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Third Eye Blind
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Falling between Hootie & the Blowfish and Live, Third Eye Blind's catchy and melodic post-grunge made the group's first single, "Semi-Charmed Life," into a hit in the spring of 1997. The San Francisco-based quartet consisted of Stephan Jenkins (vocals), Kevin Cadogan (guitar), Arion Salazar (bass) and Brad Hargraves (drums). After earning an English degree from the University of California at Berkeley, Jenkins concentrated on playing solo shows in the San Franciscan scene. He spent four years playing in local bands before beginning a solo career; however, shortly after he set out on his own, he decided to form a band. After several lineups failed to gel, former Fungo Mungo bassist Arion Salazar joined the group, which was now called Third Eye Blind. At one of the band's shows, guitarist Kevin Cadogan, a former student of Joe Satriani who later became involved in the northern California ska and punk scenes, introduced himself to Jenkins. Cadogan joined Third Eye Blind in late 1995, bringing along former Counting Crows drummer Brad Hargraves, as well. As Third Eye Blind was getting off the ground, Jenkins was earning major-label attention through his production of the Braids' cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," which became an international hit. Shortly afterward, he signed a publishing deal, which was reported to be the largest ever for an unreleased artist. By playing the Bay Area frequently, Third Eye Blind cultivated a dedicated fan base, and the group's original 14-song demo attracted the attention of major labels. The buzz was continuing to build on Third Eye Blind when the group finagled their way to a prized opening slot for Oasis's April 1996 concert at San Francisco's Civic Auditorium. At the time of the concert, the group was unsigned, but following their well-received performance, the band became the subject of a bidding war. The band signed wtih Elektra/Asylum because the label offered the most artistic freedom, which included enlisting Jenkins as the album's producer. Upon signing to Elektra, he was offered a production deal to help develop new bands. Jenkins produced Third Eye Blind's eponymous debut, which was recorded in San Francisco with the assistence of Eric Valentine, an engineer who also worked on their early demos. Third Eye Blind was released in the spring of 1997, and by the summer, its first single "Semi-Charmed Life" had become a number one modern rock hit. Blue followed in 1999, selling 150,000 within a month of its release, but it didn't gain the praise and popularity compared to the band's previous albums. Tours across the globe followed throughout 2000, but by the time 2001 rolled around, the band opted for some time off. Instead of focusing on music, Third Eye Blind participated in several charity events. They put on shows for The Tiger Woods Foundation and as well as Breathe, a performance organized by Jenkins to promote breast cancer awareness. By 2003, Third Eye Blind resumed schedule with the release of Out of the Vein in May. Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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