During Candlebox’s 10-year split, founding guitarist and co-chief songwriter Peter Klett moved to California, moved back to Seattle, went to rehab, started a band and put out an album.
On the heels of a label-directed best-of compilation, the multi-platinum grunge-era giant reunited for its fourth album, “Into the Sun,” in 2008.
Today, Klett is clean, living in Seattle and working on a new album with his own band, Lotus Crush, while finishing up a new Candlebox record.
Klett talked about both projects, music as a profession versus passion and why he’s tired of living in Seattle.
Q: Where are you? What are you up to?
A: I’m in Seattle, at my house, with (some of the guys) from my other band, Lotus Crush, practicing for our warm-up gig with Candlebox.
Q: Lotus Crush was formed after Candlebox reunited. Why did you feel the need to have this other outlet?
A: There were some songs that didn’t necessarily fit (Candlebox singer Kevin Martin’s) comfort zone, as far as vocals. … Candlebox obviously comes first, but any opportunity I can give to this band is great. It’s less of a work outlet and more of a relaxing, creative outlet. It’s not a business yet.
Q: What’s happening with the new Candlebox album?
A: We’re passing ideas back and forth. With (Martin) living in L.A., we’re mostly doing send-and-receive stuff until we come together to tour and at the end when we’re done with this run.
At this point it’s hard to tell what the overall vibe is going to be. I know it’s different from the last album, but it’s always going to have the Candlebox sound with Kevin’s voice and my guitar playing, but I couldn’t tell you at this point what it will be like or give you any real opinion of it.
Q: Is the writing process different for this album from previous albums with you and Martin living so far away from each other?
A: It is a different process. We won’t be in a room together until pre-production. We can work on things while we’re on tour, like during sound check, but we haven’t been able to sit in a room together and do some writing together.
We’re pretty comfortable with ourselves and each other to where we know once we are in a room together, it will fall into place. I’m more curious to see where we’ll be when we start, so we’ll see.
Q: You’re re-recording five of your biggest hits for the new record as well. Why now?
A: We felt as though management didn’t do a good job at the time, when we had the ultimate chance with overseas markets and especially Asian markets. What we want to do with this record is re-release those songs in areas we didn’t aggressively try to work the first time around and see how the songs come together the second time around when we come together in the studio. We might change our approach, who knows.
Q: Considering how you spent your downtime when Candlebox broke up, now that the band is back in full swing, what’s on the horizon for you?
A: My goal is to move to Nashville. I want to be in a music mecca. You can go to L.A. or New York, but I don’t want to go to either of those places. I’m tired of living here (in Seattle) … even the weather, and business-wise it’s a smart move (to leave).
I’m building up my home studio (in Nashville) and my goal is to get down there and do some session work and create some clientele and sit behind the desk. I really like that idea. It’s another form of the creative process. I’ve done music for so long and it’s fantastic, I’m extremely lucky, but that would be a whole new world.
Q: Any advice for aspiring musicians?
A: Practice, practice, practice what you do. Don’t be discouraged. Once we got together with the right guys it worked, but before I met them and started Candlebox, my future was unknown.
There are some guys who try their whole lives and never get there, and that makes me that much more appreciative of what we have. You have to exhaust everything you’ve got. Until you’ve done that, don’t stop.