07/23/08: Still basking in the afterglow of Candlebox's great album premiere party/concert, I was very anxious to see my friends Kevin Martin (singer) and Peter Klett (guitar) – aka, the Plant/Page (more on this later) of Candlebox – this afternoon to talk in depth about their incredibly new CD, Into the Sun. And Into the Sun is such an incredibly ironic and prophetic title for the soundtrack of my conversation with Kevin and Peter because, A) I met both outside their hotel just two blocks from the Sunset Strip and the Roxy (where I last spoke with Kevin) on yet another beautiful, sunny Southern California day. I parked my car, crossed the street with my dear friend Summer (again, very ironic and prophetic... her name, that is!) and found Kevin on the sidewalk, on his cellphone, in very typical L.A. fashion. After hugs, hellos and "hell of a shows" on my part, Peter popped out of the lobby and the hugs, hellos and "hell of a shows" began anew.

OK, so I was talking about Into the Sun being the perfect title for our chat because, friends, we ended up LITERALLY walking into the sun, doing our "interview" under the sun, poolside on the hotel's roof, which overlooks the Sunset Strip. Life is good! I spoke with Kevin and Peter about this amazing new 12-song album for about 30 minutes. I kept weaving some of the biggest names in the history of rock and roll – Led Zeppelin (remember my Plant/Page reference above?), Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin and, did I mention Led Zeppelin – in throughout my conversation because, people, PICK UP THE ALBUM and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Listen to "Breathe Me In (Intro)" and "Breathe Me In" and tell me these boys don't kick ass like Led Zep.

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I know what you're saying, "Jim, you're insane, you can't compare Candlebox to Led Zeppelin." And of course you're right…I'm not comparing them to Led Zep, I'm just saying Kevin wears his Plant influence on his sleeve and Peter plays his guitar as if he just ripped a well, page out of Page's playbook!

All this time, as we're talking rock and roll, friendship, hardship, family, life, death, loss, liberation, hope and happiness – all subjects tackled and talked about on Into the Sun – Summer is sitting, filming us on her little mini-recorder, tourists (rich ones, I'm sure) are lounging, laughing and lapping up the sun in and around the rooftop pool, and I'm thinking to myself, say it with me now, "LIFE IS GOOD!" But, before we say goodbye and Kevin and Peter move onto their next, umm, interview, we spent lots and lots of time talking about my favorite song on the album, "Miss You." The title is probably not what you think: oh, it's definitely a love song, but this beautiful, brilliant, heart-wrenching, heartwarming song was written by Kevin for his father, a war veteran whose recent passing affected Kevin tremendously, and yet, for all of us who never knew the late Mr. Martin, through "Miss You," we now know him – and Kevin, a new dad himself – much, much better! Remember where you heard/read this first: "Miss You" is going to be a HUGE hit!! If it's, somebody, certainly not Kevin or Peter, is not doing his or her job!

OK, I'll see you/write to you tomorrow: I'll be talking with another old friend, Mike Peters of The Alarm, this time, backstage at the historic Henry Fonda Theatre right on Hollywood Blvd. We'll be chatting about The Alarm's new CD, Guerilla Tactics!

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