When Third Eye Blind takes the stage at Belly Up Aspen on Thursday, it will be the chart-topping rock band’s ninth time headlining the venue.
“It’s always awesome playing Belly Up,” guitarist Kryz Reid, who joined the band in 2010, said in a recent phone interview from his home in Los Angeles. “It’s so funny, because it’s a really tiny venue for us to play, you know. It’s very intimate. When you walk in the door, one of the first pictures on the wall is Perry Farrell and Dave Navarro from Jane’s Addiction. Super cool picture of the two of them. Where else would you want to be playing?”
Best known for their 1997 top-10 hits such as “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Jumper,” “How’s It Going to Be,” and “Motorcycle Driveby,” the band has remained popular on tour and prolific in the studio. Despite having many lineup changes over the years, the musicians have continued touring and releasing music.
In September, the band released their seventh studio album, “Our Band Apart.” Since it was created during the pandemic, Reid said they went into the recording process with a different mindset.
“We went into the studio, we didn’t bring in all our gear, we just arrived and used the gear in the studio, for the most part, and we recorded everything live in one big room,” the Irish-born musician says. “Then we added little bits afterwards and the trumpets and that kind of stuff.”
Reid recalled it was a relaxed, fast-recording environment. “I think we were 11 days in, and we were looking at each other and I’m like, ‘What else have we got to do?’ We were supposed to be there for three weeks, and we were way ahead.”
“I think it’s a great album, overall, it’s a really unique record when you listen to it in today’s landscape,” Reid said. “I think it’s just got a real feel to those things you just vibe.”
The making of the new album has been captured in a 30-minute documentary that Reid directed.
“You should make a documentary about the recording of this album,” lead singer Stephan Jenkins told Reid, “because we’re recording it during COVID, and it might be interesting to look at it from that point of view.”
“I basically just had the mindset that I was going to capture everything,” Reid recalled. “It’s a really unique position because I’m in the band, so the guys are used to me having cameras around. I use very small cameras and half the time the guys don’t even know the cameras are there. I have a unique perspective because being in the inner sanctum of the band, there’s no extra person standing around with a camera.”
Even if it’s just the five guys going out to lunch, Reid said, he would bring the cameras and get footage of that as well.
“As soon as we would come out of the studio, I just disappeared into my computer for about three-and-a-half weeks to just compile all the footage while looking for the tone of the documentary,” Reid said. “I’m really proud of it. It took a lot of work to do it.”
During the height of the pandemic, Jenkins and Reid would get together each week to do Instagram live videos.
“We were socially distanced, and everybody was wearing masks,” Reid said. “Me and Stephan were in contact constantly, and we would see each other because we were both in San Francisco. We weren’t doing any work, and the band wasn’t touring or anything like that, but we still wanted to keep busy.”
Reid also made a five-part YouTube series called “100 Blind Days in Lockdown.”
“That was a lot of fun to put together because it covers the first hundred days of COVID,” Reid said, “and that will be nice to look back on.”
As far as this big New Year’s week Aspen show on Thursday, Reid said: “Our setlist changes by the minute. There’ll probably be a basic idea of what we’re doing and then the rest of it we’ll just be making up. You can hear something old, something new and something borrowed.”