Pearl Jam Member Defends Famous Grunge Band From Ripoff Trashing

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Original Pearl Jam drummer Dave Krusen and Candlebox frontman Kevin Martin discussed criticism of Candlebox in Seattle in a new Washington Post article.

Kevin Martin (lead singer, Candlebox): We were kind of like the redheaded stepchild. We’d come around a few years after everybody else, we were about three to five years younger than most of the guys. I didn’t really get to be in the mix with all those bands. I wasn’t in (grunge forerunner) Green River, I wasn’t in Malfunkshun. I think everybody kind of looked at us like, “Who are these kids who moved to Seattle to get signed?” To release a record at the height of all that, it was a little nerve-racking.

Dave Krusen: I remember people giving them [trouble] because they were from the east side. I felt like, if somebody dissed on them for that, then that’s pretty weak. You didn’t grow up down the street either, dude.

Lance Mercer: People get protective, and camps are formed. Plus, let’s be honest, Kevin’s voice, that style of singing, they got a lot of flack for that. They weren’t super original. They did it well. Whatever they did, it worked.

Tyler Willman: Madonna’s label was courting Candlebox at the same time [as us, Green Apple Quick Step], that was one of the reasons we didn’t go with them. We didn’t want to be associated with that.

Kevin Martin: [The Big Four] are the varsity team, and I’m the JV. It was clearly like that. Even though the guys were really cool, none of them were about to step out and say, “Hey, give Candlebox a shot.” It just wasn’t going to happen.

Speaking to 100.5 Atlanta radio in May 2017, Kevin Martin spoke about Chris Cornell and Soundgarden:

“I woke up to awful news yesterday. I met Chris in Seattle when I was 16 years old, I was working at a shoe store with his now ex-wife Susan Silver who was managing them, along with Alice in Chains, Screaming Trees and a bunch of the other bands. So I met Chris then and we became friends over the years and I was fortunate enough to know him on a personal level.”

About Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame:

“I mean it’s shocking to me they [Soundgarden] aren’t in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame before Pearl Jam. And God bless Pearl Jam for being in there, you know, we all love them.”

After the radio jockeys mention Cornell was living a fine life, Martin responds:

“What puts you to this point, I just don’t know. Aaron Hernandez I can understand. Chris Cornell I can’t. If you’re thinking about it, you gotta talk to someone. I think we all expected that with Kurt [Cobain]. I don’t think we expected Kurt to live past 27. I expected Chris to be Paul Rodgers. I expected him to be that rock star that was 70 years old and still belting it out like the star that he was. I’m really at a loss.”

Before the tribute performance of “Say Hello to Heaven”:

“I’m still trying to come to terms with what’s happened. He was an amazing human being, a brilliant artist, an incredible talent, I’m still a little bit, kind of in shock about this. We’re gonna play something from the Temple of the Dog record. We’ve never played this song and we’ll probably gonna f— it up. And if you all know this song please help out, cause Chris, I hope you’re looking down cause I’m gonna miss the f—ing s— out of you. “