Jimmy Eat World are one of those bands whose name may not at first be familiar but you definitely know their songs when you hear them. Timeless hits like Sweetness and The Middle are staple favourites for any diehard rock fan, their penchant for writing heavy melodic riffs with vocalist Jim Adkins’s distinctive dulcet tones spearheading the band’s thrust have seen the band gain international popularity since starting in 1993.
The Arizonian group is excited as they head out on the road in support for their new album Integrity Blues, which is being released today. Bassist Rick Burch is upbeat about the release adding “We’ve been to NZ before but only in Auckland, so we’d really like to see more of the islands, maybe get down to the South Island and play for people there.”
As we discuss the band’s latest album, Burch, who has kept the bass groove going in the band since ’95, admits his motivation for playing is “performing live on stage”. I’m also interested touching on the media circus around Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with the upcoming presidential elections. Something I’ve never heard coming from an American, at which point I get my chance to quiz him about.
“I do care about this thing that’s happening,” he admits. “I’m just shocked that this movement has gone this far. It’s really an interesting thing, all I can hope for is that when people go out and vote in November, they think long and hard about the box they tick because it’s more than just a TV show, this is real life – it’s one thing to be entertained, it’s another thing to be led.”
Integrity Blues is the band’s ninth studio album, it was produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen, known previously for collaborating with Paramore, M83 and Nine Inch Nails, it’s a brash move that has punters already speculating what new sound we will hear on the album, however Burch is less cynical and reinforces the band’s commitment to making music even when the going seems tough.
“We consciously stepped off the treadmill and took one year away from thinking about Jimmy Eat World.” He says. “We all did different things and we came back together at the end of that year off asking ourselves if we wanted to continue. It was a resounding 'Yes’. Jimmy Eat World gave us a longing for the things that we loved about it, creating the music and writing process - we had missed that. It sharpened our focus on the love we have for being in the band, so we got cracking on it and came up with tender loving tunes for what we are about to release called Integrity Blues.”
Integrity Blues has been a collaborative experience in every sense of the word, this in turn has given the album a more organic feel, while the tight-knit bond between the band members none more evident than on the new tracks.
“That was something that was a little different as well,” says Burch. “We’ve always been highly collaborative on music but not so much on the lyrics, songs come together in different ways. Every idea no matter how complete goes through kind of a band vetting process – it’s highly democratic.”
“Integrity Blues gave us a longing” he continues. “Which means we all did different things. Sometimes we get into a passionate debate whether something is really that important and when it comes down to it, we put it to a vote majority rules. As heated as those discussions may be, we all realise that the reason were all passionate, is that we all want the best for our music.”
Interesting to note, the band’s commercial breakthrough came with the successful release of several singles from the album Bleed American. Four singles from the album charted within the top twenty positions of the Hot Modern Rock Trackschart, with The Middle reaching the number one position. Jimmy Eat World's follow-up 2004 album Futures featured another Modern Rock Tracks number one song, Pain. The band's sixth album Chase This Light became the band's highest charting album, peaking at number five on the Billboard 200. The band’s longevity has never been in question, especially now with their ninth release.
“We’re focusing right now on touring and performing this new material and also were including a whole of older tunes as well we try at least to play one song from each album, but of course we’re really excited about the new material too. The motivation for us is to share this music that we’ve created to writing songs and recording them is extremely rewarding in itself but there’s an entire other side, the performance side, it’s rewarding in a different way. A tangible connection with the audience and we love it.”
In April this year, Apple (yep, those guys) debuted an ad to promote Apple Music which featured Taylor Swift lip syncing and dancing to Jimmy Eat World's The Middle. This caused huge interest in the band, helping renew interest in the group. Their song The Middle rose to #32 on the iTunes Top Songs Chart, while Pandora noted a 325% increase in Jimmy Eat World station adds in the first day after the ad premiered.
"My favourite song on the new album Integrity Blues is Pass the Baby – it’s an older idea we’ve had a number of years, maybe five or more years. Essentially, there’s three movements to the song, it starts in one place and then drifts into another and then careens into an extremely contrasting place than the earlier two movements. We’ve never known how to execute it until we started working with Justin (Meldal-Johnsen) the producer. He heard this concept and said 'We have to do this; we have to do this'. I’m thrilled with the result, it’s quite a ride.”
The album is out now and captures the essence of Jimmy Eat World without sounding outdated. The nineties rock-punk vibe has now morphed into a mature sound while still retaining that gritty rock edge of earlier albums. Songs like Get Right and Through will satisfy those liking more ‘meat’ on their plate while The End Is Beautiful looks set to become another classic great concert finisher (I can imagine those smart phones being waved about to this one) – Let’s hope it’s not too long before we see the band back down here again.
“If you had asked 18-year-old me if I’d still be doing this, I’d be like 'there’s no way, you’re high'. We set very realistic short term goals and we don’t try to predict the future too much, we just do the best we can with what we have right now and enjoy where we are. The rabbit tracks are still leading us through the snow and well see where we go.”
In November 2017, Young Fathers announced that they’d completed work on a new album. The trio – Alloysious Massaquoi, Graham ‘G’ Hastings and Kayus Bankole – marked the news by previewing a brand new song, ‘Lord’ and a subsequent accompanying video.
Groom Epoch, a luminous outfit created by former drummer of The Church, Richard Ploog, are set to release their new album, Solar Warden, through Golden Robot Records in April 2018, with Cosmic Artifice, the lead single from the eclectic group.
“Dancing and headbanging are truly individualistic expressions of losing oneself fully in appreciation of music - who better to combine these things into a singular vision than someone who’s directed Madonna and Lady Gaga videos - and also happens to have been a member of Bathory?” — Joshua Homme
After crisscrossing the Northern Hemisphere for over a year in support of their brilliant seventh studio album Ellipsis, Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro announce their return to New Zealand for one all-ages show at Spark Arena on April 24.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!