Third Eye Blind have been around for almost 20 years, and despite only releasing four albums in that time, have developed a cult following. Although most well-known for their smash 90s hit “Semi-Charmed Life,” the band is beloved for their mix of intense, dark lyrics and catchy pop-rock melodies. Recently, Emertainment Monthly had the pleasure of interviewing the band’s longtime drummer Brad Hargreaves. He’ll be in Boston with the band on June 18th.
Emertainment Monthly: Hey Brad. Thanks for doing the interview. You’ve been drumming with 3EB for 20 years. How have you changed as a drummer in the span of two decades?
Brad Hargreaves: I think mostly I have just broadened my musicality through the sheer amount of playing I have done. There have been so many shows, rehearsals, and recording sessions, with multiple projects over that span. Just over the last year I literally started from scratch rebuilding my drumming from the ground up, literally practicing just with my feet and slowly adding hands back in. I am constantly trying to evolve and add to my playing. The last four months has just been playing double bass drums. Ha. So much of much of being able to express yourself musically is just being comfortable and at peace with yourself while performing. That comfort level has grown a lot over time.
EM: When you were picking up drumming, was there a particular person who told you that you had to do this for a living or did you kind of decide it yourself?
BH: I was never really encouraged to do it for a living. My family probably discouraged me if anything because they were looking out for my well-being. It was just something that grabbed ahold of me when I was in the sixth grade and I was fortunate to have a passion that drove me to work hard at it.
EM: You said once on a radio interview that working with Stephan was “all about presentation,” and that it’s very “delicate and intimate” the way you guys put songs together. How has working with Stephan all these years helped you as a songwriter and a performer?
BH: Stephan has massive talent as a songwriter and performer and I have been fortunate to watch it first hand for a long time. I also feel like I have always had a distinct point of view creatively and it surely has developed over time with Stephan. I think I relate to Stephan because at his core he is a really musical person. It sounds strange, but musicians have different levels of musicality. Just playing an instrument doesn’t make you musical. Musicality is found in the subtleties and he has definitely shown me a few more cracks and corners in which to look.
EM: You’ve performed on different instruments besides drums during the tour, including piano and guitar. Do you have a favorite? Are you playing any of these on the new album?
BH: I probably gravitate more towards piano because it’s so difficult to generate a great tone on guitar and keyboard is so central to programming music. We have a keyboard player now so I didn’t play any other instruments on our latest record.
EM: If you could pick one song from your catalogue that you think sums up your drumming, what would it be, and why?
BH: I would probably pick the song “Wounded” off Blue. It embodies the versatility that I try to have as a drummer. There is a fast and dynamic pattern using brushes on the verses, a kind of Keith Moon meets Dave Grohl type assault on the pre-chorus and good old fashion rock n roll bashing on the chorus.
You can catch Third Eye Blind on June 18th at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion.