Some people believe the world will end in 2012. Well if this is the case, then why not bring in the New Year with a band that has been kicking ass and taking names since 1997? Some of you may know them for their first hit single “Semi-Charmed Life” or perhaps for their dreamy, prolific front man Stephan Jenkins. Or, if you’re not a superficial fan, you know that Third Eye Blind has put out four albums (and is currently working on their fifth) that have released over ten singles. If you drill deeper, you’ll also discover that this band has been writing honest, and at times, autobiographical songs that every human at a certain point in life can relate to. One example of the band’s ability to bring relevancy regardless of the time can be seen through its new song “If There Ever Was a Time,” which is being coined the anthem for the Occupy movements that have been sweeping the country.
As the band prepares to give DC a show to remember on December 31st at the Washington Hilton, it’s also looking forward to eating some cookies in the White House (read on to see what I am talking about). On Tap Magazine had the pleasure of speaking with lead guitarist Kryz Reid, who shares his view on where the band has been, and most importantly, where it’s going.
On Tap: You have what most bands would kill for…longevity. What do you think are some of the key factors that have led to Third Eye Blind’s ability to still be around after all these years?
Kryz Reid: I think lyrically Third Eye Blind has always addressed issues that speak to the disaffected, the misfits, if you will. The band has never really been part of a clique or a trendy movement, and I think that’s recognized and resonates with both the people who discovered the band when the first couple of albums were released, as well as with the people who have discovered our music more recently. When the lyrics are combined with strong musical ideals, and accessible songs that are honest and relevant to situations we all have to go through, it becomes a sort of “rite of passage” anthem.
Third Eye Blind’s songs speak to universal themes. Over the last couple of years, we’ve played to some of the largest audiences the band has ever performed in front of, and we’ve noticed the cross section of people in attendance. The fans are ranging from old school die-hards to kids who heard a song and discovered the band anew. That’s a real treat, and I think this confirms Stephan’s [lead singer Stephan Jenkins] ability to communicate with, quite literally, millions of people.
OT: What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of being in a band?
KR: The most rewarding aspect is getting to play my guitar every day and calling it a job! Travelling all over the world, meeting new people and sharing something you truly believe in is special; an indescribable feeling. The challenge comes with trying to balance a normal life around it, and being away from family and your special lady can be very tough…I haven’t seen Ireland in over a year, and I haven’t seen my apartment in Los Angeles in seven months! But when you wake up every morning doing the thing you love most in the world, you really can’t complain.
OT: How different is 3EB now than in the early 90s?
KR: I think the band has always taken chances with material that is readily accessible to a mass audience, yet lyrically adheres to a more subversive nature. The evolution can be seen in a seemingly radio-friendly pop hit like “Semi-Charmed Life” to a song like “Why Can’t You Be,” which is still honest, but conveyed much differently. I think every band owes it to themselves and their audience to always take chances, and I do believe people would agree that 3EB has consistently done this. The evolution of 3EB can be summarized as this: We continue to grow musically, while we stay relevant to universal themes.
OT: What are the 3EB fans like? Any funny or odd stories you’d like to share?
KR: Our fans are lovely! Funny or odd stories? Yes, I have a few, but nothing I’m prepared to be quoted on! These people are gems.
OT: Is there anything on the radio that really excites you?
KR: I currently love the new Friendly Fires album. Stephan and I recently went to the Treasure Island Festival in San Francisco, and we loved The Naked and Famous and Explosions in the Sky. While I don’t get to listen to the radio a lot, new music always finds its way to my ears somehow.
OT: You played at the Downtown Countdown on New Year’s Eve 2009. Why did you decide to come back to our nation’s capital to ring in 2012?
KR: Well…Obama kind of owes us. He was at a show earlier this year and kept shouting out “Jumper! Jumper!” After the show he promised cookies at the White House if we came for New Year’s. So…
OT: Speaking of the New Year, do you have any resolutions both as individuals and as a band?
KR: I haven’t asked the guys individually, but if I had to make a guess…
Stephan: To be 22% more awesome
Brad: To be 2% more awesome than Stephan
Abe: To be 3% more awesome than most (he’s very modest)
Kryz (me): To be just awesome enough to beat Brad up.
Collectively, we really want to put out this new album and for it to be 26% more awesome than everyone else’s new release.
OT: What do you enjoy most about playing in DC?
KR: Last time we played DC was in Georgetown and there were people climbing the rafters. ‘Nuf said…
OT: If the Mayan’s are right, and the world will really end in 2012, will 3EB have any regrets?
Get your tickets for Lindy Promotion’s Downtown Countdown New Year’s Eve at www.downtowncountdown.net.