For the record: I am not comparing Third Eye Blind to the Smiths, per se. I am comparing their importance to kids in their early 20s/late teens, to when I was in my teens/20s. It is 100% baffling to me.
Here's evidence so yo know I'm not lying:
Threads about Third Eye Blind on AbsolutePunk.net.
EDIT: The response that kids are having on AbsolutePunk.net about this blog.
When I was in my teens/20s, The Smiths were one of the most important bands of my life. Sure, they were from my older brothers' generation, but Moz spoke to me as I wanted my best friend to. There were only a handful of musicians that spoke to me the same way that Morrissey did/does, and those musicians were Courtney Love, Kurt Cobain, Thom Yorke, Beck (weird, i know), Ian Curtis (not til my early 20s), and Brian Molko. I basically didn't have that many friends because my parents were strict and didn't let me do social activities after school that weren't transcript/resume boosters (granted, I got so drunk once when I was 15 that I puked for 24 hours straight and so I was grounded for life) -- so those musicians were my friends when my friends were out doing fun shit.
On the radio during this time were bands like Third Eye Blind, Everclear, Matchbox20, Cake, Lit, Bush, Gin Blossoms, Deep Blue Something, etc. I didn't really care too much for those bands because they were radio bands that I felt had no substance. It wasn't so much that they were on the radio... I just felt like they didn't speak to me, were cheesy, and just on this whole different level of music that didn't penetrate the surface. How could you possibly compare the despair of isolation that Morrissey sang about to the ... whatever "do do do" that Stephen Jenkins sang about in 3EB? To me, and lots of other people of the same age group I was in, a band like 3EB et al were a joke. They were a band you expected to hear on the radio, but basically didn't give a fuck about beyond that. You wouldn't be caught dead at one of their shows, you wouldn't be caught dead with one of their cds, and you wouldn't even have to worry about any of that because it was all on a different plane.
Fast forward nearly 10 years and I've got a record label. One of my most favorite bands, the Oohlas, are signed to this label. They're moody and sophisticated and combine aspects of my favorite bands like the Pixies, Nirvana, and the Smiths all into one. I learn that one of the members used to be in Everclear and I find that to be odd and random and totally insignificant other than explaining how come he's got a nice house and studio and can play drums. Another band signed to the label, Permanent Me, were comprised of kids in their late teens. When they saw and recognized someone from the Oohlas as someone from Everclear they basically freaked out. They couldn't believe their absolute luck that they were signed to the same label as someone from Everclear and spent a good hour, if not more, telling me how great Everclear were. I was confused because Everclear was a whatever band to me ... but then, when I asked them what other bands they liked from the 90s, expecting them to wax rhapsodic about how important Nirvana is to them and influenced who they are today... i was BLOWN AWAY to hear them unanimously agree that Third Eye Blind was the best band from the 90s.
I didn't believe them. I asked them if they were joking. They weren't. I asked them if they were talking about the same band I was talking about -- the one with the "Semi-Charmed Life" song. They were. I asked them how many of their friends felt the same way. They said ALL OF THEM.
Now, yes, there are tons of kids in their late teens/early 20s that don't agree with them. But there are more kids than I ever, in my wildest dreams, thought possible, that love Third Eye Blind and consider them their favorite band EVER. I don't know how this happened. I really, really, really don't. But it did. I don't really understand how it could, and would love to be enlightened. But seriously, kids think Stephen Jenkins is a fucking hero genius, while lots of people over the age of 27 had absolutely no idea he was even relevant. While those of us over 27 had left him for dead, basically, Stephen Jenkins was being hailed by the kids as their biggest musical influence and inspiration. What. The. Fuck?
Well, now you know.
I was talking to one of my musical heroes recently and she asked me what the 90s revival was all about. When I told her "Well, I'm glad you're sitting down because when I tell you what i know, you might faint or cry: The 90s revival is all about Third Eye Blind. It's not about Nirvana, it's not about Hole, it's not about Pearl Jam, Green Day or Beck whose constant stream of musical input has lasted til now. It's not about any of the bands that Rolling Stone or SPIN hailed as the saviors of mankind... it's all about Third Eye Blind."
She didn't believe me and accused me of either lying or talking out of my ass. I told her I wish I wasn't truth-telling, but I was. And, after asking a couple other sources in their 20s, she realized I was right on the money.
How the fuck did Stephen Jenkins do it? Seriously.
EDIT: By the way, the reason i brought up the fact they're on the radio, and that having nothing to do with why i didn't like them, was because a lot of the bands I like were on the radio. Man, people kinda miss the point. shit. also, i don't dislike 3eb (in fact, I love "Wounded"), but i never thought they'd be the band that stood the test of time in such a major way, and I'm sure they're surprised as well. i'm just pointing this fact out to my peers who dont know. i just did all you 3eb fans a favor and brought your favorite band some attention from people who work in major media outlets and told them that they were relevant and missing something under their nose. You're welcome.