Third Eye Blind
|Also known as||3EB|
|Origin||San Francisco, California, U.S.|
Third Eye Blind is an American rock band formed in San Francisco, California, in 1993. The songwriting duo of Stephan Jenkins and Kevin Cadogan signed the band's first major-label recording contract with Elektra Records in 1996, which was later reported as the largest publishing deal ever for an unsigned artist. The band released their self-titled debut album in 1997, with the band largely consisting of Jenkins (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Cadogan (lead guitar), Arion Salazar (bass guitar), and Brad Hargreaves (drums). Shortly after the release of the band's second album in 1999, Blue, with the same line-up, Cadogan was released from the band under controversial circumstances.
The band continued, but with many line-up changes and gaps between album releases. The band released Out of the Vein in 2003 and Ursa Major in 2009, with only Jenkins and Hargreaves as the remaining core members. The band's current iteration, including Kryz Reid (lead guitar), Alex Kopp (keyboards), and Alex LeCavalier (bass guitar), recorded the band's fifth studio album, Dopamine, which was released in 2015. The same lineup remained stable into 2018, recording and releasing the 2016 EP We Are Drugs and the 2018 cover song EP Thanks for Everything. After Kopp's departure in 2019, a sixth studio album, Screamer, was released on October 18, 2019.
The band found commercial success in the late 1990s, with Third Eye Blind and Blue certified platinum six times and single platinum in the United States, respectively. Several songs were a commercial success as well, with "Semi-Charmed Life", "Jumper", and "How's It Going to Be", all reaching the Top 10 of the US Billboard Hot 100, and "Never Let You Go" reaching the Top 20. Third Eye Blind has sold around 12 million records worldwide.
Third Eye Blind was formed when Kevin Cadogan was introduced to Stephan Jenkins by producer Mark Hensley, while working on Demos for Third Eye Blind. The two became songwriting partners, with Jenkins writing the lyrics and Cadogan helping him brainstorm musical ideas. The band recorded their first demo in 1993 with engineer/producer Mark Hensley and future Queensryche producer Jason Slater on bass. In 1994, the band recorded its second demo with band members: Jenkins (vocals), Cadogan (guitar), Arion Salazar (bass), and Steve Bowman/Tim "Curveball" Wright (drums), with Hensley and later with David Gleeson. From late 1995 through early 1996, the band recorded its third demo with funds from RCA records to record with producer engineer Eric Valentine, which resulted in the band gaining major label attention, including that of Clive Davis, who invited the band to perform a showcase for Arista Records in New York City. During Third Eye Blind concerts at the time, it was customary for the band to have a piñata release candy above their mosh pits, yet at the showcase for the record executives, lead singer Jenkins released live crickets from the piñata instead.
In April 1996, after Jenkins had challenged Epic Records executive Dave Massey in a meeting, the band landed an opening gig for Oasis at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium. In an unlikely scenario for an opening act, the band was invited back for an encore after playing their initial set and was paid double by the concert promoter. In addition, Jenkins' production of hip hop duo The Braids' cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" gained major-label attention. Afterwards, the band found themselves in a bidding war among record labels, and after a showcase in Los Angeles, Cadogan and Jenkins signed as artists professionally known as Third Eye Blind with Sylvia Rhone of Elektra Records because they believed it offered the most artistic freedom.
Third Eye Blind's first album, Third Eye Blind, was released in 1997. The album had five singles: "Semi-Charmed Life", "Graduate", "How's It Going to Be", "Losing a Whole Year", and "Jumper". "Semi-Charmed Life" peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was number 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks for 8 weeks. It also earned Third Eye Blind a Billboard Music Award for modern rock track of the year. The band performed "How's It Going to Be" on Saturday Night Live. To date, their eponymous debut has been the group's most successful album, reaching number 25 on the Billboard 200 and selling 6 million copies in the U.S. alone. Smash Mouth drummer Michael Urbano played drums on four songs, Jenkins on one ("I Want You", for which he also did the drum programming), with Hargreaves drumming on the remaining nine tracks. During this period they also opened a number of shows on U2's PopMart Tour.
In 1999, the band released their second album, Blue. Although not received as well as Third Eye Blind, the album sold 75,000 copies the first week of release, and by 2003, had sold 1.25 million in the U.S. Four singles were released from the album: "Anything", "Never Let You Go", "10 Days Late", and "Deep Inside of You". On January 26, 2000, the group announced that they had fired Kevin Cadogan after playing a show at the Sundance Film Festival. Cadogan filed suit, alleging wrongful termination, adding that his production, recording, and songwriting royalties had been withheld since being kicked out of the band. The lawsuit was settled out of court in June 2002, with the terms of the settlement undisclosed. The band replaced Cadogan with former Apocrypha guitarist Tony Fredianelli in 2000.
After extensive international touring, the band took a break from performing, appearing only at charity events. They put on shows for the Tiger Woods Foundation and the Breathe Benefit Concert in Los Angeles after Jenkins' mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. During the four-year gap between albums, the band also built a recording studio in 2002 in San Francisco called "Morningwood" Studios. The band wanted to make a studio where they could feel comfortable recording in anticipation for their next album. Both before and after the release of the third album, the band worked for years on an EP entitled Symphony of Decay, though the album was delayed for years and never formally released.
