Tag Archive | "candlebox"

Candlebox Launches Music Video For New Single “Vexatious”

Candlebox Launches Music Video For New Single “Vexatious”

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Candlebox, the influential, multi-platinum rock band from the powerful ’90s Seattle music movement, has launched a music video for the new single “Vexatious,” taken from the band’s upcoming sixth studio album Disappearing in Airports. Stream the “Vexatious” music video on YouTube at this location >.

“‘Vexatious’ is about the social networking-obsessed, unlimited bragging rights society we live in, where people come off as entitled yet so insecure,” commented Candlebox founder and frontman Kevin Martin. “Whether it’s a pop star feuding senselessly with another pop star, or people who can’t help but to take 50 different selfies in under a minute missing everything that’s happening around them, it’s a sad commentary on life that we can’t escape. Dating apps, bitching apps, secret sharing apps, apps, apps, apps-they all operate outside of any real or authentic human connection. It’s disconnect everywhere and it’s destroying us. No one cares what anyone else thinks or feels. It’s all ‘me, me, me’ and, if you ask me, it’s fucking sad.”

Disappearing in Airports will release on April 22 via Pavement Entertainment. It will be available on all digital platforms (iTunes, Amazon, YouTube Red, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music) and distributed by MRI/Sony RED. iTunes pre-orders are live now at: https://goo.gl/xy96Zi with Instant Gratification downloads of “Vexatious,” “Supernova,” “I’ve Got a Gun” and “Keep on Waiting.”

Disappearing in Airports showcases the group’s introspective and poetically candid songwriting with its signature musical immediacy. Candlebox worked with producers Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland (August Burns Red, Everclear, Rivers of Nihil), cutting the record at Think Loud Studios in York, Penn. With vocalist Kevin Martin, Dave Krusen on drums, Adam Kury on bass and the addition of guitarists Mike Leslie and Brian Quinn, the recommitment to creating music that is ‘pissed and urgent’ as well as bringing a new energy to the live show is at this record’s core.

“I want to take Candlebox into a new world, and this record is very different, very diverse for us,” said Kevin Martin. “It’s about growth and pushing the band in the direction for a new audience.”

“Disappearing in Airports Tour 2016” dates w/ Lullwater & Pete RG:

4/19 – Butte, MT @ Butte Depot
4/20 – Billings, MT @ Pub Station
4/22 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
4/23 – Pueblo, CO @ Pueblo Memorial Hall
4/26 – Little Rock, AR @ Metroplex
4/27 – Monroe, LA @ Live Oaks
4/28 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Varsity Theatre
4/29 – Panama City Beach, FL @ Club La Vela
4/30 – Jacksonville, FL @ Welcome to Rockville
5/03 – Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head Tavern
5/05 – Nashville, TN @ 12th and Porter
5/06 – Charlotte, NC @ Carolina Rebellion
5/07 – Marietta, OH @ The Adelphia Music Hall

Candlebox live:

5/19 – Bethlehem, PA @ Sands Bethlehem Center (w/ 3 Doors Down)
5/21 – Warrendale, PA @ Jergel’s Rhythm Grill
5/28 – Uncasville, CT @ Wolf Den, Mohegan Sun Casino
6/12 – South Bend, IN @ St. Joseph County Fairgrounds
6/14 – Battle Creek, MI @ Planet Live Music Factory
6/16 – Dubuque, IA @ Mystique Casino
6/17 – Peoria, IL @ Crusen’s
8/06 – Hot Springs, AR @ Timberwood Amphitheater, Magic Springs Water & Theme Park

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Candlebox’s Kevin Martin On Band’s Creative Evolution, New Album and More!

Candlebox’s Kevin Martin On Band’s Creative Evolution, New Album and More!

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After the band’s formation in Seattle in 1991, Candlebox soon exploded onto the national stage with their 1993 self-titled debut. The album skyrocketed to the top of the charts and ultimately went quadruple platinum. They released two more acclaimed and top-selling albums, 1995’s “Lucy” and 1998’s “Happy Pills,’ before going on a hiatus in 2000. It wouldn’t be long before the band regrouped with a 2006 tour, then put out “Into the Sun” in 2008, followed by 2012’s “Love Stories & Other Musings.” To this day, Candlebox remains one of the most highly requested and played groups on radio, including the band’s mega hits “Far Behind” and “You.” Along the way, the band continues to amass legions of dedicated fans, both young and old.

The secret to Candlebox’s success lies in their eagerness to seek out and explore new musical territory with each new release. Their latest album is no exception to the rule. “Disappearing in Airports,” set to be released on April 22nd through Pavement Entertainment, showcases the group’s introspective and poetically candid songwriting with its signature musical immediacy. For the album, Candlebox worked with producers Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland (August Burns Red, Everclear, Rivers of Nihil) and cut the record at Think Loud Studios in York, Penn. With Kevin Martin, Dave Krusen on drums, Adam Kury on bass and the addition of guitarists Mike Leslie and Brian Quinn, the re-commitment to creating music is pissed and urgent as well as bringing a new energy to the live show is at this record’s core. “Disappearing in Airports” will be available on all digital platforms (iTunes, Amazon, YouTube Red, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music) and distributed by MRI/Sony RED. iTunes pre-orders are live now with Instant Gratification downloads of “Vexatious” and “Supernova.”

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Candlebox frontman Kevin Martin to discuss his musical inspirations, the creation of the band’s powerful new album, ‘Disappearing In Airports,’ and what the future holds for him and the one-of-a-kind band.

Let’s go all the way back to your early years. What are some of your first memories of music and how did they lead to your pursuit of a career in music?

Kevin Martin of Candlebox

Kevin Martin of Candlebox

I started singing in choir when I was in first grade. My first memories are my mother listening to classical music, gospel music and pop music of the ‘70s. My father was a jazz musician, so we heard lots of jazz music at the house. Both of my parents are musicians, so I think it is just kind of in the blood! I really think that my main inspiration for wanting to be in a band came from my sister. She was into new wave and punk rock when I was young. She is about 10 years older than me, so I heard The Cars and The Clash, when I was 6 or 7 years old. That is kind of what inspired me to think music was something I was supposed to do. I just always felt as if I wanted to be in one of those bands. I was always putting KISS makeup on or making guitars out of the sticks that were in the pull-down blinds in the house. I was always really enamored with what music did to my heart when I listened to it. When I was 18, I went to see Midnight Oil. I had been playing in bands from about the age of 14 on but when I went to see Midnight Oil and saw Peter Garrett on stage, I said, “I think I want to be a singer.” That is where it really started for me.

Did you ever have reservations about taking the plunge and pursuing that dream?

No, not at all. At that age, you don’t really know what the lifestyle of a rockstar is and how exhausting, heartbreaking and rewarding it is all at the same time. I don’t think I realized that until halfway through our first record and the success we were experiencing on the Metallica tour and touring with Rush. I think that is when I realized what a monster I had created! [laughs]

Kevin Martin hits the crowd at a Candlebox live show!

Kevin Martin hits the crowd at a Candlebox live show!

It isn’t easy to make a living in music. What has keep you inspired through the years and to what do you attribute your longevity?

I think what has kept me inspired is the fans. Also, creating music is such a rewarding thing. It is so emotional and visceral. That is kind of the person I am. I think the longevity comes from writing really great songs and being a band who somehow touched on something that people feel on a daily basis. Lyrically, a lot of my songs speak to the audience about how they are feeling or who they are. I have always felt as though I wanted to write songs that people could attach themselves to, maybe from something I have experienced or an emotion that, on a day-to-day basis, we all go through.

Candlebox is back with a brand new album. Going into making this record, did you have creative goals?

I wanted to push the envelope of Candlebox a little further. I didn’t want to release another “Love Stories,” “Into The Sun,” “Happy Pills,” “Lucy” or the first album. I wanted to go in a direction that was going to make us available to a new audience and to a younger generation that may not know who we are. I wanted to write songs that were a little bit more simplified and not so much of the meandering we have been known to do on records. This album, from start to finish, is kind of relentless. It doesn’t let up or let you take a breath and, before you know it, an hour has passed and the record is over.

