Candlebox

In a storied rock ‘n’ roll career of mul4-pla4num albums and 4meless, ubiquitous radio smashes, Candlebox’s sixth studio album, Disappearing In Airports, finds the renowned lineup infused with a new energy and openness. “I want to take Candlebox into a new world, and this record is very different, very diverse for us,” says band founder and frontman Kevin Mar4n. “It’s about growth and pushing the band in the direc4on for a new audience.” With songs ranging from the pissed and urgent “God’s GiJ” to the edgy unease of “I’ve Got a Gun” to the amorous romp of “Supernova,” Disappearing In Airports is a bold musical statement from a revitalized band.
The amicable departure of original members ScoN Mercado and Peter KleN allowed Candlebox the opportunity to shake things up, and that newfound energy and impetus is evident in the dozen tracks on Disappearing In Airports. Guitarists Mike Leslie and Brian Quinn bring freshness to the band’s mega hits like “Far Behind” and “You,” as well as different angles to the new material. “They have a ‘Wow, I’m playing this song that I grew up on and I love this tune!’ kind of puppy dog love to it,” laughs Mar4n. “Mike’s got so much B.B. King in his style, of blues it’s insane, and spontaneity to his playing and songwri4ng that’s enriching to me.” While Brian has a metal and classic rock side, he also boasts a big blues influence “and is an incredible slide player. Mike and Brian play en4rely differently but it fits so well.”
The band formed in 1991, went quadruple pla4num with their 1993 self-4tled debut on Madonna’s Maverick Records, 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. For Disappearing in Airports, the band worked with producers Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland (August Burns Red, Everclear, Rivers of Nihl), cufng the record at Think Loud Studios in York, Pennsylvania.
Post-Love Stories, Mar4n worked up about seven songs, but a split with their record label postponed recording. So with a new deal with Pavement Entertainment in place and renewed crea4vity, Candlebox completed and finished four songs in a day, wrote a couple more in the studio, then revisited and reworked previously unfinished songs that fit into the direc4on Disappearing in Airports was heading. “The great thing is that they all really became songs when we were a band in the studio, because it’s a very collabora4ve record, which I’m very happy about,” Mar4n says. “It was very together and crea4ve, and again that’s what Mike and Brian were able to bring to the record--that spontaneity and that young, excited energy.”
For Mar4n, the songs flowed easily: “I don’t labor at all, it’s not in me; not that there aren’t great bands that work intensively over brilliant songs, but I find for me that ini4ally what pops out is what I’m looking for. If it’s not opening itself up to me and allowing it to be seen by me, I just won’t bother to beat it up.”
Songs like the first track to radio, the leJ-of-center “Vexa4ous” (a Mar4n-created word) hooks you in immediate with the drums and irresis4ble chorus. It is Mar4n at his editorial best – poignant, lyrical driving the message of the perils of a digitally-connected yet emo4onally disconnected world in a powerful rock song.
“Vexa4ous” is about this emo4onally des4tute, social networking-obsessed society we live in. People come off as insecure, yet s4ll so en4tled with unlimited bragging rights,” says Mar4n. “Whether it’s a pop star feuding senselessly with another pop star, or the girls and boys who can’t help but to take 50 different selfies in under a minute and miss everything that’s happening around them, we can’t escape it. It’s everywhere and it’s destroying us. Da4ng apps, bitching apps, secret sharing apps, apps apps apps—they all operate outside of any real or authen4c human connec4on. No one cares what anyone else thinks or feels. It’s all me, me, me and, if you ask me, it’s fucking sad.”
Speaking celebrity feuding, there is one song where Mar4n takes a public figure to task. “God’s GiJ” was inspired by Kanye West. “It’s a total slap at him. When does someone say ‘You actually aren’t that good?’ Somehow the world just seems to keep blowing smoke up his ass.” Another controversial subject is “I’ve Got A Gun,” “inspired by the constant small mindedness of people who think you’re trying to take their guns away from them. If you know anything about me as a person, you know that I’m highly poli4cal; you know that I’m a firm believer in people’s rights 100% and I don’t believe that anyone should take your guns from you. I’m saying is gun control is an issue and these mass shoo4ngs need to stop and that’s the approach of the song.”
Musically, Disappearing in Airports is as heady as it is lyrically. And visually: the album cover is by an ar4st-friend of Mar4n’s, ScoN Fisher, who passed away during the album process. “I had asked him paint the artwork for the album, and the pain4ng he did for us is 4tled “Disappearing In Airports,” hence the album 4tle. The pain4ng represented the songs that he’d hear from our album, so it’s really about what his emo4ons were how the songs had affected him, so that’s how it represents the record.”
“Supernova” is a love (sex!) song for Mar4n’s wife and it’s contrasted with “Alive at Last,” which “is about that last breath, about the people who are struggling, whether it’s with terminal cancer or something that’s destroying them. It’s a liNle bit existen4al.”
Mar4n found the crea4ve process very therapeu4c this go-round; without two original members, he says, “there was more freedom for me to express myself.” That said, it wasn’t always easy, but that’s what gives Disappearing in Airports so much of its power. “I’m saying a lot of things that I’ve never said before, and that’s liNle bit of a challenge for me. I remember telling Carson that I wasn’t comfortable singing some things, but he said, ‘That’s good, be uncomfortable.’”
Ul4mately, while Disappearing In Airports is clearly Candlebox, Mar4n observes that the record, compared to its predecessor is “banked right turn; I don’t think it’s 90 degrees but we are taking chances. You’ve got to push yourself outside of that comfort zone. You have to do that as a musician, or in any crea4ve element of your life,” Mar4n believes. “That’s what we did with this record, and I knew these guys would go with me and would take me where I wanted to go musically. We can reach as far as we want.”

