Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins on the art of choosing a good cover song


Far right – Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins - DANNY NOLAN
  • Danny Nolan
  • Far right – Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins

Third Eye Blind has proven time and time again that they're more than a one-hit wonder. More than 20 years after the release of their platinum self-titled debut album featuring popular hits "Jumper," "Semi-Charmed Life," and "How's it Gonna Be," the Bay area rockers are still going strong – on the road and in the studio.

Most recently, Third Eye Blind released their second collection of cover songs titled Thanks for Everything, featuring an eclectic collection of covers from the likes of Santigold, Babyshambles, and This Mortal Coil.

We caught up with frontman Stephan Jenkins to talk about the art of picking the perfect cover song before the band's Sunday, Nov. 4 performance at Motor City Casino's Sound Board.

Metro Times:  Thanks for Everything features diverse track selections – from the gothic melancholia of This Mortal Coil to the pop-art sounds of Santigold. What influenced your song selection and which was the most challenging (or creatively fulfilling) to record?

Stephan Jenkins: The criteria for songs was something that moved us that wasn’t already in the lexicon. By that, I mean really captivating songs that most people haven’t heard before. "Fuck Forever" was probably the real challenge because we always play so tight together and pride ourselves on being lined up with each other and Babyshambles is really about the art of falling apart. Probably doing "Song of the Siren" was most fulfilling in that it was just me and Kryz and a guitar in the studio in two takes.

MT: Third Eye Blind has been active for over 20 years now. Did you expect that when you formed the band that you'd still be regularly touring and performing songs in 2018?

Jenkins: Of course not! I amazed by every minute of it.

MT: What's your take on being an analog band in a digital world? Do you feel that rock music, like fashion, will come in style to rule the charts?

Jenkins: Rock music will definitely come back, and all the infidels and non-believers with their MacBook Pros will be run out of town on pikes and we will be there with our loud guitars standing on the vanquished skulls of our foes. In the meantime, I really don’t care. In fact, it is great when we play festivals that we are the rock part of the rock show.

MT: At a politically divisive time in our nation's history, what motivates and inspires you artistically these days?

Jenkins:  I am a seeker. I want unity and passion. I am looking for a song that will help with the resistance

MT: Do you find yourself being more rebellious in your musical or artistic expression, or do you prefer to bring positivity on stage?

Jenkins: I think music brings people together and I am looking for emotional connection and joy.

Third Eye Blind will perform at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4 at Sound Bar at Motor City Casino; 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit;; Tickets are $50+.

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