You worked with Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland as producers on this album. How did you initially cross paths with them and what did they bring out in you and the band?

I met Carson years ago when I was doing the The Gracious Few project with Chad [Taylor] and Patrick [Dahlheimer] of Live. Carson had a band called Century. It was kind of a screamcore band or a hardcore band, if you will. He asked me to sing on a track that he had produced. It was some of the easiest singing I had ever done on a project where I had no idea what to expect or how it would go. We became best friends. When the time came to pick a producer for this record, I had listened to a few of the records he had produced over the past year, along with Grant. I felt that would bring us to the contemporary of music. I love what they did with the album and I love them as producers. They are very easy to work with and really, really creative, in addition to being super intelligent dudes. They were a real pleasure to be around.

Let’s talk about your songwriting process. How do you bring a song to life these days and has it changed much from what you were doing early on?

I don’t think so much anymore. I let the song kind of open itself up to me. I don’t search for parts or beat a dead horse when it comes to trying to get a part right. I let it breathe and tell me where it wants to go, rather than me telling it where it wants to go. It is a simplified process. I went into the studio with only five songs in relative working order and the rest of the stuff was created in the studio. We wrote three songs on the record in the studio, which is great and it is a really fun process. We limited the amount of time we wanted to be in there. We only wanted to spend 10 to 12 days in the studio, so we cut 12 tracks in four days, drum and bass. We did two days for guitars and then six days for vocals. That keeps the energy up but it also keeps the pressure on to force that creative nature. Sometimes you can spend six months in the studio and not get anything done. I didn’t want to do that! I really wanted to put the pressure on and that is how we got the record!

Each project has its own set of challenges. What did you run into with the making of this album?

I think the main challenge was making sure everybody was on the same page and really making sure all six cylinders were firing at the same time. That is what we got! It is something I have found is important when you are recording. If one person is not in the headspace, it makes it difficult to get things done that you need to get done. We talked a lot as a band, before we went into the studio, about how we were going to do this, where we were going to do it, how the writing process was going to go and the collaborative efforts that I wanted on the album. I think that is definitely something I will definitely be using when I go in to do the next record next year.

Crowdfunding also played a part in the making of this album. What was the experience like with PledgeMusic and getting the fans involved?

It was great! It is such a different world now where you can include the fans in what you are doing and truly make them a part of it. It really made us a lot closer to the people that have given us this career. To be around for 25 years is a gift in itself but it is important to let the fans know how much they mean to you. Of course, when they put some skin in the game, they want to make sure that they get that payback. That is what crowdfunding is all about! It is really sharing in those responsibilities and the wins and losses that come with it.

Having followed this campaign from the start, it is easy to tell your heart is in it. That is something often missing in crowdfunding campaigns.

I agree with you. I think there are a lot of crowdfunding campaigns out that there that I looked at that just don’t connect at all. We wanted to make sure we did!

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The title of the album is “Disappearing In Airports.” How did you come up with that one?

It is actually the title of the painting that is on the cover of the album. I had asked a good friend of mine, Scott Rivers Fisher, to do a painting for the cover. I wanted something that was different and represented the music. In the process, he had a massive heart attack and died at only 42 years old. He was just on the cusp of his creativity and talent. I think he was really going to make a name for himself in the abstract world. After he passed away, his sister contacted me and said, “Hey, we have this painting that he has done. We think it kind of represents the music, so we would like to send it to you.” Instantly, when I saw it, I thought it was a beautiful piece that really tells the story of the album. The title of the painting was “Disappearing In Airports,” so the title is really in honor of Scott, his talent and his craft.

What became of the painting? Is it displayed somewhere special?

We are actually going to auction it off to kind of get his career going and so that people know who he is. You can see a lot of his artwork at www.scottfishergallery.com.

You lived with these songs for quite awhile now. Which of these new tracks resonates with you the most at this point in time?

