3EB_3_4396 (002)Kryz - main-minThe COVID-19 pandemic affected everyone in very different ways. For Third Eye Blind and its guitarist Kryz Reid, it gave the band a new sense of purpose and a hardcore desire to build a stronger band and a stronger relationship by being together.

The new album “Our Bande Apart” is really Third Eye Blind giving a giant middle finger to COVID-19 and making the best album they could as a cohesive and united band.

Kryz checked in to chat about the album and the band’s unforgiving musical approach.

The new album is out, why did you guys call it “Our Bande Apart”?
I think the title is a homage to Jean-Luc Godard. We took a lot of inspiration aesthetically from the artwork to do that. The video for our single “Goodbye to the Days of Ladies and Gentlemen”, the video there is a direct homage to Godard.

There’s a tiny animation of the cover on Twitter. Why did you guys select that art for the cover?
It’s a still, like an animated sequence from one of the music videos. The CDs, we just saw them actually the other day and the CDs have zoetrope inside it. So you take the zoetrope and tape the ends together and put it onto your turntable or your record player and turn it on, it will animate that sequence.

That’s fantastic.
It looks quite awesome.

How did you guys come up with that concept?
I think we’re just playing around with those ideas when we were talking about the art for the record. I think it was Danny, maybe that heard about the idea, he’s one our techs. I think he did the drawing, and it was just this little zoetrope idea. Then it was like Oh, we’ve put it into this record and you can actually put it on the turntable little spin around and make them dance.

What was it like reuniting after being isolated from each other since the pandemic? It must have been great to be reunited.
Yeah, you said it, it was great. It was a long period of anticipation and when we got together in West Hollywood and started doing rehearsals for the new record, we just had this idea that we’d all just sit around a campfire, and play acoustic guitars and the vocal would be the most important part of the whole thing. It was nice to really just talk to each other and not shouting over loud drums and the bass player won’t stop playing, that kind of stuff. It was great to get together and just hang out and it was like band practices.

We all live in Los Angeles now, except Stephen, he’s the one holdout, he’s still back in San Francisco. He basically moved to L.A. for three months, and we just went to this house in Hollywood. We did a bunch of rehearsals there for a few weeks. It was kind of like, a Tuesday night band practice, we all get together. It was like just being in a band with your mates from school.

TEB_CVR_ALT_01Didn’t it feel like starting over again, or was it more like getting on the bike again, after a few years?
I think it was kind of both of those things, maybe our mindset was a little different, coming out of pandemics to get into this one because we’re all in isolation. Essentially, Stephan and I will do some work together in San Francisco. An acoustic special and stuff like that, and then making videos for them, for our podcasts. So we’re staying pretty active, but when we all got together and we did a couple of those shows where everybody’s in a car. You’re in a big car park and it’s kind of crazy. So yeah, we all got back together.

It was just this massive outpouring of relief and we all felt like it was a new day. I remember Brad our drummer has always said ‘You never know when your last show was going to be.’ He said, ‘My last show is going to be good’. It’s this idea of always keeping your chops up, always staying on top of your game and being the best at your instrument that you can be and it was just interesting because we were just on the cusp of a massive tour when COVID-19 came along.

We had to halt all of our production, we were right at the epicenter, we were at ground zero, we were in Seattle, and we’d flown in after two weeks of pre-production in Las Vegas. A lot of bands have their stuff canceled, but we were right on the day. It was like, we’re playing the show tonight. Then the governor’s making it an announcement at 11. It was like, shows canceled we got on our tour buses, and we drove to Portland. And when we woke up in the morning in Portland, it was like, tour is canceled. So everybody had their stuff canceled. We were at the 11th hour, we’re all at their full production, full band and crew and we didn’t even get to play one show.

This whole thing is being captured in a documentary that you co-directed, why did you decide to capture it as a documentary?
We were doing things a little bit differently and I document everything we do anyway. But Stephan was like, for this one, maybe you should make an actual half hour documentary recording of this album, because we had a different kind of mindset coming into it, it wasn’t going to be the same way that we normally work, we just have this idea that we would do little band practices.

