Third Eye Blind to ‘charm’ Novafest

Paul Martucci

Parents have always been afraid of their kids getting lost in the sex and rock ‘n’ roll culture. Stephan Jenkins, however, has always been a part of it.

Lead vocalist for the band Third Eye Blind, Jenkins is the voice behind hits like “Semi-Charmed Life,” “How’s It Going To Be” and “Never Let You Go.” For the music man, he’s simply living a dream.

“I’ve been playing music since I was a little kid,” Jenkins said. “I’ve been doing it since I was six years old.”

The band officially became famous in 1997, instantly establishing themselves as a leader in popular rock music with the hit single, “Semi-Charmed Life.” Third Eye Blind released four more singles off their first, self-titled album. At this point, Jenkins admitted, the fame from these hit singles represented that connection between sex and rock ‘n’ roll.

“The fame was special,” he said. “It felt a lot like being in bed before having sex with a girl, and she’s saying yes.”

All kidding aside, Jenkins has been successful in creating music that teens and adults alike have excitedly tuned to on the radio for nearly a decade. The band’s first album, “Third Eye Blind,” sold six million copies. It was on the Billboard Top 200 Albums for over a year. Riding off the popularity of the first album, the band released another album, two-and-a-half years and five hit singles later.

Third Eye Blind’s sophomore album, “Blue,” was highlighted by the hit, “Never Let You Go.” “Blue” sold nearly two million copies while the tour of the album ran for over a year and sold out every show. Going on tours and meeting people is one of Jenkins’ favorite parts of the music. He fondly recalls some of his best memories from his tours.

“There are some shows where mid-show, you’ll get naked girls dancing on the stage,” he said. “That’s probably my favorite part.”

For Jenkins, who finds his motivation in bands like Led Zeppelin, The Clash, The Police and Camper van Beethoven, the music is all about the story telling and the song writing. Seeing the three-and-a-half year gap between “Blue” and the band’s third album, “Out of the Vein,” many wondered why the gap was so big.

Instead of passing it off as procrastination, Jenkins instead cited perfectionism. “It’s sometimes hard for me to finish the work that I’m doing,” he said. “I’m just trying to make things great instead of just getting things done.”

Despite Jenkins’ clearly fun-natured personality that’s represented both in his conversation and in his music, he still has an obvious passion for the music. From the beginning, the music has always held a certain importance in his life.

“Rock music for me means a sort of freedom,” he said.

That freedom, as Villanova will see on Saturday night, makes Jenkins the vibrant performer that he is.