That is a tough question. I have listened to this album, start to finish, every day. That is something I have never done with an album Candlebox has made. I think every song has something special on it. The opening track, “Already Because of You,” is a song about my mom. She grew up in Chicago and her mother died of cancer when she was 12 years old. She was raised by her grandmother. She met my father when she was 18 and he was 37 and they were married for 42 years. That song really resonates with me. “I’ve Got A Gun” is another track. I am a staunch believer in everyone’s Second Amendment rights. I personally don’t own a gun and I never will but I don’t believe that people should not have that right. I do believe the people who choose not to own a gun have the right to voice their opinions and be protected as well, from that lethal weapon. That is a song that really resonates with me. The song “The Bridge” is written about the movie of the same name, which is about the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. It is a documentary that is pretty incredible. I know, on a daily basis, people make that difficult and sad choice, so that is what that song is about. All the songs on this record have something really, really special to me and it is difficult to pick just one.

You are kicking off a new tour in support of this album. What excites you about it and what can fans expect from Candlebox this time around?

I am really excited to play the new songs. Fans can expect to hear four to five in the set. Even though the record does not come out until April 22, we want to get people ready for it and used to it! I am excited to play live with this new lineup. We have been having a lot of great shows so far and we just played South America. We played Lollapalooza in Chile and Lima, Peru. It is just fun, man! It is a long set! There are a lot of songs in there that people love and songs they haven’t heard in a long time. There are also some cover songs in the middle of some songs that I think will excite people. It is an evening of great rock ‘n’ roll!

You have seen the music industry change exponentially over the years. As a guy who makes his living as an artist, what excites you the most about what today’s industry offers for artists?

I think the accessibility of new talent is amazing. I am really inspired by music blogs. I love finding new bands from a blogger in Cincinnati, New York or Atlanta. I am listening to a lot of great music right now and that is what inspires me — finding a new band, absorbing it, picking it apart and really listening to what people are doing. That is where I come from. It is what I use when I write and when I sing. I am constantly thinking about the talent that is out there and what it is doing for the industry. I think that is what I love about the business now, it is so accessible. Yeah, it’s hard because you aren’t selling millions of records anymore but the great thing about it is that there is just so much music out there. Whether it is watered down pop, hip-hop, great industrial, great hardcore or whatever, I listen to everything and I find inspiration in all of it.

You strike me as a guy who is always looking ahead to the next project. What does the future hold for you musically?

I don’t know, man! I like looking at it from the perspective of the 1,000 foot view of, “Where am I going?” I really don’t know. I think when we get in the studio next year to do the next record, it is going to be just as different as this one is. It will still be rock ‘n’ roll but I am sure there will be a lot more experimentation on the next record!

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That is cool to hear and leads me to my next question. When you look back on your body of work, how have you most evolved as an artist?

I think the songwriting has been our biggest growth as musicians. It comes down to understanding who we are, what we are capable of and working with those talents between the five of us. I think that is what we have learned the most and how we have grown the most. We respect each other’s talents and musicianship and use it in our songs during the writing process. Understanding that everyone has got a voice has been very important when you are trying to write a record that people want to listen to!

You experienced highs, lows and everything in between as an artist but keep moving forward. What is the best lesson we can take from your journey?

[laughs] Question everything! [laughs] I don’t question everything, that is just not true. I think it is really being who you are and not trying to fit into the mold of what people think you should be or what’s out there. Doing what you love the way you love doing and not being sorry for it is very important. No regrets! You just have to keep moving forward constantly and continue to challenge yourself!

Awesome! Thanks again for your time today, Kevin! I can’t wait to catch up with you again soon and wish you all the best! You are a true inspiration!

Thank you, Jason! I appreciate that! Thank you very much.

For all the latest news and tour dates for Candlebox, visit their official website at www.candleboxrocks.com. Catch the band on tour on the following dates! Connect with Kevin Martin of social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

