April 14, 2005

The Future Looks Bright

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Jimmy Eats World took the music industry by storm in 2001 with a self-titled release (originally called Bleed American) that yielded hits like “The Middle” and “Sweetness.” Having just launched Futures, their fourth, full-length album last fall, the band embarked on a world tour soon to hit Ithaca this Sunday (April 16) at Barton Hall. Evolving from the concentrated sound of Bleed American, Jimmy Eat World’s newest effort is sprawling in size, sound and topic range. In addition to opting for difference in terms of music on the new album, the band also decided to work with a new producer. Daze recently got the chance to chat with the band’s bass player, Rick Burch about Futures as well as all things Jimmy Eat World:

Daze: How are you doing?

Rick: I’m doing good.

Daze: I heard you just got back from Japan. Could you talk about the touring experience there?

Rick: Well, we’ve been there three times before. It was good to see our friends that we had over there for a while. It’s really cool over there. The fans are crazy! When you’re done playing, they applaud for thirty seconds and then there’s dead silence as they wait for the next song. But, it’s really cool because they’re showing respect.

Daze: Could you give me a brief glimpse of what you guys will be playing on Sunday? Will it mostly be new songs or will there be oldies as well?

Rick: It’s going to be a mix of new songs, a few Bleed American songs, some from Clarity and maybe a couple of older tracks.

Daze: Futures has a wide range of songs and a more melodic feel. Plus you guys worked with a new producer. So what made you guys want to try something different this time?

Rick: We’d made three albums with Mark Trombino and we felt that it would be a good idea to put something new into the mix and kind of stir it up a bit. So we got Gil Norton. You know I think it was really good because he has a very different approach to making a record than we were used to. So it was a huge learning experience for us and he was able to push us forward. I think it was a good idea.

Daze: It [Futures] seems to me also to be darker with more angst. Is there a reason for the sudden sobriety?

Rick: You know I can’t say really because I don’t write the lyrics but I think Jim [lead singer, Jim Adkins] has always had an approach to songwriting. He believes a song is most interesting when there’s contrast whether it be a poppy, upbeat, happy-sounding song but then you have darker, more menacing lyrics along with that or the other way around.

Daze: “The Middle” used to be my anti-angst anthem of choice. Do you have a song on the new album that you just love or love playing?

Rick: I like to play a lot of them but I really like to play “Futures” because it’s a fun one to play live cause its rock. We just started playing “23” so I also like playing that one.

Daze: “Work” is reputedly about an office romance. Do you think the band is growing up when you’re covering topics like that? Will we be hearing sad laments about living in the suburbs anytime soon?

Rick: You know I don’t know. I think we are growing up in terms of our music. I think that song [“Work”] is just kind of an observation. Jim’s really good at putting himself in other people’s shoes, imagining things through other people’s perspectives.

Daze: I know you guys are active in several political causes like MoveOn.org and the title track of Futures is definitely politically oriented. Should we expect to see more current events conscious productions in the future?

Rick: Yeah we definitely try to maintain awareness of what’s going on in the world and be involved. I’m sure as things come along, we’ll take part in them.

Daze: Do you have any insight on what the band could come up with next?

Rick: You know we’re trying to always think about that. We always think about music but we don’t always lay it out like … okay here’s our next album what are we going to do. We always just kind of let it happen and have it be just a representation of us, the band at that time. So it’s hard to say.

Daze: To me, Jimmy Eat World is a great example of hard work paying off because I know you guys personally financed your previous album [Bleed American]. Do you have any advice for us struggling college kids?

Rick: Hang in there because it doesn’t last forever. The hard work you’re doing now is just setting you up to be more comfortable later on.

Archived article by Tracy Zhang
Arts and Entertainment Editor