Interview: Rudy Vasquez
At most concerts, waiting in line or at the rails for the band to come on has you constantly checking your watch. But at a Third Eye Blind show, it’s a fun time with friends. Can’t wait to hang with you at the rails, Rudy, and talk about music, art, and everything else under the sun.
Bella Wolff: In the 20 years since the Self-Titled album was released, do you find yourself gravitating towards different songs? As you’ve grown up with this album, what song has changed the most for you in its meaning or in your interpretation of its lyrics?
Rudy Vasquez: Can’t believe it’s been 20 years!!!! 1997. This has always been an album that I could put on and just let it ride, so all the songs are great! A classic! I can’t choose a particular track that has the most meaning, but I will say the songwriting and lyrics on tracks like Narcolepsy, The Background, Motorcycle Drive By, and God of Wine are brilliant. Those songs can really make me get the feels!
BW: Rudy is one of the old-school fans and has been seeing the band live since 1998. So, Rudy, in all those years, what was the best and/or most memorable show?
RV: I have two memorable shows that stick out in my memory. The September 12, 2001 show in Tulare, California which I’ve shared the story on 3eblifestyle (read story) and a show in Fresno California at the Rainbow Ballroom in 2000.
I didn’t have a car at the time, so I took a 45 minute Greyhound bus ride. The venue was in downtown Fresno which was pretty grimy back then in 2000, and I had 15 minute walk to and from the show. I recall Stroke 9 (they had that hit “Little Black Backpack”) were the openers. I recall Stephan mentioning during the show that he rode his bike around downtown and was talking to the local homeless, which I thought was pretty rad! I had an amazing time at the show, and I vividly remember it being LOUD in that little club! I also remember Stephan’s top hat, and a cool cover version of Ice Cube’s “Today Was a Good Day” and I think “I Wanna Be Sedated” by the Ramones. I went to the show alone, but was getting free drinks and hit on by two hot chicks who I think were trying to decide who was going to hook up with me lol! I was also amazed at how close I was to the band in that small venue! That was truly amazing !
BW: What songs haven’t you heard the band play live that you most want to see them perform?
RV: I haven’t been to a recent show, because they never make it to central California anymore. Please come back to Fresno soon!!! I can’t recall if they played “Camouflage” at the Tulare show, but I’d love to hear that again live! One of my favorites
BW: What band(s) would you most like to see opening for Third Eye Blind? And why.
RV: There is actually a cool band I discovered recently (although they’ve been around since 2010) called The Drums. Totally different styles, but I like both so that would be cool!
This is Rudy’s favorite song by the Drums.
BW: You’ve probably got quite a collection of tickets, merch, posters, etc. over the past 20 years. What’s the one thing that’s the most special or holds the most meaning?
RV: I recently dug up and scanned some original magazine ads for the self-titled and Out of The Vein, but my two favorite items I’ve saved are the original newspaper color advertisement for the September 12, 2001 show and the actual receipt for the ticket. I know they are just old paper, but they have great meaning to me! I still have my original CD copies of the albums, too.
BW: A lot of bands cover other artists, but I think Third Eye Blind does the best cover versions. To me, they are one of the few bands that can perform a song like they wrote it themselves. What’s your favorite cover the band has done?
RV: I love the Third Eye Blind version of Beyonce’s “Mine”. I didn’t even know it was a Beyonce song. Their cover is way better! I also like their cover of The Clash “Train In Vain”.
BW: It’s fair to say that rap is an obvious musical influence given that Stephan raps on some of their songs. But in what other ways do you see rap as an influence on the band lyrically or musically?
RV: I’m a huge Hip Hop head since the 80’s, and definitely the 90’s! I guess his delivery on a track like “Semi Charmed Life” is almost like rapping. Maybe that’s why I dug it right away? I’ve also heard Third Eye Blind cover Ice Cube’s “Today Was A Good Day” at a concert, and that was exciting because they are a Rock band ! They also worked with DMC (from RUN DMC) on a track.
BW: You’re in San Francisco for a day and Stephan is your tour guide. What are you seeing and doing for the next 24 hours?
RV: All the times I’ve been to Frisco I’ve never walked the Golden Gate Bridge! A nice morning walk across the bridge. I’d also like to see any of the iconic places that have meaning to him in the city…like maybe places that inspired him to write a song. I just learned the Dalva was a real thing! If the place had room, I’d like to see a show there with a set list of my absolute favorite songs!