[Interview excerpt. Download the full e-book (pdf) for free at http://bandstofans.fetchapp.com/permalink/a0dbe0]
Cris Cohen: There is this particular lyric that I loved in the song “Let Me Down Easy" where it says, "I can't find the missing pages from my life," which, everyone I talk to, that pretty much sums up their experience with 2020. There's this feeling… they were headed for stuff. They had plans for stuff. There were some good things on the horizon. And then it all got ripped away.
And the band Candlebox itself has had its own ups and downs, but you've continued to endure. From your perspective as a musician, what's your secret to persistence? Because I think that's key for a lot of people right now.
Kevin Martin of Candlebox: It's financial (laughs). No. I think the key to my persistence really is just that I love what I do. When I was a kid, this was all I could dream about. I mean, what sold it for me was my first KISS record. It's seeing these larger-than-life creatures. I was five years old and I was like, "What is this? This is the most amazing thing." It's like you're getting your first comic book or something.
So, I knew that it's what I always wanted to do. And I also know that I have something to say. Whether or not it's right or wrong, it's certainly just my opinion. But I have found that certain things that I speak about resonate with my flock, if you will. I feel sometimes I am a bit preachy, but I think that that comes from being raised by a father who was born in 1922 and stormed Omaha Beach on June 6th of 1944, and married my mother after six months in 1959. And they were married for 45 years until my father passed away at the ripe old age of 81.
My dad spoke to me every day about life and the importance of relationships, and respect, caring, understanding, empathy, and all these great things. So, I feel that, maybe what my father taught me, I'm passing on to my extended family. That's kind of what keeps me motivated.
Now available! Download the free e-book "An Interview with Kevin Martin of Candlebox".
- Their new song, “Let Me Down Easy”
- Co-writing with Pete Cornell
- Their cover of “For What It’s Worth”
- “There is darkness in enlightenment”
- How initially being a drummer influenced his songwriting
- Being a reluctant singer
- And more
Thanks for the shoutout during the interview, Rich Redmond. So glad this came together. What a fun conversation to watch.
It turns out that you can get to work on cool stuff just by going to a client and saying, “What if we did this?” I did that a couple of months ago. Ever since, I have been working on a special project for a client.
My justifications for why this would be worthwhile:
- It plays to my strengths as an introverted geek who likes to interview people and gather information
- As a fan of this band, I would love this
That was it. Green light given.
Of course, I was ready to answer any hard-hitting questions…
“Have other artists had success with this?”
I’m not sure anyone has done this before.
“Besides you, would other people like this?”
Possibly. I have no idea.
Cris Cohen: Did you ever have actual lessons or was it all...
Kryz Reid of Third Eye Blind: No. All self-taught. No, it was just watching Jimi Hendrix on (video tape), rewinding the fucking thing, and going, "How is he doing it?" That kind of stuff. But the thing is, when I started learning to play the guitar, I had already had a few girlfriends. I had been deeply in love. I had my heart completely smashed and all of that. And I'm an arty little fucker. I was always drawing and sketching and stuff like that as a kid. So, for me, (music was) the perfect conduit for all of that.
Download the full free ebook of this interview
You can now download a free ebook (pdf) of my full interview with Kryz Reid of Third Eye Blind.
- How being in the band has influenced his guitar playing
- The impact Prince continues to have on him
- Making the album "Screamer" and how they worked to "keep it weird"
- And more
Here is an excerpt...
Cris Cohen: Right. And speaking of your setup, just because I was watching just now in soundcheck, that guitar is slung really low on you. I mean, it's like at knee level.
Kryz Reid: Yeah, I've been hearing that more and more recently now than before. I've always slung my guitar pretty low. I'm from the Jimmy Page school of guitar playing. Greasy, as we say.
It just looked cool to me. I mean, Tom Morello is the only guitar player I can think of who does what our bass player, Cavy, calls a studio set up, where you wear your guitar really high, because you're in the studio. You don't want to look cool. You want to play well.
And I've just always slung it low. So one of my guitars is a Fano JM6. It's kind of like a Jazzmaster sort of thing, that Dennis Fano made. And I noticed that is particularly low-slung because of where the hoist points are on the body of the guitar. So, when I play it out, I'm going like, "F---ing hell, man. This is way low."
Cris Cohen: But not enough so you'd want to just bring it up a notch on the strap?
Kryz Reid: No, it's not uncomfortable. That's the way I've always played the guitar.
Cris Cohen: I think Dave Matthews, he's another one where the guitar is really up here. And supposedly that's ergonomically better in terms of how your arm is positioned, how your wrist is positioned, and things like that. But…
Kryz Reid: Man, if you go down that rabbit hole, you'll find, this is the optimum pose for playing the guitar. (Mimes having the guitar almost at his neck with his legs crossed.) No one's getting laid sitting like that. At all.
So, it's not an issue. I play Les Pauls mostly as well. It's kind of Jimmy Page's kind of thing. When I see a picture of me on stage, I go, "Yeah. F---, yeah." I don't go, "Goddamn, that thing is low." It just looks cool.
Admittedly, the content I develop with my clients leans toward my own biases. For bands, I develop content I want to see as a music fan. For businesses, I develop content I want to see as someone who is interested in the people behind a business.
Most people do not approach content creation this way. Most people develop content that they think will get clicks or (more often) that someone else said would get clicks. That content usually bores the hell out of me.
An artist could probably get a massive amount of engagement by posting the question “Which song of ours best fits your political beliefs and why?” Not only would people answer that question, their answers would lead to some massive fights in the Comments section. And the social media algorithms reward big fights in the Comments section. “Social media: Amplifying hate for over a decade.”
The stats for that artist would spike. So would my boredom.
I look for more. I want to read about the songs, the recording process, and the concert experiences. I might be in the minority on that. Of course, I am also part of the minority who cares about sound quality and buys actual CDs and records.
Cris Cohen: With the “Three Fates Project” and other such stuff, spending a lot of time working with Keith Emerson, how did he, a keyboardist extraordinaire, influence you as a guitarist?
Marc Bonilla: All through my early formative years. I still have my vinyl of Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s “Tarkus,” “Trilogy,” and “Brain Salad Surgery” with the binder paper that I had in high school with everything written out. I copped all of his keyboard parts. I would play them because they were just beautiful. I could play all of those records. I couldn't even begin to tell you how much he influenced me. And he was a keyboard player, but he got me into classical music, which was a number of the people that he opened (me up to). You know, “Who's Mussorgsky? ‘Pictures at a what?’ ‘Fanfare for the Common who’?” And then I would go back and I would listen to the originals and go, “Wow! This is great!”
He opened so many players up to the classical world, either opened the door from the rock into classical or from classical into rock. In Munich during the “Three Fates,” so many of the players were coming up to him and going, “If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be here in the orchestra.” And he was floored. He wasn't expecting it.
So my thing with him was to try to pay that back a little bit. He'd never really been in a four-piece band. He was always shouldering the load, you know, in Emerson Lake & Palmer. But now he had a guitar player. We could do stuff together. And his favorite thing was to comp, let me go out there and do stuff and comp and play chords behind it. He could relax a little bit. Then he would come back out and do his thing.
You can now read my full interview with Andy Summers of The Police.
Conducted in 1999, we discussed:
- His solo album "Green Chimneys: The Music of Thelonious Monk"
- Playing songs on the guitar that were created for the piano
- Internalizing the Thelonious Monk repertoire
- Why he mixed the album twice
- Getting Sting to sing on “Round Midnight”
- Jazz guitar versus rock guitar
Read it here
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