It’s garbage music, clearly, but “Semi-Charmed Life” is a fine recording. It’s an Eric Valentine recording. He’s a guy you really want to be making your ’90s pop music. He’s actually a really brilliant engineer, so I have a lot of respect for the song.
But the reason “Semi-Charmed Life” is a hate song for me is that in 2002, Third Eye Blind’s management contacted me about recording in my studio, Tiny Telephone, for six weeks. So this is where the direct, actual real-life experience with Third Eye Blind comes in. So at that time, 2002, I was way more naïve. It sounded like a great idea: booking six weeks straight of studio time to a band that was famous. They were on Elektra. So I talked with the management. I talked to another manager. I talked to their producer on the phone. Evidently, you have to talk to a lot of people before they even meet you, but I talked to their producer, Jason Carmer, on the phone, and he was an incredible asshole to me. He was probably the rudest person I’ve ever talked to in 15 years regarding booking the studio. So I should have known, right? I should have had a heads-up at that point. This guy was just yelling at me, and I think back now and wonder how many people he has yelled at since he yelled at me. But I was really naïve, and I thought maybe this would be good for the studio. So I agreed to meet with the band and Jason Carmer and then one of the managers at the studio.
So I went to the studio, and the band showed up, the manager showed up, and Carmer showed up. And Stephan Jenkins was not there. So we were talking. Everyone was super mellow, actually. They were very respectful. They were asking normal questions. “If we do take the studio, where can we plug in a fax machine?” Just normal stuff. So we waited, like, 15, 20, 30 minutes. We heard a motorcycle pull up, and I was, like, “Okay, that’s got to be this dude who’s clearly late and clearly doesn’t care but whatever.” I wanted to ink the deal. So Stephan Jenkins walks in wearing motorcycle leather, and he’s holding his helmet. He walks in, and I’m sitting there. We’re all in the live room. And he doesn’t say a word of, like, a normal greeting. It’s not normal. You would normally say, “Hey, how is everything going?”