It is hard to fathom that Seattle rock outfit Candlebox have never toured Australia over the course of their 30-year existence.
Since emerging from the popular music location during the mid-90s grunge scene, Candlebox have gone from strength to strength, with a remarkable number of record sales and music streams starting with their 1993 self-titled album which sold over 4 million copies and introduced Candlebox to the world with songs like Far Behind, You and Cover Me.
It is even harder to comprehend that it takes Candlebox calling time on their illustrious career for the powers that be to coax them over to our part of the world, but that is just what has happened with the band poised to bring The Long Goodbye Tour to our shores this week, starting January 10 in Brisbane.
With a global tour planned, and the recent release of Candlebox’s final album of the same name, frontman Kevin Martin sat down with HEAVY to talk us through what has been a stellar slice of music history.
We start by jokingly asking how and why Candlebox have neglected their Australian fans for so long.
“I’ve been trying to come there for thirty years,” he smiled in return, “so you’ll have to talk to the promotors about it. It’s been a dream of mine to come out there. I have an extended Australian family over there that I love very much. I’ve been coming to Australia for the past 23 years and my affinity for that country goes beyond. I think I was Australian in a past life. It’s just one of those things. I love that country, and I’ve tried to come for 30 years. I don’t know why it’s taken us so long. We’ve asked several times about coming for some festivals with Stone Temple Pilots and the guys in Live, but I guess maybe the Australian promotors just didn’t think we were popular enough, but I cannot tell you how excited I am to be coming to play there. I’m looking forward to playing in the country that hopefully, at some point, I will call home.”
We bring up the fact that it will be a bittersweet moment for both the band and their fans seeing them here for the first and last time.
“I think so,” he sighed. “It’s gonna be more interesting for me, I think than it is for them. I’m gonna give them two hours each night of my very best, but saying goodbye to this career has been strange. All Summer long there’s been times standing on stage in front of 10,000 of my closest friends, thinking to myself this is gonna be the last time I sing this song with these people. It’s a strange emotion, but I think for me being home during COVID and spending time with my wife and my son and realising just how much I missed of that life with them… was pretty Earth-shaking for me. And I sat down with my wife around September of 2020 and said I think I’m pretty much ready to put all this music thing behind me and be a husband and a Father, is that okay? And she says I would be beyond grateful but are you sure you can put that away? And I said I don’t love it as much as I used to. I think it was being home for such a long extended period of time that I realised that music was no longer the love of my life, nor my mistress. It’s almost as though she had become a close friend that I would bump into every now and then and didn’t like seeing that much. I don’t wanna be an artist who phones it in. I don’t wanna be that guy. So when we went back out on the road in 2021 I made sure that the shows would be played where we wanted to play. The events that we were involved in were events that I felt were a good place for Candlebox to be, and it was all leading up to this goodbye tour of 2023 for the 30th anniversary of the debut album. So I was very conscious about what I was doing.”
In the full interview, Kevin talks more about the final tour, what to expect, how to wrap up 30 years of music in one show, the early days of Candlebox and where they fit in, if he has achieved everything he wanted from music, the success of their self-titled debut and why he thinks people gravitated to it, the changes in music over 30 years and how Candlebox has survived, the response to their new album The Long Goodbye and more.