Jimmy Eat World

By paul

SAMI: For the people that haven’t already heard it, what can we all expect from the new album ‘Futures’?

TOM: I think it’s probably the best record that we’ve done. We feel that way and we’re really happy with the way the songs turned out, so I hope you all like it.

SAMI: Actually I heard somewhere that you were embarrassed with Clarity. Is there any truth in this?

TOM: No, not at all. I think the very first record we did, not Static Prevail but one we did before. That we are kind of embarrassed about. It’s like a super fast pop punk record!

SAMI: So you used to be a Pop Punk band?

TOM: Yeah, kind of I guess, yeah.

SAMI: How do you feel about that fact that Futures has been leaked onto the internet for a while now?

TOM: It’s something that we can’t stop. I think it’s just gonna get out no matter what you do..

SAMI: So I take it you don’t have a similar view to say Metallica about the whole illegal download thing?

TOM: It doesn’t really bother me that much. Just, erm, be careful. You can get in trouble for it.

SAMI: The new single from this album is Pain. It has a very strange video to accompany the single, could you please explain the concept of the video?

TOM: It pretty much shows a guy that cant’ really feel physical pain because of his girlfriend….. and the video kind of like shows him try to like; go through some glass, in a swimming pool… It kind of looks weird! Like, some kid in Germany came up to me trying to figure out what the concept was but he just couldn’t figure it out.

SAMI: Who came up with concept for the video? Was it one of you guys or was it the director?

TOM: The director, Paul Fedor. He did the video for middle and we like his stuff. So, we did read some different treatments that other video directors had, but we just liked what he had.

SAMI: Was it a fun video to shoot? Any comedy stories?

TOM: Yeah we had a lot of fun! We filmed it in North Bridge, California and we just all had a good time especially the performance part which was really cool! Seeing this garage. There was just grass all over this garage, it was just green…. Erm yeah it was fun.

SAMI: I’ve heard rumours that the song Jen isn’t going to make the final cut of ‘Futures’. Is this true?

TOM: Yeah I think we’ll probably save it for a B side or something.

SAMI: How come? Is it because you didin’t think the song was good enough for the album?

TOM: I think we just had a whole lot of songs to choose from and erm, I think we just thought that the other songs were just a little bit better.

SAMI: How long did the album take to record?

TOM: About 5 months

SAMI: Was it all written before you went into the studio or did you write a lot of it actually in the studio whilst recording?

TOM: It was all pretty much written before we went to the studio. We all went out to Arizona to meet Gil Norton the producer and we did pre production for about a month, making sure that before we went into the studio (‘because it’s really expensive’) that we had everything down.

SAMI: What kind of input do you (tom) have in the song writing process?

TOM: Jim comes up with pretty much the basic part of the song.. (sudden interruption by a waiter asking if we would like any drinks? I refrain but Tom orders a sparkling mineral water… he must mean business!) Yeah, Jim comes up with the basic part of the song and we kind of figure out the arrangement and I’ll come up with the different guitar parts and it pretty much goes on from there.

SAMI: What were the reasons for your decision to axe Mark Trombino from production duties for this album?

TOM: I think as a band, we just felt it was time for us to try something different. Basically what it came down to: We’re still friends with him and he did a really good job for us in the past and he’s a great producer and a great guy. However, we just wanted to try something different.

SAMI: Futures is arguably a less commercial sounding record to Bleed American. Was this intentional?

TOM: Yeah I think it was just a progression that the band had. We don’t’ really think about…you know, this song, lets write this song for the radio or something like that…. Because who knows what people are going to like? And it’s hard for us to figure out that kind of stuff.

SAMI: So was Bleed American not intentionally written as a commercial album?

JIM: You know, it’s kind of funny. It is the most commercial thing we have done, but it was made in such the non commercial… like the furthest from being commercial! I mean, like,(we had) no record label, no manager, I think we had a lawyer but we didn’t’ have….[Thinks] I mean you know, just totally on our own!
It is kind of funny that you have got to to get rid of all those elements to get commercial success! Like anything you would traditionally think you would need to succeed commercially, we got rid of! And THEN it succeeded commercially. But, I think that the way Bleed American turned out was just, I mean in part because of the limited means we had recording. You know, we just went bang, bang, bang! We just banged stuff out ‘cos the clock was ticking, the meter was running and we were going to run out of money at any second.

SAMI: It certainly didn’t sound or come across rushed on record.

JIM: Well yeah, it was important for us not to cut corners! Well, we cut some corners, but they were like the non essential ones. We did give us enough time to make sure things were sounding good! But there was always the looming deadline of the bank account coming to zero…. But I think it was also a creative decision too! I think going from Clarity to Bleed American we wanted to do something different and new and that meant really trying to have things concise.

SAMI: I certainly thought Bleed American was a lot more ‘anthemic’ than your earlier works.

JIM: Yeah and that was kind of a by product of that. I mean when you mean business from when you see the track open form all zeros to ‘zero-one’ then you already know that the band means business. It just comes off being anthemic and maybe more hooky, more kind of hook type elements.

SAMI: Out of a matter of interest, were you influenced by 80’s music at all? I personally can here a lot of that in the melodies that were used in Bleed American.

TOM: Yeah I think so, I think we grew up on like Duran Duran and The Cure and a lot of the bands, like, from that time. I think it’s definitely influenced us a lot.