In 2003, the band released Out of the Vein. Two singles were released from the album: "Blinded" and "Crystal Baller". Out of the Vein did not sell as well as its predecessors, with numbers estimated around 500,000 copies as of March 2007. However, it reached number 12 on the Billboard 200. Elektra Records was being absorbed into Atlantic Records at the time, and the only music video created from the album was for the single "Blinded". Due to the merger, the band found themselves without label support; as Jenkins said, "Our record company ceased to exist. The month the record was released, Elektra Records imploded." In May 2004, Warner Music cut Third Eye Blind, along with over 80 other acts, from its roster. While no specific reason was given for Third Eye Blind being cut, Atlantic co-chairman Craig Kallman said the cuts were made to get Atlantic's roster down to an appropriate size where "we can give each of our acts top priority."
It would be over six years after the release of Out of the Vein until the band would release another full-length album. In the meantime, the band did release A Collection in 2006. This album was a collection of songs from the first three albums. Jude Gold, associate editor of Guitar Player Magazine, recognized that the liner notes falsely credited guitarist Tony Fredianelli with the creative work of former guitarist Kevin Cadogan, who was completely omitted from the band's biography included in the liner notes, which state: "As always, the band profited from the musical interplay between Tony Fredianelli, Stephan Jenkins, Arion Salazar and Brad Hargreaves." In regards to this, Gold stated, "It's like saying Guns N' Roses music always profited from the interplay between Axl Rose and guitarist Bucket Head."
In 2006, Salazar left the group. Abe Millett, bassist for Inviolet Row, was added to the band's tour lineup; the band refrained from immediately adding a permanent replacement because they wanted to leave the position vacant in case Salazar decided to return.
A single, "Non-Dairy Creamer", was released in November 2008 and was part of the internet-exclusive digital EP Red Star.
Third Eye Blind's fourth studio album Ursa Major was released on August 18, 2009. The album had been anticipated since mid-2007 and was previously expected to be named The Hideous Strength. The album was released under their own label, Mega Collider Records. Ursa Major peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, making it the band's highest-charting album in the US. Third Eye Blind also topped the Billboard Rock Albums chart, Top Alternative Albums chart, and Top Digital Albums chart with Ursa Major. The band released only one official single from the record, "Don't Believe a Word", on June 16, 2009; it was released to radio on July 7, 2009. "Bonfire" was also released as a radio-exclusive single. Neither charted on any radio formats.
The band toured in support of the album throughout the end of 2009. However, longtime guitarist Tony Fredianelli was fired from the band in early 2010. According to an article which quotes a lengthy letter of his, Fredianelli "is suing the band for apparently being denied songwriting credits and benefits that he allegedly was entitled to." On February 23, 2011, it was revealed that Fredianelli had filed a federal lawsuit against Jenkins for over $8 million in damages for not giving him credit for past work with the band. On October 21, 2013, a California jury awarded Fredianelli more than $438,000. According to an article by The Hollywood Reporter, the jury also asked to award royalties to the guitarist, but the judge had previously ruled against it. Irish musician Kryz Reid replaced Fredianelli on guitar, while Third Eye Blind continued to tour in support the album in 2010, most notably co-headlining The Bamboozle Roadshow between May and June 2010. The band entered the studio as early as 2010 to start work on a fifth album. Around the timeframe of Ursa Major's release, the band spoke of an Ursa Minor album that would have contained songs that were recorded during Ursa Major's recording sessions but ultimately were left off the album. While the band spoke of releasing them in close succession to each other, in similar fashion to a double album, Ursa Minor was not released.
The band continued to focus on touring through 2011, although the band did release one studio recording in November, the track "If There Ever Was a Time", in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement, for free download. In late 2012, Jenkins announced that the fifth studio album would be the band's final record, with any future releases being in the form of single song or EP releases. Jenkins reported on plans for releasing the album in 2014, though these plans fell through, and it wasn't until May 2015 that it was revealed that the album would be titled Dopamine and released on June 16, 2015. The first single was "Everything is Easy", and the second single was "Get Me Out of Here".
In March 2016, Jenkins announced plans for releasing an EP in 2016. On July 19, 2016, they played a benefit concert for "Musicians on Call", a charity organization, in close proximity to the Republican National Convention. The band took the opportunity to speak out against the Republican Party, criticizing their views on science and LGBT rights, and playing tracks specifically critical of their stances, including "Jumper", and "Non-Dairy Creamer". On July 25, the band released their first single from the EP, "Cop Vs. Phone Girl", and officially announced the title of the EP, We Are Drugs. We Are Drugs was released on October 7, 2016.
Third Eye Blind's next plans included releasing a 2017 EP called Summer Gods, to coincide with a tour of the same name; the EP would have explored a variety of new sounds for the band, including trap music. However, the EP was not finished in time to be released during the tour, and instead became a live album of performances from the tour. In June 2018, they announced a cover EP titled Thanks for Everything, consisting of seven cover versions of various songs of Jenkins' choice. Jenkins stated that the act of reinterpreting and recording cover songs of various genres that had influenced the band over the years was done to help find inspiration for the creation of a future studio album.
In late 2018, Jenkins announced that the band was working on a third yet-to-be-titled EP. They continued to tour into 2019, including a major co-headlining North American tour with Jimmy Eat World from June to August, called Summer Gods Tour 2019. Prior to the tour, Kopp announced he was leaving the band to pursue other projects, while Jenkins announced the EP had grown into a ten-track LP studio album that he aimed to release in 2019. On July 25, 2019, the band officially announced the album, named Screamer. The album, which ended up being 12 tracks, which was released on October 18, and also released the title track.
The band canceled a string of tour dates in early 2020 due to coronavirus. Starting in March 2020, after recording an EP by collaborating online while social distancing, the band with Jenkins hosting began streaming live performances as the "Quarantine Kitchen Sessions" weekly, promoting social distancing.
Main article: Third Eye Blind discography