Last updated: 10/01/12 17:09
1 - The first song, "Anything", released from will hit airwaves today!
Click button to this song for free!
1 - From Billboard.com:
Third Eye Blind's Anything But 'Blue'
NEW YORK -- Even if Third Eye Blind had felt any pressure to follow up its
multiplatinum debut album, the band was having "too much fun and feeling like we were
a complete recording group for the first time," says lead singer/guitarist Stephan
Jenkins. The San Francisco band's second album, "Blue," due Nov. 23 on Elektra,
represents the members of Third Eye Blind's growth as songwriters and musicians. Jenkins
says of recording the album, "We had these jam sessions that were fun. With the first
album, I spent too much time trying to analyze the songs. This was the first album where
[drummer] Brad Hargreaves was part of the recording process, so it's the first time we've
done an album where we felt like a whole band."
Jenkins, the band's lyricist, also produced "Blue." The rest of the act
-- which includes guitarist Kevin Cadogan and bass player Arion Salazar -- also get
The album's first single, the punk-inflected "Anything," was shipped to
rock radio Tuesday.
Not a production neophyte, Jenkins was also behind the controls on Third Eye
Blind's 1997 self-titled debut album. The set, which has sold 3.1 million copies in the
U.S. to date, according to SoundScan, spawned such modern rock and pop hits as
"Semi-Charmed Life," "Graduate," "How's It Gonna Be,"
"Losing A Whole Year," and "Jumper."
"I think our audience surprises people," muses Jenkins. "There's a
culture of people that have gotten what Third Eye Blind is about beyond the singles. It's
a pretty wide audience, but sometimes I wish our audience was more diverse. I grew up on
the Sugarhill Gang and Cameo."
He adds, "There's a cottage industry of bands playing 'Semi-Charmed Life.' We
haven't made a 'Semi-Charmed Life' song on this album. We're past that. We've made songs
that make us jump."
The songs on "Blue" range from "Anything," to the '70s
-influenced "Never Let You Go," to the more modern rock-flavored "Walking
With The Wounded."
Jenkins'songs are published by EMI Music Publishing (BMI), while Cadogan's songs
are published by BMG Songs (BMI).
As for the booming Internet craze, Jenkins admits he's not an artist who is rushing to interact with fans on
the Web. "I've sent, like, one E-mail in my life. I'm
impressed with the Web, and it's cool and flattering to see all the Web sites for our
band. But I'm not the type to sit in a chat room or anything."
As for his role as the band's producer, Jenkins says,
"People might think it's a control-freak situation where I sit around telling the
rest of the band what to do, but it's not like that. We all write the music, and Arion,
for example, got more involved in the production this year."
Third Eye Blind, which is managed by Eric Godtland Management and booked by
Creative Artists Agency, is gearing up for another lengthy tour following the release of
In the meantime, the band will do a halftime performance Nov. 25 during the Chicago
Bears/Detroit Lions football game at the Silver Dome in Pontiac, Mich., in a telecast that
will be watched by about 55 million people.
Jenkins says of touring, "There are times when you have a headache or you're
stuffed up and you feel like 'I don't want to do this,' and hotels can get depressing. But
once you walk out onstage, it becomes totally worth it."
He concludes, "I don't write songs based on sales projections. I took the same
approach on this album that I've always taken: to write songs that are exciting and
4 - Elektra Records,
AOL's Spinner.com, Winamp Brands, AOL Music and Mjuice.com Bring "Anything" To
Internet Fans Hungry For Preview Of Third Eye Blind's New Album
"Blue" Spinner.com will Program
a Third Eye Blind Influenced Channel that Features the First Single "Anything"
and "Wounded" - a Second Track from the New Album will
Program a Third Eye Blind Influenced Channel that Features the First Single
"Anything" and "Wounded" - a Second Track from the New Album will Program a Third Eye Blind Influenced Channel that Features the First Single
"Anything" and "Wounded" - a Second Track from the New Album
"Anything" to be Offered for Exclusive Secure Download via
Mjuice.com, and Playable Using the Winamp Player; Track will Link to Online Retail Sites
for Pre-ordering of the Album AOL Music will Host the Band's First
Chat in AOL Live Since Recording the Highly Anticipated New Album, "Blue" on
November 23 at 7:30pm
New York- November 3, 1999- Elektra Records, AOL's Spinner.com and Winamp
brands, AOL Music and Mjuice.com, the Web's largest secure digital music retailer,
announced an exclusive online promotion to preview music from Third Eye Blind's upcoming
second album, "Blue," three weeks prior to its November 23rd in-store
Starting today, Spinner.com, the first and largest Internet music service,
will program a custom Third Eye Blind influenced channel that includes
"Anything," the lead track from San Francisco-based Third Eye Blind's upcoming
album. Spinner will also feature the world premiere of the album's second track,
"Wounded," as well as some of the bands favorite songs and tracks from artists
that influenced their musical career.
Additionally, Mjuice.com and AOL's Spinner and Winamp brands will offer
secured promotional downloads of "Anything," in addition to featuring prominent
links to retail outlets where consumers can pre-order the Third Eye Blind album. Consumers
who download "Anything" using Mjuice.coms secure delivery system can
listen to the track on AOL's Winamp player for a limited period of time.
Sponsored by AOL
Music, the band will also appear in to chat with fans on November 23rd at 7:30 PM EST in
AOL Live (Keywords: AOL Live or Third Eye Blind).
"Blue" is the follow-up to Third Eye Blind's self-titled,
self-produced 1997 debut album. Last time out, the band achieved sales of more than 4
million records, and stayed on Billboard's Top Albums chart for a record-breaking 104
weeks, garnering a tremendous fan base, and scoring with five hit singles.
Sylvia Rhone, Chairman/CEO of the Elektra Entertainment Group applauds
these online initiatives "AOL's Spinner.com, Winamp, and Entertainment Asylum brands
and Mjuice.com were able to provide Elektra with the right kind of targeted internet
promotional vehicles to expose fans to the new Third Eye Blind album. We look forward to
participating in additional online pre-release promotions."
"Third Eye Blind is perfect for our audience, which is growing every
day. Our ability to create a channel exclusively designed for Third Eye Blind fans is a
testament to the group's tremendous popularity, and reflects their awareness of how
important the Internet has become to their fans' lifestyle," said Josh Felser,
General Manager of AOL's Spinner.com and Winamp brands. "We are extremely pleased to
be working with a great Warner Music Group Company to assist in the promotion of one of
their top acts," said Arnold Brown, Mjuice.com's founder and CEO. "With millions
of music fans turning to the web first to hear their favorite artists, Elektra has
demonstrated they are on the cutting-edge of music promotion today."
5 - STEPHAN
SIGHTING! Elektra Records unveils their
newly refurbished 3eb site. Check it out www.3rdeyeblind.com Here's the new biography
With their 1997 debut
album, Third Eye Blind went from upstart band to chart topping success, garnering a
tremendous fan base, scoring five hit singles and surpassing quadruple-platinum status.
They return with Blue, their explosive, highly anticipated follow-up, jammed with the same
affecting rock songcraft thats established them as a major act on the front line of
By reeling off some of the most anthemic songs of 1997, 1998 and into 1999, including
Semi-Charmed Life, Graduate, How's It Going To Be, Losing A Whole Year and Jumper, this
San Francisco quartet remained on the BillboardTop Albums chart for well over a year.
Songwriter/guitarist and frontman Stephan Jenkins writes from what he calls a very real
place where there is darkness, but also reconciliation. On Blue, the guitar-fueled energy
and the hybrid emotions of Jenkins' vocals cradle the imagery and intellect of the songs.
Like their debut, Blue is packed tight with radio pleasers, though this release finds the
band playing with more urgency without sacrificing melody or subtlety.
Highlights include the roaring punk rocker Anything, the gloriously appealing pop track,
Never Let You Go and the wrenching Deep Inside Of You.
In support of their debut album, Third Eye Blind landed tours with U2 and Rolling Stones,
and headlined some major arenas on their own. They will be touring across the globe
through the better part of 2000.
Blue was produced by Stephan Jenkins and Third Eye Blind.
6 - More album news from MTV :
Third Eye Blind Offers Online Preview Of New Tracks
Later this month, Third Eye Blind will attempt to prove
that its career is indeed semi-charmed when the band follows up its 1997 self-titled debut
Starting Thursday, fans will be able to hear the album's first single,
"Anything," as well as another song from the album, "Wounded," on a
3EB-dedicated channel at the Web site spinner.com.
The channel's streamed playlist has been handpicked by the band, and visitors may find
themselves listening to a program of classic rock fare such as Jimi Hendrix's version of
"All Along The Watchtower," the Beatles' "Dear
Prudence," AC/DC's "Back In Black," and Yes' epic "Starship
Trooper" before hearing the new 3EB tracks.
If you're more into instant gratification, mjuice.com, along with Spinner and Winamp, will
be offering "Anything" for download. The track's time-out date of November 22.
"Blue" will hit stores on November 23 (see "Third Eye Blind To Get 'Blue'
In other Third Eye Blind news, the band will be providing the halftime entertainment at
the Detroit Lions-Chicago Bears game at the Pontiac Silverdome on Thanksgiving Day. The
next day, the group will perform on "The
Late Show With David Letterman." The band is planning an extensive world tour for
7 - From RollingStone.com
Nov. 1 sees the release of
THIRD EYE BLIND's "Anything," their first single from Blue, which will be in
stores on Nov. 23. The band spent Halloween at New Orlean's Voodoo Fest, where they played
in the pouring rain along with DR. JOHN, the ROOTS and WYCLEF JEAN. The highlight of the
day may have been TEB frontman STEPHAN JENKIN's girlfriend, actress CHARLIZE THERON, who
paraded around backstage in a rather obscure costume: She was CINDY BLACKMAN, LENNY
KRAVITZ's scintillating drummer. In other Third Eye Blind news, the San Francisco band
will do the halftime show during the Chicago Bears/Detroit Lions football game on Nov. 25
at the Silver Dome in Pontiac, Mich. The telecast that will be watched by about 55 million
people . . .
11 - From www.listen.com
Hometown: San Francisco,
One of the leaders in the slew of modern bands releasing lyrically-driven, post-Nirvana
rock that incorporates a variety of styles to create their own new one. Third Eye Blind's
combination of rock guitars, Beatles harmonies and reggae toasting vocals has been scoring
hits since they burst on the scene in 1997 with "Semi-Charmed Life." They fall
in the same category as Marcy Playground and Ben Folds Five, with smart, Post-Grunge pop
that appeals to adult audiences as well as college aged kids. Their new material shows off
a more muscle-bound unit than before -- "Anything," a surging, golden-hooked
rocker, will surely have fans of the band yelling along in no time.
