Jimmy Eat World
"Even if you're playing a cover song, you can't escape sounding like you."
Jimmy Eat World: Indie and In-Demand
The alternative genre is one of the more contentious categories in music. Critics rarely agree on what would constitute an 'alternative' track, and some go as far as to say that it's a style that died out in the 90's. Jimmy Eat World, therefore, has performed quite a feat by maintaining its alternative rock label for over a decade and a half. And from the looks of it, they don't plan to give up their seat in the world of alternative rock any time soon.
Mesa, Arizona was the birthplace of this musical act. It was there that, in 1993, childhood friends Jim Adkins and Zach Lind tried out a band with Tom Linton and Mitch Porter. With Adkins and Linton on guitar (and the latter with vocals), Porter on bass and Lind on drums, the band was able to record a few singles. In 1994, they released a full-length self-titled debut album under Wooden Blue Records, an Arizona-based label.
Jimmy Eat World: Starting from Zero
Bigger labels began taking notice and, in 1995, Capitol Records added the band to its roster. Porter, however, left not long after, and was replaced by Rick Burch, a childhood friend of Linton's. Mark Trombino from Drive Like Jehru soon signed on to produce their major label debut Static Prevails, which came out later that year.
Despite their signing with Capitol, a mainstream label, the band continued churning out singles with unsigned bands on smaller labels. This helped maintain their fan base in the indie community, which usually rejects music acts that sign on to big commercial labels.
With the release of Clarity in 1999, Jimmy Eat World was being re-labeled as an 'emo' band, due largely to the harder sound of the sophomore album. Despite the success of Clarity, all was not well with the band's label, and they left Capitol that year. Without commercial support, the band had to fund and promote itself through its first tour of Europe, where they were then beginning to build a fan base.
Jimmy Eat World: Changing Gears
For Bleed American, their third album, the band funded all the recording and editing costs with the help of Trombino, who returned to produce. When the time came to shop for a new label, several big brands expressed interest, but the band went to DreamWorks in the end. Bleed American was finally released in 2001 and would become the band's biggest success. The Middle, the second single, made #5 on the Billboard charts, and the album went on to sell more than a million copies in the United States.
Their fourth album, Futures, came out in 2004 – their first major label release without the assistance of Trombino. After the gold-certified Futures came 1997's Chase This Light, which the band chose to produce by itself, with only co-production assistance. After a tour to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Clarity in 2009, the band intends to release a seventh studio album sometime in 2010.
Did you know that...
- ...the band's name came from a drawing? Jim and Ed, Linton's younger brothers, were having a fight, and Ed drew a picture of his brother pushing the Earth into his mouth. The caption famously reads "Jimmy eat world".
- ...letting them go was a big regret for Capitol Records? When the band looked for a new label to release Bleed American, Capitol was among the bidders.
- ...Trombino did more than just produce? While the band was funding itself and recording Bleed American, Trombino agreed to wait until the release for his fee.