Interview: Stephan Jenkins


Third Eye Blind was one of the most popular alt-rock bands during the late 1990’s, with their ubiquitous hit “Semi-Charmed Life” and other notable songs like “How’s It Going to Be”, “Jumper”, “Graduate”, and “Never Let You Go”. The band has continued into the 2000’s under the leadership of singer/songwriter/guitarist Stephan Jenkins, with their most recent album being 2015’s Dopamine.

This interview was for a preview article on for the 4/7/16 Third Eye Blind concert at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, California on Thursday, April 7. It was done by email, with answers received on 3/21/16. Clearly Jenkins wasn’t into talking about the past…

Jeff Moehlis: What can people look forward to at the upcoming concert?

Stephan Jenkins: Band in its prime raining down aliveness.

JM: Can you tell us a bit about the album Dopamine which came out last year, and how you see it fitting into the Third Eye Blind catalog?

SJ: Dopamine is one of my favorite albums to play songs from. For myself, it is probably the most present in a mental and an emotional sense I’ve been in making an album. We choose several songs from Dopamine every night so I suggest boning up on that one because we need you to sing along.

JM: It’s cool that Dopamine has some David Bowie references. What’s your favorite David Bowie album, and how did he influence your musical direction?

SJ: Can’t have a favorite. Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dory, Young Americans, Low, Heroes, and the latest Blackstar. I could have given you a different list though. In terms of influence, Bowie created a space for individuality, peculiarity, and a glorious kind of subversion. And in that space, there was always room for connection. That’s a pretty good overriding message from an artist’s work.

JM: Going way back, how did the song “Semi-Charmed Life” come together?

SJ: Oh brother…

JM: How did the success of that song affect the way you approached the band’s second album, Blue?

SJ: Ever going down a slippy-slide naked and greased in coconut body oil? It’s like that.

JM: What, to you, was the good, the bad, and the ugly about the 1990’s music world?

SJ: I don’t know and I am super not interested. I live in this music world and I’m interested in what happens next. I can’t help you if you want to look back.

JM: What advice would you give to an aspiring musician?

SJ: Rockstars don’t do shots. Wash your hands on the regular. And remember only uppity girls and crazy boys actually change things.

JM: What are your plans, musical or otherwise, for the near future?

SJ: To write and record a song so pure and compelling that it sends entire villages into paralytic fits of hysteric euphoria. We’re going to send it on loudspeakers to that cunty little Kim Jong-un over in North Korea, and fuck their ear pussies right with it. A rock & roll coup de grace, if you will.


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