“Disappearing in Airports Tour 2016” dates w/ Lullwater & Pete RG:
4/01 – Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom
4/02 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
4/03 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
4/05 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
4/07 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
4/08 – San Antonio, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
4/09 – Tyler, TX @ Click’s
4/10 – Lubbock, TX @ Jake’s Backroom
4/12 – El Paso, TX @ Speaking Rock Entertainment Center
4/13 – Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
4/15 – San Luis Obispo, CA @ Fremont Theater
4/16 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
4/19 – Butte, MT @ Butte Depot
4/20 – Billings, MT @ Pub Station
4/22 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
4/23 – Pueblo, CO @ Pueblo Memorial Hall
4/26 – Little Rock, AR @ Metroplex
4/27 – Monroe, LA @ Live Oaks
4/28 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Varsity Theatre
4/29 – Panama City Beach, FL @ Club La Vela
4/30 – Jacksonville, FL @ Welcome to Rockville
5/03 – Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head Tavern
5/05 – Nashville, TN @ 12th and Porter
5/06 – Charlotte, NC @ Carolina Rebellion
5/07 – Marietta, OH @ The Adelphia Music Hall

Candlebox live:
5/19 – Bethlehem, PA @ Sands Bethlehem Center (w/ 3 Doors Down)
5/21 – Warrendale, PA @ Jergel’s Rhythm Grill
5/28 – Uncasville, CT @ Wolf Den, Mohegan Sun Casino
6/12 – South Bend, IN @ St. Joseph County Fairgrounds

Candlebox is:
Kevin Martin – vocals
Dave Krusen – drums
Mike Leslie – lead/rhythm guitar
Brian Quinn – lead/rhythm guitar
Adam Kury – bass

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Candlebox Announces Spring Tour In Support of ‘Disappearing in Airports’ Album

Candlebox Announces Spring Tour In Support of ‘Disappearing in Airports’ Album

candlebox-2016-1

Candlebox, the influential, multi-platinum rock band from the powerful 90’s Seattle music movement, has announced a spring headlining tour in support of its long-overdue sixth album Disappearing in Airports. The “Disappearing in Airports Tour 2016” will kick off on April 1 in Louisville, Ky. and continue through the first week of May, including festival stops at Welcome to Rockville and Carolina Rebellion. Indie singer-songwriter Pete RG will perform in support. A full list of tour dates can be seen below. Tickets and VIP packages will go on sale this Friday.

Disappearing in Airports is set to release on April 22 through Pavement Entertainment. It will be available on all digital platforms (iTunes, Amazon, YouTube Red, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music) and distributed by MRI/Sony RED. iTunes pre-orders are live now at: https://goo.gl/xy96Zi with Instant Gratification downloads of “Vexatious” and “Supernova.

The first single “Vexatious” is streaming. Check it out below.

“‘Vexatious’ is about the social networking-obsessed, unlimited bragging rights society we live in, where people come off as entitled yet so insecure,” commented band founder and frontman Kevin Martin. “Whether it’s a pop star feuding senselessly with another pop star, or people who can’t help but to take 50 different selfies in under a minute missing everything that’s happening around them, it’s a sad commentary on life that we can’t escape. Dating apps, bitching apps, secret sharing apps, apps, apps, apps-they all operate outside of any real or authentic human connection. It’s disconnect everywhere and it’s destroying us. No one cares what anyone else thinks or feels. It’s all ‘me, me, me’ and, if you ask me, it’s fucking sad.”

Disappearing in Airports showcases the group’s introspective and poetically candid songwriting with its signature musical immediacy. Candlebox worked with producers Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland (August Burns Red, Everclear, Rivers of Nihil), cutting the record at Think Loud Studios in York, Penn. With Kevin Martin, Dave Krusen on drums, Adam Kury on bass and the addition of guitarists Mike Leslie and Brian Quinn, the recommitment to creating music that is ‘pissed and urgent’ as well as bringing a new energy to the live show is at this record’s core.

“I want to take Candlebox into a new world, and this record is very different, very diverse for us,” said Kevin Martin. “It’s about growth and pushing the band in the direction for a new audience.”

‘Disappearing In Airports’ Tracklisting

1. Only Because of You
2. Vexatious
3. Supernova
4. Alive at Last
5. I’ve Got a Gun
6. I Want It Back
7. The Bridge
8. Spotlights
9. Crazy
10. God’s Gift
11. Keep on Waiting *

*digital only bonus track

Stay tuned for more information on Candlebox and Disappearing in Airports, out this spring on Pavement Entertainment.

candlebox-2016-tour

“Disappearing in Airports Tour 2016” dates:

4/01 – Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom
4/02 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
4/03 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
4/05 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
4/07 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
4/08 – San Antonio, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
4/09 – Tyler, TX @ Click’s
4/10 – Lubbock, TX @ Jake’s Backroom
4/12 – El Paso, TX @ Speaking Rock Entertainment Center
4/13 – Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
4/16 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
4/19 – Butte, MT @ Butte Depot
4/20 – Billings, MT @ Pub Station
4/22 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
4/23 – Pueblo, CO @ Pueblo Memorial Hall
4/26 – Little Rock, AR @ Metroplex
4/27 – Monroe, LA @ Live Oaks
4/28 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Varsity Theatre
4/30 – Jacksonville, FL @ Welcome to Rockville
5/03 – Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head Tavern
5/05 – Nashville, TN @ 12th and Porter
5/06 – Charlotte, NC @ Carolina Rebellion
5/07 – Marietta, OH @ The Adelphia Music Hall

About Candlebox:
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.”

Candlebox is:
Kevin Martin – vocals
Dave Krusen – drums
Mike Leslie – lead/rhythm guitar
Brian Quinn – lead/rhythm guitar
Adam Kury – bass
Candlebox online:

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OPEN AIR STEREO: Chase Johnson Talks Evolution With New Album ‘Primates’

OPEN AIR STEREO: Chase Johnson Talks Evolution With New Album ‘Primates’

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OPEN AIR STEREO first exploded onto the pop culture landscape when they were featured on MTV’s wildly popular series, “Laguna Beach,”  where the band’s charismatic frontman, Chase Johnson became a main character in the series. The band was featured prominently and the series concluded with the band’s sold-out performance at The Roxy in Los Angeles. At the time they were being featured on the TV show, OPEN AIR STEREO signed to Sony Epic Records, and were diligently working on recording their debut album.  Over a year-and-a-half of writing and recording eventually hit a creative blockade, and the sessions stalled. The band split for about three years, unsure of the future and uncertain that the music they had worked so hard to create would ever see the light of day.

Reconvening in 2011 they emerged from the mists of the Hollywood Hills stronger than ever. Together, Chase Johnson (lead vocals), Nick Gross (drums), Scott Pounds (guitars), Evan Smith (bass) are ready to once again leave their mark on the music scene by unleashing their powerful debut album, PRIMATES, via Goomba Music. With a mix of songs written by the band and some co-written collaborations, PRIMATES is an exercise in the tight, economical execution of rock and roll.  It was produced by an array of producers including Gavin Brown, Mike Plotnikoff, and Peter Stengaard; a large part of the writing on the album is with Marti Fredrikson (Daughtry, Aerosmith, Def Leppard). With PRIMATES, the band has filtered their various influences through their own personal experiences to arrive with a fully realized and confident debut album. The album’s title was inspired by mankind’s own evolutionary cousins, giving the band a moment to reflect on their own personal evolution through time, perfecting their craft and going through the growing pains to emerge on the other side as a stronger, leaner, fitter band. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Chase Johnson to discuss his music roots, the early days of Open Air Stereo, the creation of their debut album and much more!

Chase Johnson Cuts Loose!

Chase Johnson Cuts Loose!

I wanted to back to your formative years and learn about how music first came into your life?

My mom and my sister are two brilliant singers. I grew up around people who were singing all the time, so it just became second nature. I was always humming tunes and making my own melodies. I remember driving in the minivan back and forth from pre-school and my mom playing stuff like Enya, The Carpenters and The Beatles. I was humming along. I started singing lyrics at a very young age, almost as soon I started talking and getting sentences out. Those are some of my first musical memories.

Who were some of the influences who shaped you as an artist early on?

Definitely The Beatles. They are my number one influence. I think the first song of their’s I ever heard was “Paperback Writer”. Every since I head that song, The Beatles were it! From melody to they way they carried themselves as rock stars, they had the right attitude and put that into their music. They were just so true and believable. I think that is something we lose a lot these days.

What made you pursue music as a career instead of going a different route?