JIM: I don’t think so.. I mean, I don’t’ own any Simple Minds records, or Softcell or anything else that was round then….. The Thompson Twins, or Duran Duran, or Culture Club, or Escape Club, Timex Social Club or all those other clubs, but…….. WOAH!!!! Timex Social Club!?! Where did that one come from!?!? [Laughs to himself] .. they did ‘Lean On Me’ I think…. Anyway, it’s funny what you remember, I mean I can probably relay every lyric from And Justice For All, but I couldn’t tell you what I did last week!
What were we talking about? Oh yeah, 80’s stuff….. I think, I grew up on it, I can’t say I’m not influenced by it, but I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it or anything.

SAMI: Was the track ‘Kill’ written about any particular event in recent years?


SAMI: Erm, would you like to elaborate on that?

JIM: I dunno. All the songs are kind of..hmmm.. the best way to sum up any of our songs is, it’s not like a song… it’s not like a song is meant to be just one picture. It’s more like each song is kind of a photo album….. [SILENCE]

SAMI: OK…….. do you think you are emotionally sensitive in your day to day life, or does lyric writing bring out that side in you?

JIM: I just can’t answer that! It’s far too personal a question…

SAMI: Islington was rather a small venue to see you guys play last night considering that you sold out Brixton not so many years ago. Did you intentionally choose to play smaller venues this time round? Which do you prefer?

TOM: I think we wanted to do that. Like all the shows we did in the states so far have been pretty small because we’re still working out the new stuff!!! [chortles] But erm, it’s always fun to go back and play smaller clubs…. It’s just nice having the crowd up close, close to the stage. But it’s also fun playing the big festivals because you get to play to a lot of new people.

SAMI: What do you reckon has been the worst gig you have ever played?

TOM: We played in Miami and erm… the opening band, the very first band on was from a Radio Show and a bunch of the radio DJs had a song called ‘Throw Beer’. I think we played right after them and so we had a whole load of beer thrown at us. It was like coming out of us and we were getting hit with stuff. It was kind of funny.

SAMI: Who do you think will win the US presidential elections? This is leading somewhere by the way….

TOM: Hopefully, Kerry…

SAMI: The reason I ask is because, a lot of US bands seem to be using the anti bush viewpoint as a ‘cheap pop’ with UK crowds. Do you think that this is quickly becoming the new ‘I broke up with my girlfriend’ fad that happened a few years ago and is maybe beginning to make the impact of the subject meaningless?

TOM: I think a lot of bands, like…. It’s almost something that erm.. it’s just important right now and I think it’s on a lot of people’s minds and I don’t’ think there’s anyway we’re gonna get away from it.

SAMI: Was it your decision to change the album title of Bleed American at the time or was it solely the labels?

TOM: Yeah it was actually both. I think we came up with the idea. Just because it was such a weird time after 9/11 had happened. We watched that on TV in Cleveland in the morning. I don’t know… it scared us and it’s like a really sensitive time. It’s really astonishing, it’s pretty scary the racism that has happened after that as well.. it’s not good.

SAMI: With Bleed American, you were all suddenly thrown into the mainstream… how do you think that has affected you as a person? I mean after that ill informed article from NME about the ‘Birth of Emo’….

TOM: Yeah, that article was funny! Erm, I think the biggest thing is we always in the past used to go out on tour and come back and get jobs in a temp agency. Now we don’t have to do that, which is a good thing because we can just concentrate on music.

SAMI: What would you say was your greatest accomplishment as a band?

TOM: I think the biggest thing is like coming over to Europe and playing over here. We also have a lot of fun over here and it’s great to be able to come back here and play. So, I think just coming over here and going to Australia. It’s just a lot of fun.

SAMI: Have you come across any UK bands that you have liked whilst over here?

TOM: Well we’re going out with Razorlight! (ooh er!!) We’re gonna take them on tour for a couple of weeks in the States. It’s a cool record.

SAMI: Will we ever see a Tom Linton Solo album?

TOM: I dunno. Maybe one of these days… we’re pretty busy right now with this though.

SAMI: If you could work with anyone living or dead, who would it be?

TOM: Probably the Sugarbabes

JIM: That’s a tough question. Too hard to factor in both living and deceased, so I’ll just pick living. Maybe Robert Pollard.

SAMI: 3 things you’d like to do before you die but probably won’t?

TOM: Play in China or Japan….

JIM: hmm.. I dunno, run a Marathon, bowl a perfect game, big wave surfing.

SAMI: OK. Finally; If, as a band, you could have a Celebrity Death Match, who would you want your opponents to be?

TOM: hmmm… probably Zach the drummer from our band. [laughs] No not really… I don’t know. There’s not really anyone..

SAMI: What nobody that rubs you up the wrong way? Nobody you’d choose as a Celebrity death match opponent?

TOM: What like a fight?

SAMI: Well obviously not a real one, but yeah..

TOM: Maybe the Sugarbabes! [laughs] ALL of them!!!!

JIM: The Spice Girls!!! It has to be a mud wrestling match too! Or maybe a baby oil wrestling match!

SAMI: What, when Geri was a bit more plump (larger breasted) than she is now?

JIM: Yeah!! Aah man! Yeah! She was so much hotter when she was, like, the voluptuous girl….

SAMI: Rather than the Anorexic?

JIM: Yeah, yeah.. I dunno why girls do that! I’m a fan of the curves!

SAMI: As every man should be!

JIM: You should just scrap the whole interview and we should just talk about tits and ass!

SAMI: Damn fine idea! Nothing wrong with that!!!


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]