Now selling out shows across the
country, they finally taste success
By BRIAN A. GNAT
A year and a half ago, Candlebox
was just another small time band from
that S-city in the Pacific Northwest.
Between serving espressos at local cof-
fee shops, the band was able to go into
the studio and record an album.
After selling a mere 2.3 million
copies of their self titled debut,
Candlebox is now busy headlining sold
out shows across the country, having
their music spewed out across MTV
and radio waves everywhere.
"I'm surprised that we are doing
this well," drummer Scott Mercado
said humbly in aphone interview from
Las Vegas earlier this month. "I thought
that if we sold 100,000, that would be
the coolest thing in the world; if we
went gold, that would be just unspeak-
able. It's a weird feeling."
With basically an overnight suc-
cess, it's hard to imagine Mercado,
vocalist Kevin Martin, guitarist Peter
Klett and bass player Bardi Martin still
keep their humble and honest attitudes.
Named after a lyric in Midnight
Oil's song "Tin Legs and Tin Mines,"
Candlebox has turned into a great suc-
cess, especially for a band that has only
played together for less than three years.
"Before Candlebox, Kevin and I were
in a band called Uncle Duke with a
different guitarist and bass player,"
"We disbanded after about six
months, and then pulled in Peter. two
months later, and then Bardi a short
time afterwards. To make a long story
short, things clicked, and we became
Candlebox around Christmas of 1991.
We did our demos three or four months
after that, got signed a year after form-
ing, and recorded the album almost a
year to the date of the demo, and have
been touring ever since."
Although Mercado makes the whole
process sound so simple, Candlebox
did not have any support from their
local Seattle scene, and found it impos-
sible to find places to play in their home
"We're not partofthe Seattle scene,"
Mercado happily remarked. "The Se-
attle scene, mainly the local musicians
and management have never really
givenus any respect, anditisn'tlike we
expect it or need it. I'm actually glad
we aren'tpart ofit. We didn't go through
the usual routes that the other bands
did. There really isn't any reason why,
but instead of going the endless bar
routine, we elected to do a demo, and
got signed more of our demo than we
did off of any live shows."
Although Candlebox doesn't have
much to do with Seattle, most of the
band's songwriting inspirations come
from growing up in that area. "It's not
really a hard place to live, except it
rains there all the time," Mercado said.
."There's a lot of drugs available
there. I think it's because it sits on the
Pacific Rim. You've heard ofthe heroin
thing up there, of course?" Mercado
remarked with a hint of sarcasm.
The group's lyrics relate to their
own personal experiences, friends and
family more than anything else. "We're
not a band much for social change.
We're not a political band," Mercado
admitted. "A lot of bands are using the
f-word every other sentence. To me, it
gets kind of old and boring after a
while, hearing someone say 'fuck' all
the time. Then you got the other ex-
treme - the left or right wing lyrics
that raise every political or politically
correct issue there is. I think we are
really not all that comfortable with it.
Every band taps into something to make
them write musical lyrics about, and
Candlebox takes a moment out from their music to do a little meditation. See1
them getting in touch with their inner selves.
ours just happens to be more personal,
or about personal relationships to-
The alienation that Candlebox re-
ceives from Seattle isn't simply from
theif selected route into the music busi-
ness. "Were definitely not a grunge
band," Mercado defended. "I think the
fact that we all come from diverse
backgrounds has something to do with
it. I'm from a jazz background, Kevin
comes from a punk and also blues
background, and Pete and Bardi also
come from a '70s hard rock back-
ground. I think the mesh of that helped
us to get to where we are. Like every-
thing was thrown into a pot."
"Our influences are late 60s and
early '70s rock, like Janis Joplin, and
also Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Zeppe-
lin. We don't like to be compared to
those things though. I think ifyou listen
to a song like 'No Sense' you'll hear
the Doors' influence."
Being one of the first successful
bands on Madonna's own Maverick
label, many people assume Candlebox
and the Material Girl are actually closer
than atraditional business relationship.
"Maverick is a good label,"
Mercado said. "People don't realize
that Madonna really didn't have any-
thing to do with it. She has people
doing her everyday business. It's just
her name basically. She really doesn't
have anything to do with the label or
even us. She's hired people to do the
daily business thing. We met her a
couple times, and she was cordial, but
I can't say any of us are buddy buddy
with her. Once though, someone asked
me 'What size panties does Madonna
After touring with such acts as Rush,
Metallica, and Living Colour (who they
opened for in Ann Arbor last fall),
Candlebox has gotten an ideaof what a
great rock show should consist of. "We
try to keep the same amount of inten-
sity that's on the album," Mercado
"We even try and up the intensity
meter, especially with the crowd. We
try to be more personable like on the
album, rather than what you might see
on MTV. We're not a slut rock band ...
