Candlebox are back in full force with a new album, ‘Love Stories and Other Musings,’ and lead singer Kevin Martin says the album’s inspiration came from a very different place in his life than it did when the band first broke out in the early ’90s. He also offers a surprising list of metal acts among the bands that help inspire his songwriting.

“When we went back to do the [Candlebox] re-records, I started realizing how I had to sing the songs relative to how they were written in 1991 or 1992,” Martin told Artist Direct. “I had forgotten a lot of things that inspired me as a lyricist. I’ve grown so much over the years. After 20 years of making music, I’ve grown into a different storyteller.

“I think I’m a little bit more realistic now and not so dreamy in the sense that I had fantasies when I was a kid of trying to weave this web of unconsciousness in lyrics and trying to creative that way…  I don’t know what kinds of stories I’m telling now other than being a father and a husband. My life is a lot more real now. I have a lot more real responsibilities. I’m not just out running around buying Porsches and flying all over the world having fun. It’s all about raising my family now and enjoying every day I can with my son and my wife.”

Martin added that while ‘Love Stories and Other Musings’ shows the poppier side of Candlebox, he also has some surprisingly heavy influences as a musician. “Tool has always been one of those bands. I’m a fan of Mastodon,” he said. “The heavy side of Candlebox tends to come from Pete’s metal background of Iron Maiden and Led Zeppelin. This record is more on the poppier side of things. They’re chord progressions that make my ears pop up and inspire me.”

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