Third Eye Blind
"The more you bleed, the
more [your fans] love it. The more you open yourself, the
better it is." Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins
fortune teller couldn't have predicted the diverse range of
guest talent that will appear on Third Eye Blind's third album,
Crystal Baller, which the band hopes will be ready for
release by October.
Of the 12 or so songs on the record the group currently has 26
nearly completed tunes from which to choose at least three
will feature cameos. Limp Bizkit main man Fred Durst co-wrote
and will play guitar on "Misfits," party-meister Andrew W.K.
will provide back-up vocals on "Messed Up Kid" and Kimya Dawson
from the Moldy Peaches will sing on "Self Righteous."
Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins wrote "Misfits" with
Durst in 2000 at a Limp Bizkit mastering session for
Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (see
"Third Eye Blind Head To Studio, May Get Help From Fred Durst").
"We did a couple of skits, and he was rapping on one part, while
I was rapping over another," Jenkins explained from his home in
San Francisco. "But then he had a guitar there and he started
playing it and he's a really funky guitar player. So I started
singing, and we wrote this song I really like. It's great
because it doesn't sound like what either one of us normally
does. It was a really organic collaboration. Fred wrote the
chords and I did the lyrics and melody and then [guitarist]
Arion [Salazar] wrote the bridge."
While "Misfits" may not sound like anything by Third Eye Blind
or Limp Bizkit, both can relate to the lyrical content about
using art to express emotional turmoil.
"It's about the sadomasochistic relationship or circle that
exists between performers and their fans," Jenkins said. "The
more you bleed, the more they love it. The more you open
yourself, the better it is. I've always said I make music for
misfits people who are flawed and beautiful in some way
because of that flaw."
Third Eye Blind's collaboration with Andrew W.K. was equally
spontaneous. Jenkins and Salazar checked out one of the
party-rocker's shows before his record I Get Wet was out,
and were so perplexed and amazed by the way the artist blends
death metal and synth-pop that they decided to visit him
backstage after the gig.
"At first we were like, 'What, is this a joke?' " Jenkins
recalled. "But then we realized it's just pure party energy. He
is really there to make you party hard. So I brought him a
bottle of Jack Daniel's because I thought it was a fitting gift.
Then we went to his bus, and I realized there was no booze on
his bus. He was drinking bottled water. So I think partying hard
is a state of mind for him."
On a whim, Jenkins asked Andrew W.K. to come to the band's
studio the next day to record backing vocals for the song
"Messed Up Kid," and was surprised at how excited Andrew was to
accept the invitation.
"He said, 'I've spent hours and hours playing your songs on the
piano,' " Jenkins recalled. "It turned out he was really
knowledgeable about Third Eye Blind songs. So he came out and
sang, and his voice is so hilarious because it sounds like it's
doubled and compressed, but it's not."
The last major pairing on Crystal Baller is perhaps the
most unlikely. Kimya Dawson from quirky, ramshackle indie rock
band Moldy Peaches contributes vocals to yet another
unconventional track, "Self Righteous."
"It's sort of the post-club chill-out song," Jenkins opined.
"It's very different for us. Although I'm always really
attracted to funky, intoxicating rhythms and melody, this one is
definitely a little out there."
Although he thinks Crystal Baller will appeal to longtime
Third Eye Blind Fans, Jenkins admitted that he's making a
concerted effort to stray from the templates of the band's past
rock songs in an effort to create something stimulating.
"I never want to blatantly repeat myself," he said. "It's much
better to do something different. Otherwise it's just such a
bore. I like to be really excited by music and feel like I'm
flying that plane, and I don't know if I'm gonna land it. I hope
that we're making something that radio is gonna want to redefine
itself by [after it comes out] because it's certainly not
fitting the definitions of what radio is now. If you take what
is on alternative radio and what it sounds like, it's exactly