The Candles
Gig Seeker Pro

The Candles

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"The Candles - La Candelaria"

Steeped in the evocative, open-road Americana of bands like Gin Blossoms and Whiskeytown, New York City-based alt-rockers The Candles formed in 2009 around frontman Josh Lattanzi. A veteran singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with a long résumé of collaborations under his belt, including Albert Hammond, Jr., The Lemonheads, Norah Jones, and Ben Kweller, Lattanzi was raised on a steady diet of Grateful Dead, Big Star, and Neil Young. The Candles' debut long-player, Between the Sounds, arrived in 2010 on The End Records. The group's sophomore outing, La Candelaria, followed in 2013. - Allmusic


"The Candles - La Candelaria"

The Candles
La Candelaria
(The End/Sony/Red)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

A quick glance at the résumé of Josh Lattanzi, frontman of New York City’s The Candles, reveals an impressive performance history. He spent the last 10 years playing bass with The Lemonheads, Ben Kweller and Albert Hammond Jr., and along with fellow Candles Jason Roberts, Pete Remm and Greg Wieczorek, performed as a member of Norah Jones’ live ensemble. Yet when stepping into a lead role, as he does on The Candles’ sophomore album La Candelaria, Lattanzi evokes the charm and confidence of a headliner. Stacked 10 songs high with shimmering power-pop melodies and rich, Americana arrangements, La Candelaria ably splits the difference between Big Star and The Byrds. Where “Hello Blue” is built on rich layers of electric guitar jangle and Rhodes organ, “Blind Light” presents a thick strata of brushed drums, slide guitar and piano. And standout track “As Far As I Know” makes a seamless transition from spare, finger-picked acoustic ballad to boisterous, full-band country rock. Though The Candles mine a lot of familiar influences — Wilco, Grateful Dead and Jackson Browne, to name a few — their songwriting more than holds its own, making La Candelaria a pleasant summertime pop surprise. - American Songwriter


"Amplifier Magazine article on The Candles"

Josh Lattanzi puts his session career on hold to start his new band,
The Candles, and to open for (and sort of be) The Lemonheads.

by Brian Baker

Josh Lattanzi has made a pretty good career out of being a hired gun in the studio and on the road. Just over two years ago, after being an integral part of creating the sophomore album for Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr., Lattanzi was inspired to write a batch of Americana-tinged indie rock songs, make his own album and assemble a band to support it. The Candles’ debut, Between the Sounds, was released in April to a fair amount of positive press and a subsequent increase in responsibility.

“Every aspect of playing in a band has changed,” says Lattanzi with a laugh. “I can be an opinionated guy. From an observational standpoint, playing in all these other bands, I’d be like, ‘I like how they’re handling this thing but maybe not so much these other areas.’ Now we’re on a small label and touring in a band and the economics are important so I’m making lots of decisions and they’re critical because they impact the lifespan of the project. And the little things, like drawing up the set list before the gig, or doing a couple of phoners, that can take up a few hours before a show, and suddenly that carefree day of a bass player who plays with a solo artist is gone.”

One of the touring opportunities that arose for The Candles was an opening summer slot for The Lemonheads. But since head ’head Evan Dando was between bands, he tapped Lattanzi and Candles drummer Pete Caldes to return to the stage after The Candles’ opening set to become this year’s Lemonheads. It’s not much of a stretch for Lattanzi, who has been a provisional Lemonhead off and on for nearly a decade.

“We’re going to do the power trio thing; that’s usually how it is with the Lemonheads,” says Lattanzi. “I started playing with Evan just a little before he started his solo thing, and I’ve been touring with him on and off ever since.”

Lattanzi sent Dando a finished copy of Between the Sounds, which impressed him so much he took The Candles out on his solo acoustic tour last winter. On a handful of dates, Lattanzi and Caldes came out and backed up Dando for a few songs during his set.

“It was a lot of fun,” says Lattanzi. “That was the impetus for doing more dates this summer as The Lemonheads.”

