b>Candlebox
w/ Driveblind, Handgun Sonata
Sat. Aug. 12
8 p.m.
$20 ($18 adv.)
Music Farm
32 Ann St.
853-3276
www.musicfarm.com

With the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains to boast of, it’s no wonder Seattle and its musicians were inspired. Grunge became a turning point in rock music, marking a stark departure from the hair bands of the ’80s and ushering in a new sound that would change lives.

Candlebox were never really a “grunge” band, though. They played “blues-based rock music,” as guitarist Peter Klett claimed. But they quickly earned the band the “grunge” label. Accurate or not, that’s what Candlebox became known for and it’s also what likely launched the band’s self-titled debut to quadruple platinum status … that, and the success of singles like “Far Behind,” “You,” and “Cover Me,” which people still remember to this day.

Candlebox had a good run, releasing two more albums, Happy Pills and Lucy, before calling it quits seven years ago. Through the years, Klett, singer Kevin Martin, bassist Bardi Martin, and drummer Scott Mercado pursued other projects, particularly ones which allowed the guys to break from the Candlebox mold.

“As far as the experience musically, it was a wild ride that happened probably faster than we could keep up as far as growing as people,” says Klett. “I think it kind of isolated us from reality for a while. That’s why the whole break was good for us because we went back to just being normal people doing music and taking our lives on our own, not having accountants, management, and people to take care of things for us. We just basically had to grow up.”

It seemed as though Candlebox’s split was a permanent one. But then, a contract the quartet had signed back in its heyday, giving Rhino Records the right to release a “best of” album (which the label decided to do this year) brought new life. What some might have viewed as an unwanted contractual obligation actually turned out to be a perfect opportunity.

“The fact that it did come out brought us together in a way that might not otherwise [have happened],” says Klett. “So the timing was right for us and where we are as people. It’s just perfect because everything is working out and going so well and we’re all having such a blast.”

The “best of” album gave Candlebox a great excuse to hit the road. The guys will be out for just over two months in support. Klett says the guys have never gotten along so well, nor have they had such a good time. They’re enjoying bringing old songs back to life and reconnecting with fans.

Candlebox’s set list comprises a lot of songs from its debut and a handful from the following releases. Of course, the band gets the obligatory nightly request to play “Far Behind,” and unlike some bands with their big hits, Candlebox are happy to oblige.

“I think when we were back in the heyday we were probably sick of [playing “Far Behind”],” admits Klett. “But we were just young kids in our 20s. I don’t think any of us really understood what we had at the time. I know I personally took it for granted. But the beauty of it this time is everything that we can achieve now, we really appreciate. And we hold on to that. Any little thing is a success for us.”

Candlebox actually have plans to write an album after this tour wraps. They’ll hit the studio some time this winter. As far as what the new material will sound like, even the members don’t know. While their music will always have that Candlebox feel, each member bringing new experiences and new musical influences to the table, it will be interesting to hear the end result.