Third Eye Blind, summer’s biggest music festival standout setting attendance records at five major festivals, is set to release its “Mission District” edition of clothing. Newly created and inspired by the culturally rich neighborhood within the band’s hometown of San Francisco, the “Mission District” fully embodies the essence of Third Eye Blind in both lifestyle and artistic purpose. In addition to the launch of the line, Third Eye Blind are also supporting with 826 Valencia, a Bay Area-based nonprofit organization started by author Dave Eggers that is dedicated to supporting under-resourced students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Their services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.
From the sale of each hoodie Third Eye Blind will donate $10 from the sale of each “Mission District” sold with a match from the Mark and Alison Pincus Foundation to the organization to assist in its continued efforts to close the academic achievement gap for under-served youth in the Bay Area. More information on 826 Valencia can be found on its official website, http://826valencia.org. “826 is literally around the corner from my house,” frontman Stephan Jenkins said. “They are the premiere purveyor for all pirate supplies and Dave knows this kind of whimsy encourages kids to want to read more. We have always been a band that seeks to keep it local so 826 is an easy fit.”
In other news, Stephan Jenkins donated time this week to the Jimmy Miller Foundation at Camp Pendleton in CA where a number of wounded, ill or injured Marines attached to the Wounded Warrior Battalion were hosted. For each “Ocean Therapy” session, there is a discussion about a theme related to trauma and recovery and how it relates to the ocean. After the discussion there is a 90-minute surf session followed by a closing circle. Jenkins spent the morning teaching Marines how to surf, and in essence sharing his love for a sport that has provided him with so much personal joy over the years. “Surfing is foundational to my life. Still it doesn’t feel complete until I share it with others,” Jenkins said. “Sharing it with service members who have carried their trauma home and seeing what it does for them completes it for me. There is no place I would have rather spent my birthday.” For more information on “Ocean Therapy” and The Jimmy Miller Foundation, check out its official homepage here, http://jimmymillerfoundation.org.
Third Eye Blind will release its brand new seven-song album, We Are Drugs, on Friday, October 7. Serving as a compliment to last year’s critically acclaimed studio album Dopamine, We Are Drugs was recorded in late-Spring during a week-long intensive at renowned Sonic Ranch, a vintage recording studio secluded in the midst of a pecan ranch in the Texas borderland. “The setting allowed us the focus to take songs sometimes all the way from inception to completion in continuous sessions,” frontman and songwriter Stephan Jenkins said of the process. “We also allowed ourselves freedom on We Are Drugs from any definitions or guidelines of what we were supposed to be. We just took joy in getting in a big room together and letting music happen and then chasing it around wherever it led us. It is one of the most freeing recording experiences I have had.” Check out a stream of “Company Of Strangers,” the propulsive opener, via SoundCloud HERE.
We Are Drugs also features the advance previewed track “Cop Vs. Phone Girl,” a nightmarish yet uplifting sing-along that taps on police brutality and race. Written by Jenkins, the song’s impact is all the more intense because the absurdity that it depicts is an accounting of an actual assault that took place last year at Spring Valley High in South Carolina on a student by an over aggressive campus safety officer. In a testament to Jenkins’ songwriting mastery, he still finds a way to chide hope into a dark narrative, and creates something anthemic out of viscously specific details.
To say it’s been a busy year for Third Eye Blind would be a major understatement. From its massive draws across summer music festivals the world over to the countless headlines they’ve made in the political arena and charity work for organizations such as “Make Room,” the band has been tirelessly working on its craft and, in the process, being vocal about the issues that matter to them. The release of We Are Drugs is the next chapter in its legacy – a fully-realized body of work that continues to incorporate the band’s perfect pop sensibility with an ever-present progressive intent. Jenkins utilizes his characteristic rhythmic vocal style and lyrical prowess on issues of identity, connection, isolation and authenticity while keeping a sharp eye on a culture in rapid change, which has suited him well over the years. After five albums and millions of records sold worldwide, Third Eye Blind continue to write, record and tour, entertaining while growing a larger, younger and more dedicated fanbase than ever, which is something they continue to be thankful for. We Are Drugs takes its title and cover inspiration from Dali’s and his file Un Chien Andalou. “It is a reference that we make to the drug Dopamine.”
“It’s simple, really,” says Jenkins. “Everything that has been happening to us and around us these days has been pretty goddamn surreal.”
We Are Drugs track listing:
01. Company Of Strangers
02. Queen Of Daydreams
03. Don’t Give In
04. Isn’t It Pretty
07. Cop Vs. Phone Girl