12 - From RollingStone.com:
Eye Blind Pressured to Change Their Tune
|Label asks Third Eye Blind to remove song from album
Turning a blind eye.
Elektra Records has
asked Third Eye Blind to remove one of the tracks from their forthcoming album, Blue,
due out Nov. 23. The band's management says the label deemed the song "Slow
Motion" too violent because of the following lyrics: "Miss Jones taught me
English, but I think I just shot her son/Cause he owed me money, with a bullet in the
chest/With a bullet in the chest he cannot run/Now he's bleeding in a vacant lot."
"When we asked the band to leave the song off the album, our
intention wasn't to censor the band," says Elektra chairman and CEO Sylvia Rhone.
"Our reason was that that song didn't work in the context of the rest of the album,
and it didn't work in the context of the current social climate, and in the overall vision
of this band."
Third Eye Blind singer and lyricist Stephan Jenkins says the song
is anti-violence and that he penned it long before the Columbine tragedy. "The song
was written three years ago in part as a ironic comment on a culture that glamorizes
violence and suffering," he says. "The tumult that that song has caused is a
sign that we're on the right track. I think music can be a way to address issues like gun
violence, and it can be done without being didactic."
According to management, Elektra "agreed to let the band put
an instrumental of the song on the album and will allow them to independently release the
song with vocals at a later date." 3EB plan to release a CD within the next six
months on their own, yet-unnamed label. Along with the original version of "Slow
Motion," it will include a half-dozen or more new songs.
(November 11, 1999)
13 - News from 3rdeyeblind.com staff
"Anything," the new single from
3EB's new album, Blue, is fresh from the studio and buzzing with hard-driving energy.
Preview and download the song exclusively on Mjuice.com, before the full album is
available in stores November 23. Click here to download:
Brought to you by Mjuice.com, Winamp, and Elektra Entertainment. Also, check out the
Third Eye Blind / Spinner.com channel, featuring new music, 3eb's best hits, and band
favorites-programmed by 3eb themselves! Look for links in the "specials" section
of their new Elektra Records website at :
-Third Eye Blind's first AOL chat on November 23rd at 7:30PM ET.
-On Thanksgiving Day, the band will perform during halftime of the Detroit Lions vs.
Chicago Bears NFL game at the Detroit Silverdome. 3eb will perform Never Let You Go ; this
event will be televised on Fox.
-Third Eye Blind will perform on The David Letterman Show, November 26th
-3eb will chat on Transworld (www.twec.com) Friday, November 26th, at 4:00pm ET.
Stay tuned for more 3eBlue events and find out all about the new release at:
15 - From SonicNet.com:
Third Eye Blind Drop Song At Label's
Request Senior Writer Gil Kaufman reports:
Elektra CEO reportedly says move is not censorship; 'Slow Motion'
intended as anti-violence statement, singer has said.
Third Eye Blind have heeded their label's
request to remove a potentially controversial song from their upcoming album. Frontman
Stephen Jenkins previously had said the tune was meant as an anti-violence message. The
band, whose hit singles have chronicled suicide and addiction to the drug crystal-meth,
was asked to remove "Slow Motion" from its second album, Blue (Nov. 23),
by the label's chairwoman and CEO, Sylvia Rhone, according to an Elektra Records
spokesperson who requested anonymity.
Though Rhone was not available for comment Monday (Nov. 15), she reportedly has said the
decision to remove the song, which deals with drug use and violence, was not intended to
censor the group.
"That song didn't work in the context of the rest of the album," online music
site RollingStone.com quoted Rhone as saying. "And it didn't work in the
context of the current social climate, and in the overall vision of this band."
Frontman Stephan Jenkins said in late September that the song's lyrics were intended to be
an anti-violence message. The song includes these lines:
"Miss Jones taught me English, but I think I just shot her son/ 'Cause he owed me
money, with a bullet in the chest/ With a bullet in the chest he cannot run/ Now he's
bleeding in a vacant lot."
"That song is a protest song. It's an irony. 'Slow Motion' is about how we revel in
amorality," Jenkins said while his band was finishing the album in a hometown San
Francisco studio two months ago. To illustrate his point, he cited these lyrics:
"Hollywood glamorized my wrath/ I'm a young urban psychopath/ I incite murder for
your entertainment/ 'Cause I needed the money, what's your excuse?/ The joke's on
"It is supposed to be seductive," Jenkins said. "It's almost like an
opiate. It is intent on drawing you in. I'm sure I'll get a lot of sh-- for it. I'm sure
nobody's going to get any sense about it at all. But I like it, I get it" (RealAudio
excerpt of interview).
The spare, down-tempo ballad was recorded by Jenkins on piano and guitar. It was planned
to be heard on the album in a mostly instrumental version, punctuated by a
haunted-sounding chorus: "Slow motion/ See me let go."
Jenkins said he is used to his band being misinterpreted. It began with what some pegged
as the pro-drug message of the band's breakout 1997 hit, "Semi-Charmed Life" (RealAudio
excerpt), a song rife with images of oral sex and drug use. Among the lyrics
penned by Jenkins for that song are, "She comes round and she goes down on me,"
"Chop another line like a coda with a curse," "Doing crystal-meth will life
you up until you break/ It won't stop, I won't come down, I keep stock."
Nina Crowley, the leader of anti-censorship group Mass Mic, called the removal of the
Third Eye Blind song from the band's album a part of the "whitewashing" of
American culture in the wake of the deadly April school shootings at Columbine High School
in Littleton, Colo.
"This is really distressing," she said Monday (Nov. 15). "I know labels
have done these kinds of things in the past and kept it quiet, but this is
self-censorship, and people are running scared; it's hysteria. Here, you're getting a song
censored based on the words, not the intent."
Jenkins said the band's new songs, such as the ballads "Deep Inside of You" and
"Never Let You Go" and the driving first single, "Anything" (RealAudio excerpt),
are about life's messier moments.
"[The new songs] have the friction and things smashing into each other that I'm
always interested in," Jenkins said. He also put into that category the new album's
song "Wounded" a dramatic chronicle of a friend's sexual assault driven
by a jungle-style rhythm, violins and '70s-style rock riffs.
The Elektra spokesperson said the band was interested in releasing "Slow Motion"
on its own label next year. Neither Jenkins nor Third Eye Blind's management could be
reached for comment for this story.
Other bands asked to change their lyrics or song titles to avoid controversy include
Nirvana, who agreed to change the title of their anti-rape song, "Rape Me" (RealAudio
excerpt) to "Waif Me," to get the album into some major retail chains.
The arty rock group Radiohead cleaned up the chorus of their breakthrough 1993 hit,
"Creep," from "You're so fucking special" to "you're so very
special" to get radio play.
In June, following a protest from a religious group calling itself Be Level-Headed, the
Offspring and Silverchair chose not to play songs the activist group had termed
dangerously violent at the Hard Rock RockFest '99 in Hampton, Ga. A spokesperson for the
Offspring later told SonicNet Music News that the band's song "Beheaded"
which inspired Be Level-Headed's name and was cited by that group as offensive
was not on the Offspring's setlist.
Blue is Third Eye Blind's
follow-up to their multiplatinum 1997 eponymous debut, which was a mix of Jenkins'
evocative lyrics and power-pop stylings. The debut spawned a number of radio hits,
including "Graduate" (RealAudio excerpt)
and "How's It Going to Be" (RealAudio
[ Tues., November 16, 1999 3:02 AM EST ]
17 - From CDNow.com:
Third Eye Blind Merely Alters, Not Drops
Song From Upcoming Record Nov 16, 1999, 9:30 am PT
Despite several reports to the contrary, Elektra Records has not forced Third Eye
Blind to remove a song from their forthcoming sophomore effort, Blue, due Nov. 23. The
song in question, "Slow Motion," was merely altered to eliminate the possibility
of the song's message being taken out of context, according to a spokesperson for the band
at the label.
"Slow Motion," a song singer Stephan Jenkins has claimed he written several
years ago, originally included the lyrics, "Miss Jones taught me English, but I think
I just shot her son/'Cause he owed me money, with a bullet in the chest/ With a bullet in
the chest he cannot run/ Now he's bleeding in a vacant lot."
Those lyrics have been removed and the album version, a haunting, guitar and piano driven
ballad, now eerily repeats the song's chorus, "Slow motion see me let go/We tend to
die young/Slow motion see me let go/What a brother knows" against a melancholy
soundscape. Later in the tune, Jenkins continues, "Slow motion see me let go/We'll
remember these days/ Slow motion see me let go/Urban life decay."
According to the band's spokesperson, the members of Third Eye Blind were in full
agreement with the removal of the lyric in question, and the band plans on releasing the
song in its original format in a forthcoming E.P. on their own label. The only other
change to the album will be the moving of "Slow Motion" from track 11 (where it
sits on advance copies of the album) to track 13, the last song on the record save a
hidden track some 18 minutes later.
Meanwhile, Blue is anything from a sophomore flop for the band, as first single
"Anything," a raucous, punk-inspired rocker which clocks in at just under two
minutes, is already making waves at radio. Elsewhere, "Wounded," "Never Let
You Go," "10 Days Late," "1000 Julys," and "An Ode To
Maybe" are all potential radio smashes. Jenkins also gives props to original AC/DC
vocalist Bon Scott with his high-pitched shrill in "The Red Summer Sun."
Here is the track listing to Blue:
3. "10 Days Late"
4. "Never Let You Go"
5. "Deep Inside of You"
6. "1000 Julys"
7. "An Ode To Maybe"
8. "The Red Summer Sun"
13. "Slow Motion"
-- written by Kevin Raub
18 - The best article I have
read in a really long time....From San Francisco Examiner:
Third Eye Blind release reflects singer's
Stephan Jenkins rides his Triumph 955 motorcycle the way he lives: Aggressively.
Fast. Laughing as he goes. I'm crazy for motorcycles," declares the
charismatic, peppery singer of the multiplatinum Bay Area band Third Eye Blind. "It's
the only fun I have these days since I'm in the studio day and night. Anywhere you go in
San Francisco is like an E-ticket ride. I've even taught my dog Boo how to ride on the gas
Jenkins' obsession infuses the music of "Blue," the band's second album
(due out Nov. 23) to the degree that they jokingly refer to it as "chopper
rock." It is an apt description for the hard-charging rock 'n' roll of
"Blue," the follow-up to their 1997, 5-million-selling eponymous debut.
Like that album, this one sizzles with dark sexual overtones and open-veined
emotions. Earthy and haunted, it's a midnight ride through the human heart. You can almost
hear the Triumph's engine rev.
I suggest that in order for me to really understand the "chopper rock"
story, to get deep inside it, he needs to take me for a ride. I almost immediately regret
Jenkins is sleep-deprived - the result of the final crushing weeks of recording and
mixing. Plus, he's struggling against his confinement in the studio - unable to even visit
his lady love, actress Charlize Theron - a man with some serious itches he can't scratch.
