In a storied rock ‘n’ roll career of multi-platinum albums and timeless, ubiquitous radio smashes, Candlebox’s sixth studio album, Disappearing In Airports, finds the renowned lineup infused with a new energy and openness. “I want to take Candlebox into a new world, and this record is very different, very diverse for us,” says band founder and frontman Kevin Martin. “It’s about growth and pushing the band in the direction for a new audience.” With songs ranging from the pissed and urgent “God’s Gift” to the edgy unease of “I’ve Got a Gun” to the amorous romp of “Supernova,” Disappearing In Airports is a bold musical statement from a revitalized band.
Formed in Seattle in 1991, Candlebox went quadruple platinum with their 1993 self-titled debut and released two more acclaimed and top-selling albums (1995’s Lucy and 1998’s Happy Pills) before going on a hiatus in 2000. Candlebox regrouped with a 2006 tour, then put out Into the Sun in 2008, followed by 2012’s Love Stories & Other Musings. Candlebox remains one of the most highly requested and played groups on radio, including the band’s mega hits “Far Behind” and “You.”
Songs like the first track to radio, the left-of-center “Vexatious” (a Martin-created word) hooks you in immediate with the drums and irresistible chorus. It is Martin at his editorial best – poignant, lyrical driving the message of the perils of a digitally-connected yet emotionally disconnected world in a powerful rock song.
“Supernova” is a love (sex!) song for Martin’s wife and it’s contrasted with “Alive at Last,” which “is about that last breath, about the people who are struggling, whether it’s with terminal cancer or something that’s destroying them. It’s a little bit existential.”
Musically, Disappearing in Airports is as heady as it is lyrically. And visually: the album cover is by an artist-friend of Martin’s, Scott Fisher, who passed away during the album process. “I had asked him paint the artwork for the album, and the painting he did for us is titled “Disappearing In Airports,” hence the album title. The painting represented the songs that he’d hear from our album, so it’s really about what his emotions were how the songs had affected him, so that’s how it represents the record.”
Ultimately, while Disappearing In Airports is clearly Candlebox, Martin observes that the record, compared to its predecessor is “banked right turn; I don’t think it’s 90 degrees but we are taking chances. You’ve got to push yourself outside of that comfort zone. You have to do that as a musician, or in any creative element of your life,” Martin believes. “That’s what we did with this record, and I knew these guys would go with me and would take me where I wanted to go musically. We can reach as far as we want.”