Then The Cameras Click
I remember the first time I saw a collection of behind the scenes photographs of Third Eye Blind by Tailstar.
They were shrouded in black and white, back lit of Stephan on stage, a fisheye lens shot of Brad’s new wiener dog pup, and a grainy expose of the bands name in lights. My stomach turned into itself. “I want to do that” I whispered to myself bathed in the glow of my computer screen. I saved them, and created a little folder on my Myspace… that’s right I said Myspace, dedicated to my favorite band and favorite photographer.
Over the years I’ve done some music and concert photography. Grainy, loud, small venues to large music festivals, but what I thrive on, is capturing the people who make up a band. I think most of the time that we see musicians they are wearing their role hat of musician, and you don't see the humans behind the music. That’s what I love so much about Third Eye Blind, is that they are real. The music is real. Its personal and it shows at every single show. I like to capture people emoting. Laughing, crying, screaming, loving, touching, feeling, connecting, learning, all the things other than looking straight forward into the camera and posing. No landscapes, no architecture, just people. People living. Capturing the moments in between the memories.
Fast forward a few years, I had connected with 3EB Lifestyle over some shared interest, and got the amazing and humbling opportunity to shoot the band in Vancouver, BC during the Fall of the Summer Gods Tour. I love shooting this band, that’s kind of a duh statement, but I really do. For someone who thrives on emotion, this band puts everything on the line every night.
There’s a reason why Stephan Jenkins is a fucking rockstar. Everything he does embodies energy and emotion and vibe and feeling into every show. I’ve been touring with them now for several years, several concerts back to back and EVERY SINGLE SHOW is amazing, and has something special that the show the night before didn't have. From the screams to the connecting with the audience, he's amazing. He’s a true frontman and captivates every soul around. While I had a brief encounter with Stephan before (Read Article) Fall of the Summer Gods Tour was my first time meeting the guys in any official capacity, and its really amazing this other worldly energy that they have that is absolutely electrifying and captivating.
I had a revelation about Brad during this tour, he is so rocking out on another space time continuum, leading the band, being loud as fuck and made of lions, that I’m pretty sure think he drums with his eyes shut most of the time. Which makes what he does even more amazing, I had shot them before at Bumbershoot in Seattle in 2015 and noticed the same thing. When he's not in his drum beat trance, he genuinely seems to be having a good time, I feel like he has all these inside jokes that he does on stage.
I was so pumped after photographing them in Vancouver, that we went all in and did Soundcheck and Meet + Greet in Spokane and Seattle. Getting to watch sound check was HEAVENLY, even though no photographs were allowed. It’s literally my favorite thing I’ve EVER done with 3eb. First it was kind of interesting, because Kyrz had just gotten hurt in Bozeman, and we were super sad not to see him on tour, but SO LUCKY that JOE PEPPER was able to step in. So watching the band, work through and talk about song theory was mind shattering. Watching Kopp during sound check was crazy cool, because he has this awesome encyclopedia like knowledge that he was sharing with Joe. Usually I have a spot that I watch all the shows from, which is facing the left side of the stage (stage Right) so usually I've got a good view of Kopp and Kryz, and a face view of Brad, but I haven't gotten an unclose view of LeCav playing, but in the photo pit in Vancouver, and then front and center in Spokane and Seattle, I got to enjoy LeCav rocking out. There seems to be something really sweet about the way he hits harmony while strumming those intricate bass lines.
We got to hear them play around with Red Star in Spokane and Seattle, and Stephan’s story about the roadie Janice and the Banana game will probably go in my top 10 times of laughing the hardest in my life. This experience was so special and so embedded in my heart. I will forever be grateful for the Fall of the Summer Gods Tour, the photographs I took, the people I met, and the connections we all felt. I’m glad that I will have these memories to tide me over while the guys are in studio. Something that Stephan said the closing night in Seattle is that the energy that they put into the music, comes from the fans. It’s important that we keep the energy up to fuel the music that will become our future soundtrack.