He's dying to play hooky with this two-wheeled rocket ship parked on the sidewalk and I
just handed him a hall pass. "Are you holding on really tight?" he grins
sardonically, strapping on a rather tiny helmet. I have my hands primly on his shoulders.
I answer in the affirmative. Jenkins
guns it, roaring onto Mission Street - and I nearly fall off the back. He laughs. "I
don't think you're holding on tight enough." I grab him around the chest this time,
thinking of the millions of female MTV viewers who would kill to be in this position, and
chant a few Hail Marys. And we're off. "I love the air this time of year," he
yells backwards. "It's saturated with color, like Ektachrome. This city is
addictive!" He takes me on an affectionate tour of his favorite spots: Munroe Motors,
his 'cycle supplier, on Valencia; Zazie on Cole, "breakfast heaven" ; Tosca in
North Beach, his favorite pool table; Blowfish Sushi on Bryant; and the red-hot Foreign
Cinema on Mission. When two or three lights in a row change to green, Jenkins opens up the
throttle and we are practically airborne in a dizzying blast of speed. I try to peek over
his shoulder at the speedometer but it appears to be inching toward 60. I can't look.
Safely back at the studio, Jenkins is amused at my quaking knees. "I
didn't scare you, did I?" I want to slug him but that would only appeal to his
combative side. Besides, I'd rather listen to more music. "Blue" is splendid -
capitalizing on the best elements of "Third Eye Blind" while exploring
enough new territory to give it intrigue. Jenkins says this album was more collaborative
than the first, which was mostly his own vision; this time guitarist Kevin Cadogan,
bassist Arion Salazar and drummer Brad Hargreaves had plenty of input on everything,
including production. Jenkins said months ago that he wanted to make this year's "big
rock album" - and he has. It starts off with a blast of heat with
"Anything," probably the album's most straightforward tune, which finds the
very gifted Cadogan at his most Edge-like. (When the band opened for U-2, that
revered ax man floored Cadogan by telling him he was a big fan.) Then comes "Walking
with the Wounded," what Jenkins refers to as "a little song about sexual
assault" but is in fact a towering Verve-like anthem, in which Jenkins anguishes over
being unable to help a friend who was raped. Similar is "Ten Days Late," about
an unwanted pregnancy. It's orchestral but hard-rocking, with a strange twist: a Catholic
boys' choir singing "baby-daddy keep your boo."
"Never Let You Go" probably comes closest to "Semi-Charmed
Life" (the single that propelled them to stardom) in terms of irresistible hooks.
Jenkins' vocals have matured since the first album and on this song he even does some
potent lines of spoken word.
"Slow Motion" is an in-your-face ballad about murder and drug abuse. This
one makes "Semi-Charmed Life," which was about methamphetamine addiction, seem
like a walk in the park, with surreal references to cutting cocaine with Draino.
"The point of the song is how violence desensitizes," says Jenkins. "This
is a "Pulp Fiction' kind of world: seductively violent."
"Deep Inside You" is both romantic and erotic, with big chords like the
earlier "God of Wine." "Camouflage" is the biggest stretch for the
band - a flight of psychedelic fancy with shimmering overdubs and fizzy instrumentals.
And "Darwin," the closing song, is a heaping portion of Jenkins' sardonic
humor, suggesting that aliens had sex with apes, "and then cut out on the date."
Almost jazzy, it features orchestral bells and sitar and Salazar's brilliant bass work at
the forefront. "Arion went on this worldwide search this time so we had things like
sitar, clavoline, octabar. But it's all real - there's nothing from a can," says
Jenkins proudly. "Basically, every keyboard we play on this record could have been
played by the Beatles."
Boo, Jenkins' beloved female pit bull, trots into the studio and looks at him
inquisitively. It's late. "Do you want to go home?" he asks her in an
uncharacteristically kootchy-koo voice, and she starts wagging her tail furiously, knowing
she's about to take a ride. He perks up, too, knowing a cruise of The City's hills is
moments away. "San Francisco is always in my music," he says, weary but happy.
"I'll never live anyplace else."
19 - From Launch.com:
Third Eye Blind's Stephan
Jenkins Has Strong Words For Charlton Heston
(11/18/99, 10 a.m. ET) - Third Eye Blind will release an altered version of the song
"Slow Motion" on its new version of the album Blue, due out Nov. 23 (**LAUNCH,
11/17**). Nonetheless, singer Stephan Jenkins is using the controversy surrounding the
song as a platform to speak out about violence and guns, taking a shot at National Riffle
Assn. champion Charlton Heston in the process.
"I believe very strongly in gun control," Jenkins tells LAUNCH.
"Charles (sic) Heston, is that his name? Charlton can kiss my ass. He's just the most
well-spoken idiot I've ever seen in my life, and has no understanding of the Constitution
of the United States. The British aren't coming, you fool."
Elektra Records deemed the original version of "Slow Motion" too controversial
and forced the band to leave out a majority of the
lyrics. In the original, which will be released at a later date by the band, Jenkins
paints a picture of a character gunning down someone's son.
Jenkins tells LAUNCH that he saw a bright spot in the whole
controversy. "So the offer was that we could put this out ourselves on
our own label, on sort of an independent distribution. So, some time next year people can
look forward to another album, 'cause we're gonna get to make an eight-song album of new
songs that will have this song 'Slow Motion' as it was intended to be heard."
20 - From Sonicnet.com:
Jenkins (pictured) says he wrote "Slow Motion" as a criticism of violence in
films and television.
Photo by Steve Jennings
Note from Jen: Stephan's reason
for writing "Slow Motion" was exactly what I guessed it was written for.
See, the fans KNOW.
Third Eye Blind Sets Sights
On EP For Censored Song
After agreeing to cut lyrics from 'Slow Motion,'
Stephan Jenkins says band plans to release unaltered version next year. Senior
Writer Gil Kaufman reports:
Third Eye Blind singer/songwriter
Stephan Jenkins said he chooses to view the label-mandated removal of the lyrics to his
controversial song "Slow Motion" as a blessing in disguise.
"To me it worked out really well," Jenkins said, speaking from a curbside Miami
restaurant last week. "It's all for the best, because now we get to put more music
Elektra Records chairwoman Sylvia Rhone had asked the band to cut lyrics to "Slow
excerpt) for its second album, Blue, due Tuesday. The song now will appear
on the disc as a mostly instrumental version. But
Jenkins said the band will release the original version of the song, plus six other new
tracks, on an EP early next year.
The EP, tentatively titled Black, will be released on the band's as-yet-unnamed
label. It will consist of songs that didn't make it onto the San Francisco rock band's
upcoming album and possibly some new tunes, Jenkins said.
Far from having their voices squelched, Jenkins said the decision to alter "Slow
Motion" has given bandmembers the rare chance to give fans even more music. By
putting out the EP only a few months after Blue, they will circumvent the standard
two- to three-year wait between rock releases.
"Slow Motion," an anti-violence song Jenkins said he wrote nearly four years ago
for the band's 1997 eponymous, multiplatinum debut, features the lyrics: "Miss Jones
taught me English, but I think I just shot her son/ 'Cause he owed me money, with a bullet
in the chest/ With a bullet in the chest he cannot run/ Now he's bleeding in a vacant
"I was surprised at the amount of static that it caused," Jenkins said Thursday.
"[Rhone's] feeling was that in the context of today's repetitive Columbine headlines,
the message of the song could be misconstrued. As you know, I'm not a particularly preachy
lyricist, and I'm not didactic in my delivery ... their feeling was the whole focus of
this album could be skewed toward this one song" (RealAudio
excerpt of interview).
Jenkins said the label took issue with the song after a first listen earlier this year.
Throughout the past four months, he said, the band had been fighting to have it appear as
is on the album.
On Nov. 15, Nina Crowley, the director of Mass Mic, a Massachusetts anti-censorship group,
called the removal of the lyrics part of the "whitewashing" of American culture
in the wake of the deadly April school shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton,
"This is self-censorship, and people are running scared it's hysteria,"
Rhone was not available for comment on the removal of the song's lyrics and its inclusion
on the planned EP, according to an Elektra representative, who requested anonymity. The
source said the chairwoman's comments last week to online magazine RollingStone.com
that the song didn't work in the context of the album and the current social
climate still stood as the label's official word on the controversy.
Some of the group's fans said they supported Jenkins' right to speak his mind, although
not everyone might agree with what the singer was saying.
"I think any band, any individual has the right to say and write whatever they feel,
so I'm not saying Stephan is wrong for writing the song," 17-year-old New York fan
Nicole Prokop wrote in an e-mail. Prokop, who hadn't heard the song but saw some of the
lyrics, said that while some people might get the wrong idea from the provocative lyrics,
the band's fans would understand Jenkins' point.
"Third Eye Blind is not the kind of band that would promote violence," Prokop,
the webmaster of the unofficial Third Eye Blind page Fraudulent Zodiac, said.
"They're just trying to get a message across, and it's been done before, so I don't
see what the big deal is."
Jenkins pointed to the song's final verse as proof that he meant the lyrics as a criticism
of selling violence in movies and television. "Hollywood glamorized my wrath/ I'm a
young urban psychopath," the lyrics read, continuing, "I incite murder for your
entertainment/ 'Cause I needed the money, what's your excuse?/ The joke's on you."
Third Eye Blind spawned a number of power-pop-style radio staples. The lyrics to
the band's breakthrough hit, "Semi-Charmed Life" (RealAudio
excerpt), dealt frankly with oral sex and drug addiction, while Jenkins said
excerpt) was the story of a gay friend's suicide.
While the first, hard-driving pop single from Blue, "Anything" (RealAudio excerpt),
doesn't deal with the kind of taboo subjects that squelched "Slow Motion,"
Jenkins said other songs on the album tackle similarly difficult topics.
He described "10 Days Late" as a song that's "ambiguous about
abortion" and "Walking With the Wounded" as a chronicle of a friend's
"If we didn't have children opening fire on each other in mass numbers, we wouldn't
be having this conversation," Jenkins said. "Third Eye Blind have always spoken
about what's right in front of us and what's unspeakable. Sexual assault is right there,
and it's unspeakable. I think music is a place where you can address gun violence, and you
don't need to do it in a way that underestimates the intelligence of your listeners, and
you can do it in a way that you are not defanged" (RealAudio
excerpt of interview).
21 - STEPHAN SIGHTING! From Entertainment Weekly December 9 issue page 94:
|Aye for an Eye
On their second album, Blue, Third Eye Blind bring their brand of
beta-male rock into focus and break away from the jingle-jangle pop herd
The Trouble with guitar pop bands in the '90s
basically boils down to this: Too many of today's musicians grew up worshiping
R.E.M. - and for the wrong reasons. Many aspire to be the beta-male earnestness that
informs both R.E.M.'s jangly songs and their anti-rock star image. But few have
matched the group's ability to use melody, rhythm, and dynamics in smart and exciting
For this reason, Third Eye Blind's self-titled 1997 debut album was a breath of fresh
air. When their peers had good intentions, these guys had vitality and chops.
True, there was nothing ground-breaking about the San Francisco-based band's taut, driving
music, which actually owed a greater debt to alpha-male influences like Jane's addiction
and U2 than it did to the boys from Athens, Ga. But at least Third Eye Blind
borrowed cleverly and inventively, and with unapologetic bravado.
On their sophomore effort, Blue, Third Eye Blind retain those virtues and move a
bit further toward establishing their own identity. The first single,
"Anything," is a two-minute post-punk workout that only hints at the group's
growing sophistication. Kevin Cadogan's lyrical guitar work is particularly
impressive, whether he's serving up a big, juicy solo on "An Ode to Maybe" (too
bad about the title) or lending color and nuance to the chiming "Camouflage" - a
fine showcase for Brad Hargreaves' crisp, muscular drumming.
Through signer-principal songwriter Stephan Jenkins isn't as patently virtuosic, his
distinctly animated, unaffected vocals - which, like his lyrics, offer an appealing mix of
playfulness and yearning - ultimately do more to give Third Eye Blind a singular
sound. None of his new songs quite jump up and grab you by the throat the way the
band's break-through single, "Semi-Charmed Life," did. (The crackling,
power-pop-inspired "Never Let You Go" comes closest.) But he and his band
mates imbue Blue with the unforced energy and crafty musicality that make pop music
sound good - as opposed to just sounding good for you. B+ ~ Elysa Gardner
22 - From Seventeen Magazine December issue:
Third Eye Blind
Arriving with a minimum of hype and no maddeningly catchy "Semi-Charmed Life" to
send it off, we didn't even see the latest from Third Eye Blind (whose first self-titled
album was something of a surprise hit, selling multi-millions of copies) coming. Barring a
fresh new single with a killer hook (or, perhaps, a last minute release-date change) this
one is looking to get lost in the big-name holiday rush.
Third Eye Blind Is No Fluke
Second CD proves S.F. band's got it James Sullivan, Chronicle Staff Critic
THIRD EYE BLIND 3 stars
Don't look now, but Third Eye Blind has
become the definitive San Francisco band at the turn of the century. The band delivers its
second album, ``Blue,'' to stores tomorrow, and it's bound to twist at least as many arms
as the first one did.
Just as the Jefferson Airplane once represented the city's libertine views and the Tubes
later stood for its flaky excess, Stephan Jenkins and his band are the new Bay Area:
They're stylized powermongers, with one eye on the ticker tape and the other on the
mirror. And the third one, if it's blind at all, is blind only to the band's detractors.
They're sharp. Very.
Check the they. It's Jenkins' show, of course. The musicians -- guitarist Kevin Cadogan,
bassist Arion Salazar, drummer Brad Hargreaves -- are the help. Excellent help, but still
just the help.
Some performers have so much energy it's exhausting just trying to deny them.
Jenkins is definitely one of those.
"Friends say I've changed, I don't listen,'' he sings on ``Deep Inside of You.'' It's
the new album's ``How's It Going to Be,'' the stately ballad. It's a relationship song,
but it might as well be Jenkins confessing he's a ruthless businessman.
He may not be super-talented, but he has a certain je ne sais quoi that has sadly become a
rarity in rock 'n' roll. Jim Morrison took his to Paris. He didn't seem like a very nice
Assume for a moment there are some rock fans out there who couldn't identify Jenkins'
voice -- that curious, faux-Brit, fly-guy instrument. This band isn't just making generic
alt-rock music, no matter how often the cafe cognoscenti insists it is.
It's innovating. There's a children's choir, appropriately enough, on a swirling ``is she
or isn't she'' tune called ``10 Days Late.'' And the intriguing '`Darwin'' is a new kind
of astro-pop, not just the gimmicky retrofuturism of certain other Bay Area hitmakers of
The band is also aiming high with its peers. On ``The Red Summer Sun,'' Jenkins'
shrieking, double-time vocal (``been a long time . . .'') is unmistakable: It's a punk
pummeling of Led Zeppelin's ``Rock and Roll.'' And the first single, the two-minute
punk-metal furnace "Anything,'' borrows a soaring effect from U2's the Edge, Third
Eye Blind onetime touring host during that giddy moment when the debut album went
The frightening thing is, half this new record will be on the radio in a matter of months.
And to think the band barely made its deadline, turning in the record just a month ago.
Jenkins is a crafty so-and-so. As with ``Semi-Charmed Life,'' the band is courting
controversy, this time over the song ``Slow Motion,'' a commentary on violence that was
briefly objected to by Elektra's parent company, Time Warner, whose chairman's son was
recently shot to death.
Other ghosts lurk, too. On "Camouflage,'' Jenkins is apparently offering a
camouflaged tribute to the late Jeff Buckley with his wordless, upper-register keening.
Buckley tributes are trendy -- fellow handsome devils Chris Cornell and Duncan Sheik have
made them. If it's in, count Jenkins in.
Toward the end of the record, the singer lets down his guard, uncharacteristically.
"I want someone to know me/ Maybe tell me who I am,'' he sings ruefully on
"Darkness,'' and you almost feel sorry for him. Almost. "And the
strong survive,'' he sizzles on the next track, "Darwin.'' "Yeah, the strong
survive.'' They certainly do.
23 - Third Eye
Blind's new album, "", hits stores today! What a wonderful day for ROCK!
|3EB New Release: November - 10/12/1999
||New York, NY--(October 12,
1999)--Elektras Third Eye Blind are scheduled to release Blue, the
follow-up to their spectacularly successful debut, on November 23. Blue, recorded
at Northern Californias infamous studio The Plant, was again produced by frontman Stephan
Jenkins along with his 3eb bandmates.
San Francisco-based Third Eye Blind stormed the music world in 1997
with their self-titled, self-produced debut, which achieved sales of more than 4 million.
The record remained on Billboards Top Albums chart for an incredible 104 weeks,
generating countless anthems, including "Semi-Charmed Life,"
"Graduate," "Hows It Going To Be," "Losing A Whole
Year" and "Jumper." The bands signature sound dominated radio, with
"Semi-Charmed Life" earning the significant honor of most-played song on radio
in 1997 and, amazingly, "Jumper" earned similar honors for the first half of
1999. Throughout, 3eb toured relentlessly, emerging as one of the 90s top headlining
acts, all the while landing numerous awards and nominations, a performance on tvs
Saturday Night Live, capping things off in the fall of 1998 as MTVs band of choice
to headline the channels premier Campus Invasion tour.
They were just getting warmed up.
3ebs boldest move yet, Blue, hits November 23. With Blue, 3eb capture
the primal spontaneity that was unleashed by three years of intensive touring.
Third Eye Blind are frontman Stephan Jenkins, bassist Arion
Salazar, guitar Kevin Cadogan and drummer Brad Hargreaves.
are frontman Stephan Jenkins, bassist Arion
Salazar, guitar Kevin Cadogan and drummer Brad Hargreaves.
STEPHAN SIGHTING! Watch for Stephan to co-host MTV's Total
Request Live with Carson Daly and talk about the new album. Tune into MTV at 3:30pm
EST ... if you miss that time it repeats at 8pm EST.
Sponsored by AOL Music, 3eb will chat
with fans on November 23rd at 7:30 PM EST in AOL Live (Keywords: AOL Live or Third Eye
Blind). You must have AOL to participate.
24 - STEPHAN SIGHTING!
Third Eye Blind performs "Anything" on
the David Letterman show. Click the Dave logo for local listings.
Jen's StephanJenkins.com is
ONE year old today! Thanks to 3eb for the great birthday present! A new
album! Get out your party hats, mofos!
STEPHAN SIGHTING! New 3eb official website at www.3eb.com launches. Will include:
Bios, Tour Dates, News, Updates,
Online merchandise section
Road section with updates/road journal from the band and concert photos while band is on
Music section with audio and video clips, lyrics from 3eb albums
Official Fan Club with its own members only section
Each month it will highlight a fan's website so other fans can check out their hard work.
The opening page
of the site will resemble an apartment building fire escape with three "doors"
you can enter to different sections of the site.
Third Eye Blind Blue (Elektra)
Since they doo-doo-dooed their way to the
top of the charts two years ago with their hit song "Semi-Charmed Life," Third
Eye Blind has been a band you either loved or loved-to-hate, and you shouldn't expect Blue
to change your mind. Like the last album's angsty-pop singles, Blue's best tracks
are irresistible for precisely the reasons that the band's detractors slag on them --
they're too polished, too predictable. Sounds like a winning pop formula, though, doesn't
it? Stephan Jenkins' voice may be unnuanced and soulless, but it is the perfect vehicle
for the kind of simple vocal melodies that would be terribly boring if they weren't so
damned catchy. When they're not sounding prettier and more lush (as on
"Wounded"), the band gets ballsier than usual; midway through the record, they
hit you with a series of louder, more bombastic songs -- by Third Eye Blind standards,
that is. And Blue's lead single, "Anything," is a great song by any
standard, sounding like something the Foo Fighters would have made if they hadn't wussed
out on their latest effort. (JENNY ELISCU)
Third Eye Blind's second album, the
erratically ambitious Blue makes their quadruple platinum, self-titled debut seem like a
classic. And in a strange way, it is. So saturating that some rock types developed an
intense hatred for 3EB because of their radio success alone, one can finally appreciate
such well-crafted smashes as "Semi-charmed Life," "Graduate,"
"Jumper," and "How's it Gonna Be," four monsters, now that they're
gone. Now that the Bay-Area Blind are back with Blue, a baker's dozen of more ambitious
hook-deficient would be anthems.
Blue isn't a failure but it relegates 3EB from contenders to the title "the
Beatles," or even "the Cheap Trick" of post-grunge radio pop (guess we'll
have to wait for the new Matchbox 20 album, although if there was any justice, the crown
would already go to Fountains of Wayne) to simply, a decent pop group...like Dramarama.
Remember Dramarama? No? There you go. Coincidentally that band's biggest hit squares the
title of 3EB's latest single, a two-minute plus trifle called "Anything," that's
plastic punky enough to make you want to turn it up (actually, it sounds like a better
song when you turn it up), but even with a little volume, it's not the Buzzcocks
or arch rivals Green Day. It's not even Blink 182. Full of inscrutable lyrics about
"Jackie O with the top down open/All the words to what's unspoken/Put together
everything that's broken," "Anything," is punk-pop saddled with
"everything" that keeps a great two-minute burner from racing and flying. It's
overly poetic, with ghostly, dispirited "ooh-whoo-hoo-hoo" backing vocals and
slick production values. It'll probably be a major hit anyway because it's 3EB, whereas
even those who found them guilty pleasures in '97
were kinda secretly hoping for another major hit that was undeniably great and catchy
(don't ya forget rock crits are masochists and cynical punks are closet optimists).
