By DONNA BALANCIA
Third Eye Blind is working on a new album, which may be released during its upcoming tour, frontman Stephan Jenkins told CaliforniaRocker.com in an interview.
“I haven’t announced the title yet,” Jenkins said. “It was going to be an EP, but now it’s actually going to be a full-length LP, there will be 10 songs on this album.”
Jenkins made his comments during Live Nation’s “National Concert Week,” May 1 – May 7, when fans are able to grab tickets to some of their favorite performers for as low as $20.
“There’s a theme,” he said. “But I never have an agenda when I’m writing a record. Things occur to me, things make a dent on me, I express them musically and I amplify them, I respond to them, I have a reaction musically.”
Third Eye Blind kicks off their tour with Jimmy Eat World on June 13 in Bakersfield, plays The Greek on June 14 and wraps at Irvine on Aug. 3.
Jenkins said it was during a recent surf trip to Encinitas where he created the tunes on the album.
“I wrote a lot of this record at a friend’s house in Encinitas,” he said. “I sat out to look at the ocean, I would run on one of the jams, then spit lyrics, throw lyrics into the mic. That’s a lot of how it came together on this album.
“There’s one song called ‘Two Ex Tigers,’ I’m just freestyling and I would sing something that occurs to me,” he said. “And I kept all the actual lyrics that I was spitting for the first time. It’s the first time that we used lyrics that just occurred to me. That was that moment invented,” he said. “Not overly profound, it’s just what inspired me at the moment.”
Jenkins has not lost his fighting attitude over the years since his band first came on the NorCal scene in 1993. He says music is too “safe” these days and he wants that to end.
“I want to make songs that are inspiring a revolution,” he said. ” I want to fuck shit up. I want fucking trouble. I want to cause trouble.
“I see us being stupified and numbed by this creeping evil and it’s nullified by this shite music that is just going along,” he said. “It’s like all rock is Muzak and it’s cheap and it’s safe and I don’t want it it to be safe and I want people to listen to our stuff I want them to go ‘Im the one who’s dangerous’ ‘I’m the one who’s going to act.’ That’s what’s driving me.”
Jenkins said he’s wary of what our country is headed towards these days.
“We’re clearly headed for dystopia,” he said. “We’re really kind of in it, we’re living in this dystopia, It’s almost trite to point out the reasons. I think that inspires people to live passionately. It inspires most people to succumb to it. But inspires some to a duality of weddingness with romance and sexuality and it’s all about vitality and that’s kind of the core of Third Eye Blind.”
The band is seeing a resurgence of sorts as a younger generation is listening more and more to the songs that came before.
“The inception of this band came out of the nihilism of grunge,” he said. “For me I said my rebellion is the rage to live. I want to remake the world in my fucking image. I think the album kind of tracks that.”
“There are things that really have inspired me. Like when I watched Emma Gonzales when she stood there in silence,” Jenkins said. “Some woman came up, knows better than her, patronizing woman, but still Emma wouldn’t be stopped. It was speaking volumes to them. It was the most powerful moment from the rally of the Parkland students.
“That’s what I’m talking about,” he said. “Someone who intends to fuck shit up. Look at the damage they’ve done to the evil that is the NRA. These cowardly democratic ineffectual politicians can’t do anything, they can’t even come up with a message. They’ve purely succumbed to, they’ve given up on the idea of America. There’s no Republican party. They have that name but there’s no priciple they subscribe to. The Democrats can’t do anything. But these kids, David and Emma, they’ve been down range. They’ve experienced active shootings, they’ve experienced death threats from these sick sick people and they haven’t been stopped. I’m singing to that energy.”
Jenkins said he appreciates the coming of age of women today.
“We’re moving into this post-patriarchal state where I see what women are doing and they are unapologetic about their voices and they’re unapologetic about sexuality and they’re unapologetic about their bodies and I am not threatened by that, I’m inspired by that energy,” he said. “It doesn’t diminish me, it makes me feel inspired. It doesn’t make me any less of a filthy dirty fuck.”
As for his own lifestyle, Jenkins is a devoted surfer who admits he’s “boringly straight.” But life can’t be too boring, he just got back from a surf trip to Indonesia and he’s in the water much of the time these days, free surfing or working with his charity, the Jimmy Miller Foundation. He helps veterans get out there surfing so the ocean can work its therapy.
He said he hopes with National Concert Week people will feel they’re able to buy tickets to shows other than his own.
“National Concert Week is great because everybody loves a bargain,” he said. “Sometimes our fans spend money on our ticket and that’s basically the whole summer. “
Jenkins said he still gets energized by performing and hopes that other musicians give it their all, like he likes to do.
“When I see a show, if I don’t see that show in the eyes of the performer, everybody can spot a fake, if they’re not authentically lifted into that show it’s a sing,” he said. “You’ve gotta bring that moment. I don’t take it for granted. When I walk on stage and there’s thousands of people there and they’re up for it, so am I. I’m all the way in when that happens.
But above all the most important thing to him are his fans.
“It’s a fascinating community of people 15- to 35 years old, they’re really young and are very into it and they’re very into each other, it’s a real community of people,” he said. “There are so many who go to show after show. They like the feeling of connectedness that they get from it. And it’s easy for me to be inspired because i can look at that and I’m not just doing this to them, I’m engaged with them, I exchange with them and that’s really one of the most gratifying things as a musician.”