To be honest, I never wanted to be anything else but a musician. I think it is more about turning into a musician than a rock star. I think when you are younger, you want to be a rock star. Then you realize the rock star thing isn’t as glamorous as it all seems, ya know? I am a family man. I love all of my family, my girlfriend and my friends. I think as I have gotten older, I want to be a musician and an artist. When I was young, I would bring in a little guitar to show-and-tell. I never was the kid standing up there saying I wanted to be a fireman or policeman. I always wanted to do something in music. I guess it was ingrained into my mind, body and soul at a young age.

Open Air Stereo

Open Air Stereo

Take us back to the beginning. How did Open Air Stereo first come together?

I was always playing in and out with different friends in my garage or a friend’s garage. We were very young, like early middle school. I started doing talent shows and stuff. From there, I broke off and met Nick Gross in CGD class, which is cataclysm class. We would try to get kicked out so we could go talk about music. We both knew that each other’s minds were in the same realm. He said “Ya know, I drum and I would really like to be in a band.” I said “I’ve got a band going but we really need a drummer and I sing.” We started jamming out from there and it was all over! There was no turning back and we have been inseparable ever since.

I am sure a lot of people remember the band from your stint on MTV’s “Laguna Beach”. How did you get involved with that project initially?

I have always been friends with the people from the first two seasons of “Laguna Beach”. I grew up with them. When the crew, creators and directors of the show came to the third season, they asked those people, from the previous seasons, who were the younger, hip people. I don’t know how but somehow I made the cut! [laughs] They made me a real member of the show. I just sat down with them early on and being a little lawyer kid, laid down the law, saying “If I am going to be on this thing, you have to feature my band.” Luckily, the agreed. They said “That sounds great. It would be a great dynamic for the show.” I always felt I would rather be shunned doing what I love, than doing stupid high school drama! Luckily, that is how it turned out! [laughs] It caught the attention of a lot of people. It was a really good stepping stone and pathway for us.

As you said, the band got a lot of attention from the show. Then you went in to create what would b a debut album but it never came to fruition and the band went on hiatus. What was it that eventually resurrected Open Air Stereo and got you back in the mix?

Available Now!

Available Now!

To rewind a little bit more, the hiatus came when we got a lot of clout from the show but it was a lot for us to handle at such a young age. We had a huge contract with Epic/Sony. It was getting a lot of praise from some of the wrong people, who were just blowing smoke up our ass. I think we took it the wrong way at a certain point and thought we were rock stars before we were ever musicians. We had to break off and grow separately as people before we could grow as a band. What kicked started the band was late nights in the Hollywood Hills with my boy Nick Gross, the drummer. We were having a few beers and sat down to listen to a few of the songs we had. We were like “We have too much good shit! We are too good as two people together and we need to keep this thing going!” We got back Scott Pounds, our amazing guitarist, and we found our bassist Adam Smith. We have been moving it up the hill ever since.

For people who haven’t heard “Primates” yet, how would you describe it sonically and how does it differ from your early work?

Originally, you could hear a lot of influence from Incubus to a lot of different people. With this record, I feel we are starting to cultivate our own sound. We still have nuances of Incubus, Foo Fighters, Aerosmith, Thirty Seconds To Mars and Muse. It is all over the board really because we are all over the board. I think it is nice to have such diversity. To describe the record, it is alternative pop rock, straightforward. It is fun to jam out to and it is fun for easy listening, as well. There is no screamo or anything like that! [laughs]

The title of the album is “Primates”. How did you guys arrive at that title and what does it mean to you personally?

“Primates” came to be for two reasons really. The first one is the theory of evolution and the theory of growing and evolving as people and as a family. We have really done that! We have been through a lot of ups and downs and I am really proud of us. We have been doing this for a long time and we still love it. We love it more and more each day! We just thought it would be a quirky thing to call it “Primates,” and elude to those animal instincts. A lot of bands with our style of music have a really serious picture on the cover of their record with their faces really big and are trying to look all sexy and hot! [laughs] We didn’t want do that because we aren’t those kinda guys. We wanted to have something cooler. The monkey thing looked cool and sounded cool. Also, our single, “Stuck On You,” has that funny little monkey noise that kinda reminds me of The Talking Heads. That was another reason for the monkey. [laughs]

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When you decided to hit the studio to create “Primates,” what were your expectations?

We wanted to make the best record we could make for where we are in our lives right now. I guess that is always the common goal. We didn’t really set any bars or anything, we just wanted to make a solid record that we felt proud of. We accomplished that! We are even more excited for the second album. We already have five songs written for the second album! We really sailed through it. I think the hardest part as an artist is being done with it and having to wait for the labels to put it out!

Awesome! That leads me to my next question. What can you tell us about your songwriting process and how you bring a song to life?

The songwriting process for us is never one solitary thing. Sometimes Nick might bring a beat or I might have a melody. Sometimes I might have a lyric idea for a song and we branch off of that. Sometimes Scott might bring in a guitar riff. We all have basically have studios and we work a lot out of Nick’s studio a lot. A lot of times, we will just sit in the studio and make demos until we find something we love.

Catch Them On Tour!

Catch Them On Tour!

You guys put everything you have into your live show. For those who haven’t seen you yet, what can they expect from Open Air Stereo’s live show?

It is an extremely energetic show. We have been told the music is a little more energetic live and that is always a blessing to hear. We always want to have the show represent the record well but is great that it is even better. This tour has been teaching us a lot and we have been getting a lot stronger.

What is in store for fans in regard to video releases?

We just released the video for “Stuck On You,” which was produced by Anthony Leonardi, who did the Imagine Dragons’ “It’s Time.” He works for Caviar, who were involved with Jerry Bruckheimer for the “Pirates of The Caribbean” movies. It is really exciting to work with him. I we are excited to get it out there!

As a songwriter, where are you turning for inspiration these days?

I think I have always pulled from my life. It just goes without saying, it is hard not to. Lately, I have been writing lyrics from dreams that I have. It has proven interesting and to be quite a challenge. It is teaching me to write down my dreams and it has been a lot of fun!

You mentioned Open Air Stereo’s evolution as a band. How do you feel you have evolved personally as an artist and as a person through the years?

I think I have become a little bit more immune to bullshit. [laughs] I have developed this bullshit filter that I captured on tour. I have learned to push away negativity and focus on the positive. The outcome is so much greater! I write more because of it. I smile a lot more because of it. I think as a person I have achieved a little bit more maturity in songwriting and on stage.

Do you feel there are any misconceptions about yourself or the band stemming from your connection to “Laguna Beach’?

That is a great question. I think there used to be some criticism about us being this TV band. I always tell people “Oh yeah? We are a TV band, huh? If you actually did your research, you would know we were playing ever since we were little kids!” The TV show was just a stepping stone. I always tell them, “If you were in my shoes as a younger kid, with a band and wanted to spread your music all over, you would have been on the show too!” We are a real band. We play real music and most importantly, we love what we do!

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What are your plans or goals for Open Air Stereo both short term and long term?

There are always goals. To be bold — we want to take over the world! We want everyone in the world to hear our music. We definitely want to continue touring for the next few years and continue to make records. We want to do it until we drop!

Chase Johnson

Chase Johnson

How about career milestones? Anything that springs to mind for you immediately?

Absolutely, I remember when we first started playing shows, we were playing high school parties and things like that. That lead to playing at the Roxy. Before we were selling out, we would literally play to twenty people, who were our friends and family. I remember being on stage thinking, “Man, what would it be like to have this room packed?” Eventually, that happened and we were playing to thousands of people! It is a headstrong feeling but also very humbling. I feel that if you perform to the crowd, then you are performing with them as well and they are there with you. It is a beautiful feeling and one I wish upon the world.

This is probably one of the most important question I could ask a person in your position, as you have been at it for years and are dedicated to what you do. What is the best advice you can pass along to those looking to make music a career?

You have to really love it, so make sure you really love music because success doesn’t happen overnight. Also, have a great lawyer! [laughs]

Solid advice! Thanks for taking time out to talk with us today, Chase. We have been digging the record and look forward to doing our part to spread the word!

Thank you, Jason, so much! Take care, brother!

For all the latest news and tour dates for OPEN AIR STEREO, visit their official site at www.openairstereo.com. Be sure to connect with them on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook!

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