Certain tracks, like "Ode to Maybe," with its novel fuzz guitar and falsetto
chorus, and the no-bullshit rocker "Red Summer Sun," (which boasts a great and
hysterically raw Jenkins-does-hair metal-vocal) are spirited enough winners to the old
dodge bullets and credit the existence of an actual, living, breathing, exciting band.
Even a failure like "Camouflage" with Jenkins toasting "Why does a willow
weep when all I see is a tree grow?" (somebody give this guy Lou Reed's collected
lyrics, please) over scrunge-and-bass beats is... new. When uninspired 3EB's misguided
indulgences suit them much better when they're biting U2... or 3EB (which they now have
the luxury of doing). "Wounded" is full of expert Edge-isms, while "Never
Let You Go," "Deep Inside of You," and "1000 Julys," recall
"Losing a Whole Year," and "How's it Gonna Be," and
"Graduate" respectively-that's to say they resemble really great songs enough to
be good songs.
Cannibalizing no less than three hits isn't the end of Stephen Jenkins chutzpah.
Apparently, he's confident enough a charismatic front man to feed the little girls lyrics
like: "I don't want to call you but then I want to call you cause I don't wanna crush
you but I feel like crushing you." To top it off he sings in a falsetto range that
sounds like Peter Frampton getting kicked in the balls while he's blowing into his talk
box and still expects love in return. He'll get it too. 3EB have done nothing here to
denigrate their remarkable success. Sadly, they've done nothing to further justify it or
even expand upon it. Blue is good 3EB and the four million fans, provided
they've forgotten that they're four years older, will embrace it with some kinda love.
~ Mo Derek (Snobawl77@aol.com)
Why We Fight
Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love -- or at
least respect -- Third Eye Blind
Third Eye Blind: San Francisco's most
improved rock band.
This band will surprise you.
--From press materials for Third Eye Blind's Blue
--From press materials for Third Eye Blind's Blue
On Thursday, Nov. 25 -- Thanksgiving Day --
the members of Third Eye Blind will donate their time to perform at the half-time show of
the Chicago Bears-Detroit Lions football game in Pontiac, Mich. This, as National Football
League spokesperson Brian McCarthy points out, is a big deal. Over 40 million people will
be watching, and this is the first time an NFL half-time show other than the Super Bowl's
will be televised nationally. "This is a national way of saying thanks to people who
have contributed time and contributed money to the United Way," says Patricia Ellis
of United Way Community Services, which has worked with the NFL for 26 years. The 9
1/2-minute "half-time spectacular" will include about 1,000 dancers, singers,
and performers, including a choir, followed by Third Eye Blind. The band will play
"Never Let You Go," a song from Blue, the follow-up to its 1997
self-titled debut album, which has sold 4 million copies.
"The NFL was looking for ways to better
serve its fans, and one of those ways was entertainment," says McCarthy, who notes
that while Clint Black will be performing at the Dallas Cowboys-Miami Dolphins game the
same day, Third Eye Blind appeals to "obviously, a younger demographic."
"They came highly recommended by the
NFL," says Detroit Lions publicist Tim Pendell.
"We're very happy to have them, of
course," says Ellis.
None of the members of Third Eye Blind were
available to comment to SF Weekly about the Thanksgiving performance, the release
of Blue, or anything else related to the band.
The band, it would seem, is in no hurry to
talk to me. "There isn't a good reason to do this," the band's manager, Eric
Gotland, told me last week. "You guys have never meshed."
To help explain why that's so, a brief recap
is in order. On May 6, Third Eye Blind played a sold-out show at the Paradise Lounge under
the pseudonym Titty; having reviewed that show negatively, I received a number of strongly
worded pieces of hate mail, which made their way into my e-mail in-box for several weeks.
Some observers found the whole thing amusing, including me, since I'd never expected such
outrage. After all, a critic expressing dislike of a band, even in that band's native San
Francisco, isn't a novel concept.
But, figuring some of the stronger opinions
about Third Eye Blind -- both positive and negative -- were at least getting expressed, I
decided it might be fun to hold a contest in which readers could suggest titles for the
band's then-untitled second album. The grand prize winner would get a copy of the band's
1995 demo tape (and accompanying letter from lead singer Stephan Jenkins), and the second
place winner would get a bottle of Sammy Hagar's Cabo Wabo tequila.
Snotty? Oh, sure. But I'm fully cognizant of
the amount of power I possess to influence public opinion about Third Eye Blind, which is
to say: precisely none. At Third Eye Blind's stratospheric levels of sales and airplay,
snottiness changes nothing. And really, I don't begrudge the band's members their success.
All of this was, frankly, an off-the-cuff and not-terribly-serious way of writing about
the most famous rock band to come out of the Bay Area in the past five years.
In late September, Stephan Jenkins,
off-the-cuff and not-terribly-serious, implied to a Rollingstone.com reporter that I had an ax to grind regarding the
band. Then, in early October, an Elektra publicist based in Los Angeles, presumably
oblivious to all this, called to talk to me about Third Eye Blind: The band was available
for interviews. So I submitted my request. Would it be possible to get the band on the
cover of the Weekly? he asked. Well, we'd have to look into that.
A few days later Third Eye Blind manager
Gotland got in touch. He was polite, but also expressed a bit of confusion. Gotland
pointed out that had the band been asked to name the one publication that has been
uniformly negative toward it, the only one it would be able to think of is SF Weekly.
And, he asked, if I don't like the band, why would I be interested in talking with
its members? I explained that while, yes, I've been critical -- snotty, even -- toward the
band in the past, that didn't mean I wouldn't handle an interview professionally, or that
I couldn't make room for the members' opinions just because they might differ from mine.
And while that difference in opinion might be tackled in an interview, it's not like I'd
jump over a table and attack Stephan Jenkins.
Gotland said he'd run my interview request by
the band. Last week, he told me that he hadn't actively pursued the matter with the
members. His feeling is that my efforts might be better geared toward more unknown local
groups, such as the five other bands he represents.
The lyrics to "Slow Motion" as they appeared in the
band's 1996 press materials.
Now, Gotland is just doing his job, which is
to look after the best interests of his clients. And, make no mistake, this is a nervous
time for Third Eye Blind. Maybe not as human beings, but certainly as a commercial entity,
as a limited partnership organized to generate income for itself, and for the company
under which it has been contracted. Sophomore albums rarely perform better than their
predecessors, sales-wise or critically. Also, Third Eye Blind has always presented itself
as a pretender to the big-time rock star throne, and if pop music in the '90s is going to
be remembered for anything, it will be the death of the big-time rock star. So the release
of Blue comes with risks attached. While the influence of print media -- and music
journalism in general -- is in this case limited (radio airplay is the make-it-or-break-it
venue), from a PR standpoint, however silly PR standpoints often are, you can't take any
However, since Blue is a vast
improvement over its predecessor, perhaps there's no need for such concern.
Yup, an improvement. And good? Well, let's
not get ahead of ourselves. Blue is, for the most part, a fuller realization of
what the band aspired -- and failed -- to do on its first album, which was to produce a
coherent brand of U2-styled arena rock. Of all the problems with Third Eye Blind,
its chief trouble was its utter lack of focus. The CD was, for the most part, the sound of
a group that couldn't figure out what it wanted to be, and which had decided, therefore,
to be everything -- a bass solo from Arion Salazar here, a fancy guitar effect from Kevin
Cadogan there (actually a lot of fancy guitar effects), Brad Hargreaves keeping very
busy at the drum kit, and Stephan Jenkins going everywhere, rapping and screaming and
singing falsetto, almost randomly.
The intention was obviously to showcase the
band's virtuosity, but that made for some clumsy -- and worse, unmemorable -- songwriting.
With the exception of one ballad ("The Background") and one smartly engineered
pop single ("Semi-Charmed Life"), the result came off as an advertisement for
the Berklee School of Music or some other highfalutin music-tech school. Which means that
all of Jenkins' stories about his hard-knock life, as reported by the lyric sheet, got
subsumed in the show-offy, outsized musical mess, and sounded passionless.
That approach, however, is part of the band's
appeal to its fans. "It's like the band challenges themselves to make each riff, drum
tap, and bass line matchless," says Jennifer Griffin, who from Montgomery, Ala., runs
a Third Eye Blind fan site, stephanjenkins.com.
"My prediction," she adds, "is that Blue will catapult Third Eye
Blind to the top of the Billboard charts as the year's big rock album, silencing critics
who harp on 'sophomore slumps.' It's too bad that most critics can't see past the
doot-doot-doots and experience the deep symbolism and dark imagery that's found in each
and every song, even in that 'I want something else' ditty."
On Blue, the band sounds like it at
least knows what it's doing. The opening "Anything" is a brash, brilliant
overture of melodic post-punk that -- this is important -- is over in two minutes. The
band still believes that shoehorning genres together makes for a good song -- Jenkins will
still channel Robert Plant at random moments, and the poppy "The Red Summer Sun"
bursts into a Thin Lizzy-like bit of glam rock halfway through -- but this time around the
stuff it's pulling out of its trick bag was chosen with some discrimination. Having the
Golden Gate Boys Choir sing on the break of "Ten Days Late," a song about
pregnancy, is a witty touch, and "Camouflage" punctuates its under- water vocal
effects with string figures from locals Carla Kihlstedt and Marika Hughes. Still, wise
production choices aren't the hallmark of a great record, and there's a lack of depth
here, from the songs the band knocked off to make "Never Let You Go"
("Sweet Jane") and "1000 Julys" ("Back in Black") to
Jenkins' lyrics. UC Berkeley English degree or no, they're still just love songs, and he
still can't make them meaningful.
Call the album a half-success, then; capable
arena rock with enough going on to suggest that maybe, if the band is allowed to develop,
it will have something more engaging to express. Whether it will be allowed to
develop is something that was recently called into question. Earlier this month, Rollingstone.com
reported, Elektra asked the band to remove the song "Slow Motion" from Blue.
Elektra chairperson and CEO Sylvia Rhone told the Web site that the song "didn't work
in the context of the rest of the album, and it didn't work in the context of the current
social climate, and in the overall vision of this band." Management said the bone of
contention was the opening verse: "Miss Jones taught me English/ But I think I just
shot her son/ 'Cause he owed me money/ With a bullet in the chest you cannot run/ Now he
bleeds in a vacant lot." The implication is that a song that mentions teachers and
guns is inappropriate for major-label release in a post-Columbine world.
