CANDLEBOX frontman Kevin Martin spoke to Chris Akin of "Aftershocks" about what it has been like for him and his bandmates to tour during the pandemic. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "The response is great. The venues aren't at full capacity — most of the ones that we're playing — so that's a little odd. But the audiences are great; people are showing up. That's all you can really hope for. The weirdest thing, really, is just that you can't really escape into the music like we've been able to do for so many years. In the back of your mind, the thought is always there, 'Am I gonna catch COVID at this event?' And that's not only from the band; it's the fans as well. It's just one of those things that you can sense is in the back of everybody's mind. So it makes it really difficult to just enjoy this as much as you'd like to."
Asked if all the COVID-19 protocols have made touring seem like a "job" for the first time in CANDLEBOX's career, Martin responded: "It does. It's strange that way. You kind of feel like, 'Okay, I've gotta be here, and I wanna make sure that everybody enjoys themselves.' But, yeah, that's kind of exactly what it is. It's the first time ever I felt like this is a job."
Less than two months ago, Martin told Sofa King Cool about what it has been like for him and his bandmates to tour during the pandemic: "Our fans aren't happy about it, but we're not doing meet-and-greets, we're not doing VIPs, we're not any backstage, there's no comp tickets — which is the first time in my career that I've ever had to do that. We just can't afford it. I can't afford for someone in my band to get COVID, or for me to get COVID, and have to shut this tour down for 10 days to quarantine.
"We were in Wichita on this last run we did, and there were two tour buses parked next to ours in the morning, and it was THE AVETT BROTHERS who had to cancel two shows because someone either on their crew or the venues they were going to tested positive," he continued. "And that's two days of sitting in Wichita [with] two tour buses at a thousand dollars a day, not to mention what you have to pay your crew members per day — all those types of things. It's heavy, heavy duty.
"So, we wear masks everywhere," he explained. "We don't interact with any of the crew at the venues, which is unfortunate, because I know a lot of these guys at these venues we're playing. And we don't go out. We play the show, we hang out at the dressing room, shower, clean up, whatever, and we go straight to the bus and head to the next town. So we're being as overly cautious as we can.
"Frankly, we've had a couple of instances of people yelling at our crew guys onstage, 'Take your fucking mask off. You don't need to be fucking masking,' which is rude. I haven't worked in fucking 18 months. Can I have a moment to make some money, please?"
In August, CANDLEBOX released "All Down Hill From Here", a single from its latest album "Wolves". Martin co-wrote the song with Christopher Thorne of BLIND MELON. The inspiration behind the song came from the two longtime friends musing on the fleeting nature of fame.
CANDLEBOX's seventh studio album, "Wolves", dropped worldwide on September 17 on Pavement Entertainment. The album is available on all formats (CD, vinyl, and through digital outlets).