CANDLELIGHT RED – Burning Bright

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Frontman Ryan Hoke and guitarist’s Jeremy Edge from the band Candlelight Red, are two solid musicians.  Before the show at Mojoe’s in Joliet, Illinois, Hoke and Edge sat down to discuss the band and where they’re headed just an hour before they hit the stage.  “I started learning instruments at an early age and in high school bands,” says Edge.  ‘I also started playing bar shows before I graduated High school,” Hoke adds.  “My mom said I need a hobby so she got me a guitar and some lessons.  I was also a bass player for a band.  I played everything in a band at one time or another and got stuck singing.  My mom used to make me sing when I was  three in the backseat of her car,”  Hoke continues, “ through the years you meet more people.  Drummers come and go, bass players come and go and the diehards all stay.  Jeremy had a band that we played with throughout the years and when they split up Jeremy started the original Candlelight Red.”  Edge finishes the topic up by saying “Jamie and I have been playing for years before Candlelight Red.  We did years of traveling with beat up RV’s and riding in the back of box trucks when you’re not supposed to ha ha.  So yeah we all started out really young and just been keeping it going.”

IMG_8240-3Recently Candlelight Red has been out on tour with Sevendust, Coal Chamber, and Lacuna Coil.  Hoke was very excited about this tour.  “It just keeps getting better; the crowds have been great.  Every show has either been sold out or really close to being sold out.  You get to play for a pile of people.  We’ve made a lot new friends on this tour with the guys from Coal Chamber.  We also toured with Lacuna Coil before so it was good to see them again.”    Hoke adds, “The first show was March 14th and ends in Detroit, Michigan.”

Being on the road offers a lot of time between towns so does the band take advantage of down time and write new music?  “Not usually” says Hoke.  “Maybe some ideas, “Edge interjects.  “We will strum a riff and throw it on a voice recorder.  Usually we put our stuff together when we get a chance to sit down in the studio.”

“ We did 13 songs written and recorded in 3 weeks,” continues Hoke, “we’ve never really had a reason I guess to write going down the road.  We would be on tour supporting one record and then we would get something like the Uproar Fest and the record company is like you have been touring this record for a year now.  We need a new song on the radio and new music so you got a week to come up with songs.”   “It’s more fun to work under pressure,” adds Edge.  “There’s some of that tension and spontaneity that comes out in the music.”

“Its more fun to write as a team then individually by yourself,” explains Hoke.  “Everything on the new record is the first time I have ever sang it. Anything that was tracked on guitar or drums was as raw and as real as it can get.  It doesn’t sound like it would be meaningful or anything when you rush it like that; but it’s pure.”  Edge concludes, “Music is not one of those things you want to overthink.”

But then one wonders, how important is music to Candlelight Red?   “It’s pretty important to us now because It is our bread and butter,” comments Hoke.  Edge continues, “It’s something we try to remember when we’re writing stuff for an audience.  Remembering how I reacted to things growing up because it was just a release.  If you hated school, don’t have a lot of friends, or don’t get along with your parents.  Music for a lot of people is an escape.  It takes you out of your ordinary world and puts you somewhere else.”

IMG_8259Edge wants everyone that comes to a Candlelight Red show to feel its power during their set and after.   “We just want them to take away the energy from it,” state Edge, “we play at 6:30 tonight and we’re going to go in there and play like it’s Midnight. Were going to come into the ring swinging and give the people an energetic rock show and give them their money’s worth.”

If you use YouTube, be sure to check out the bands Webisodes, which are edited by Hoke himself as they can be found on the band’s youtube channel.   “It is fun to give the fans a sneak peek behind the scenes of what actually goes on while on the road, says Hoke, “they only get to see us play 35 to 40 minutes so they do not get to see everything that happens.”

When it comes to writing the lyrics for the band’s songs, Hoke is the main source.  “It’s usually just me,” says Hoke, “there was one song on the new record that I was having a block with, So Jamie sat down and wrote the lyrics and melody for that one.  We will sit down and change a word here or there but it works out at the end; it’s mostly just me.  Singing wise I don’t really try to take anything anybody that I know of.  I just kind of sing the way I sing and that’s it.  As far as being a frontman and a showman, I love people like Corey Taylor and Phil Anselmo.  They have this way of completely commanding an audience and controlling them 100 percent.  That’s what I try to draw from other people the most that I can though I try not take too much from others so that people don’t come up to me and say hey you sound like this person or that guy.  But over the years I’ve grown to know myself better and know what I am capable of doing.  I try to incorporate all that into every song.  Whether it’s the heavier vocals or the lighter stuff.  That is why our music is all over the place. Its up, down and completely bipolar.”


The band is also up for touring in other countries so if you want to see Candlelight Red live, let them know by dropping a note on their social media pages like Facebook.  “I would love to tour Europe and Tokyo,” Edge continues, “and would love to play in Brazil.”

Rock music is ever changing and the industry reverberates that fact every day; Hoke and Edge have their own take on the hard rock music business today.  “Its survival of the fittest,” states Hoke, “you don’t get help from mainstream media and the hardcore radio stuff. There’s just no love.” Edge takes over to say “Hard rock has always been the red-headed stepchild to the music business even in its heyday.  There is no more MTV.  Radio stations and all the stuff are corporate owned.  That is why you latch onto those people that have their own radio stations.  You have a ton of artists fighting for a very small piece of a small pie.  When we go around the country the fans are still there but as far as television and the radio stations, it is not a top priority.”

“One of the things about the fans who love this kind of music is that they are diehard,” Hoke states.  So if you are a true hard rock fan, we should all come together to come up with new ways to bring the music that you love back to life outside of the shows.

Morgan Rose, drummer of Sevendust helped produce Candlelight Red’s EP, Demons, but the question is; will Rose be helping them with their music in the future?  “He has kind of shifted focus,” states Edge, “and working with our record label a little bit he is stepping out of the producer shoes and trying to help shape a band’s future.   I don’t know if he will want to musically collaborate but he might come back to us in a year or so. We certainly enjoyed working with Morgan.”  Hoke adds, “He has done a lot for our band.”

IMG_8253Hoke also gives an update of what the band will be doing when the tour with Sevendust, Coal Chamber, and Lacuna Coil is over.  Hoke states, “We are definitely going to be doing more touring; we have a lot of things getting thrown around and we’ve got our single coming out to radio. Our album will also be released sometime around June, so it is just business as usual.”

The bands new single “ Feel the Same” impacts radio on May 14th; so if you’re a Candlelight Red fan, do your worst; we all trust you –call all your local radio stations and request it.

As the minutes tick away Candlelight Red are reminded they’ll be hitting the stage soon so Hoke and Edge have one last thought and a shout-out to their fans; “Thanks for your support, without the fans we would not have a job.”  And with that, Hoke’s final word, “Now tell ten of your friends! Go to our YouTube channel and like to the webisodes that I put up ha ha!”

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