’m kind of torn. It’s a business and if you don’t grow with the business its gonna bite you on the ass. The mistakes that were made back in the mid to late nineties about piracy is exactly why we’re in the position we’re in now, as musicians as well record labels. I love CD’s, I love vinyl, I do download stuff on itunes. Technology is gonna advance, if you don’t advance with it as a species its gonna leave you somewhere in the middle ages because its advancing so quickly. I don’t know what’s going to happen. What do you do as an artist? You just offer a digital card at a show maybe instead of people buying a CD? Maybe that’s what you do from now on don’t know. It’s all very strange to me but at the same time it is what it is. I was fortunate to make records with two inch tape where a lot of bands don’t even know what that is. I’ve been able to kind of see all sides of it, from 8-track, cassette tapes, reel to reel back in the seventies to now. Somebody got me a $50 certificate for my birthday for itunes and I get to buy $50 worth of music so I’m kind of torn.

For more on Candlebox check them out at

Candlebox plays the Town Ballroom on Wednesday May 9th. For tickets

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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