Pennsylvania-based band Candlelight Red have made the leap from contest winners last year to full-fledged recording act with their recently released debut album ‘The Wreckage.'

The band beat out numerous bands to win the Guitar Center Onstage competition last year, which included a $10,000 prize and also enabled the group to open up for none other than Kiss, who chose Candlelight Red as their favorite in the competition. Candlelight Red have gone on to tour with acts such as Saving Abel, 10 Years and others. Up next, they'll be hitting the road with Sevendust -- click here for dates.

Loudwire recently had the opportunity to chat with guitarist Jeremy Edge, who talked all about making ‘The Wreckage' (which was released digitally in September), touring, Candlelight Red's influences and an eclectic variety of covers the band has performed.

Tell me about what influenced ‘The Wreckage.’ How was the recording process like for you?

We listen to a lot of stuff, a lot of different bands, we’re probably most known for being part of the late 90’s early 2000’s metal and alternative rock but we have a lot of classic 80’s and modern influences too. Everything from Rage [Against the Machine], Korn, Deftones, [Black] Sabbath, Pantera, Stone Temple Pilots -- just a little bit of everything.

The recording process was really fun this time because we had a lot of time for pre-production. Our producer David Ivory got us in there, we had a lot of practice, and a lot of rehearsals with the band, and getting the songs just right and tweaking them and making little changes here and there that made songs that much better.

You guys beat out over thousands other bands to win the national Guitar Center Onstage contest last year; what was that entire experience like?

It was really cool because basically it was an online voting thing that got us in the running for the Top 5 and all of our social network friends and everybody through email, everybody just really rallied behind the band and next thing you know we had the number one amount of votes. We got to open for Kiss in Pittsburgh, which was amazing, huge stage, huge production, they were really really cool to us, it was just a really surreal experience. I guess when the whole thing was done, they had done this in 22 cities and they said they were going to pick a winner out of all those 22 cities for a grand prize and they called us up when the thing was over and said “hey you guys are the grand prize winners.” We were just floored.

After that experience, what made you guys decide to sign with Imagen Records?

We had been talking to them for a while, they had kind of taken notice of what we were doing, with gigging and we had gotten some local air play on some radio stations that caught their eye. After seeing what we did for that entire summer they wanted to sign the band and take it to the next level and we really had a good feeling about them because they really believed in the band and they came out to see us play, had all the right ideas. We thought to a modern indie label that has a lot of great ideas for pushing the band. Everything’s been great so far. We’re very, very pleased.

Tell me a little about your single ‘Closer’ musically and lyrically.

Musically that was one of the first things that we jammed on so it came easy and naturally. We had Ryan write the lyrics and it’s basically a song about relationships, struggles and everyday life and that’s the song when we first started out that people really latched on to. So far, knock on wood, it’s been going good and it’s been taking off in radio, it’s been doing great for us.

What inspired the video for ‘Closer?’

The video is kind of inspired by the song lyrics and from a few stories we heard we just made our own story line of this little domestic drama where girlfriend catches boyfriend cheating and kills both of them [Laughs] that kind of thing.

Then we had this trick that we wanted to pull off, we had Ryan’s character, in the video, you could see he’s dead but the reflection where he’s singing “I’m alive, I’m alive” I thought that would be a cool, creepy concept that scares people or moves people because when that happens how long is the brain alive? How long are you aware before you’re actually dead? I think we were originally something with an autopsy or something really creepy but we actually couldn’t get clearance to use what we wanted so we had to get creative.

Are there any ideas for the next single off of the new record?

We haven’t made a firm decision yet although some of the radio stations playing ‘Closer’ took it upon themselves to add the Roxette’s cover ‘She’s Got the Look,’ so I don’t know if that’ll be the next single but it does seem to be having a mind of its own so we’ll see.

What made you guys want to cover Roxette‘s ‘The Look’?

We always just did that from the beginning if we just kind of played something if we liked the record and we wanted to take something off the wall, that’s out of our genre, it’s a pretty cool song what if we did that our way? It came out pretty good, people kind of dug it [laughs] but they’re like “I can’t believe you guys did that.”

What other songs, outside of your genre, would you want to cover?

We’ve done that a bunch of times, we’ve done that with Alanis Morissette, with some shows back home; I’m trying to remember some we’ve done. We did an En Vogue song [laughs].

For new listeners, how would you describe Candlelight Red’s sound?

Basically melodic, heartfelt music but with a big aggressive wall of sound, I think that’s what we’re going for.

You guys are currently on tour with 10 Years; what's  your relationship like with those guys?

Those guys are great, really friendly, really supportive and they really look out for us and take care of us. They’re a lot of fun. It’s been great being on tour with those guys.

Any touring plans after the wrapping up with 10 Years?

We have some things planned for the beginning of the year. We might be doing a short tour with a couple bands between Thanksgiving and Christmas but mainly we’re going to focus on doing a few hometown shows, getting ready for the hard release CD, which is going to hit stores nationwide around January.

Just wondering how you guys came up with the name Candlelight Red?

Honestly, we were trying to find a band name and we had written down a list of names that we came up with that we thought were cool and we just kept eliminating and eliminating and that one just kept staying on everyone’s list. It’s just the one that kind of stuck, it represented our band. Now, it’s like all the good names are taken, names that you come up with might sound too heavy of a band or it sounds naughty or corny we thought it just had the right feel to it.

Watch the Candlelight Red 'Closer' Video