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XEB at the Magic Bag, 5 Things To Know
It’s all about the semi-charmed legacy for XEB.
The group was assembled specifically to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Third Eye Blind’s six-times platinum debut album. Guitarist Kevin Cadogan co-founded the group with frontman Stephan Jenkins but left in 2000. Arion Salazar played bass from 1994-2006, while singer-guitarist Tony Fredianelli replaced Cadogan and logged 10 years in the group himself.
Jenkins continues to lead the current edition of Third Eye Blind, but XEB is representing, too, playing the “Third Eye Blind” album in its entirety and treating fans to hits such as “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Jumper” and “How’s It Going To Be”...
• XEB came about after chance meeting between Cadogan and Salazar a few years ago that led to the idea of the 20th anniversary tour. “We just sort of fell out of contact,” Salazar, 46, says by phone from Columbus, Ohio. “Then he called me and said, ‘Want to try doing this again? It’s the 20 year anniversary of the record.’ It’s a good excuse to get together and play that first record, which is pretty important to both of us. I mean, Kevin, he’s a big part of why it exists. Somebody reached out to us and said, ‘I think I could get you some shows on the East Coast and Midwest,’ so it happened, and the shows have been really good.”
• Salazar notes that each of the XEB members have “different reasons why they’re not in Third Eye Blind anymore,” some of them acrimonious. But he says that hasn’t dampened their enthusiasm for playing the music. “It’s been good,” the bassist says. “It’s important for us to be able to own this and go out and feel good about playing it,” he explains, “especially for Kevin and I, since we’re playing on that record. Some people are like, ‘Why are they doing that?’ The reason we’re doing it is because it’s OUR music. You can’t say, ‘You don’t have a right to do that’ or ‘Why are you doing that?’ It really was a band effort; Stephan was a huge, important part of it, obviously, and wrote some great songs. But Kevin wrote a lot of it, and I think his songs are the reason the album has more gravitas and is a little deeper than other records of the time. It’s something we’re really proud of.”
• Salazar says the success of the “Third Eye Blind” album took all of the band members by surprise back then. “Of course it was a surprise, but at the same time I’ve got to say I had a strong belief in that record and the band,” he recalls. “WE were a pretty tight unit at first, and I knew there was something special happening. We were different guys coming from different directions, but we really came up with something special and at the time I felt like it could get over if we got the breaks. And we did.”
• The bassist adds that it “doesn’t seem like that long ago” that the album first came out. “Time flies for sure,” he says. “I feel blessed. I know that the 90s are a trendy sort of thing in general now; It seems like college kid sand younger people are really into it now, and (‘Third Eye Blind’) is huge with them, even though they were really young when it came out. It makes me happy to think that record has had some kind of staying power. I like to think it’s because it’s actually a good record and maybe it will stand the test of time forever.”
• The 20th anniversary tour may not be the last we hear of XEB, either. “There’s already some new music written,” Salazar says. “We have some stuff sort of sitting around. I’d definitely give it a shot. Kevin’s super-prolific. I don’t know what form it’ll take or what we’d call it, if it should have a better name. But I’d like to make music with Kevin and Tony if we wanted to, so we’ll see what happens.”
If You Go:
• XEB and Brad Ray
• Wednesday, May 24. Doors open at 8 p.m.
• The Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.
• Tickets are $20.
• Call 248-544-1991 or visit themagicbag.com.
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