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Although often lumped into the post-grunge category, Third Eye Blind sported a brighter sound than many of their late-'90s peers, taking as much influence from classic pop/rock traditions as the angst-ridden music that dominated the decade. The group scored its first hit in 1997, when the debut single "Semi-Charmed Life" cracked the Top 10. Third Eye Blind built upon that success throughout the following three years, releasing a number of singles (three of which cracked the Top 10) while touring with the likes of U2 and Oasis. After taking a break during the early 2000s, the band returned in 2009 with its fourth studio album, Ursa Major.
Third Eye Blind hails from San Francisco, where singer Stephan Jenkins made his name as a solo musician after earning an English degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Jenkins soon decided to piece a band together. After several lineups failed to gel, former Fungo Mungo bassist Arion Salazar joined the group, which Jenkins had named Third Eye Blind (in reference to the metaphysical concept of a mind's eye). At one of the band's early shows, guitarist Kevin Cadogan -- a former student of Joe Satriani who later became involved in the northern California ska and punk scenes -- introduced himself to Jenkins. Cadogan subsequently joined Third Eye Blind in late 1995, bringing along former Counting Crows drummer Brad Hargreaves, as well.
As Third Eye Blind worked on cementing its sound, Jenkins began earning major-label attention through his production of the Braids' cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," which became an international hit. He signed a publishing deal shortly afterward, reported to be the largest such deal ever presented to an unreleased artist. Meanwhile, Third Eye Blind cultivated a dedicated fan base by playing the Bay Area frequently, and the group's original 14-song demo attracted attention from major labels. The buzz was continuing to build when the musicians finagled their way into a prized opening slot for Oasis' April 1996 concert at the Civic Auditorium. The group was still unsigned at the time, but following their well-received performance (which included an encore -- a rare opportunity for an opening band), Third Eye Blind became the subject of a bidding war.
The band eventually signed with Elektra/Asylum, a label that afforded them a considerable degree of artistic freedom. Jenkins was tapped as the band's producer and received a production deal to help develop new groups, but his top priority remained with Third Eye Blind. With Jenkins handling production studies, the band recorded their eponymous debut in San Francisco with the assistance of Eric Valentine, an engineer who had also worked on their early demos. The self-titled Third Eye Blind was released in the spring of 1997; by that summer, the introductory single "Semi-Charmed Life" had become a chart-topping modern rock hit. Spawning several more successful singles (including "How's It Going to Be" and "Jumper"), the album broke into the Billboard Top 200 and remained there for over a year, establishing Third Eye Blind as one of the most popular bands of the late '90s.
Blue followed in 1999 and sold 150,000 copies within a month of its release. Although fans heralded it as the band's strongest album, only one song -- the sprightly "Never Let You Go" -- matched the success of the band's past singles. Tours across the globe followed throughout 2000, but by the time 2001 rolled around, the band had lost a crucial member (guitarist Cadogan, who co-wrote much of the band's material before exiting the lineup) and opted for some time off. Tony Fredianelli soon climbed aboard as the band's replacement guitarist, and Third Eye Blind turned its attention to several charity events. They played shows in support of the Tiger Woods Foundation and helped organize Breathe, a performance that promoted breast cancer awareness.
By 2003, Third Eye Blind resumed their schedule with the release of Out of the Vein. The record suffered from poor marketing, due in part to Elektra's merger with Atlantic, and Out of the Vein ultimately failed to ignite the same commercial sparks as its predecessor. Nonetheless, the band returned to the drawing board that same year, although Jenkins' lengthy battle with writer's block prolonged the release of a new album for six years. In the interim, a best-of compilation entitled A Collection appeared in 2006, and the band continued to tour in support of their past releases. Third Eye Blind's long-awaited fourth album, Ursa Major, was issued in 2009, preceded one year earlier by the digital EP Red Star.
