"Jimmy Eat World talks about new album 'Invented' as well as 'Yo Gabba Gabba.'" - Interview

Jimmy Eat World, that rock band from Arizona, is back with a new album, “Invented,” that debuted at number 11 on the billboard charts. Recently I got a chance to check out their show at The Riviera theater in Chicago as well as sit down with drummer Zach Lind, and guitarist and sometimes singer Tom Linton to talk about the new album, working with producer Mark Trombino again as well as their appearance on the best kids show on TV “Yo Gabba Gabba.”

Zoiks! (Q) - Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Zach Lind (ZL) - Our pleasure.

Q - How would you describe your new album “Invented?”

ZL - From “Bleed America” to “Futures” to “Chase This Light” I think the sound has been a little bit different but we have real concise song structures. I feel like on this record we sort of wandered a little bit more. It’s a little bit more…

Tom Linton (TL) - Experimental?

ZL - Yeah experimental. We wanted to have a little bit more fun drawing outside the lines. It was a lot of fun. At least for me, I don’t think it sounds drastically different from our other stuff, it’s just a little bit more experimental. We tried a few new things to keep things interesting.

Q - Is there a level of anxiety about the success of the album, during writing or does it come later, or does it come at all?

TL - I don’t think we think about it too much. We just go in there and just try to write and record the best songs we can. We don’t think about that, we just let the label mess with that.

Q - What is your song writing process? Do you have a designated song writer? Do you write as a band?

ZL - Jim (Adkins) gets all of the ideas going. Sometimes Jim will come up with an idea and the end product will be sort of like a really similar reworking of what he did and sometimes it’s really different, so it just kind of depends. He really does get the ball rolling on everything and we come in and add a part here, make something longer. Tom comes up with a lot of cool parts that help the song out a lot. There are a lot of different little things here and there, but Jim definitely gets everything kicked off?

Q - How many songs off of “Invented” are making your set?

TL - Five?

ZL - That we’ll play tonight…probably five or six right?

TL - I think we’re doing six.

ZL - “Action Needs an Audience,” “My Best Theory,” “Coffee and Cigarettes,” “Movielike,” and “Evidence.” So we do five songs. It’s hard because we’ve been rehearsing a lot for this tour and trying to get these songs going. So we focused on five songs. I think we need to look and see what the fan favorites are. I think the next song that we’re going to have to try and do live is “Invented.” We’ll go to the message board and see what the kids want us to play.

Q - How has your live show changed over the years?

ZL - I think we’ve just gotten better at executing the songs. I don’t think the live show has changed drastically. I guess from the really early years the live show is quite a bit different because we’re introducing a lot more elements like lighting and playing bigger venues. As far as what we’re doing and how we play and our demeanor it’s pretty much the same. As we get older I think we’re more refined musicians. When we play our old songs live I think we probably play them better now than we did when we recorded them.

Q - Who are some of your earliest musical influences?

TL - Like the Pixies, Built to Spill.

ZL - Rocket from the Crpyt.

TL - Yeah, Rocket from the Crypt.

ZL - Archers of Loaf.

TL - Archers of Loaf.

ZL - Sabado. When we first started we loved bands like NOFX and Fugazi, we listened to them a lot. I always loved listening U2 and REM, those are probably two of my favorite bands of all time.

Q - Are there any up and coming bands that you’re into right now?

TL - There’s a band we played with in Maryland called Edward Sharpe and the Magnificent Zeros. I thought they were pretty cool and I got their record.

Q - Earlier this year there was a twitter scare that this might be your final album.

TL - (Laughs) Oh really?

Q - Then you quickly clarified that it was not. What do you have planned for the future?

ZL - I don’t think we have any plans to stop. I think we take it album by album. Right now we’re having a lot of fun and we have nothing better to do. (Laughs)

Q - What was it like working with Mark Trombino again after producing “Chase this Light” and “Futures” without him?

TL - It was really good. We worked on our own in the studio. We got the songs and the parts. We needed somebody to help us take each song and mix it and get it finalized and have it sounding really good. Mark could do that. Mark had also helped with, if certain songs needed something extra or an arrangement change, Mark was able to give us fresh ideas we hadn’t thought of. It was cool too, because working with Mark in the past, we didn’t have to waste any time getting to know each other. Both parties knew what the tendencies were and it just worked out really well. He’s really talented, really passionate and brings a lot of intensity to the project. It’s a good combination for us because I think in some ways we’re too laid back.

Q - What was the “Yo Gabba Gabba” experience like?

TL - It was awesome.

ZL - We played in front of a green screen, (laughs) which is always weird.

Q - How did that come about?

TL - This guy Justin Lyon, I think he went to Zach or Jim’s high school; he would always come to our shows when we played in California. He exchanged a couple of emails with us and we ended up going down there. It was cool; all the kids went and met all the characters.

ZL - It really is one of the coolest things we’ve done. We get a lot of mentions from that. It’s cool because some of us have kids, but it’s also cool because people who are our age that have kids would love “Yo Gabba Gabba.” It’s more for the kids but, for the moms and dads that are around watching it they think its cool too.

Q - What’s your favorite song to play live?

TL - Right now it’s a new song called “Evidence.” It’s probably one of my favorites to play live.

Q - What advice would you have for a new band trying to make it in this business?

TL - Shit man, touring was something we did a lot of and it seemed to help us a lot.

ZL - Yeah, have fun, work your ass off and don’t expect anything would be my advice.

Q - What keeps you going/interested after all of these years, especially with the business side of things?

ZL - It’s fun to do. It’s fun to play drums. It’s really easy to stay interested. We’ve all worked jobs where you work in a grocery store or some odd job in a warehouse somewhere. I think we’ve experienced the day in and day out slog. It’s not hard work, I mean we have to work hard, but it’s fun, every nights fun every nights different.

TL - The fans help too.


Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.
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