Lattanzi is clearly no stranger to hard work. In addition to his Lemonheads tenure, he’s recorded and toured with Ben Kweller, Nina Gordon, Ivy, Juliana Hatfield and Albert Hammond Jr. (Lattanzi was in the studio for both of Hammond’s albums and toured with him for over a year on the first one), and even did backing vocals for James Taylor on 2003’s October Road. Much of 2009 and a bit of 2010 was devoted to his role as touring guitarist with pop supergroup Tinted Windows, featuring Taylor Hanson, Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger, ex-Smashing Pumpkin James Iha (who guested on Between the Sounds) and Cheap Trick’s Bun E. Carlos. He’s learned a great deal from each experience and has found a way to apply his knowledge to his work process.

“With Evan Dando, he has super high values for albums,” says Lattanzi. “For him, the key to longevity is having good songs and high standards. With Albert Hammond Jr., I learned you can allow other people in the band to make a contribution and have the thing be better for it; he’s very much like that to work with.”

Lattanzi’s musical pursuits began at an extremely early age. He got a copy of Kiss Alive II from a friend of his brother when he was seven and the inside gatefold photograph of the band in full pyrotechnic splendor made a huge impression on the budding musician, who was taking piano lessons at the time. Four years later, he convinced his parents to spring for a guitar and they acquiesced. Lattanzi’s course was locked in from that moment.

“I had a band about six months later,” he recalls. “I’m sure we sucked.” By the time Lattanzi reached high school, one thing was abundantly clear to him; he could see no other path beyond a career in music.

“I was really into it, and it just didn’t seem like there were any other options for me, in terms of being happy as far as what I was going to do with my life,” he says. “I read this really cool Tom Petty quote when I was in high school that really stuck with me. Someone asked him, ‘Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?’ and he said something like, ‘If there’s anything else in your life you can think about doing, then you should do it. But if you have absolutely no choice, and this is it, now we’re talking.’ I swear, I never forgot that. I was 14 or 15 when I read that, and I was like, ‘That’s how I feel.’ So I stuck with it.”

After college, Lattanzi got an internship with the Q Division studio in Boston because, as he notes, “That’s where the Pixies recorded Surfer Rosa.” While there, he met a number of local notables, including Morphine frontman Mark Sandman and Juliana Hatfield, - Amplifier


"Hoboken Patch reviews The Candles and Fountains of Wayne live"

Power-pop rockers Fountains of Wayne may be headlining this year's Hoboken Arts and Music Festival, but the local Grammy-nominated foursome played a packed house at Maxwell's on Saturday night. Everyone from young teens and their parents to the couple who wanted to relive their young concert-going days gone-by crammed into Maxwell's ready to party with their favorite local band.

Before the night's stars went on, the New York-based band the Candles started things off. While the crowd didn't know what to expect from the quintet led by Josh Lattanzi, they were feeling the Candles after a couple of songs as their flawless harmonies mixed with a soft rock-like sound.

"We just had a CD come out two weeks ago," bassist Jason Roberts announced. He provided most of the banter between songs. "You can get it in the back along with T-shirts. The T-shirt looks good while you listen to the CD."

The Candles began with a slow pace and progressively livened up as the set continued. "Here Or Gone" felt like the perfect song you could play on your way to the beach. And "Let Me Down Easy" seems like a sad tune from the title, but its easygoing nature makes you forget that it borders onto breakup song territory. The band also covered "Back to the Lake" by Ohio indie rock band Guided by Voices.

What many don't know about Lattanzi is that he and FoW bassist Adam Schlesinger were in supergroup Tinted Windows, which also featured Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, Taylor Hanson of Hanson and Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick. The reunion at Saturday night's show made for a great evening of music.

While Lattanzi was pretty soft-spoken for most of the band's set, he did give Hoboken its props. "I wish I were from here because this town is beautiful."

Since it was the weekend, FoW had no qualms about making it a late night and started their set at 11 p.m. And like the pros they are, the quartet kicked off their set with "Flair" followed by "No Better Place" with an energy that stimulated their fans even more. Since people could watch the band play on Sunday for free, it was amazing to see just how dedicated FoW fans were.