Third Eye Blind is an American alternative rock band formed in the early 1990s in San Francisco. The songwriting duo of Stephan Jenkins and Kevin Cadogan signed the band's first major label recording contract with Elektra records in 1996 which was later reported as the largest publishing deal ever for an unsigned artist. The band's lineup changed in 2000, ending the songwriting partnership of Jenkins and Cadogan. As of 2013 the band's lineup consists of Stephan Jenkins (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Brad Hargreaves (drums, percussion), Kryz Reid (lead guitar), Alex Kopp (keyboards), and Alex LeCavalier (bass guitar).
After the success of their eponymous debut album in 1997, the band released one more album, 1999's Blue, before guitarist Kevin Cadogan was released from the band under controversial circumstances. In 2003, the band released Out of the Vein. In 2008, the band released the digital EP Red Star. After a six-year hiatus from releasing a full-length album, Ursa Major was released on August 17, 2009. A fifth album is also being worked on, without a tentative release date.
The band is best known for the singles "Semi-Charmed Life," "How's It Going to Be," "Graduate," "Jumper," "Never Let You Go," "Crystal Baller," "Blinded," and "Deep Inside of You." VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90's included "Semi-Charmed Life" at # 34. Third Eye Blind ranked # 138 on the Top Pop Artists of the Past 25 Years chart. Third Eye Blind has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
Beginnings (1993–1996) 
Third Eye Blind recorded their first demo in 1993. In 1994, the band recorded its second demo with band members: Stephan Jenkins on vocals, Kevin Cadogan on guitar, Arion Salazar on bass, and Steve Bowman on drums. From late 1995 through early 1996, the band recorded its third demo with funds from RCA records to record with producer engineer Eric Valentine, which resulted in the band gaining major label attention, including that of Clive Davis, who invited the band to perform a showcase for Arista Records in New York City. During Third Eye Blind concerts at the time, it was customary for the band to have a piñata release candy above their mosh pits, yet at the showcase for the record executives, lead singer Stephan Jenkins released live crickets from the piñata instead.
In April 1996, after Jenkins had challenged Epic Records executive Dave Massey in a meeting, the band landed an opening gig for Oasis at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium. In an unlikely scenario for an opening act, the band was invited back for an encore after playing their initial set and was paid double by the concert promoter. In addition, Stephan Jenkins' production of The Braids' cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" gained major-label attention. Afterwards, the band found themselves in a bidding war among record labels, and after a showcase in Los Angeles, Kevin Cadogan and Stephan Jenkins signed as artists professionally known as Third Eye Blind with Sylvia Rhone of Elektra Records because they believed it offered the most artistic freedom.
Self-titled and Blue (1997–2000) 
Third Eye Blind's first album, Third Eye Blind, was released in 1997. The album had five singles: "Semi-Charmed Life," "Graduate," "How's It Going to Be," "Losing a Whole Year," and "Jumper." "Semi-Charmed Life" peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was number 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks for 8 weeks. It also earned Third Eye Blind a Billboard Music Award for modern rock track of the year. The band performed "How's It Going to Be" on Saturday Night Live. To date, their eponymous debut has been the group's most successful album, selling 6 million copies in the U.S. alone. Smash Mouth drummer Michael Urbano played drums on four songs on the album. During this period they also opened a number of shows on U2's PopMart Tour.
In 1999, the band released their second album, Blue. Although not received as well as Third Eye Blind, the album sold 75,000 copies the first week of release, and by 2003, had sold 1.25 million in the U.S. Four singles were released from the album: "Anything," "Never Let You Go," "10 Days Late," and "Deep Inside of You." In early 2000, shortly after the release of the album, Kevin Cadogan was released from the band. Cadogan filed suit, alleging wrongful termination, adding that his production, recording, and songwriter royalties were withheld since being kicked out of the band. The lawsuit was settled out of court in June 2002, with the terms of the settlement undisclosed.
