Interview with Third Eye Blind

With the show a mere three days away, I’m sure many of you are getting anxious for Third Eye Blind coming to JMU. Rest easy, because I have something to tide you over for the time being. I was lucky enough to have a few questions answered by drummer Brad Hargreaves on behalf of the band.

– A lot of fans have always wanted to know, how’d you come up with the name Third Eye Blind?

It was just a play on words that fit the mood at that time in San Francisco.

– You guys performed at JMU way back in November of ’98. How do you feel that you’ve evolved as a band since then?

We are all lifers in music and that journey involves constantly trying to grow as writers, musicians and performers. I would like to believe we have all individually honed our craft over the last 10 years and are a better band because of it.

– Going against the grain in the music industry, you’ve made a bold move to be self-managed. What was the drive behind this decision?

I think 75% of good management is desire. The band has the desire to do things that are authentic to the music and adding a layer of management can dilute that.

Third Eye Blind

– You recently released the much anticipated Ursa Major to great commercial success despite declining CD sales across the country. The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 charts, but this kind of success isn’t anything new for you guys. You’ve been able to span generations and have experienced a rare longevity in this industry with a generally short shelf life. What do you think it is that makes Third Eye Blind such a unique band and allows you to thrive in the music realm?

I think people are very keen when it comes to sensing whether a band has something to offer or whether it is BS. Third Eye Blind has something to say on a lot of levels and perhaps people relate to that.

– Third Eye Blind was out of the spotlight for a few years. The new album is appropriately named Ursa Major,representing the band coming out of your “hibernation.” Can you go into your inspiration for your latest material?

Our inspiration is our fans. The band was really rejuvenated by our fans support of our 10 year anniversary shows a couple years ago. That really inspired us to finish this record.

– We’ve heard talk about a CD being released with tracks that didn’t make the newest collection. What’s the status on Ursa Minor?

We have a number of songs that will be released as Ursa Minor. The plan is to really have it well rehearsed by the end of this October tour and then go into the studio and record and mix a song a day.

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– After year’s of performing, you’ve gotten a lot of tour experience under your belts. What is one of your more memorable performances?

Playing in a monsoon on Mt Fuji was quite memorable. I was told the stage started sinking.

– What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?

Ursa Major’s big debut after six years without a record is pretty high up there. I would say Stevie Wonder playing a harmonica solo on jumper at a show was pretty special as well.

– What do you guys think is the next step for the band?

The next step for the band is to keep it rolling. We have the ability to release music whenever we want now and that is pretty liberating. We plan on touring and recording a lot over the next year.

I personally can’t wait to see the band perform…. and hang out with the guys when I run the Meet and Greet with the band on Thursday night. If you don’t have your tickets yet you can still buy them at the Warren Box Office (and you’ll get a free poster along with your ticket) or you can order them online. See you all there!

– Stephen

Old Might be Gold, But New’s Not So Bad Either…

Growing up I played Third Eye Blind to death. I’m sure my family got tired of “Jumper,” “Semi-Charmed Life,” and my personal favorite “How’s It Going to Be.” As excited as I am about hearing these classics in a little over a month, I got slightly nervous when I found out that the band was releasing a CD with new material this summer. Ursa Major debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 — making it the band’s highest charting work to date. My worries were somewhat alleviated after this news, but I was still skeptical. At this point, I went to Grooveshark (better than Pandora) and listened to their new sound. After hearing the album, all I can say is that I am at a new level of anticipation for this October.

– Stephen