It has been almost 20 years since Third Eye Blind burst onto the scene with the insanely catchy and fast-paced Semi-Charmed Life, the American alternative rock band’s first hit off its 1997 self-titled debut album.
Since then, it has probably never occurred to the band’s members to want something else to get them through their semi-charmed kind of life.
The band may have gone through numerous lineup changes over the years (the current lineup consists of band founder, chief songwriter, and lead vocalist Stephan Jenkins; lead guitarist Kryz Reid; keyboardist Alex Kopp; drummer Brad Hargreaves; and bassist Alex LeCavalier), but the one constant has been Jenkins and his signature half-sung, half-spoken songwriting and musical style.
And the fact that most people immediately think of Semi-Charmed Life whenever Third Eye Blind is mentioned.
In an e-mail interview, Reid says that Semi-Charmed Life is definitely a definitive milestone in the band’s history. “I think Jumper actually charted higher than Semi-Charmed Life, but either way, I guess it is a stand out track in a lot of respects for the band,” he said, adding that the band isn’t exactly living in the song’s shadow either.
“We’re always trying to better ourselves as musicians and songwriters, so even though you may think the band peaked at Semi-Charmed Life, you have to understand that inside of the group, it’s all one continuum.
“We don’t feel anchored to that track, or feel like we’re living in its shadow in any way at all,” he said.
“It feels great to be part of a band that has achieved that level of success, but it’s a lot further reaching than just that one song. To be doing what you love every day with people you love and respect and make a living out of it is a very rare thing. None of us ever forgets that.”
After the breakthrough of Third Eye Blind in 1997, the band’s sophomore album – 1999’s Blue – was also a big success, spawning hits like Never Let You Go and Deep Inside Of You.
While 2003 album Out Of The Vein turned out to be a much more modest success, 2009’s Ursa Major saw the band topping Billboard’s rock album charts once again.
The band has since released one other full-length album, Dopamine in 2015, and an EP called We Are Drugs earlier this year.
Another hallmark of Jenkins’ songwriting is the way he touches on some heavy subjects in his lyrics; Jumper is about suicide, Semi-Charmed Life is about drugs, God Of Wine is about alcoholism and Slow Motion talks about gun violence.
According to Reid, Jenkins simply writes about whatever resonates for him. “If there are some ‘heavy’ social issues or controversial topics, he never shies away from that. I think it’s the role of the artiste to respond to their environment, their surroundings and emotions, and bend the mirror back to society as art.
“Sometimes that’s supposed to make people feel uncomfortable. All great art should polarise I think,” Reid said.
One thing is for sure, Malaysian fans will probably get to hear Semi-Charmed Life live at long last, when the band finally makes its way to our shores for Rockaway 2016, to be held on Nov 19 at Bukit Jalil Extreme Park, Kuala Lumpur.
Reid says that the band doesn’t really have a pre-determined setlist for their shows, and that they usually call it on the day.
“We’ll have a set list roughly put together, but if people shout out to us on stage for a particular song, we’ll roll with it. We don’t play to tracks or any of that stuff, we’re a totally live band, so we change it up on the fly,” he explained.
Rockaway 2016 tickets are available from http://galactix.asia/rockawayfest. For more information, visit Rockawayfest.com.