Arizona-based quartet Jimmy Eat World have been one of alternative and punks most favourable groups since 1993. Having been to perform countless performances across Australia since 2003, the band will be returning to the country performing throughout the East Coast, which includes a special guest appearance at the Australian Open. Chatting with guitarist and co-founder Tom Linton about their next round of shows in Australia, tennis and their latest record Integrity Blues.
“We’ve always been excited to play Australia” he says. “It’s one of our favourite places in the world. We’re looking forward to getting out of the winter over here, because a lot of the places we’re going to beforehand are gonna be freezing. I heard from one of our tour managers that he’s been to the Australian Open and quite a few bands have played there and it’s really cool. So, we’re excited to play in front of a bunch of new people who have never heard of us or seen us before. I took tennis lessons with my brother when I was a kid and I haven’t played that much, but it’s really hard. I’d like to get back into it more though. It’s just the serving over the net that’s really hard” he laughs.
Late October saw the release of Jimmy Eat World’s ninth full-length studio album Integrity Blues, which they spent their break from touring on. Linton states that the gap between the shows and a breather from the global performances can make one feel the urge to get back on the road.
“We had like a year and a half off before the record came out, before playing shows. So, when you’re gone for that long, you take that long of a break you start to really miss it. Even though we’ve been on tour for five months, we’re still having as much fun now as we are on the road. And now, we’re all getting along and just having a good time, so now, we’re really excited to get back into playing shows.”
Jimmy Eat World were known to have been the now-defunct Soundwave Festival’s go-to band whenever a sub-headliner pulled out. Having done the 2010 and ’14 festivals, including Big Day Out in ’03, Jimmy Eat World loved themselves a festival appearance.
“I heard about that. That, and the Big Day Out were really cool festivals. Now that Soundwave is over, it’s crazy. But, both headline shows and festivals are different.” Linton also states that he and the band have the festival and headline shows on an equal level of love. “At our own headlining shows, we’re able to play a lot longer in the set with a good mix of older songs and newer ones for our fans. When we’re playing at festivals, we’re playing in front of a lot more people and we’re playing for people who haven’t heard us. So, that’s really cool. And we can even win people over at those, and they’ll eventually come to our headline shows. So, they’re both fun for different reasons, but I don’t have a favourite that I’d rather play, because headline shows and festivals are both different.”
With the band’s latest record Integrity Blues, they feel that they’ve gained a bigger reception from their fans and the critics since their earlier work. Linton mentions that there have been a number off the album that have been getting a fair amount of love from the live audience.
“We’ve been playing five or six songs from the new record live and so far, the reaction has been really good. The fans have been responding to this more than the last couple of albums, so this one seems to be doing great for us and everyone else. It’s hard to compare this one to the others, but it is a lot different. And a lot of the fans have been saying that it’s a little closer to our record Futures.”
With the making of Integrity Blues, Jimmy Eat World had a number of songs that were as old as decade. So, with a lot of songs all having a chance of being on the LP, the band had the help of producer Justin Meldal-Johnson picking out the songs he felt were the best that Jimmy Eat World made and work their way from there.
“It was a lot different than the other records we’ve done in the past. We had two songs that were completely finished, but we had forty or fifty demo songs that would go way back to like 2006. Some of them also really small parts like a verse or a chorus. We would get all the songs and send them together to the producer Justin, and we just had him pick which ones were the most exciting and what would be the best ones to work on. So, we picked fourteen of the songs and we kind of just went from there. Some of them were really old too, like I said. And they were just basic ideas in the studio.”