"Sorry to break it to you guys," Schlesinger said. "But we get to play for free tomorrow. But you guys are the awesome ones that paid to get in here."

Schlesinger also informed everyone that the band was still in the midst of working on the follow-up to their 2007 record, "Traffic and Weather." The FoW bassist explained that it's like Guns N' Roses' 2008 album "Chinese Democracy" since it's taking so long. "There's an album we've been working on that's turning into our 'Chinese Democracy,'" he said. "Maybe we'll call it 'Chinese Delivery.'"

Aside from playing classics like "I-95"—a song they required a band pow wow because some of them forgot how it went—and "Hackensack," the band premiered new material including "Summer Place," which could possibly become every FoW fan's new summer track.

The band surprised everyone when Schlesinger called up four crowd members onstage to play tambourines during "Hey Julie" as the rest of the fans sang along at the top of their lungs. It was clearly a crowd favorite.

FoW also performed "Denise," Maureen" and a new song called "Barbara H," which surely made any female who carried any of those names feel like one special lady.

Although lead singer Chris Collingwood seemed to kill his pipes on "Maureen," he didn't disappoint and plugged along throughout the set and even had enough energy to play the band's encore. He did, however, ask for some crowd participation toward the end of the show since it seemed his voice was just not as strong as it was earlier.

The band's encore was energy packed and got the crowd jumping. WHile the band played "It Must Be Summer," "Leave the Biker" "Stacy's Mom" and "I Want to Sink to the Bottom With You," the crowd along with every word to each song.

A hyped and overly excited Jill Matthews even pummeled her way through the audience to the front and bowed "we're not worthy" style in front of guitarist Jody Porter.

"Fountains of Wayne writes the best songs that ever were," said Matthews, who's from Bloomfield, N.J. "I'm not even into their whole genre of music, but they're great songwriters. And that's why I keep coming back [to their shows.]" - Hoboken Patch


"The Cheap Pop interviews Josh Lattanzi"

Josh Lattanzi has been playing for years for artists like The Lemonheads and Albert Hammond, Jr. He formed The Candles in NYC in 2008, and their album is pretty fantastic. I caught up with him briefly before he hit SXSW running. Here it is:
How’d you come up with the name of your band and the name of your first album?
As with most important decisions I turned to the Ouiji board.
Who are you greatest influences?
I love the blues. Billy Ocean, Steve Shelly. The blues masters…
Billy Ocean is a legend. On another note, is there any value in watching the television series “The Bachelor?”
That show confuses me. What is it about exactly?
Chicks looking for McDreamy. Anyway, what’s the most personal song you ever wrote?
I thought it was “Louie Louie” but then I realized it wasn’t mine. That song is bananas.
Did you learn anything from opening up for Evan Dando?
You better have some great songs and sing them well if you want to stick around. Seems obvious but he’s a great example.
Who has the best mustache ever and why?
It’s a toss up between Greg Norton of Husker Du and Ian McShane as Al Swearengen in Deadwood.
Is Betty White getting too much press?
I don’t think so. She’s cool. We’re all going to be old someday. Hopefully anyway. She’s a badass.
Best case scenario where will the band be in a year?
I’m hoping to get a few songs up on MySpace, maybe open a twitter account and see if this thing has some legs.
Where will I be?
Watching “The Bachelor”
If bands came with taglines what would yours be?
The Grateful Dead + Black Flag x Betty Page = The Candles - The Cheap Pop


"Candles in the Wind"

Josh Lattanzi has made a pretty good career out of being a hired gun in the studio and on the road. Just over two years ago, after being an integral part of creating the sophomore album for Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr., Lattanzi — a Guilford native — was inspired to write a batch of Americana-tinged indie rock songs, make his own album and assemble a five-piece band (featuring three fellow Connecticut natives) to support it. The Candles’ debut, Between the Sounds, was released in April to a fair amount of positive press and a subsequent increase in responsibility.