To make music your life for over 10 years, it's not just a beginning and an end, it's a career…just writing, recording, and playing music for a living is what makes miggs who they are. You could line up the milestones of a road traveled: playing "Good Morning America," touring over 150 dates a year, touring with artists like Plain White T's, KT Tunstall, Cowboy Mouth and more, playing unique one-off events with artists such as Aerosmith, Meat Loaf, Maroon 5, Train and more, having two singles break the 80′s on the Billboard "Hot AC" chart, have music played on TV shows and commercials such as "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" and major T-Mobile ad campaigns, performing on regional TV shows in all Top 10 DMAs and 35 other markets in support of tours and records, having your video for "Let The Games Begin" featuring Lindsay Lohan get over 750,000 views and be used in national ad campaigns for all Champs and Foot Locker stores…and finally, having your latest album produced by legendary producer Phil Ramone and mixed by Jim Scott.
There is no better way to see what it takes to make music your Life unless you see it through THEIR eyes. THIS is miggs through the eyes of singer/guitarist Don Miggs:
East coast, life, Rolling Stones, guitars, girls, local shows, euphoria, four-man band, death, heartbreak, no money, school, marriage, record deal, tour, tour, tour, ten minutes of fame, no more record deal, four band members down to one, U2, West coast, car and a trunk, three band members, tour, tour, tour, record deal offers, add a guitarist, lose a drummer, divorce, no money, school, lose a drummer, work, girlfriends, tour, little bit of money, van and trailer, national tours, record deal, marriage, become a three piece, have kids, lose a drummer, bus and no trailer, national tours, play in front of 10,000 people, play in front of 10 people, find the perfect drummer, add the right guitarist, same bass player, same singer, more drive, more ambition, better at the craft, ready for our close-up, hungrier for your attention — the list can go on and on and it does – end result – we are HERE. Our collective experiences all led to writing and recording the best work miggs has ever produced, thanks in part to Phil F-ING Ramone and Jim Scott – we can't get to here without where we've come from. We embrace it. We are a band on the corner of a new crossroads, 15TH AND HOPE.

For Don Miggs (lead guitar), Michael Lombardo (bass guitar) and Walker Adams (drums), after years of grinding it out – multiple albums, touring over 150 dates a year it was time to push the band to the next level. MIGGS turned to multi-platinum producer/engineer Ken Lewis (Fall Out Boy, Kanye West) to translate MIGGS' years of on-stage chemistry into a gripping studio album.

The result was mid-2010's "Wide Awake" (Rock Ridge), easily MIGGS' most accomplished, fresh-sounding and accessible collection of songs to date. In support of the album, the rock trio toured successfully with Maroon 5, Ed Kowalczyk from LIVE, Plain White T's, Thriving Ivory, Green River Ordinance and Parachute. The debut single, "Girls & Boys" is about coming of age and learning to appreciate what makes you unique. The song was a hit for MIGGS and peaked at #42 on Billboard's Adult Album Alternative chart and #89 on the Billboard's Hot AC chart. One of the highlights of year was the making of the video for "Girls & Boys," and the chance to work with up-and-coming music video director, Justin Purser. To date, the video has nearly 150,000 views on YouTube.

"I wanted to make an album that felt both immediate and nostalgic. Worn in and new at the same time." At its core, "Wide Awake" is about clarity, focus; seeing things the way they are – not as we want them to be – and accepting, even embracing that state. It's a good thing even when it's a bad thing sometimes.

"Each song on "Wide Awake" has a counterpart, an accomplice – another track that connects with it emotionally, echoes it lyrically or recalls it musically," says Don. "There is a cohesiveness to the songs, and I want you to feel like you've been on a journey when track 12 finishes. This collection says more in 45 minutes than anything I've done previously."

MIGGS has fully embraced the web's ability to connect musicians with their fans more directly and can be followed at the most popular social networking sites on the web. The band even produced an eight-episode webisode/podcast called "Inside Wide Awake" that is available on iTunes and gives fans exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to the making of their latest album and their life on the road as one of today's most prolific rock bands.

MIGGS saw its fair share of the spotlight over the course of the years with the singles "Perfect" and "I Believe" reaching No. 66 and No. 82, respectively, on Billboard's Hot AC chart and "I Believe" even pushing No. 7 on the Hot AC Media Base chart.