Out of the Vein (2001–2006) 
After extensive international touring, the band took a break from performing, appearing only at charity events. They put on shows for the Tiger Woods Foundation and the Breathe Benefit Concert in Los Angeles after Jenkins' mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. During the four-year gap between albums, the band also built a recording studio in anticipation of their next album.
In 2003, the band released Out of the Vein. Two singles were released from the album: "Blinded," and "Crystal Baller." Out of the Vein did not sell as well as its predecessors, with numbers estimated around 500,000 copies as of March 2007. Elektra Records was being absorbed into Atlantic Records at the time, and the only music video created from the album was for the single "Blinded." Due to the merger, the band found themselves without label support, as Jenkins said, "Our record company ceased to exist. The month the record was released, Elektra Records imploded." In May 2004, Warner Music cut Third Eye Blind, along with over 80 other acts, from its roster. While no specific reason was given for Third Eye Blind being cut, Atlantic co-chairman Craig Kallman said the cuts were made to get Atlantic's roster down to an appropriate size where "we can give each of our acts top priority."
It would be over six years after the release of Out of the Vein until the band would release another full-length album. In the meantime, the band did release A Collection in 2006. This album was a collection of songs from the first three albums. Jude Gold, associate editor of Guitar Player Magazine, recognized that the liner notes falsely credited guitarist Tony Fredianelli with the creative work of former guitarist Kevin Cadogan, who was completely omitted from the band's biography included in the liner notes, which state: "As always, the band profited from the musical interplay between Tony Fredianelli, Stephan Jenkins, Arion Salazar and Brad Hargreaves." In regards to this, Jude Gold stated, "It's like saying Gun's N Roses music always profited from the interplay between Axl Rose and guitarist Bucket Head."
Red Star and Ursa Major (2007–2009) 
A single, "Non-Dairy Creamer," was released in November 2008 and was part of the internet exclusive digital EP Red Star.
Third Eye Blind's fourth studio album Ursa Major was released on August 18, 2009. The album had been anticipated since mid-2007 and was previously expected to be named The Hideous Strength. The album was released under their own label, Mega Collider Records.
Third Eye Blind topped the Billboard Rock Albums chart, Top Alternative Albums chart, and Top Digital Albums chart with Ursa Major. The band released two singles, "Don't Believe a Word" and "Bonfire" as well, but neither charted on any radio formats.
Around the timeframe of Ursa Major's release, the band also spoke of a Ursa Minor album, that would have contained songs that were recorded over Ursa Major's recording sessions, but ultimately were left off the album. While the band spoke of releasing them in close succession to each other, in a similar fashion to a double album, as of December 2012, Ursa Minor remains unreleased, with no plans for future release.
Fifth album (2010— ) 
Longtime guitarist Tony Fredianelli was fired from the band in early 2010. According to an article which quotes a lengthy letter of his, Fredianelli "... is suing the band for apparently being denied songwriting credits and benefits that he allegedly was entitled to." On February 23, 2011, it was revealed that Fredianelli had filed a federal lawsuit against Jenkins for over eight million dollars in damages for not giving him credit for past work with the band.
Meanwhile, Third Eye Blind co-headlined The Bamboozle Roadshow 2010 between May and June 2010. Irish musician Kryz Reid played guitar on the 2010 tour. In an interview with Stephan Jenkins and Brad Hargreaves at The Rave in Milwaukee, Jenkins stated that Ursa Minor was going to be recorded in July, and it would be released in 2011.
On March 16, 2011, a song entitled "Ladies and Gentlemen" was released on Japanese singer and actress Chiaki Kuriyama's debut album. The track was written by Jenkins and Reid.
On November 16, 2011, Third Eye Blind posted a new song, "If There Ever Was a Time," in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement, to their Facebook page, for free download.
On March 13, 2012, Third Eye Blind began recording their fifth studio album in San Fransico.
On December 17, 2012, Stephan Jenkins announced via his Twitter page that the fifth studio album would be the band's final record.
On April 25, 2013, Stephan Jenkins announced via his Twitter page that recording on the fifth album would begin in June.