Jimmy Eat World talks packing, championship belts and touring
July 3, 2019
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Jim Adkins is tired of packing. If there’s one reason to go on tour, it’s to stop filling suitcases.
“I’m definitely looking forward to the tour,” said Adkins, the namesake behind Jimmy Eat World, about the “Summer Gods Tour.” “I’m—at this point—really looking forward to the tour and when the getting ready for the tour is over.”
Jimmy Eat World kicked off its tour with Third Eye Blind in June at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and the jaunt comes to Ak-Chin Pavilion on Wednesday, July 31. Adkins has one rule for hometown shows.
“I turn off my phone three days before,” he said with a laugh. “It’s like hosting your own Christmas party or something. It’s insane. It’s a lot of work and when it’s over, you can’t wait to do it again.”
Jimmy Eat World’s last headlining gig was a surprise show on Valentine’s Day at the Rebel Lounge in Phoenix celebrating its 25th anniversary.
The 300 fans who were able to squeeze into Rebel Lounge—and the line of music lovers who couldn’t get in—only proves Jimmy Eat World’s longevity. Adkins thinks the band did something right with hits like “The Middle” and “Sweetness.”
“We’ve made realistic goals for ourselves and we keep our focus on what really matters, which is being proud of our own work,” Adkins said.
“You can be smart about opportunities that come to you. Nobody really knows what the magic formula is for success. If you’re honest about what you like to do and stick to that, that would be enough. It doesn’t really matter what happens after that.”
Jimmy Eat World formed in February 1994 in Mesa with vocalist/guitarist Jim Adkins and drummer Zach Lind, who met while attending Mountain View High School, guitarist/vocalist Tom Linton and bassist Mitch Porter.
Jimmy Eat World signed to Capitol Records in mid-1995, when Linton and Adkins were 19 years old. Its major label release, “Static Prevails,” hit stores in 1996. The album “Clarity” soon followed and marked Adkins’ new role as singer/songwriter, which Linton previously handled. The single, “Lucky Denver Mint,” landed in the Drew Barrymore comedy, “Never Been Kissed.”
It wasn’t until its July 2001 album, “Jimmy Eat World” (named “Bleed American” before September 11) that it found its hit with “The Middle.” The singles “Sweetness” and “A Praise Chorus” followed.
Fast forward to 2016 when it sent to stores its latest album “Integrity Blues,” produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Nine Inch Nails, Paramore). It spawned the singles “Get Right” and “Sure and Certain,” catapulting the album to the Top 20.
Music fans, Adkins said, connect with Jimmy Eat World’s music and lyrics. The band doesn’t write throwaway pop tunes that are gone by the end of the summer.
During its tour with Third Eye Blind, Jimmy Eat World is planning to squeak in a few new songs from an album slated for release this fall. Adkins wouldn’t slip any details about the collection, but, he said, he will soon.
“The new album will lead to touring around the world, and many, many award ceremonies, many galas, many championship belts and adoring fans,” said Adkins, who spends time in Arizona hiking and cheering on his sons at their baseball games.
“As a musician, I’m excited about the thing I just did. I’m really excited about new stuff. We’re just grateful for our success. We don’t take any of it for granted. We (expletive) won.”