In 2009, the band landed a performance on "Good Morning America," media accolades came their way and opening slots for everyone, including Duran Duran to Train, Matt Nathanson and Sister Hazel, seasoned their stage show. Music supervisors have included MIGGS' unique brand of pop-rock in television, games and movies, such as the A&E's documentary "Kurt Cobain," MTV's "Five Questions: Nick Jonas," Fox's "The O.C.," Buena Vista video game "Spectrobes," MTV's "Bromance with Brody Jenner," A&E's "Gene Simmons Family Jewels," Disney's "Fallen," and Don even wrote the song for the Florida tourism campaign, "Share A Little Sunshine."

"Growing our audience organically has always been the goal," says Don. "If too many people jump on at once, the boat will sink. Remaining afloat was always key." "Wide Awake" shows not only how far they've come, but also promises to keep the band sailing smoothly into the future.

Open Air Stereo

ev·o·lu·tion /ˌevəˈlo͞oSHən/ Noun 1. The process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms 2. The gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.

Eleven years is a long time for any band to stay together, let alone for one band to finally see the release of their debut album, but for Open Air Stereo, they wouldn't have wanted it to happen any other way. The band's story is one of evolution, that gradual development from a simple to a more complex form; that gradual development from their humble days as 13-year olds in Laguna Beach to self-assured rock band bursting forth and ready to share their music with the world. Darwin championed his scientific Theory of Evolution, from which we get such trite adages as "survival of the fittest," something that applies as much to the animal world as it does to the music industry.

Many bands never make it eleven years; The Beatles couldn't even manage to stay together for that long. For the two founding members of Open Air Stereo, lead-singer Chase Johnson and drummer Nick Gross, eleven years has been just what the band needed to grow as individuals, to develop as a band, and to perfect their songwriting craft alongside bassist Evan Smith and guitarist Scott Pounds, who were brought on board by Johnson and Gross in order to complete the classic 4-member rock-band lineup.

It's obvious from the first time you hear a song off Open Air Stereo's 10-song debut album Primates that the band know exactly what they are doing; that much is clear from the rush of guitars and explosive percussion that punctuate all three minutes of "Love Is Blind," which gives the impression not of a band just putting out their first record but one that has multiple albums and world-tours under their belt, like perennial festival headliners Foo Fighters. "Living Proof" continues in this same vein, sounding like the best song that Audioslave never wrote, with a guitar lick straight out of the Tom Morello Guide To Awesome Guitar Licks.

Open Air Stereo show they are ready to headline music festivals and sell out stadiums with the slow-burning "Damned," which begins as a simple piano progression with pulsating bass and an insistent kick drum, before the band slowly adds more and more layers to the song, building to a triumphant sing-along chorus. Open Air Stereo change things up and can show their sentimental side on the beautiful, tender "Stuck On You." With so many sure-footed, confident songs on their debut album, one can't help but wonder how the band came to be so fully formed.

The truth is, the band on Primates is the latest form in a long evolutionary chain leading up to this point. Meeting in 2002 in their catechism class at the age of 13, Chase and Nick bonded over a common love of music (Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine, Led Zeppelin, and The Doors, to name a few), which resulted in Nick joining Chase's band at the time, known as Stulpigeon. While the name Stulpigeon didn't last, the band name eventually evolved to reflect the thunderous, big, wide-open spaces of their music: Open Air Stereo.

In 2004 and 2005, Open Air Stereo spent their time playing multiple shows in the Orange County and Southern California scene, including shows at The Galaxy and KROQ's Weenie Roast, eventually culminating with nominations in multiple categories at the OC Music Awards as well as the limited release of a self-titled EP.

The next year, MTV's series Laguna Beach came into town. Chase became a main character in the series, which featured Open Air Stereo prominently. The series closed with the band's sold-out performance at The Roxy Theatre. Scott Pounds (guitar) joined the band around this time, and the band marvels to this day over being able to find such a talented guitarist through a Craigslist ad. Things were looking up for the band.

At the same time, 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.

But Chase and Nick knew that they had unfinished business, and this nagging sense of urgency brought them back together with Scott Pounds and new band member Evan Smith (bassist).

The band had grown up and changed over those years, and upon their return to the studio, completed their 10-song debut album Primates. 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. The album 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.

Fatal Addiction

Hailing their roots from rural Iowa since 2006, Fatal Addiction has become a common household name and a must see powerhouse for rock music in the Midwest. From small bars and venues to large festivals, Fatal Addiction has shared the stage with such acts as; Alice In Chains, Papa Roach, Sick Puppies, Sevendust, Candlebox, 10 Years and Buckcherry. In April of 2013 they won the largest statewide battle of the bands, which was put on by the coveted radio station LAZER 103.3, based out of Des Moines, IA. Their most recent album, entitled “Undertow” was released in June of 2013 is available on Itunes, numerous satellite radio stations and Amazon. Their high energy stage presence and unfiltered genuine sound has fueled this new rock rebellion from the muddy banks of the Des Moines River.

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