But "Slow Motion" predates
Columbine. It was written before the band got famous, and is one of the songs included on
its 1995 demo tape. If those opening lines don't "work in the context of the current
social climate," consider these from the closing verse, as they're written in the
group's 1996 press materials:
And at home
My sister's eating paint chips again
Maybe that's why she's insane
I shut the door to her moaning
And I shoot smack in my veins
See my neighbor beating his wife
Because he hates his life
There's an arc to his fist as he swings
Oh man, what a beautiful thing
Maybe that doesn't work in the current
social climate either, and maybe the lines aren't up there with Bob Dylan's lyrics for
social verisimilitude. But nobody can deny that they are, at least, vivid. The edginess,
the anger, the depth of feeling -- all the stuff Third Eye Blind's lyrics have been
credited with having but never quite do -- is right there. On Blue, the only lyrics
intact on the delicate piano-driven ballad are those of the chorus: "Slow motion see
me let go/ We tend to die young/ Slow motion see me let go/ What a brother knows."
According to Gotland, a complete version of
the song will be released sometime early next year as part of an eight-song EP on the
band's as-yet-unnamed label. "The song is very controversial," he says,
"and the danger was that the album Blue could have been all about this
song." He adds: "What's actually good about this is that Time Warner [Elektra's
parent company] didn't run from the issue. They could've not let us release it at all. Now
we can release it ourselves, make our own album that's vibey and cool."
"The tumult that that song has caused is
a sign that we're on the right track," Jenkins told Rollingstone.com. Uh, no. Compromising a statement
you believe in (the band submitted the song with full lyrics to the label, so presumably
its members believed in it) because the higher-ups say you have to is a lot of things, but
not "the right track," not ever. The new version isn't an "edit." It's
a hack job. And either Jenkins is comfortable with having his art manhandled and
eviscerated in order to better serve the interests of the company to which he has
contracted, or he's just spinning to the media.
I don't know which is true. All I can say is
I'd like to ask.
25 - STEPHAN SIGHTING! The 3EB
show at the Pontiac Silverdome on Thanksgiving Day is part of the United Way Halftime Show
during the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears game (approx 2 PM EST). They are
volunteering their time to perform as part of this "Thank You" show to United
Way supporters. They will not be performing "Anything", but instead one of
the new songs "Never Let You Go" during the show. Estimated audience
of 55 million! Tune in on your local FOX affiliate TV station.
gobble mighty! 3eb on TV for Turkey Day!"
AOL Chat with 3eb on 11/23:
AOLiveMC8: Welcome Third
Blind Eye! Thank you for joining us this
TEyeBlnd: Thanks for having us. This is Stephan Jenkins. I just finished rehearsing
in New York at FIR studios for another round of TV shows launching our new album
"Blue." We spent the last 6 months hiding out in a recording studio.
It is so gratifying to be able to take this music that we worked so hard on and
play it for you. So, here we are back out in Cyberspace! Again, thanks for
having us and we'll take questions as you wish.
AOLiveMC8: Let's get right to the questions, our audience has been anxious to ask
Question: When did you get your start as a group?
TEyeBlnd: Our first gig was in October, 1994. We've been trying to get
together for a year before that. We paid every due. We made every sacrifice and
slept on every floor. No complaints though, there's something good about struggling.
Question: Where'd u get the inspiration for background, and are wounded and
background related in any way?
TEyeBlnd: Wounded and Background are related in that they both deal with somebody
that's been sexually assaulted. I wouldn't know where to start about the
inspiration. Regarding Background, sometimes when you know you're with the people
you belong with, you live in the foreground. When you lose those people, you move
into the background. t's a bummer, but I think it's worth talking about. Oh,
look, here comes Brad Hargraves.
Question: Can we expect to hear camouflage performed live? or any other
electronically enhanced songs, for that matter?
TEyeBlnd: Camouflage was not electronically enhanced. Brad played all the
drum tracks you hear there by himself. And hopefully, Live, we will have two drums,
and hopefully I'll join him on that track.
Question: What do you do in your free time??
TEyeBlnd: Brad: I haven't had a whole lot of free time but uh, free time, I
do just like to lounge around,
play guitar, and catch up on sleep.
TEyeBlnd: Stephan: I like to ride my motorcycle over the hills of San Francisco.
And take my precious little doggie, the Boo, down to the ocean where she goes
buckwild in the waves.
Question: I just wanted to say i think you guys are great. ive seen you play live 3
times already and will go back whenever i can. whats been the best part of all of this for
TEyeBlnd: Stephan: Playing live.
TEyeBlnd: Brad: I'll agree, playing live where the real connection is made.
Question: Hi guys...I heard "Gorgeus" live and you said it was new.. Was
wondering why it was left off "blue" ? It's a killer song
OnlineHost: TEyeBlnd has left the room.
OnlineHost: TEyeBlnd has entered the room.
TEyeBlnd: Hey look, here comes Arion what song of yours do you feel defines you as
TEyeBlnd: Arion: None.
TEyeBlnd: Stephan: All of them.
TEyeBlnd: Brad: Stairway to Heaven
Question: Okay...I bought the new cd today at 8am and I listened to it all day and
I must say it is amazing. I have to know...when are you all going back on tour?
TEyeBlnd: Stephan: Thanks so much for getting up so early and showing us so much
love. We'll start touring hopefully in February and we really look forward to it.
Question: Who helped you get started in the music business?
TEyeBlnd: Stephan: Our manager Eric Godtland.
Question: UMMMMM HOW DID U COME UP WITH THE BAND NAME THIRD EYE BLIND?
TEyeBlnd: Stephan: Sorcery. Witchery, Ouigie Board and Scrabble. It was a
Scrabble game gone wrong. Hahaha.
Question: What's the deal with the "secret words never to be printed"
part of Camouflage?
TEyeBlnd: If we told you then it wouldn't be a secret any more.
Question: Friends of mine that know i am a crazy 3eb fan have been asking me
about the cover. I have my own idea of what it is, but I want to make sure I am right.
What exactly is it, and how does it tie into
the name of the cd? Thanks--i love you guys!!
TEyeBlnd: Brad: It is a Nasa photo of the sun. It ties into the name of the
CD because it's blue. It's
a big sun and it's burning and it's blue. Things that burn aren't usually blue, you
think of that as cold.
So, there we go again, with ideas banging into each other. Like bumper cars.
Careening across the universe. (all three of us are laughing!)
Question: Who came up with your symbol?
TEyeBlnd: Arion: This really guy named Ro. He used to work at Electra and
he's gone now but not forgotten.
Question: is this new album a different style from the last album or is it the same
old third eye blind?
TEyeBlnd: Why don't you find out for yourselves. It's a question you need to
answer yourself, we think.
We hope you find the answer you're looking for.
Question: Do you plan to house other artists on your new label, or is it just going
to be you all?
TEyeBlnd: We haven't talked about it much, but it's certainly an idea we would
Question: if you could sing a song or work with anyone (dead or alive) who would it
be? and why??
TEyeBlnd: Arion: I'd say Paul McCartney. Because he's the best musician on
TEyeBlnd: Brad: Hendrix, because like Hendrix, I, too, am a Voodoo child.
TEyeBlnd: Stephan: Janis Joplin, because Oh my, that rowdy bitch could sing.
Question: was it harder to record your second album than your first, with the
stress of the sophmore jinx & living up to your potential and the sucess of your first
Question: Your first album had songs that changed people's lives, Jumper being an
example. Does Blue have songs like that?
TEyeBlnd: Bye Arion. I hope so. It was never our intention but, we're
very flattered you were moved.
We made an album that means a lot to us. and there's a mad girl named Jujanna and
she really likes it. And she has the coolest red boots on that I've ever seen.
AOLiveMC8: Wow the time has really flown by we have time for one last question.
Question: when will your first video from the album be out?
TEyeBlnd: Sometime well into the next year. I just said that to piss off the record
label. They're doing the freaky frustration dance right now. Dance, y'll, DANCE!!!
We don't know exactly when we'll make one.
We'll try to make one for you soon!
AOLiveMC8: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to answer our
TEyeBlnd: You are very welcome. This is Stephan. Thanks again for having us.
AOLiveMC8: Good Luck to all of you on your new release and all your future
TEyeBlnd: Rock on, y'all, and walk like kings, everyone of you. Thank you very much
and nighty night!
OnlineHost: TEyeBlnd has left the room.
26 - THIRD EYE BLIND WAS A NO-SHOW FOR THIS CHAT...
3eb will chat on www.twec.com
Friday, November 26th, at 7:00pm ET. Here's more info from TWEC:
Log on to The Web's
Entertainment Center on Friday, November 26 at 7:00 p.m. ET, the day after
Thanksgiving, to join in on a live online chat with pop/rockers Third Eye
Blind! The band first made their mark on the music scene with the single "Semi-Charmed
Life" and then with "Jumper" and "How's It Gonna Be?
from their self-titled debut album. Find out about their upcoming release, Blue,
which comes out a few days before the chat.
From Rolling Stone issue 828/829 Dec.
16-23 page 57:
A tidbit mention of the new
album and this photo...
27 - I sent an email to the Dalva Bar...
Third Eye Blind released their new album, Blue, on Tuesday. In one of the songs, titled
"Wounded" has mention of the "Dalva Bar". One would only guess that
it's you guys since 3eb is a San Fran band. Just thought you'd like to know - free
publicity there from a world-wide act. :) Jen www.stephanjenkins.com
They wrote back:
oh, thanks for the info. That's really cool.
Maybe we'll put them in the jukebox. haa ha.
Third Eye Blind was one of the
many bands that emerged in the wake of the alternative music craze as a lighter, more
radio-friendly version of acts like Pearl Jam and Nirvana. Like the Verve Pipe, Matchbox
20, the Nixons, and Seven Mary Three, the band had a string of monster hit songs --
"Semi-Charmed Life," "Jumper," and "How's It Going To Be"
among them -- but most people would be hard-pressed to tell Third Eye Blind apart from the
others, name the members, or even know what they looked like.
The quartet -- led by singer/songwriter/producer Stephan Jenkins (who is my hero purely
because he dates goddess/actress Charlize Theron) -- won't make it easy for people to
remember their success of two years ago with their second album, Blue, but that's meant as
a compliment. For where their debut disc was chock full of catchy, instantly memorable
ditties (who can forget the "do-do-do"'s of "Semi-Charmed Life," even
if it was about a drug addict?), Blue is a denser, more complex affair that will probably
take a few spins to really grow on the listener.
That doesn't mean Jenkins has lost his flair for pop hooks. They're still very much in
evidence on songs like "1000 Julys," with its stop-and-go guitars, the
shimmering "An Ode to Maybe," and "Never Let You Go." Those latter two
have the closest family resemblance to anything on the first
album, while other tracks like "Slow Motion," "Darkness," and
"Darwin," which close out the record, have a dreamier, more introspective, and
slightly psychedelic feel to them.