ABandeApart_MoviePoster_KryzEditThen we just go into the studio and play together, recording everything live, and we’re just going to get through it. Move in a more organic fashion as opposed to people recording records, they do things differently as a lot of computers evolved. A lot of people put a lot of manipulation stuff into it and we don’t really do that. So we kind of felt like, we could document this and people get to see how you actually work behind the scenes as opposed to just the veneer of the finished product.

Could you compare the recording process of “Our Bande Apart” to “Screamer”?
Screamer was more conventional in that we went to Sonic Ranch in El Paso, Texas. We live down on that ranch for an extended period of time while we’re working on that record. Conceptually, I think it started the same way. They both started the same way. But the difference was that Stephan had more songs completed when we went to start work on Our Bande Apart, as opposed to a Screamer which was a little bit more of stuff being done in the studio.


You guys also recorded “So Alone, So Alive” isolated and totally different from everything else. How different was that process?
I produced that, it was actually a lot of tech involved because the idea was to have a live broadcast, but we were all in isolation. Stephan was out in San Francisco, Brad was in Los Angeles, Colin our bass player lives in Seattle. So the idea was to have this satellite link up and we’ll all play the songs together. And that’s the video that I produced, where we just spoke to each other through the thing and you watched it.

The guitar parts must have been a little more difficult because you had to go in different locations.
I just got the guys to hook up their phones and cameras and send it to me. I put it all together at Mastermind Hq in San Francisco. So it looks like it was a live simulcast broadcast with several different parts of the United States. We had somebody over in New York from Sleigh Bells that did a bit of track on that as well. So if it looks like that live broadcast then I’ve done my job.

“Again” just came out. Tell me about that song.
“Again” is a straight up shoe gazer, a duet with Beth from Best Coast. I think it was the first song Stephan played me from the new batch he had written for this record.

When we were jamming it, we came up with the phrase “Keep it Gaze” which we’d say ad nauseam throughout the recording of the album actually.

Both music videos don’t feature the band. Was that just more of a COVID-19 thing or were they what you envisioned for the videos?
Stephan is in the Box of Bones video, maybe you missed him in it! We’re all in the Dying Blood video, Cavy will be making his debut as the star of the Silverlake Neophyte video I’m directing.

We didn’t make a conscious decision to not be in the videos, we just had the idea that we’d make videos for all the tracks on the new record. We’d float different ideas for each song and pick what we felt was best. If we’d come up with better ideas that had us IN the video, maybe we’d be more visible, but I think there’s a good mix for this record.

The last video with the band performing was Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love. Tell me about what Eddie Van Halen meant to you?
Honestly, I was not at all interested in guitar players like Eddie or Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen or any of those guys when I started playing guitar. I hated that guitar tone, the constant smiling all the time, it all just seemed like a card trick to me.

Third-Eye-10357 (1) smallI’d watch a video of one of those guys doing their thing and go “Oh…neat.” I just had zero emotional response to all that stuff.

So I was far more drawn to guitar players who were less show offs. It wasn’t until much much later that I got a little more perspective on Eddie’s playing. So I had to go learn “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love” when we decided to do it as tribute after Eddie died.

I remember thinking oh, I have to go learn some insane guitar card trick now, but when I sat down with it, I found it melodically interesting, and really not some insanely dexterous nonsense, which is what I expected. Now I like Van Halen.

The band has recorded more albums and has been more of a productive unit since you joined in 2010. What makes the band run better at this point?
I think we are a band now. That sounds like a pretty simple answer, but when I joined the band we had a different bass player and there were a bunch of songs already written for the next record. We went on tour, we’d record at different studios, we changed bass players a couple of times. When we went to London to record with Martin Terefe, we didn’t even have a bass player!

So Dopamine took six years to make, and I felt like we weren’t a very cohesive unit back then. After Cavy joined, I feel like we gelled more. And so we started working more. We recorded We Are Drugs the next year and we’ve been pushing since. There’s a lot to do, you know?

For tour dates, music and more go to thirdeyeblind.com.


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