Third Eye Blind To Record Concept EP

Fall project will include original version of song censored on Blue.

Pop-rock band Third Eye Blind have begun work on a new EP featuring the original version of "Slow Motion," the song whose lyrics about a shooting were edited out of their sophomore album Blue last year.

The disc will be the band's first release on their independent label. "[The EP is] gonna be this 50-minute piece that we're gonna perform like a little symphony, and the idea is to make something really beautiful," singer/songwriter Stephan Jenkins said from a tour stop in Canada.

The EP also will feature songs from Third Eye Blind's live repertoire that have never been recorded, manager Eric Godtland said. The work likely will include tunes from the group's early days with original guitarist Tony Fredianelli, who rejoined the band in January, replacing fired guitarist Kevin Cadogan.

"What they're thinking of doing is stringing together songs," Godtland said, likening the EP to British rock veterans the Who's 1973 concept album Quadrophenia. "It's more of a cohesive vision that flows."

The lyrics to "Slow Motion" (RealAudio excerpt), about a youth who shoots a teacher's son, were deemed too controversial after the 1999 shooting massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in which 15 people died. The band altered the song for Blue, at the request of their record company, Elektra.

Jenkins has said that the song was intended as anti-violence social commentary. The lyrics are: "Miss Jones taught me English/ but I think I just shot her son/ 'cause he owes me money/ with a bullet in the chest he cannot run./ Now he's bleeding in a vacant lot/ the one in the summer where we used to smoke pot/ I guess I didn't mean it, but man, you shoulda seen it/ his flesh explode/ slow motion, see me let go/ Hollywood glamorized my wrath/ I'm a young urban psychopath/ I incite murder for your entertainment/ 'Cause I needed the money, what's your excuse?/ The joke's on you."

Jenkins said the band will begin recording the EP, tentatively titled Black, in the fall.

"It's independent, so we can do anything we want with this," Godtland said. "In the modern era, you cannot deliver a song that is too long [to a major record label]."

The group will hit the road in the U.S. this summer on their Red Summer Sun tour of amphitheaters and other outdoor venues. The band has been playing impromptu club gigs after their regular shows, borrowing equipment to open for local bands.