Grunge pioneers Candlebox return with new album, single

Los Angeles-based alternative rock band Candlebox is back with the veteran group’s long-awaited sixth studio album, Disappearing in Airports. The new project via Pavement Entertainment is the pioneering Seattle grunge outfit’s first album in four years. The 11-track LP showcases the band’s “introspective and poetically candid songwriting with their signature musical immediacy,” according to a label news release. Candlebox inked a deal with Pavement in August 2015 with the label’s VP/A&R rep Tim King stating, “Candlebox was, and still is, one of my favorite bands that emerged from the ‘90s … They are a band that has continued to stay true to their roots while still meeting with great success over three decades and multiple generations of fans.”

Disappearing in Airports is available on numerous digital platforms in addition to CD and vinyl editions distributed by MRI/Sony RED. The album’s first single, ‘Vexatious,’ is currently No. 37 on the Mediabase Active Rock airplay chart. Founder and frontman Kevin Martin explains the song is about the "social networking-obsessed, unlimited bragging rights society we live in, where people come off as entitled yet so insecure.” Martin adds it’s a sad commentary on a cultural lifestyle that he believes is, unfortunately, here to stay.

Martin finds fault with pop stars who “senselessly” feud with each other online, and people who can’t help but take selfies and “miss everything that’s happening around them.” He’s also frustrated by the number of apps that now control people’s ability to avoid human interaction. “Dating apps, bitching apps, secret sharing apps—apps, apps, apps—they all operate outside of any real or authentic human connection,” continues Martin in the press announcement. “It’s disconnect everywhere and it’s destroying us. No one cares what anyone else thinks or feels. It’s all ‘me, me, me,’” rants the singer-guitarist.

Disappearing in Airports was produced by Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland (August Burns Red, Everclear, Rivers of Nihl). The album was recorded at Think Loud Studios in York, Pa., with Martin on vocals and rhythm guitar joined by drummer Dave Krusen, bass player Adam Kury, and guitarists Mike Leslie and Brian Quinn. The news release goes on to state “the recommitment to creating music that is ‘pissed and urgent’ as well as bringing a new energy to the live show is at this record’s core.”

Candlebox formed in Seattle in 1991 at the height of the grunge rock movement. The band also helped usher in the post-grunge era along with Bush and other groups that “showed how the more challenging aspects of grunge could be ironed out and polished into a sound that mainstream rock radio could embrace without reservation,” according to an official bio. Candlebox’s 1993 debut album went quadruple platinum, and is best known for the singles ‘You,’ ‘Far Behind,’ and ‘Cover Me’ that found success on both the mainstream rock and alternative rock charts.

Candlebox kicked off 2016 with a string of acoustic dates in January and February. A subsequent tour of U.S. venues and festivals included Welcome to Rockville in Jacksonville, Fla., and continues with upcoming concerts in Nashville (May 5); Carolina Rebellion in Concord, N.C. (May 6); Marietta, Ohio (May 7); Bethlehem, Pa. (May 19); Warrendale (Pittsburgh), Pa. (May 21); Uncasville, Conn. (May 28); South Bend, Ind. (June 12); Battle Creek, Mich. (June 14); Dubuque, Iowa (June 16); Peoria, Ill. (June 17); Fayetteville, Ark. (June 21); Ardmore, Okla. (June 22); Maryland Heights, Mo. (July 9); and Hot Springs, Ark. (Aug. 6).

Watch Candlebox in the official music video for ‘Vexatious’ from the band’s new album Disappearing in Airports.

As A Matter of Fact…

* Candlebox was formed in Seattle in December 1991 by Kevin Martin, a singer-guitarist from Illinois who grew up in San Antonio, Texas. He and co-founder/drummer Scott Mercado first called the band Uncle Duke, changing the name to Candlebox after adding guitarist Peter Klett and bassist Bardi Martin (no relation to Kevin).

* In 1992, the Candlebox demo tape got them a deal with Madonna's Maverick label. The band’s self-titled debut was released in 1993. First single, ‘Change,’ was a Top 20 hit on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart, and follow up single, ‘You,’ was a Top 10 hit.

* The power ballad ‘Far Behind’ was a No. 4 mainstream rock breakout tune that secured Candlebox as a playlist favorite on rock and alternative radio stations. The increasing exposure also helped Candlebox climb into the Top 10 (No. 7) of the Billboard 200 and go four-times platinum.

* Second album Lucy (1995) was a gold-selling hit behind the Top 5 mainstream rock single ‘Simple Lessons’ and the Top 20 follow up, ‘Understanding.’ The album reached No. 11 on the Billboard 200 and was followed in 1998 by Happy Pills, which features original Pearl Jam drummer, Dave Krusen, who replaced the departing Mercado.

* Happy Pills was only a moderate sales success, but the band’s return to the “more basic sound of their debut” still managed to score three mainstream rock singles with ‘It's Alright’ (No. 2), ‘10,000 Horses’ (13), and ‘Happy Pills’ (No. 17).

* Krusen and Bardi Martin left Candlebox in 1999 and were replaced by Shannon Larkin (ex-Ugly Kid Joe) and Rob Redick, respectively. The group disbanded the following year, but returned in 2006 with the original lineup of Kevin Martin, Klett, and Mercado.

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