Interview: Brittney Chamberlain

This week’s Expert is Brittney Chamberlain. We talk about her dream Third Eye Blind wedding, awkward moments parenting 3EB kids. And, of course, songs, songs and more songs. An amazing interview where we get to hear stories about THREE generations of fans living “In the Blind”.

Bella Wolf: Tell us how you became a fan. And when did you realize you were a diehard fan for life?

Brittney Chamberlain: Like every other person living in America, I first heard Semi-Charmed Life on the radio. What a catchy fucking tune, right? I was 11, had ZERO clue what any of it meant, but I “Doo Doo Doo’d” with the best of them. That fall, my dad took my sister and I to see U2 on their PopMart tour. 3EB was the opener. Our seats were front and center to the cat walk, surely set up for The Edge of U2, but Stephan utilized it and literally rocked my world. He sang directly to me and my then 9 year old sister. It was literally life changing. So, I can pinpoint the date I became a die hard fan, November 8, 1997. Kenny managed to find a show sticker from the radio station that sponsored that show on eBay and gifted it to me at Christmas. What a wild ride it’s been since that day.

From left to right: Karle Smith (sister), Adam (friend), and Brittney. All grown up now!

What was your first Third Eye Blind concert?

BC: The first time I saw Third Eye Blind as a headliner was February 12, 1998. They played the American Theater in Saint Louis, with Smash Mouth. By that point, I was all things 3EB, all day, every day. I remember our seats were in the balcony, in the center of the venue, so we were able to see the whole stage. They had their epic rugs across the stage and Stephan was barefoot. I had already been to several rock shows by that point, at a mere 12 years old, but both 3EB shows I had been to by then had solidified SJ as the ultimate rocker for me.

Kenny wins the lottery or hits a huge jackpot in the casino. So, of course, he hires the band to play at your wedding. What 5 songs do they play?

BC: Oh man, this is easy. I Want You (for my reasoning on this, read my lyric assignment, and subsequent love letter to Kenny), Monotov’s Private Opera (Kenny, it’s you and only you and no one else), Anything, Something In You (It was true then what I said to you a long time ago...We got room to grow), Queen of Daydreams (because, Kenny, doing nothing with you means more than I can say). Damn, can we do this for real?

What 3eb song do you play when… You feel depressed, but want to wallow in it?

BC: The Background. This song has always carried a really heavy sadness to it, but at my last show on Summer Gods, in Vegas, I SOBBED during this song. It took on a entirely new meaning. It was such a special summer, bonding with other fans and cultivating new friendships and connecting with the band in a way that I have never done before. This song became a representation of saying goodbye to Summer Gods and the debut album live in its entirety. “The plans I make still have you in them...” I can still feel the ache in my chest like I did at the Hard Rock.

You’re the only one up in the middle of the night and want to feel less alone?

BC: Motorcycle Drive By. It’s almost guaranteed that someone else is listening to this too, there’s a camaraderie that surrounds this song. Even if you’re singing it alone, you can envision the crowd singing it too.

You start a road trip?

BC: 1000 Julys. Instant jamming. Perfect song to play the drums on your steering wheel.

You feel like dancing in your pajamas?

BC: Danger. I have danced to this on my own countless times & It’s on my dance party playlist that I play for the kids.

Long after Emma and I first heard the song Dopamine, we sang, “Start screaming ‘cross the city, all naked and pretty”. Instead of “making it pretty”. Do you have any misheard lyrics that you think are (almost) as good as Stephan’s actual lyrics?

BC: That’s so funny, that’s exactly how I sing it too!! Naked and Pretty is perfect. For a long time, I just mumbled the line “slide up around the belly” during Semi Charmed Life because I had no idea what he said before “face down on the mattress.”

You were eleven when you heard your first Third Eye Blind song. Which I think is so cool because the band has actually been the soundtrack to your life! But in those twenty years, in some order, you fell in love, had your heart broken, became an adult, etc. So, I’m sure you relate and respond to the music differently as an adult vs at age 11. With this shift in perspective, what song gave you the biggest “light bulb” moment?

BC: Wounded changed significantly for me...I don’t need to go into details about why because we all know what this song is about but it became an anthem for me.

Do your kids have a favorite 3EB song?

BC: Crosby, my youngest, is 2 and he likes to dance to anything I put on. Calvin, who is 3 and a half, LOVES Wake For Young Souls. He will say, “Play my song, Mom, REAL LOUD.

Brittney at a show, over 10 days late with son, Crosby.

A lot, or even most, of the band’s songs are “mature” in content. Did this ever present any issues- funny or otherwise- for your dad when you were a kid or for you as a mom?

BC: I am sure that my parents were mortified that I was a pre-teen blasting songs about sex and drugs, but they’re also really hip and let my sister and I form our own taste in music. I have moments of Mom guilt when we are listening to songs that are inappropriate for tiny ears, but I also have the parenting philosophy that it’s better for children to learn about the big issues at home where we have created a safe place to openly discuss things that they will encounter in the real world. Things like sex, drugs, social injustice, these are all uncomfortable topics for a parent, but I am glad that I have 3EB to help me enlighten my kids and teach them things like empathy and awareness.