Jenkins doesn't have the greatest voice, and he occasionally slips into that annoying
alterna-whine so prevalent in many of his contemporaries. Also, like so many albums, this
one could have used some judicious editing: even a decent songwriter can be hard-pressed
to deliver 70 minutes of solid music in one sitting, and Blue definitely sags along the
way. But give the band credit for not sticking blindly (pun intended) to a tried-and-true
28 - STEPHAN SIGHTING! From
Entertainment Weekly, issue 515 December 3, pages 49-53 :
Thanks to firstname.lastname@example.org for typing this!
By Tom Sinclair
Depending on who you ask, Third Eye Blind are rock visionaries-or a sight short of that.
Either way, they've seen their way to the top. For rock fans of a certain generation, San
Francisco's Haight Street holds a near mythical allure, evoking psychedelic memories of
the legendary bands that once traipsed and tripped over its pavement. The Grateful Dead.
Jefferson Airplane. Santana. Moby Grape. Janis Joplin and Big Brother. Ah, all the
heavies. Third Eye Blind is a latter-day San Francisco band. Their mood-altering substance
of choice seems to be beer, mugs of which the group's four members are sipping in one of
their fave Haight Street haunts, a tavern called Mad Dog in the Fog, while discussing fame
and their just-released sophomore album, Blue. While the group has a keen interest in
achieving legend status, the jury is still out on whether they qualify as heavies. Some
listeners--presumably including a goodly portion of the 4 million folks who snapped up
3EB's self-titled 1997 debut--profess to finding a wealth of depth, nuance, and poetry in
songs like "Graduate," "Jumper," "How's It Going to Be," and
their chart-busting first hit, "Semi-Charmed Life" (unofficially known as
"that doot-doot-doot song," as well as a staple of TV commercials and movie
trailers a year or two ago). Others--among them quite a few critics--view the band's
radio-friendly, streamlined alt-rock as decidedly lightweight, and of no more consequence
than, say, Matchbox 20.
"We can't help it if we're catchy bastards," says Stephan Jenkins, 32, the
loquacious frontman. "We thought we were going to sell 300,000 records and be a
critic's band, but the critical reaction after 'Semi-Charmed Life' was, 'Oh, they're a
one-hit wonder.' But the joke's on the intelligentsia. People have said that the [first]
album has been a friend to them, a companion piece to whatever they were going through at
that time in their lives. That to me is the ultimate props."
"Hey, Rolling Stone [panned] Led Zeppelin--one of the most influential albums of all
time. I'd rather us be thought of as Led Zeppelin."
This occasions merry agreement among the other boys in the band--guitarist Kevin Cadogan,
29; bassist Arion Salazar, 29; and drummer Brad Hargreaves, 28--who seem to defer to
Jenkins whenever major pronouncements are called for. While 3EB is theoretically a
democracy--Cadogan collaborates with Jenkins on much of the material, and Salazar cowrote
a couple of tunes for Blue, as well as sharing in the production chores--Jenkins is
clearly in charge. A onetime lit major, the hunky 6-foot-2-inch singer swings the hammer
of his outsize charisma like a rock god to the manner born. Going quadruple platinum seems
to have obliterated whatever traces of humility may once have been present in him. He's
even snagged the ultimate rock-star trophy--a gal pal of the rising-young-actress variety,
South African bombshell Charlize Theron, who just adores Third Eye Blind's music.
Blue (3EB seems unaware of Joni Mitchell's classic 1971 album of the same name) is a
quintessentially ambitious second effort, complete with string arrangements and sprinkled
with exotic instrumentation (mellotron, theremin, electric sitar). Jenkins dismisses the
disc's first single, "Anything"--a two-minute sonic stampede that has yet to
make much of an impact--as "just sort of a starter track." A better bet for
chart action is "Never Let You Go," a slice of new-wave power pop that recalls
vintage Cars and is slated to be the band's next video. Then there's "The Red Summer
Sun," on which Jenkins executes a droll Zep homage, singing, "Been a long time
since I walked with the mighty...," in a strangled-cat Robert Plant falsetto.
And walk with the mighty--nay, trample them underfoot--is what Jenkins intends for his
band to do. In late '97, 3EB opened for both U2 and the Rolling Stones on their respective
tours. The latter jaunt brought Jenkins' competitive nature to the fore. "Every
single night I got out there and sprinted from one side of the stage to the other, just
playing guitar and sprinting at top speed," he says. "I never stopped. There was
no way that Mick Jagger was gonna outrun me."
Jenkins chuckles wryly as he recalls the sole interaction he and Jagger had off stage,
when 3EB posed with the Stones for a publicity photo. "After it was over, Mick
grinned at me and asked, 'Did you enjoy that?'"
"I don't want to slight the Stones," he continues. "I was there one night
when they went into a jam that was far superior to anything U2 or Third Eye Blind ever
came up with. But most nights they sucked, and we could have played their set better than
they played it. And that's reality."
That 3EB are superstars in their own right and not the Greatest Rolling Stones Cover Band
in the World is no accident. Jenkins, who says he was once a squatter "by
choice" in a Haight Street building, assembled the group from the remnants of other
Bay Area bands circa 1993. Once they began gigging and writing songs, says Jenkins, it was
clear that 3EB has that proverbial "special" chemistry. A couple years later,
their demo tape landed in the hands of Elektra Records chairman and CEO Sylvia Rhone, who
liked what she heard and dispatched a junior staffer to San Francisco to check them out.
The scout returned with sad news: The band wasn't any good.
"Normally," says Rhone, "I would have taken that at face value. But I was
haunted by these songs I'd heard that I knew had potential, so I went to a showcase to see
for myself. And they were all that, the whole package--songs, musicianship, performance. I
fought to get them and sign them. We moved very quickly on that deal." (Jenkins
remembers seeing Rhone in the audience, bopping and singing the words to "Good For
You," and thinking, "That matters." For the record, the tin-eared A&R
person "is no longer with the company," according to Rhone.)
But despite this auspicious beginning, the group's relationship with the label hasn't been
a total love-fest. After "Semi-Charmed Life" became a smash, Jenkins took great
pleasure in telling anyone who would listen to that song was about methamphetamine
addiction and oral sex--a fact that Elektra bigs would rather have swept under the rug.
The aren't-we-naughty-boys? high jinks continued at the 1998 American Music Awards, when
Jenkins changed the lyric "Can I graduate?" to "Can I masturbate?"
while performing "Graduate."
Earlier this year, the label went apoplectic over the lyrics to "Slow Motion," a
new song about gun violence, drugs, and wife-beating intended for Blue. A squabble ensued,
and a compromise was reached: A so-called instrumental version of "Slow Motion,"
which includes only the song's chorus, is featured on Blue, while the full song is slated
to appear on a compilation the band will release sometime in 2000.
Rhone sighs when asked about the "Slow Motion" flap. "Elektra is not in the
business of censorship," she says. "In this particular situation, our intention
was to challenge the man to reevaluate the merits of the song in the context of the band's
image as a successful modern rock/pop band. My question was one of judgment."
Jenkins remains miffed, citing Elektra's willingness to give Ol' Dirty Bastard carte
blanche to spew profanity, while "policing" 3EB's lyrics "at a level I just
can't fathom. They're so scared about our lyrics. It's utter bulls---."
Maybe. Nonetheless, the big, bad Establishment seems to have won this round. Chalk it up
to the semi part of semi-charmed.
"David Bowie's sales have fallen off," notes Jenkins between sips of beer.
"I have this fantasy about taking him on tour with us. We'd play our set and then
have David come out. I'd give him the mike, go strap on a guitar, and we'd back him up,
maybe do some stuff from Ziggy Stardust."
"I have similar fantasy about doing that with Gwyneth Paltrow," pipes in
"You've got a thing for Gwyneth Paltrow?" crows Jenkins in mock horror.
"Well, they're both skinny," snickers Salazar.
"She can sing great," Cadogan asserts defensively. "I saw her on Saturday
Night Live. There's nothing between me and her. I'm just a guy at a bar having a beer, for
chrissakes. Gwyneth Paltrow's bound to come up sooner or later."
Of course, one key difference between a rock star and your average suds-slurping schmo is
that the rocker stands a far better chance of making his celebrity-studded daydreams a
reality. Jenkins and Third Eye Blind have the sense of entitlement accrued only by
world-beaters or fools. They've got the temerity to try and thump the Stones, the
arrogance to assume the Thin White Duke needs their help. And they'd like to continue
their trek to the top accompanied by comely starlets who love them for the unassailable
artistry of their music, thank you very much.
Get ready--brand new heavies comin' atcha.
From San Francisco
Chronicle: An article every big
3eb fan should read
Third Eye Blind leader Stephan Jenkins makes sure his band is a success
Joel Selvin, Chronicle Pop Music Critic
Sunday, November 28, 1999
�1999 San Francisco Chronicle
Stephan Jenkins is a classic -- a rock 'n'
roll bad boy with an angel face and a movie-star girlfriend. He rides around town with his
dog on a Triumph motorcycle and lives in a rented room above his manager's office in an
unremarkable Cole Valley duplex.
More than just his group's singer,
songwriter and record producer, Stephan Jenkins dreamed up the name for the band and wrote
many of the songs before there were any other musicians involved. His colleagues are all
seasoned, highly skilled rockers, but he is clearly the alpha dog of the pack. The band is
a corporation wholly owned by Jenkins. Make no mistake, Jenkins is Third Eye Blind.
Third Eye Blind's 1997 self-titled debut
sold more than 3 million copies and lofted three hits into the Top 10, including the No. 1
``Semi-Charmed Life.'' The release earlier this week of the second album, ``Blue,'' could
make 3EB the biggest rock band out of San Francisco in a long, long time. ``Anything,''
the screaming rocker released as the first single, is scorching up modern-rock radio
But people who have worked with Jenkins, if
they will talk at all, don't necessarily have nice things to say about him. He has already
settled one lawsuit with an old friend. People accuse him of stealing credits he didn't
earn. They call him ambitious, driven -- which Jenkins confirms.
``I don't think I owe anyone an apology,''
said Jenkins, unflinching and unfazed. He's heard it all before.
LOWER HAIGHT ROOTS
Behind the multiplatinum success of Third
Eye Blind lies a tangled path that Jenkins followed. If the first album romanticizes the
bohemian decadence so easily found around the lower Haight in the early '90s, it is a
subject Jenkins knows firsthand.
Longtime friend and later manager Eric
Gotland and Jenkins were always the team. They met in 1990 when they were both living on
lower Haight Street. Jenkins was a starving rapper wannabe. Gotland was, by day, a
straight-arrow management consultant not even allowed to wear colored shirts at his job.
