Jimmy Eat World is a band that certainly need no introduction. What is there to say about a band that has a two RIAA certified albums (Bleed American is platinum, Futures is gold, respectively), seven top 10 singles (one of which is certified gold — and no, it’s not “The Middle”), and has outlasted many of their peers from the late 90’s/early-2000’s. The band continues to pump out new music routinely, and recently had their biggest radio single in a few years with “Sure and Certain.”
Not only has their musical output been consistent, they have kept busy with their touring schedule as well. They are currently wrapping up their summer tour with Third Eye Blind and Ra Ra Riot, and Substream had the chance to catch up with Jimmy Eat World’s Jim Adkins to discuss that tour with Third Eye Blind and what the future holds for the band.
Back on January 23rd of this year, I tweeted about my dream tour: The Maine, Jimmy Eat World, and Third Eye Blind. Two days later, the tour between Jimmy Eat World and Third Eye Blind was announced — I had no knowledge ahead of time about this tour, but I still like to take credit for it coming to life. When talking about the tour with Adkins, he describes it coming to fruition at an afterparty one night, “We just ended up talking [about the tour] and just agreed that it’d be good. And then Stephan got on the phone and started calling promoters that night and here we are.”
It’s a great tour for fans of alternative-rock, one that is surprising at first glance, but then makes a whole lot of sense. Musically, they sound similar and looking through that lens, the pairing makes a lot of sense. I bring this up to Adkins, posing this idea that they came from two very different scenes, a few years apart, but wound up on this tour together. Adkins agrees and acknowledges their different upbringings as bands, while even highlighting that a lot of their fans have been with them for 20+ years. This longevity in fans is something he describes as a benefit to both Jimmy Eat World and Third Eye Blind, while also discussing that their different scenes mean less: “We definitely came from two entirely different scenes, and another thing — like, I think within those scenes, they mean less and less,” he begins, “it’s smaller and smaller as it goes on.”
In regards to the tour itself, he does admit there was some uncertainty with what to expect from their fans. “I wasn’t exactly sure what the Third Eye Blind fanbase would go over — [but] we didn’t expect it to be bad,” Adkins explains. But when we are discussing it together, he admits there has never been an overwhelmingly negative reception to their band. “It’s been really good, people are really receptive to what we’re doing, and it’s been a lot of fun.”
Earlier I mentioned that Jimmy Eat World had their biggest radio single in years with “Sure and Certain,” something that Adkins and I discussed a little bit in our conversation. The band is grateful for the self-described “unexpected” radio hit, but don’t necessarily craft things for the radio. He explains that the band is just doing what interests them and keeps challenging them, stating that “It’s fortunate that that also kind of blends with kind of more, I guess, pop sensibility type songs. It’s coincidence that what we like kind of works out with radio programming.”
Back in May of 2018, Jimmy Eat World released two singles, “Love Never” and “Half Heart.” They didn’t put much other details out at the time, essentially leaving them as just two standalone singles. When Adkins and I are talking, he mentions that they just wrapped up recording the next record, and that they hope to have it out in the fall. “I can’t really get too much into it or [expected release date] or anything just in case it isn’t out on time,” he begins, before eventually stating the new record is “Definitely more on the rock side of things of what we do.”
Many years ago, when the band was promoting their record Damage, Adkins did an interview where he described it as being an adult break-up record. He cited something along the lines of that being because he writes break-up songs vastly different than he did when he was in his 20’s. It’s a natural progression, one that is understandable while being devastating. So while there is not much Adkins was able to share regarding the new album, I did pry a bit and get some information regarding around the theme and lyrical message behind the upcoming album.
“I would say, the new material is kind of more about the blocks we put in our own way that keep us from realizing our potential. That can take on a lot of different forms, and for some reason, letting go of those is sort of a striking process,” Adkins explains regarding the message behind the upcoming album. “It doesn’t make any sense, and I don’t know what evolutionary purpose it serves, but we’re all really good at holding onto things. It’s like the nuances of the situation and what has happened and how to overcome that.”