Candlebox is sure to spotlight a much different side of the band when the band releases its upcoming studio album.
During a recent phone interview, singer Kevin Martin said the new songs will reflect a musical dynamic many fans may not be expecting to hear.
"It's a lot more like on the quicker side of things, the poppier side of things. There are not a lot of the long, drawn-out rock songs people expect from us," he said. "There's nothing like that on this record. It's very urgent, very political. There's an element of energy to it that we haven't been able to capture in quite some time."
The album, titled Disappearing in Airports, is scheduled for an April 22 release. Disappearing in Airports will be Candlebox's first release through their new label, Pavement Music, after their public split from their previous label in 2015. The album will also be the first to feature guitarists Mike Leslie and Brian Quinn. (Martin is the band's only remaining original member. Founding guitarist Peter Klett left Candlebox in 2015.)
To help secure money for the recording, the Seattle natives turned to crowdfunding website PledgeMusic.com. "Back in the day, I wish we could have done this stuff. It's so much more rewarding," he said. "It generated a lot of money for us to get the record done."
Candlebox first lit up MTV and rock radio in 1993 with the release of their eponymous platinum-selling debut album, which spawned the singles "Far Behind" and "You." They followed it up with 1995's Lucy, which achieved gold status.
Tonight, Martin is sure to perform "Far Behind" and other Candlebox favorites during a sold-out acoustic concert at the Sellersville Theater in Sellersville, Bucks County. By stripping the songs down to their bare bones, Martin said he has learned a lot about himself and what he is capable of as a musician.
"A song like 'You,' that's a song when I first started playing it acoustically, I thought, 'This doesn't work.' I really had to readdress the entire approach of playing it," he said. "The mood of the song has to be addressed. It took us a few months to figure it out. It gives the song a sense of urgency it always needed. For songs on Lucy, we play them in an entirely different way. It's been amazing."
In the more than two decades since the release of Lucy, Candlebox has watched members shuffle in and out of the lineup. They have also dealt with numerous record label disputes.
The band went on hiatus in 2000 following issues with their first label, Maverick Records (the albums Candlebox, Lucy and Happy Pills were released through Maverick), according to a December 2015 interview Martin conducted with the Pocono Record. Six years later, Candlebox returned to the road. In 2008, they released the album Into the Sun through the independent label Silent Majority/ILG Records.
For 2012's Love Stories & Other Musings, the band signed with Audionest. However, as was the case with Silent Majority/ILG Records, Audionest ran out of funding, according to the Pocono Record.
Looking back on the band's split from Audionest, Martin could not be happier in finding a new home at Pavement. "You know, it's frustrating but you can't go backward. You take those risks," he said. "For us, it's about moving forward. Pavement has been so gracious, allowing us to make the record we want to make. The thing that makes it exciting for us is we have that support."
Martin said Airports, in many ways, not only marks a new start but a new direction for Candlebox.
"It feels like you want to put your foot on the gas pedal and go as fast as you can. We want to take people on the road trip we've been wanting to go on for a long time," he said. "I love that element of surprise. Throw something new into the fold and that's exactly what happened. It puts me in a position to totally up my game, that's for sure."
Creating new music over the years, Martin said, has caused him to re-think the writing process. "It has forced me to reach into my catalog of things I want to write about," he said. "I say what I want to say. I'm 25 years older and I've learned through 25 years' worth of things what I respond to and respect and ignore."