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Brad Hargreaves From Third Eye Blind On Having A Career In Music

Photo by Danny Nolan

If you listened to music in the late 90’s and early 00’s, you’ve probably heard of Third Eye Blind.

Their self-titled debut album came out in 1997 and had several chart-topping hits, including “Semi-Charmed Life,” “How’s It Going To Be” and “Jumper.”

They’ve continued to tour and release new music every few years ever since then, and now they’ve sold around 12 million records worldwide. They released an EP of covers called Thanks for Everything in August, and they’ve continued to tour all over the U.S. Tonight, they’ll be performing at Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minn.

I got the chance to interview drummer Brad Hargreaves before their show about musical influences, advice to aspiring musicians and what’s next for the band.

The 21+ show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $40-$55 and can be found here.

When did you first get an interest in music and playing instruments?

My dad played drums. Some of my earliest memories were him tapping out some rhythms on drumsticks, and I was intrigued by drums and drumsticks from as early as I can remember. And then I think around sixth grade, my good friend had a guitar and he said “you’re my drummer,” and so I made a drum set out of odds and ends in my closet, a pan and boxes, and that was it. I’ve been playing ever since.

Who were some of your biggest musical influences growing up?

I liked a lot of the classic rock bands, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, and then getting into The Police and basically any band that had a drummer that was sort of out front and playing stuff, oftentimes doing very melodic stuff on drums, like rhythmically melodic and bands with drummers that stood out.

And whose music do you enjoy now?

I have this Spotify playlist I add to when I see stuff I like, but honestly I’m more inspired by visual artists lately more so than musical artists. If I had to pick one artist, a newer artist I like, it’d be TV On The Radio. They make consistently amazing records.

Awesome, I’ll have to check them out. So while the lineup has changed a bit over the years, all of the current members of Third Eye Blind have been together for the last several years, so what have you enjoyed most about being in the band?

Mostly I’ve just enjoyed having a career in music and being able to focus on my craft and my passion exclusively for the last 20-plus years now. I feel very lucky and fortunate to have met Stephan [Jenkins] early on and been able to just be creative within the confines of what his songwriting allows.

What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?

All the cliches. I think you just have to be true to your inner creative voice. It’s so easy to think that you need to play a style of music that is already popular and to fit in to what’s going on, and to me, that’s the worst thing you can do. You have to find your own voice and amplify what’s unique about you to stand out.

Ok cool. What are some of your favorite songs to perform?

Generally the newer stuff. I don’t know if we’re going to play any on this show, but we have some brand new music that we just spent two weeks recording down in Texas, and the plan is to put out an album early next year and do a big tour in the summer time, but we’re in the process of working on that music as a band now. Oftentimes when you record something, you don’t really think about what it’s going to take to actually play it live and how you’re going to make all the different sounds happen. So all the guys in the band were like, “ok, let’s figure out how we’re going to play some of these songs,” so that’s what we’re focusing on.

Gotcha, and that was actually leading into my next question, which was what’s next for you and the band, and it sounds like lots of new music.

Yeah, I’m really probably as excited as I’ve been about the new music we have right now. We have some new songs that I think are some of our best work. Stephan is inspired right now, so when he’s inspired, he comes up with really great stuff. I’m so excited to put this new record out and play it all next summer.

Sounds like there’s lots of positive energy happening and new music and that’s awesome.

Yeah, we have a really good thing as a band going on right now, and it’s a very creative space and I love it when you get on one of these grooves. It’s not always like that when you’re in a band. Sometimes you get bogged down, but right now we have a really good thing happening.

Here are their top tracks on Spotify:

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Written by Jessica Kuehn

Jessica Kuehn is the web editor for Spotlight Media. She graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead with a degree in print journalism. When she isn't writing or correcting her and other people's grammar, Jessica is obsessively quoting The Office and reading way too many books.

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