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Stephan Jenkins talks controversy over new song and life in the Bay Area

Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins calls No Name to talk about touring, speed metal, the band’s upcoming cover record, and what Stephan does when he is at home in the Mission in San Francisco the day before Halloween.

No Name: Are you on a bus?

Stephan Jenkins: No, I’m at a recording studio in Memphis. We have a day off and we’re recording at this studio where The Cramps did their first record.

NN: Is the band carving jack-o-lanterns on the bus? Are you dressing up for tomorrow’s show?

SJ: Is tomorrow Halloween?

NN: Of course you’ve been celebrating the 20th anniversary of your debut record. I can still remember (hearing) “Semi-Charmed Life” and “Graduate” and (thinking) these are going to be huge!

SJ: KFOG has supported this band so thoroughly and completely, it’s not lost on us. It’s been something we’ve been really grateful for. You guys have been playing “Cop vs. Phone Girl.” Do you know how much trouble people have gotten into for playing that song? It’s kind of amazing. In the song I say “why is it so hard to say ‘black lives matter?'” and there was an alternative station in Boston that had it, and people just freaked out. It’s an oddly oppressive time. It’s the rare few who will step up and play anything that has some semblance of a message on it.

NN: When you’re not touring or in the studio, outside of surfing, what do you do to get away from everything?

SJ: I’m down at Four Barrel, or Zeitgeist, I always ride my bicycle in the city, I surf Russian Beach, I go on a lot of surf trips. When I have time off, I do a program where we take Marines who have PTSD and teach them surfing.

NN: Tell us what you’re recording.

SJ: We’re recording a covers record. The live record from the Summer Gods tour is out now. We’re going to do an EP of covers that we hope to do for charity that we’ll put out maybe in February.

NN: It seems like you guys hit a prolific phase.

SJ: I feel alive and free and ready to make music.

Get Stephan’s full take on the music industry now, why he loves surfing so much, and what he’s looking forward to returning to when he gets home to the Bay Area below.

This interview has been edited and condescend.

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