We're no Poison."
Late winter or early spring of 1995
Candlebox will be going back into the
studio to record their second album,
with a tentative release date of some-
time mid summer.
"We've written a few songs, and
we'll be playing some of the new ones
on this tour. They're a little harder;
more in the vain of 'Don't You' I'd
say," Mercado said.
After a grueling 18 months on the
road, and beating the odds and also the
critics against them, Candlebox is be-
ginning to enjoy their success.
"Nobody can tell us we haven't
paid our dues, because we've been told
since the very beginning in Seattle that
you can't do that, won't get there, and
don'tdeserve it," Mercado said."WheO
we formed as a band, everybody was
already hitting on Seattle like it was
some blas6, lame thing, so I think after
what we've gone through with every-
body at every corner telling us we
couldn't do it, I think that in itself gives
us reason enough to say it."
CANDLEBOXwi be p aying three
sold out shows at The State Theater
in Detroit on October 28, 29 & 30.
Call Ticketmaster at (810) 645-66660
for more information.
He could be the next Seinfeld, and he's coming to the 'U'
By KIRK MILLER
Don't ask comedian Anthony Clark
why he is part of the Homecoming
"I don't know anything about it,"
he mumbled sleepily over the phone
from a movie set in Los Angeles. "I
don't think I'veevereven been in Michi-
However, Michigan is one of more
than 20 stand-up dates Clark will be
making at universities this year, ap-
pearances he has to fit in between time
on movie sets.
"I don't do stand-up as much any-
more," he said. "I always knew I wanted
Color Perms Nall Care
to act. I didn't know stand-up would
lead the way into it."
Currently he is on the set of "Hour-
glass," a shoot 'em up action movie
starring C. Thomas Howell (of "The
Outsiders" fame); his othercredits have
included two River Phoenix movies,
"Dogfight" and "This Thing Called
Love." This might seem a far cry from
the "Police Academy 7: Dogs On Pa-
'(I am) observational,
oriented ... but there's
still an edge'
- Anthony Clark
rade" dreck most aspiring stand-up-
turned-movie stars are put into, but
Clark thinks the two fields have a lot of
"Acting is a natural progression
from stand-up," he claimed. "Look at
Robin Williams or all of those sitcoms
on TV based around comedians."
Clark has been acting and perform-
ing stand-up for six years. After leav-
ing his home in Virginia he attended
Emerson College in Massachusetts, the
breeding ground for such talents as
Dennis Leary, Spalding Gray, Jay Leno
and Norman Lear. In 1988 he started to
tour with his own style of stand-up,
which he described as family-oriented.
"I'm not as confrontational as Bill
Hicks (the late comic and Clark's idol),"
he admitted. "It's observational, whole-
some, character-oriented ... but there's
still an edge, a little political commen-
He hopes this translates into his
next venture, a sitcom based on his
stand-up currently being developed by
Castle Rock Entertainment, which has
already had a proven success with
"Seinfeld." However, he has no idea
what the format of the show will be or
who is in it (or if it will be called
"Clark" or "Anthony"). He's more ex-
cited about his upcoming spots on
"It's an image campaign, like Den-
nis Leary or that cab guy," he ex-
plained. "I play a convenience store
worker." The spots start running some
time next month.
Speaking of the music channel,
Clark also admitted an odd fascination
with "The Real World."
"Whenever I'm flipping around
channels and it's on I have to watch,"
he laughed. His favorite is Puck (sorry
Judd), because he's "a rebellious, can-
tankerous little fuck. I like that bad boy
ANTHONY CLARK will be
performing as part of Homecoming
at Hill Auditorium 7p.m. Friday.
Tickets are $10, $5 for students. Call
763-8587 for details.
119 W. Washington, Ann Arbor
Monday 9-6; Tuesday - Friday 9-8; Saturday 9-6
: Our Internship
Program in Paris will
take you places!*
Forprog damku cemp ra * cotpa bwmaud m al iw:
Bodon Uohvrstyit o ml APngrss
Anthony Clark has never visitited Michigan, yet he's part of our Homecoming
Festivities. Sounds a little strange to us, but hey, if this guy's going to be.
the next Seinfeld, then we're glad to have him here.
Dece ber 251h
isan important Jewish date.
"Working at The Michigan Daily
helped me get involved with the
.:... University and Lrave me quality