Jimmy Eat World On Returning To Australia With My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance (aka MCR/My Chem) has announced Arizona’s finest Jimmy Eat World as support for their 2023 Australian arena tour. Celebrating nearly three decades and ten albums, lead vocalist and lead guitarist Jim Adkins, rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Tom Linton, bassist Rick Burch, and drummer Zach Lind, will return to Australian shores for the first time in six years. The Mesa, Arizona quartet’s commercial breakthrough came with the release of Bleed American, with single The Middle hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart and peaking at No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, where it spent 33 weeks total on the chart. Futures, their follow-up album to Bleed American, featured single Pain, which also hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Alternative Airplay chart, made Billboard’s Hot 100 (No. 93), and is RIAA-certified Gold. In October 2019, the band released their tenth album, the critically acclaimed, Surviving. June 2022 saw Jimmy Eat World return with their first independent release, single Something Loud. Zach Lind talks to Hi Fi Way about the Australian tour.
It really has been a long time in between drinks with your last Australian tour six years ago. Are you excited about coming back?
Oh yeah, for sure. We love coming there and it’s been way too long. We’re very much looking forward to being there.
Tours don’t get any bigger than My Chemical Romance. Does that friendship with those guys go back quite away?
Yeah, we’ve played some shows with them here and there before and over the years we’ve crossed paths with them. When Gerard was doing a solo project, we crossed paths with him on some festivals. So yeah, we have a little bit of a connection with them and I’ve always respected them very much for the kind of band they’ve been. It’s really a great opportunity for us to play with them and to come down to Australia and see our Australian fans.
Does touring internationally feel like it’s almost back to the way it was pre-Covid?
I think so. I think we’re getting pretty much to that point where it kind of feels like pre-Covid, obviously people will get sick and some people might not be available, but for the most part we try to be cautious and our priority is always to make sure that the show happens. If it’s not there, it’s very close to being there.
Are there any hints to the Australian tour set list?
I think it’ll be a good selection of songs from throughout the catalogue. I think when we’re opening up or playing for someone else we try to stick to playing as many songs that people may know or recognise. I think that helps out when you’re trying to win people over. It’ll be something along those lines.
When you started touring again what was the energy like in those initial shows?
I think the silver lining of not being able to play for a long time is when you get back to it, you really appreciate it. I think you don’t take it for granted that shows happen and tours happen and gathering a bunch of people in the same space is possible. I think all of those thing’s kind of take on a heightened sense of meaning and we have a greater sense of appreciation for it. It’s not always just a given that you can go do this kind of thing. We definitely have a newfound appreciation for the ability to travel and to play music for fans. That’s such a huge part of who we are as a band, so to be able to get back to it has been awesome.
Was it hard during the creative years to be creative come up with new songs. I read some other interviews where Jim was talking about being creatively exhausted and just finding it hard to write songs when he is not actually out on tour or just being or being around other things.
I think for us, the hard part for us is we had just finished making an album. For us, in the history of our band, we pretty much put out an album every three years and we fell into this rhythm that wasn’t really planned, but the way things worked was that we would write it, we’d go on tour and promote an album that we just released, and then we would get off the road and take a break then start working on the next album. We rarely did a lot of writing when we were in the touring mode. With Covid, we didn’t have any possibility of playing shows, so you can fill your time recording, but we just got done recording, so our tank was empty at that point. We had to figure out a way to do something cool and be creative, we wanted to do something for fans and release stuff, we did a cover and we did some live acoustic performances. In the end making new music took a while for us to get to that mode.
While the path forward be more like what you did with the non-album singles which might lead to an album?
It’s something that we’re trying, it’s been nice to write and release it and not have the pressure of having to do all these other songs as well. I think it’s been a really nice time for us to kind of, to give ourselves a little space to not have to write so many songs at once. It’s been a good way of getting us in that mode of writing and it’s just been different this time because we’ve been doing it in the midst of doing a lot of touring, so that’s kind of a first for us. We usually don’t work hard on writing and releasing new music while we’re in a touring mode. That’s been new and it’s been really challenging. It’s been fun, but it’s also a lot of work balancing those two modes that we usually over the years have kept separated.
Has this approach stirred the pot and generated a lot more ideas for songs?
Yeah, I think that’s kind of it. It’s like taking small steps just to get back going, getting in that head space of being creative and establishing some momentum. We definitely want to release more albums and that’s definitely something we plan to do. It’s just a matter of when that time is right.
Surviving is a great album, and I can’t wait to hear what is next.
Thanks. I appreciate that, man. It’s been cool for us because we feel like we’re learning every time we make an album. We’re learning something new and you’re always able to apply the thing you learn to the next thing. For us, I feel like we’re creatively engaged and in a good space that it should be feeling like there’s some momentum. That’s what we’re striving for, regardless of whether that’s what the audience hears or not.
With the two recent singles is that glimpse in to where Jimmy Eat World might be heading sonically?
I mean the two songs are so different, so it’s a pretty big window. I wouldn’t read too much into that. I think those are what was in the well at the time. Whatever the future stuff sounds like, it’s hard to know.
Being independent and having full control over what you are doing is that even more exciting for the band?
It makes sense for what we’re doing now for the singles, just like releasing them on their own. We felt like we didn’t need to make it more complicated than it is. It’s not like we’re opposed to working with partners or if we’re working with someone else, but it just felt right for this moment in time. We’re open to whatever it just depending on how, what our needs are at the time, honestly.
Are there any other plans in the pipeline for Jimmy Eat World this year?
We’ll be doing more touring. We’re hoping, hoping to be busy writing new music. There will be more touring in the US and maybe somethings around our thirtieth anniversary as a band at some point in the year. We’re figuring out what that’s going to be and how that’s going to look right now.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch Jimmy Eat World on tour with My Chemical Romance on the following dates, tickets from Live Nation…