“Every aspect of playing in a band has changed,” Lattanzi says with a laugh. “I can be an opinionated guy. From an observational standpoint, playing in all these other bands, I’d be like, ‘I like how they’re handling this thing but maybe not so much these other areas.’ Now we’re on a small label and touring in a band and the economics are important so I’m making lots of decisions and they’re critical because they impact the lifespan of the project.”

One of the touring opportunities that arose for the Candles was an opening summer slot for the Lemonheads. But since head ’Head Evan Dando was between bands, he tapped Lattanzi and Candles drummer Pete Caldes (who originally hails from Middletown and whom New Haveners know as the drummer in The Gravel Pit and The Gentlemen) return to the stage after the Candles’ set to become this year’s Lemonheads. It’s not much of a stretch for Lattanzi, who has been a provisional Lemonhead off and on for nearly a decade.

“We’re going to do the power trio thing; that’s usually how it is with the Lemonheads,” Lattanzi says. “I started playing with Evan just a little before he started his solo thing, and I’ve been touring with him on and off ever since.”

Lattanzi sent Dando a finished copy of Between the Sounds, which impressed him so much he took the Candles out on his solo acoustic tour last winter. On a handful of dates, Lattanzi and Caldes came out and backed up Dando for a few songs during his set.

“It was a lot of fun,” Lattanzi says. “That was the impetus for doing more dates this summer as the Lemonheads.”

Lattanzi is no stranger to hard work. In addition to his Lemonheads tenure and his aforementioned work with Hammond Jr., he’s recorded and toured with Ben Kweller, Ivy and Juliana Hatfield, and even did backing vocals for James Taylor on 2003’s October Road; much of 2009 was devoted to his role as touring guitarist with pop supergroup Tinted Windows, featuring Taylor Hanson, Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger, ex-Smashing Pumpkin James Iha (who guested on Between the Sounds) and Cheap Trick’s Bun E. Carlos. He’s learned a great deal from each experience.

“With Evan Dando, he has super high values for albums,” Lattanzi says. “For him, the key to longevity is having good songs and high standards. With Albert Hammond Jr., I learned you can allow other people in the band to make a contribution and have the thing be better for it; he’s very much like that to work with.”

Lattanzi will maintain his status as professional sideman, but he’s having fun in the front of the stage with the Candles, so he’s clearly going to make time for his own project as well.

“It reminds me of why I did this thing in the first place,” Lattanzi says. “Somewhere along the way, I got into being a sideperson because I wanted to make a living, but this definitely feels like the old days — a bunch of friends hopping in a van, driving around the country, playing shows. It’s a blast.”

- New Haven Advocate


"The Candles - Between the Sounds Review"

“there's more than enough flicker in the light of this album and in the reputation Josh Lattanzi has built for himself to suggest that the Candles have what it takes to set your heart on fire.”

- Exclaim!


"The Candles - Between the Sounds Review"

“The good is that all ten songs on Between the Sounds are winners. Every song on the album is a different moment, a different state of mind that is brought to being thanks to strong lyricism and an organic musical accompaniment that both inspires and sooths… This is a perfect album in every sense of the word. Ten songs, no dull moments, memorable melodies, moving lyrics… I couldn’t ask for more. Josh Lattanzi’s debut album is a winner and you should thank him for putting it out. Go get it.”
- 411 Mania


"BEST OF SXSW 2010: BEST OUT OF THE SHADOWS SET: THE CANDLES"

“Singing sweet melodies in three-part harmony over ambling rhythms and laconic guitar, Lattanzi and his band crafted a sound heavily indebted to the golden charms of '70s singer-songwriters like James Taylor and Harvest-era Neil Young. It's a vibe we've heard resurrected before, but when executed with Lattanzi's emotional precision and sure sense of craft it still holds the power to be as moving as watching the sun set over Topanga Canyon.”

- SPIN


"The Candles - Between The Sounds"

“the melodies, harmonies and hooks are so assured’
“With the deaths of Big Star's Alex Chilton and Andy Hummel, it's been a bad year for fans of Seventies power pop. Some small good news: this taut 10-song debut. Leader Josh Lattanzi has played with Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger and toured with the Lemonheads' Evan Dando, and he can be fairly judged by the company he keeps.’

