Third Eye Blind

Third Eye Blind and frontman Stephan Jenkins will drop their seventh album on Sept. 24. There's also a documentary coming that followed the making of Our Bande Apart.

THIRD Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins has discovered something us Northerners knew all along.

“Thunder Bay is a kick ass name,” Jenkins exclaims.

After decades of touring and playing shows, Jenkins is a firm believer that sometimes the out-of-the-way destinations often generate the best shows.

“You really never know,” said Jenkins. “We’re looking forward to playing for our fans in Thunder Bay, we’ll be in good spirits and eager to be there.”

Jenkins refers to playing Wake the Giant Festival as, “getting that last little bit of summer in.”

It will be an exciting, and eclectic return to live music for the city. WTG is a community-driven music festival that is a part of a movement to create a more inclusive city, while welcoming hundreds of Indigenous youth who attend school in Thunder Bay from Northern remote communities.

It brings cultures, music and festival fans together, while promoting Indigenous artists. It will be hosted in accordance with current local and provincial public health guidelines.

As we chat about the festival, Jenkins explains that having a cousin of Indigenous descent has put him in connection with First Nations issues throughout his life.

“We’re happy to take part in this festival,” said Jenkins. “Nobody in our band has any tolerance for any kind of racism, so all those people can go f*** themselves, and you can put that in bold print.”

Jenkins voice defines a generation. Identifiable, comforting yet volatile. San Francisco, Calif.’s Third Eye Blind is a band whose music has evoked a feeling of emotion or created a wave of nostalgia within most of us, at one point or another in our lives.

Their collection of hits has provided many fans with the soundtrack to their youth.

“I’m just trying to make something compelling to me. I’m looking to say something that is true emotionally,” said Jenkins, adding that he pays attention to how far words can go, a result of his English Literature degree.

While 2019 saw the release of the band’s sixth studio album Screamer, lucky No. 7 is right around the corner for 3EB.

Our Bande Apart will drop Sept. 24 and has already birthed two singles — Box of Bones and Again. Fans can also look forward to the documentary How We Hold Each Other Right Now: The Making Of Our Bande Apart, a project Jenkins says he’s extremely proud of it.

Jenkins describes studio time, and how after all these years, the studio is still a rewarding experience.

“It’s always different every time we go into the studio,” informed Jenkins. “This time I had no expectations. Working together felt really fresh. We really trusted ourselves and weren’t trying to make songs for radio or video. We let the songs be what they are. We let things come together naturally.”

With the recent return to live music, Jenkins explains what the initial comeback felt like for Third Eye Blind, (drummer Brad Hargreaves, guitarist Kryz Reid, bassist Alex LeCavalier and keyboardist Colin Creev.)

“It was really good to rediscover that connection to playing with each other and sharing music,” said Jenkins. “Being on stage musically is a place where I feel really comfortable. I get a heightened sense of awareness. I don’t go about performing with fear. I’m very fortunate.”

We chat about how cool an acoustic tour of Canada would be, as I picture Jenkins’ voice echoing throughout the countless soft-seater theatres that our country has to offer.

He agrees.

“That would be really interesting, we were talking about an actual full blown tour of Canada,” thought Jenkins. “I’m not sure why that’s so hard for us to do.”

It’s safe to say Third Eye Blind will bring the festival crowd together, while they collectively enjoy their semi-charmed lives that night.

No doubt new fans will be made by the band’s infectious first impression.

Sounding genuinely pleased, Jenkins adds, “I’m happy to play Thunder Bay. It’s an opportunity to play for fans who have never seen us live. I still feel like we’re a young band gunning for the gig and I hope that doesn’t change.”

The star-studded lineup of performers spanning multiple genres offers something for everyone, promising a memorable day to say the least.

It includes headliners Jessie Reyez, Third Eye Blind and Loud Luxury, joined by William Prince, iskw?, DJ Shub, Northern Cree, Thunder Bay local Nick Sherman and Jingle Dress Dancers.

(Angie Valente is a freelance journalist based in Thunder Bay.)