An interview: Third Eye Blind's Brad Hargreaves

Nov. 17 may still be a few days away, but in lieu of Third Eye Blind's fall concert in Kuhl Gym, the alt-rockers' drummer, Brad Hargreaves, shared his thoughts with The Lamron regarding the band's new album, touring and the climate of today's music scene.

Lamron: Looking at your touring schedule, it looks like you play a lot of college gigs. Is there something that draws you to the college atmosphere?

BH: Yea, I mean it's nice to play a variety of shows; we play the small clubs and the college shows. [College shows] are usually a little bit bigger, and it's kind of nice to be in a bigger environment on a bigger stage. And you know, we like being around smart people.

Lamron: Tell me about the new album you guys are working on.

BH: Well, we've been kind of at it for a few years. We're just kind of working at our own pace at this stage in our career now. There aren't deadlines or anything, so we just kind of make records and make songs as we see fit. Sometimes it's good to have deadlines to motivate musicians - maybe we need some.

Lamron: Third Eye Blind, along with other bands like Semisonic and Hootie and the Blowfish, seem to have emerged out of the demise of grunge. Were you influenced at all by the Seattle grunge scene?

BH: Um, not really. The thing about Third Eye Blind is when we came out, that was what was prevalent. I was immediately drawn to Third Eye Blind early on when I first met them because they didn't sound like everything else that was happening at that time, so I think the influences of [the band] go a little farther back, like The Police and The Clash and, you know, Zeppelin and some of the classic rock. I wouldn't say that Pearl Jam influenced our sound or anything.

Lamron: When many people think of the music of the '90s, they think of Third Eye Blind. How do you think music has changed since the start of the new decade?

BH: Well, the industry's changed a lot, that's for sure.

Lamron: It's a lot more digital now. Is the band embracing this accessibility of music on the Internet?

BH: Well Shawn Fanning, the guy who wrote the code for Napster, he got his first computer in his whole life the year our first record came out. That's how quickly this whole model of music distribution has changed. Right now, the industry is kind of trying to figure out how to get people to value artists' music, and right now a lot of people don't feel like music's worth very much. Radiohead found out that 38% of their fans think their music is worth $6 and the rest of the fans don't think it's worth anything.

Lamron: What's on the horizon for Third Eye Blind after the new album?

BH: Just more touring. We really enjoy just going out and doing these short runs where we don't get sick of each other, just two or three weeks and then it's like 'okay, see you in a couple months.'

Lamron: So it's at the point where you guys are kind of doing things at your own pace?

BH: Absolutely. We're in a lucky position, we're not working here so that we can pay our rent or put food on the table. We've gotten to a more comfortable spot in our lives. We're doing it because we enjoy doing it.

Lamron: The new album will supposedly be more political than the band's past works. What is it about the current political climate that inspired the album?

BH: I think that any artist that is worthwhile to listen to has to take into account what's happening in the world. You know, "Semi-Charmed Life" isn't about how good things are, it's about, 'okay yea, everything's going really well but there still are things that are negative and there are still problems the way things are.' And now, you know, with the world situation being significantly worse than it was in the late '90s, I think you wouldn't be a very worthwhile artist if you didn't comment on the things that you saw and the things that you believe.