- Rolling Stone


Discography

2013 La Candelaria - The End Records

2010 Between The Sounds - The End Records


Photos

Bio

The day before her sold-out show at Frankfurt, Germanys 2500-capacity Alte Oper on May 25th, Norah Jones still needed a warm-up act. She offered the slot to her bassist Josh Lattanzi, the frontman of New York rock group The Candles, who she knew was looking to test out some new songs live. Part of me was nervous, says Lattanzi. The other part said, Definitely.

Lattanzi spellbound the crowd, with set highlights including the hushed acoustic prayer Passenger and the gorgeous fingerpicked ballad As Far As I Know. Jones invited him to play several more shows on the tour. It was really awesome, says Lattanzi, sipping a Dogfish in an East Village bar near his apartment on a snowy March evening. I thought, Wow: these songs work acoustic. Thats a good sign.

Those songs are just two of the highlights on La Candelaria, Lattanzis first album cut with a fully formed live unit: guitarists Matt Pynn and Jason Roberts, keyboardist Pete Remm and drummer Greg Wieczorek (the latter three also play in Jones touring band). Lattanzi spent a decade playing bass with bands including the Lemonheads, Ben Kweller and Albert Hammond Jr. before releasing the Candles 2010 LP Between the Sounds, which proved he was underutilized as a sideman; Rolling Stone contributing editor Will Hermes wrote: With the deaths of Big Star's Alex Chilton, its been a bad year for fans of Seventies power pop. Some small good news: this taut 10-song debut. Spin named the Candles one of the breakout bands of that years South by Southwest, noting their set as moving as watching the sun set over Topanga Canyon.

Lattanzi grew up obsessed with the Grateful Dead and Neil Young; After graduating from Berklee College of Music, he began working as an assistant engineer at Q Division Studios, where he found himself at the center of the late Nineties Boston rock scene, touring with acts like Juliana Hatfield. He also regularly traveled to New York, where he started playing with Kweller, and joined bands like the Kings of Leon and the Strokes on wild early-career tours. Being a musician is a tough way to go through life, he says. If theres something else you can do, you probably should, because its a pain in the ass. But there was nothing else that seemed as worthwhile for me. In 2009 as Lattanzi worked Hammond Jr.s major-label second album, fatigue kicked in. I spent 1998 to 2007 touring non-stop, he says. I needed to take a break.

The decision began Lattanzis most productive, powerful songwriting period ever; All in Your Mind grapples with turning away from the roads dark temptations; while the Crazy Horse-style rocker Gold laments being broke. But theres plenty of optimism too: Passenger is a loving ode to his wife, written on a Sunday drive back from a winter visit to Northampton, MA. It was cold and dark, but I was finding solace in this relationship, he says, smiling. I wanted to write a song about her, so I went for it.

While Lattanzi labored over Between the Sounds obsessively in his apartment, he took a different approach with La Candelaria (titled after a historic neighborhood in Bogota, Colombia that he visited on tour). I wanted it to sound as live as possible, he says. He recorded in five different studios between New York and Massachusetts with the band, with several tracks produced by Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Phish) and Mike Denneen (Aimee Mann). The band attacked Lattanzis air-tight hooks with razor-sharp execution; listen carefully to Roberts other-worldly psych-prog escapade in What Happens Next, Pynns twangy steel-guitar bite in Blind Light, Remms haunting organ flourishes in One Way Ticket and Wieczoreks tight minimalist grooves throughout. They didnt need much practice: One Way Ticket was recorded the same day Lattanzi introduced it to the band.  I just knew those guys would deliver, he says. I wanted this one to be as collaborative as possible. Albums where one person plays everything are never as good. Plus with players like these - its actually so much better if you dont tell them what to play.

The Candles are looking to spend the next year on the road, and Lattanzi adds they'll back up some of their best friends too. At this point, we've spent so much time making music together, were a tested unit, he says.

Written by Patrick Doyle

Assistant Editor, Rolling Stone

 

Band Members