However charmed their rise to fame may have seemed, it’s been more than five years since Third Eye Blind’s infectious first single, ”Semi-Charmed Life,” catapulted their self-titled debut to six-times-platinum status. The band’s second disc, 1999’s Blue, met with an unexpectedly lukewarm reception, and they’ve been hibernating ever since. With the May 13 release of Out of the Vein, the Bay Area boys look to reclaim their spot among pop-radio royalty. Princely frontman Stephan Jenkins sat down to grapple with your questions.
Q. Why was the new album’s title changed from Crystal Baller to Out of the Vein? — Ryan Griffin, Metairie, La.
A. ”Because the rest of the band wouldn’t let me name it Crystal Baller. They never let me do anything. Crystal Baller [was] sort of a play on words. Like a baller…a shot caller. And then a crystal ball is, you know, being able to sort of look into the future. So I thought Crystal Baller would be, like, to create your own prominent future, which I thought was a good title. The band didn’t like it. But I think Out of the Vein is good.”
Q. Was your relationship with Charlize Theron an inspiration for any songs on the new album? — Ryan, Nashville
A. ”Yes. Um…no, I think that…[pause] I think she was definitely a…[long pause] Um, what’s the word…[longer pause] I think that’s a good answer: Yes.”
Q. What’s your funniest groupie story? — Mandy Gill, Warren, Ohio
A. ”Groupies get kind of a bad name. Most times you meet people on the road and they say, ‘I’m not a groupie or anything.’ That’s when you know they’re a groupie. And they should just say it. Funniest groupie story: One time I came into the hall of a hotel and there were two girls and they were naked and they were going at it with each other…in the hall. I just think that one is excellent.”
Q. To me, your music isn’t pop, but several of your songs are played [on pop radio]. Do you mind that? — Misty Smith, San Angelo, Tex.
A. ”In some senses I do, because I really feel the catchier tunes that make it on the radio are not fully demonstrative of what the band is. But I’m proud of those songs and I’m glad people enjoy them.”
Q. I was curious if you guys know you should have given up three years ago and never come back? — Dan Yorgason, Cedar City, Utah
A. ”No, that never occurred to me. But thanks, Dan.”