Third Eye Blind have a pretty good rig...


Aug 10, 2020
Atlanta, GA
One of the most well known alternative rock bands of the nineties, Third Eye Blind struck gold with the song "Semi Charmed Life", a track about the dangers of snorting crystal meth, and a song that wound up fusing power chord-filled hooks. It was played all over the radio in 1997, and in the 25 years since that song came out, Third Eye Blind still tour and record. Their most recent album was released in 2021, and while it didn't quite trouble the charts, it showcased Stephen Jenkins decent singing, songwriting ability and rhythm guitar riffs.

The group was formed in 1992 by Stephen Jenkins and guitarist/backing singer Kevin Cadogan. Somewhere along the line came bassist Arion Salazar and drummer Brad Hargreaves. Hargreaves and Jenkins are the only original members left in the group. Their debut album, Third Eye Blind, was released in 1997 and still stands as one of the most well known rock albums of that era. It took a year to catch on, but MTV started playing the lead single Semi Charmed Life, proving that Third Eye Blind would be a rock radio favorite along the way. Their other big hits included How's It Going To Be and Jumper, the last of which became their last top 40 hit. Following the sacking of guitarist Kevin Cadogan in 2000, they more or less faded into obscurity after their third album didn't quite have the commercial success of their first two albums.

One interesting aspect of Third Eye Blind's debut was that Stephen Jenkins and Kevin Cadogan took a lot of time to find out what amps and effects should be used for their songs. Often they would use up to 20 or 30 amps at a time. About 80% of the first Third Eye Blind album was recorded using a 1969 Marshall Plexi and a Marshall JCM800 amp. Also on hand were a 4x10 Fender Hot Rod DeVille amp, two Vox AC30s, and a little 1x12 amp called a Magnatone. The guitarists often ran the amps in numerous configurations, to get the biggest sounds and widest aural spread. Rounding out the amp picture was a 59 Fender Bassman, a 30 watt Matchless head (used through a Boogie 4x12 for the song Semi Charmed Life), and a Peavey 5150. Cabs used were 4x12 Marshalls with 25 watt Celestion speakers, while for live work, Cadogan and Jenkins used Mesa/Boogie Heartbreaker amps with 4x12 cabs, and a Heartbreaker 2x10 combo.
For guitars, Cadogan goes for not so highbrow guitars like old Gibson RD models, a Gretsch Country Gentleman, and Music Man Sabres, which appear all over their first 2 albums. Other guitars they used were not Telecasters or Strats, interestingly: they were guitars such as an Epiphone Casino, a Hamer 12 string, and a 1959 Gibson J200. Live, however, Cadogan used PRS McCarty and Hamer Duo Tones electrics. Mr Jenkins also goes in for McCartys, as well as numerous Gibsons, such as Les Pauls, Les Paul Juniors and various ES series semi hollow body electric guitars.
Pedal wise, Jenkins is hot on the Morley switchless wah, though he also used a Dunlop Cry Baby pedal on the album, which I am guessing he either owned or rented or borrowed. Other effects include a Dunlop Rotovibe, Dunlop picks, Boss RV-3 reverb, and Heavy Metal pedal, while his rack included a Boss GX 700 multi effects pedal.

Third Eye Blind were a great rock band, and if you were like me and grew up in the 2000s, you pretty much heard their music. Here's a little sampling of it in case you forgot.

I hope you like it


Senior Stratmaster
Jun 5, 2021
Palm Coast, FL
"How's It Going Be" video reminds me of growing up & Dad's car back in the 1970's. That's the one I learned to parallel park with, also took my driving test in for the DL. 1965 Lincoln Continental with the Mafia suicide doors.