Third Eye Blind (sometimes abbreviated 3eb) is an American alternative rock band formed in the early 1990s in San Francisco. The band's current line-up is Stephan Jenkins (vocals, guitar), Brad Hargreaves (drums, percussion), and Tony Fredianelli (guitar, vocals). Original bassist Arion Salazar has not been playing with the band, and his future as part of the band is unclear. It is reported on the band's Facebook page that he is able to return whenever he wishes, as there is an "open door policy" for him. Abe Millet, of Inviolet Row, has been filling in for Salazar during recent concerts.
After the success of their eponymous debut album in 1997, the band released one more album, 1999's Blue, before guitarist Kevin Cadogan was released under controversial circumstances. In 2003, the band released Out of the Vein. In 2008 the band released the digital EP Red Star. After a six year hiatus from releasing a full length album Ursa Major was released on August 18th, 2009.
Third Eye Blind recorded their first demo in 1993. The band gained major label attention after their second demo was released in 1995, 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 Stephan Jenkins released live crickets from the piñata instead. With regard to the name of the band, Jenkins indicated during a radio interview that the name came from the metaphysical idea of a mind's eye, a topic of a book he had read. The other group members liked it and chose it as the official name. In the past, Stephan Jenkins has also joked about a Ouija board and vodka being the sources of the name. 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, Stephan Jenkins' production of 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, signed 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 5 singles: "Semi-Charmed Life", "Graduate", "How's It Going to Be", "Losing a Whole Year", and "Jumper". "Semi-Charmed Life" peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was number 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks for 8 weeks. The band also performed "How's It Going to Be" on Saturday Night Live. To date their eponymous debut has been the group's most successful album, selling 6 million copies in the U.S. alone. Smash Mouth drummer Michael Urbano played drums on 4 songs on the album. 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". In early 2000, shortly after the release of the album, Kevin Cadogan was released from the band. Cadogan filed suit, alleging wrongful termination, adding that his production, recording, and songwriter royalties were withheld since being kicked out of the band. The lawsuit was settled out of court in June 2002.
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 hiatus the band also built a recording studio in anticipation of their next album.
Out of the Vein (2003)
In 2003 the band released Out of the Vein. Two singles were released from the album; "Blinded", and "Crystal Baller". Out of the Vein didn't sell as well as its predecessors, with numbers estimated around 500,000 copies as of March 2007. 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 April, 2003, the band embarked on the Within Arms Reach tour, targeting clubs and other smaller venues to promote their third album in a more intimate setting than in recent years. "The 'Within Arm's Reach Tour' means the audience and the band literally get within arm's reach of each other," Jenkins said.
This album came out right after the break up of Stephan Jenkins and actress Charlize Theron. During various concerts Jenkins has stated that the songs "Forget Myself" and "Palm Reader" are written for her and the lyrics reveal some interesting aspects of their relationship.
In May 2004, Warner Music cut Third Eye Blind, along with over 80 other acts from their 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."
Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (2009)
For the 10th anniversary of the release of Third Eye Blind's debut album, the band performed at the Fillmore on March 13 and 14. The shows were filmed for broadcast on HDNet on December 2, as well as normal broadcast and release on DVD and as a live album tentatively to be released in early 2008, as announced by Jenkins on November 9, 2007, on DC101's "Elliot In The Morning".
Third Eye Blind's fourth studio album titled Ursa Major was released on August 17, 2009. The album had been anticipated since mid-2007 and was previously expected to be named The Hideous Strength. The album will be produced under the Sony label. Jenkins has stated that this album will be "more political" than previous Third Eye Blind works. A single, "Non-Dairy Creamer", was released in November 2008, although it was not included on the album. This song was released on the internet exclusive digital EP Red Star.
Also announced recently is a possible fifth album titled Ursa Minor, that may be released following Ursa Major. Jenkins said that Ursa Minor will consist of songs that did not make the cut for Ursa Major. Leo Kremer, who has been filling in for Arion Salazar during recent shows is going to be playing his last time with the band after they tour Japan this Summer. Abe Millet played bass on the band's latest tour and will continue to fill in until otherwise noted. Millet has received immense support from the fans, hailing him as the best Salazar replacement to date, and have requested he be made a member of the band. Ari Ingber, from band The Upwelling, co-wrote "About to Break" with Jenkins, a new track from Ursa Major. Jon Evans (Vanessa Carlton) and Juan Alderete (The Mars Volta) will reportedly take over bass duties for the recording of this next album, according to Tony Fredianelli.
On June 5th 2009, Third Eye Blind released their first single off Ursa Major, "Don't Believe a Word", to radio. On June 8th, 2009 Stephan Jenkins announced to a overflow crowd at the Dallas Palladium that some of the night's songs were being recorded for possible use on future tracks on an upcoming album. On June 9th, 2009, Stephan Jenkins announced to a sell-out crowd at Houston's House of Blues that the "B-side" of Ursa Major would include several live tracks being recorded that night. Jenkins announced this at several sell out crowds even in 2008 one being the concert at Kent State in Ohio and one at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia.