Interview: Andrew Bleakley
Our Expert this week is Andrew Bleakley, who is one of the first 3EB friends Emma and I made online.
I hope in the interview, I managed to show what an amazingly talented, kind and wonderful person he is.
As blessed as we have all been by the music, we are even more blessed by knowing each other. Thank you for this interview, Andrew.
Bella Wolff: What was the first time you heard one of the band’s songs?
Andrew Bleakley Great Question! This question brings me back. I was only in elementary school when I first heard 3EB. I was on the school bus with a substitute bus driver who listened to a different radio station than our usual driver. My friend was telling me about this awesome song he heard on the radio. Next thing we know Semi-Charmed Life starts playing and my friend about loses it. He said excitedly, “This is it! This is the song!” I was hooked! At that age, it seemed like a upbeat, fun song. But I also felt rebellious listening to this stuff because my family primarily listened to country music. So every time I hear SCL, I flash back to those young rebellious days. I recall the excitement of digging into their music. From then on out it was 3EB
I’m sorry we couldn’t make it to the Arizona show during the Summer Gods tour so Emma and I could meet you. How’d you enjoy the show?
AB: Hey, life happens, maybe on the next big tour we can all meet. The show was awesome! Amazing! Hearing the S/T album front to back was just so surreal. I ended up going alone since my brother couldn’t go and I couldn’t find anyone to take the ticket. But turns outs that’s exactly what I needed. It was 3EB, the audience and me. I was in full absorption mode. I took everything in. From the music, to production, to the theater, I felt this amazing, nostalgic energy pouring through me. That was only the second time I’ve seen the boys live, but it was the first time seeing them at a big show. The energy was just unreal, almost seemed like I was in a dream or a musically induced high.
BW: How did the first 3eb show you went to and the last show you went to compare?
AB: Oh, the two shows I’ve been to, let’s just say are unforgettable and yet so, so different. My first show. I was essentially a 3EB concert virgin, as Stephan would say. But that’s not to say I hadn’t watched a ton of live YouTube footage, lol. The concert was in a smaller town called Flagstaff, AZ, at this nice little boutique theater called The Orpheum Theater. It was a small and very intimate setting. My brother got to go to this performance and I remember being so excited. We waited for three plus hours at the door to get the rails! The concert was just unforgettable and was a great first 3EB concert to see. They played a great set list and the opening band, Bad Bad Hats, was great, too. We even got to meet them and got a signed album from them. Then the Summer Gods Tour came to town and I once again I found myself in the pit. This time, however, was a much bigger venue with a lot more people. That’s a lot of energy to experience.
AB: Story of the pick: The band was playing “Something In You” at the Flagstaff Show. When I glanced over at Kryz , he threw this guitar pick. I guess my brother wasn’t expecting it cause it hits him on the face! It bounces off him on to the Pit floor. I kinda panicked a bit thinking, great, I was that close and then this pick has succumbed to this packed pit. Well much to my surprise, this young lady must have noticed I was paying attention to this flying pick and she found it by her feet turned around and handed it to me 📷!!
I know you love your cars. So, you must love one of the best things that can happen in a car- the Road Trip! Since most of the shows seem to happen back east or on the west coast, what would be your ultimate 3eb road trip be?
AB: Good question! Yes, I love my cars and road trips can be very fun. My ideal 3eb road trip would have to be a west coast tour. I’d love to drive to different venues to see them. I’d consider the East Coast, but that’s a long, long drive from Arizona. But ideally, I’d really like to see the boys in California and especially San Francisco.
Like a lot of fans, you are also a musician. Third Eye Blind seems to have a lot of fans that are musicians or artists. As someone who is creative, what specifically appeals to you about the band’s music?
AB: Third Eye Blind’s music has always stood out to me for many reasons. First off Stephan’s lyrics are top notch! Each song should tell a story or paint a picture and he does that well. I like how each album has its own feel and distinct sounds and characters. The guitar parts are very complimentary to his words. Brad has always been my favorite drummer due his style and consistency. He brings another element to this band. What’s a guitar rock band without a rock solid drummer? Brad inspired me to pursue drums and Third Eye Blind also influenced my guitar playing as well. Third Eye Blind has a way of pulling memories straight out of your mind, making them clear as day and this allows for influencing of one’s creativity. Allowing you to explore concepts and ideas and putting them into a song. Think of Semi Charmed Life…it sounds like a fun song, but truly has a deeper meaning. Their music provokes thought and makes you think outside the box. That’s why they appeal to me.
What first inspired to you start playing an instrument and writing music?
AB: I grew up around music. When I was a young boy all we had was a radio and a stereo, so I’d sit around with my dad and just listen to music. Well that stuck to me through thick through thin. Music has been will always be my therapy and my passion. The moment I picked up my first drums sticks as little boy (my neighbors had a band and the drummer set me on his lap and handed me the sticks!), I was even more hooked. Not only did I listen to music, now I can participate and make music. Some people may take that for granted, but I never will. I was blessed with that talent. I will forever be grateful for that.
Do you have any 3eb covers you’d like to share with us? And is there a story or special meaning behind why you chose those songs to cover?
AB: I do. I worked on Never Let You Go for six years. Perfecting the drums and learning both guitar parts. I have a drum cover video of that one. I also have another cover of it using GarageBand with me playing guitars and drums. I chose this song, ‘cause truthfully, it was the first song I learned on the guitar. I thought it was fun and catchy. Makes me feel like a rockstar when I play it kind of feeling. Then I have me playing along with Everything Is Easy. This song just speaks to me. Simple to play, yet satisfying as well. Has a different sound than other stuff I’ve played.
You, me and Emma discussed our favorite Third Eye Blind songs off each album about a year ago…and it was hard to decide. Now that you’ve had 365 days to ponder, pick your favorite song off each album.
AB: Oh man even after 20 plus years I still don’t know if I can narrow it down that much But I will try. Full disclosure. I have many, many favorites!
Self Titled—— Tough one here for sure. (Who am I kidding they all are tough!!) Narcolepsy is what I’m picking for this album. (I can feel this Narcolepsy slide into another nightmare!!!)
Blue——. Oh, how I love this album. But if I can only pick one it has to be Never Let You Go. If only because I have so many favorites on this album. This song is special cause it’s the one that makes feel like a rockstar when I play it!!!!
Out of The Vein. —- oh another tough one here... hmmm I’m calling it a tie between Can’t Get Away.— And Faster. Too hard to pick. Another great great album!!
Ursa Major. Oh, this one is an easy choice. It has to be Water Landing. Love that song. Another great example of Stephan painting a picture with his words!!
Dopamine —- hmmm this one provokes a hard choice but I’m going with Everything Is Easy it was the first from that album and easy to love and play so it’s a clear choice for me. But that album is awesome too.
We Are Drugs. This one I’d say is Company of Strangers. This song packs fun guitar riff and a driving beat mixed with Stephan’s word paintings as I’d call them it’s a Masterpiece.
Bonus: Summer Gods Tour Live Album. For sure hands down, Horror Show. To hear this song live is golden to me. Love this song. Love its attitude and drive. This song is always stuck in my head!!