Aidin Vaziri | When we last checked in with Stephan Jenkins more than two years ago, he assured us that a new Third Eye Blind album – the San Francisco group’s first studio recording since 2003 – would arrive in our mailboxes any day. So we waited. And waited. Then waited some more. Now “Ursa Major” is finally here, and the band – rounded out by guitarist Tony Fredianelli and drummer Brad Hargraves these days – is celebrating its release with a concert Monday at Oakland’s Fox Theater. As soon as we got a copy we called Jenkins and, over a cup of his favorite macchiato, first yelled at him for making us wait so long and then thanked him for keeping his promise.
Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind
Q: I can’t believe how many people still love Third Eye Blind. Didn’t you think that being gone so long most of them would have moved on to Wilco?
A: Our fans turned into Wilco fans and they became adults. The shocking thing is our audience is made up of 15- to 25-year-olds. They’re new and they found this music through each other, completely independent of the sales channels and the marketing channels that made us a little unrecognizable to ourselves.
Q: Is there anything you miss about 1998?
A: No, not at all. I think there were elements of 1991 that were great. The Lower Haight at that time felt like the center of the universe. But I’m totally concerned with being present and reacting to what’s happening in life now. I’m looking for new experiences.