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Soundcheck: Kevin Martin 

Candlebox singer

Rock reunions often generate huge ticket sales and big news. The recent Police reformation was a box-office smash, and the deplorable Creed are packing sheds on their current tour. The Pixies reunion created a buzz in indie-rock circles. And then there are bands like Candlebox, who reunited three years ago after a six-year hiatus. No one cared then and no cares now, but that doesn't matter to singer Kevin Martin, who spoke about Into the Sun — the band's first album in a decade — in an interview that's every bit as boring as his band's music.

Why do you feel you guys have come back without the fanfare some of your peers have received after reforming?

I don't care that we're not getting the same amount of attention of some other bands which are back. I'm just glad that we are back.

Did it feel weird getting back together?

We were surprised how much fun we had when we met up again because of [a best-of CD released in 2006]. So we decided to see what would happen if we became Candlebox once again. We received such a great response from fans. We found that the fans still want to hear our old songs. The fans still love those songs — "Far Behind," "You" and "Change" — that were on the radio a lot during the mid-'90s. The first album did well, and Lucy did well. We had a really good run during the '90s.

But you called it quits in 2000?

Enough was enough. We needed to do something else.

Who comes out to see Candlebox these days?

We have a pretty broad fan base. We have a lot of people in their 20s. We're playing to nice crowds. I have no complaints.

How do you describe your music?

I would say that we're still a grunge band. We play the sound from that era. That's not a bad thing to be associated with. I'm proud of it.

During your heyday, did you ever have any time off to enjoy any of the success?

No, not really. In the nine years we were together, if you add up the days off [we had] during that period, it was about nine months of time we were away from a studio or a stage. Maverick [Records] had us up doing morning shows, afternoon appearances, so by the time we did our actual shows at night, we were spent. We were disgusted with Maverick but not with each other. We broke up because of the situation with Maverick.

You've said that Maverick bamboozled you. What advice do you have for young bands before they sign with a label?

The biggest tip I can give a young band is to get an attorney who knows all the details so they don't get ripped off. Everybody thinks that if you sell four million albums, you're a millionaire, but that's not so. It's been a struggle, but I'm happy to have another chance with Candlebox.

Is this a temporary reunion or are you in it for the long haul?

We want to see where we can go from here. I'm excited since I missed playing with these guys. I had some of my best times ever with this band. We want to give it a shot, but the only thing is that we're going to do it right this time. We're not going to play every single day and night. We feel good about all that we're doing. We're taking that next step. It's a new chapter for Candlebox.

You've written another few pages with Into the Sun.

I feel really good about the album. It's where we are as a band right now. It sounds contemporary without betraying our sound. It's a nice balance. We're just looking forward to taking the next step from there. We have a really bright future. We don't have to deal with a label that is sucking the life out of us. We're in a really good spot right now. We get to make music, tour and do things in a reasonable way. We get time off and we're happy, which is what it's all about.

music@clevescene.com

More by Ed Condran

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