By night, he was a lousy club DJ with a huge record collection.
``That was my 1967, my summer of love,''
said Jenkins, 35. ``So much of the first record is drawn from that time.''
Jenkins, who grew up in Palo Alto and
graduated with an English degree from the University of California at Berkeley, rented out
his room and started sleeping in the closet. He was living on money he stole from his
roommates to buy coffee, eating lots of Top Ramen and writing songs. ``I had a moral
boundary,'' he said. ``I wouldn't take anything larger than a quarter.''
He started as one-half of an interracial
rap duo that eventually landed a song on a soundtrack.
Jenkins teamed with a reggae musician from
Detroit, Herman Anthony Chunn, who had a shaved head and called himself Zen, to form Puck
and Natty. Their tape found its way to industry heavyweights such as Clive Davis and
A track, ``Just Wanna Be Your Friend,''
landed on a soundtrack album of the hit TV show ``Beverly Hills, 90210'' in 1992.
``You want me to do a song for your TV show
that I've never seen?'' Jenkins said. ``No problem. It was $7,800. I bought groceries.''
With a cut on a soundtrack and the label
interested in signing the group, Jenkins needed a manager. His brother was in a fraternity
at the University of California at Davis with Adam Duritz of Counting Crows. Martin Kirkup
and Steve Jensen of Direct Management, who managed the Crows, signed them as Puck and Zen.
The duo took the new name after New Age-y duo Tuck and Patti raised objections to Puck and
Natty. (Leave it to English major Jenkins to adopt a pseudonym from Shakespeare's most
The record company never released the Puck
and Zen track as a single, but another stepped up to the bar. Jenkins found himself in a
meeting with Capitol Records executives -- ``The whole thing was so not rock,'' he said --
discussing who should produce Puck and Zen. ``I told them I don't want a second opinion.''
Capitol quickly lost interest.
``For Puck and Zen, that was it,'' Jenkins
said. ``We couldn't withstand that.'' Zen would not comment for this article.
All through Puck and Zen, the vision of a
rock band was growing in Jenkins' mind. He already had a name -- Third Eye Blind. And he
had some songs, including a piece he developed out of music written by Zen that came to be
called ``Semi- Charmed Life,'' Jenkins' tale of sleazy sex and crystal meth that
eventually would propel him to stardom.
``I was telling these guys that I had these
ideas,'' Jenkins said. ``I wanted a production company. I wanted to write my own rock
songs. I was having fun with the Puck and Zen thing, but it was a more immediate thing.
`You're unfocused,' everyone said. Except Eric (Gotland).''
He needed a band and some demo recordings.
A TRIP TO SKYWALKER
Jenkins met engineer David Gleeson at a
Puck and Zen session. Gleeson took Jenkins and his first edition of Third Eye Blind --
including bassist Jason Slater and guitarist George Earth of World Entertainment War -- to
cut demos in world- class studios at Skywalker Ranch and the Marin County studios of
Walter Afanasieff, who had produced Celine Dion and Mariah Carey.
Putting a band together and getting
established on the local club scene proved problematic and became a sticking point with
his Hollywood managers. Jenkins went through a number of guitarists before finding Kevin
Cadogan. Arion Salazar from East Bay punk-funksters Fungo Mungo joined on bass. Many
drummers came and went before Steve Bowman, freshly dismissed from Counting Crows, took
the drum chair. To get his band its first gig, Jenkins appealed directly to Duritz by
letter for an opening slot on the Counting Crows shows at the Fillmore Auditorium in
``My managers saw the last two songs,''
Third Eye Blind set about carefully making
a mark on the local club scene. One longtime scenester remembered early 3EB shows: ``Even
opening for some s-- band at the Paradise, the guy acted like he was at the Oakland
Coliseum.'' Jenkins: ``So? You ought to see me at rehearsal.''
Engineer-producer Gleeson quit working with
the band in a huff. ``He and Stephan had a fight, a blowout,'' Gotland said.
Gleeson, who received a small credit on the
first 3EB album, reportedly settled a lawsuit for six figures after the multiplatinum
success, Gotland said.
Gleeson would not comment for this article.
BATTLE OF THE BANDS
The real low point came in July 1995 with
Cocky Pop I. The event was designed to trumpet the three leading unsigned bands of San
Francisco's live rock scene and would star Third Eye Blind. The band rented the
Transmission Theater and joined forces with two other comers in the clubs, Protein and
Heavy Into Jeff. Record company talent scouts flew in for the event, which turned into a
The band's latest drummer, Michael Urbano,
quit shortly before the show. Jenkins was suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, which
left him feverish and nauseous when he wasn't actually onstage. With little draw of their
own, the musicians faced a hall filled with Protein fans. At the show, guitarist Cadogan's
amp blew out two songs into the set.
``Protein wiped the floor with us,''
Jenkins said. ``They got signed that night. Heavy Into Jeff stomped us.''
The band lost the big-time managers, the
engineer who had been supervising its recordings and Jenkins' publishing deal. The whole
thing was on the verge of falling apart. ``It would have been a good time to quit,''
Instead, the band regrouped, pulling
together, at last, the winning team. Drummer Brad Hargreaves joined. Gotland finally
assumed management. They found a new recording engineer, a crucial player as the band
prepared another assault on the record industry.
RECORDING A DEMO
Gear hound Slater kept a lot of equipment
at a small recording studio in Redwood City run by a musician named Eric Dodd. Dodd, who
called himself Eric Valentine, was once half of Hollywood Records rock group T-Ride. Dodd
didn't want to front the band time, but he agreed to engineer the sessions once Gotland
stepped up with his credit cards.
``Eric threw down and paid for the demos
and they were expensive,'' Jenkins said. ``But we had recorded these songs multiple times
and, in Eric Dodd, I had an engineer who could do it.''
``I guess the stuff came out reasonably
well,'' Dodd said. ``There was some interest from record companies. It was a reasonably
RCA Victor coughed up money for more
recording and then passed. The group auditioned for hit-picker Clive Davis of Arista
Records in New York. ``He said, `Do you have any more?' '' Jenkins recalled.
One label felt strongly enough to arrange a
showcase performance at the Viper Room on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Among the record
industry heavies in the crowd that April 1996 night was Sylvia Rhone, president of Elektra
Records, one of the most powerful women in the record business. ``Sylvia was in the crowd
high-fiving people, like she'd already made the deal,'' Jenkins said. ``We made the deal
Signed personally by the president of the
label in June 1996, armed with a new publishing deal that the label said was one of the
biggest ever given to a new artist, Jenkins was ready to make his major-label debut and
was going to produce the record himself. Over the course of the sessions, however,
engineer Dodd felt his role shift.
``There was quite a bit of trauma that went
down, and I'm not sure how much I'm supposed to talk about,'' Dodd said. ``There came a
point where it became obvious that I was doing production work and I was hired as an
Jenkins said Dodd was given a co-production
credit -- ``He never asked for it,'' he said -- and that he was paid a fair royalty.
Still, some observers think Dodd made some substantial contributions to the recording
that, in other circumstances, could have made him a full producer, a difference that can
mean big money and more work.
``He produced the s-- out of that record,''
Slater said. ``I think Stephan even got credit for production, but he didn't produce that
record . . . Eric and Stephan didn't get along at all.''
Sometime before the release of the album,
Gotland cut a deal with Jenkins' old partner, Zen, to sell his interest in a couple of
songs, including ``Semi-Charmed Life,'' which became a No. 1 record and 3EB's biggest hit.
Gotland said he advised Zen against selling the song.
Jenkins fiercely defended his
proprietorship of the song. ``He wrote part of the music, part of the riff,'' Jenkins
said. ``I kept going until it was my song. I had no idea where that song was going, but I
bought him out.''
He bought out Zen for $10,000 before the
album was released to become the song's sole author.
The song did benefit from a lot of work.
Many versions were recorded.
``A lot of people contributed to that
song,'' Dodd said. ``It's been around for many years. There are a lot of people who
contributed to that tune and didn't get credit.''
ON THE ROAD
After the April 1997 release of the first
album, the four musicians spent the next two years on the road. The band started as an
opening act for U.K. alt-rockers James but quickly graduated to headline status.
The Third Eye Blind record started to get
airplay almost immediately and, as each of the three hit singles -- ``Semi-Charmed Life,''
``Jumper'' and ``How's It Going to Be'' -- went into MTV rotation and headed up the
charts, the crowds grew. The band opened a few dates for U2 and the Rolling Stones.
Jenkins got into wars of words in the press with other rock stars. He started getting his
name in gossip columns by dating his current girlfriend, actress Charlize Theron.
The band barely paused from the endless
tour before entering the studio to start the new album.
SECOND TIME AROUND
Behind an anonymous Mission Street
storefront facade, Toast Studios was home away from home to Third Eye Blind for five
months this year. With the October 15 deadline for delivery of its second album five days
away, tapes of some songs were being mixed in two other studios, while Jenkins put down
some last- minute vocals on other songs in downtown San Francisco. Salazar's vintage
keyboards were stashed in every corner. Guitarist Cadogan had a room piled with cords and
equip ment. A poster of '40s burlesque queen Patti Waggins, borrowed from manager
Gotland's extensive collection, stared back into the control room from the other side of
``It's an album we can hold our heads up
about,'' Jenkins said. Later he uses the word ``redeeming'' to describe it. As soon as he
finished the record, he flew off to Savannah, Ga., to visit Theron on location.
Even before release, Jenkins' new record
hit a nerve, this one at the top of the corporate ladder at Elektra's parent company, Time
Warner. The label asked Jenkins to substitute an instrumental for the full version of
``Slow Motion,'' a song that spoofs violence, written by Jenkins. Label executives were
apparently sensitive to the issue since the slaying two years ago of schoolteacher
Jonathan Levin, the son of Time Warner Chairman Gerald Levin.
``Miss Jones taught me English/ But I think
I just shot her son/ 'Cause he owed me money/ With a bullet in the chest you cannot run,''
go the lyrics.
The pressure of following up his big hit
record, Jenkins said, makes him wake up at 6 in the morning grinding his teeth. Jenkins is
not ready to coast.
He declines the laurels because the race
``I was possessed,'' Jenkins said. ``People
thought I was crazy. I probably was. I'm more quiet inside now. There's that whole thing
in Western mythology that for a man to feel good he has to have gone out and slayed a
dragon. To some extent, I've done that.
``But the journey doesn't stop. There's no
sense of arrival with Third Eye Blind. I think we can grow. I don't feel like I've
arrived. That doesn't mean I'm not happily inspired by the journey.
``Twenty years from now, I'll be in some
studio arguing over whether there's too much cello. It's my life's work, and I'd do it all
�1999 San Francisco Chronicle