How to Tell if Someone is Living a 3EB Lifestyle by Kendra McWilliams

I want to preface this by letting everyone know that I am not a writer. I have always aspired to be someone who could write or even just keep a journal, but I guess I’m just more of an idea person than a doer.

Photo: Courtesy Kendra McWilliams

So here goes nothing.

I wanted to start off by sharing a little back story about myself and my love of Third Eye Blind. At the vulnerable age of 12, I remember hearing “Semi-Charmed Life” on the radio for the first time. I remember thinking how catchy and upbeat the song sounded. Of course at that age, you don’t listen to a lot of the lyrics, so it wasn’t until later that I realized what the song was actually about. Talk about an O-M-G moment!

I remember that my dad also liked that song, so much so that he went out and bought Self-Titled. I looked forward to the days that I was with my dad just so I could listen to that CD again. You see, my parents divorced at a very young age and we would go to my dad’s house on Wednesdays and every other weekend. Every time he would pick us up, we listened to Self-Titled. We listened to that CD in his car so many times that I was sure one day it would stop working. So of course I ended up getting the CD myself. Side note, Self-Titled was actually the first CD my sister ever owned. She was 7 at the time it came out and after we became obsessed with it because of my dad, she too had to have it. I don’t think I will ever love an album as much as I loved Self-Titled.

This trend continued on throughout the years with my dad, me and my sister all loving Third Eye Blind. Every time a new album came out (which was never soon enough as you all know), we would listen to it and fall in love with it. I also remember Third Eye Blind having a concert at our local amusement park as part of a radio station festival circa 2003 or 2004. It was a weird line-up, I’m pretty sure Shaggy was also there, remember him? That was actually my first Third Eye Blind Concert, at either age 18 or 19, I don’t really remember.

Moving on; unfortunately, and this hurts for me to even type this, I didn’t keep up with the band very much after that. I don’t really know how it happened, but I sort of almost lost interest in everything including music. I turned 21 and went through a rough phase in my life where I was super depressed, had a crappy job, gained a bunch of weight, partied way too much and got myself into some serious debt. I really just felt like I had no purpose in life. Then in 2007, I met my now husband. I slowly started turning my life around. I stopped drinking all the time, lost a ton of weight, found a good job, got myself out of debt and finally got back to feeling like myself.

So fast forward to early 2015, I see an announcement on Facebook for a concert at the OKC Zoo Amphitheater for Dashboard Confessional and Third Eye Blind. I text my sister to tell her about it (we were huge Dashboard fans too) and we both agree that yes we have to go to this show. So in preparation for the concert, I started making a playlist of songs and to my surprise, Third Eye Blind had put an album that I wasn’t aware of, Ursa Major. I had gone 6 years without knowing that album existed. What the heck was wrong with me? I instantly downloaded it and fell in love. I started to revisit the other albums and all of my feelings about Self-Titled, Blue, and OOTV came rushing back to me and then discovering Ursa Major, I couldn’t get enough! Then on top of all of that, I saw they were putting out another album in June of 2015. So when Dopamine came out, I downloaded that and it was like a revelation. That music, those lyrics, the melodies, it was so beautiful and seemed so different than all of their other albums. I became obsessed once again with a band that I wish I hadn’t lost sight of for all those years.

It sounds cheesy but it seems like the stars had aligned just right for me to be able to recapture a feeling I had felt so many years ago when I listened to Third Eye Blind for the first time. 2015 was a terrible year for me and my family. My husband’s dad died on Christmas Eve of 2014 and then my granny who I was incredibly close to, passed away in September of 2015. It was then that I realized how important music was in my life. I yearned for that feeling, that release, that overwhelming joy that I felt when I heard a song that I loved. I needed this band more than ever now.

After we saw them in concert in 2015, I was in full blown, stage 5, fan girl overload. I couldn’t get enough of them. It was all I listened to, to the point that my husband would constantly make fun of me. He told me, “You know there are other bands out there right?” I didn’t care, I felt like I had missed so much that all I wanted to do was sit around and listen to their albums on repeat all day. I started looking to see if they were touring anywhere else around me and sure enough they were. I went to every concert they had that was anywhere relatively close me which still is nothing compared to most of the other hardcore fans. I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do for those years I missed out on, which brings me to the real reason for this article.

As my new found obsession continued, I start following all the band members on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Upon doing this, I discover that it seems like there is a fairly large community of people who also love this band. I got invited into to the Third Eye Blind Misfits Facebook group by someone on Twitter. I remember when I saw it for the first time, I was in awe. These people were NO JOKE. They knew everything and I mean everything about this band. They had stories and pictures and I was so jealous! Within the first week of being in that group, I was completely submerged in all of it. I read every post, watched every video and looked at every photo. This made me become even more involved and more obsessed with the band.

I start to realize that a lot of these people live around me and are going to the same shows I am. I start to run into people at 3EB shows that I had met online. It was so weird to me at first. I had never had that kind of connection with strangers before. But it was like we weren’t strangers really. We shared this love of music and it brought us together in a way that just seemed normal. I also start to notice that the band interacts with the fans on social media more so than most other bands it seems. I think honestly, the only reason I started actually using my twitter account was to tweet to Third Eye Blind. So I start tagging them in photos I’ve taken at shows, and posting about how much I love their music and what not. Well, much to my surprise, I start getting comments and retweets and all sorts of love from the band on my posts. It was awesome! I literally almost died the first time Stephan retweeted me. Then the band started using pictures that I had tagged them in on the Third Eye Blind social media sites and I just couldn’t believe this was real life.

My involvement in Third Eye Blind Misfits started seeping over into other fan groups as well, one of which was 3EB Lifestyle. Here we are, April of 2017, and I’m writing an article for the 3EB Lifestyle blog. The person who formed this group had asked if I wanted to write this article about what it meant to live a 3EB lifestyle. At first, I was intimated because like I said at the beginning, I am not a writer. But I felt like I wanted to tell my story. I wanted to let people know what it means to be living a 3EB Lifestyle because I am living it. No one in these fan groups on social media knew me or my life or anything else. They just knew I shared a love for this band and that was enough. I was immediately accepted by everyone in these Facebook fan groups and it’s nice to feel like a part of something. It was almost as if that period of time that I lost touch with the band happened for a reason. I was able to rediscover my love for the band, I was also able to discover a whole community of people who shared that love that maybe I wouldn’t have sought out otherwise.

So how can you tell if someone is living a 3EB Lifestyle? Follow Third Eye Blind on any social media page and you will see an entire community of people living a 3EB Lifestyle. You will see people from around the world, with different backgrounds, different races, different religions, different political beliefs, coming together to celebrate the one band that has the power and influence to bring these people together. Someone will share their story of how this band changed their life which inspires others to share their stories. Those stories become a bond and that bond becomes a friendship. That friendship turns into family and before you know it, you are road tripping across the country with people that you met on a social media fan site.

People ask me all the time, “Why are you so obsessed with that band?” My answer to them is always the same thing, “This is not just about a band. This is about a group of people who come together to collectively celebrate the music that we love.”