From teen tears to adult break up
The emo rockers who played the soundtrack for so much teenage heartache around the world are back with an "adult break up album", having grown up side by side with their fans.
Jimmy Eat World's signature rock and roll has been playing on our airwaves for near two decades, and they have just released yet another album, Damage.
And while it's still the same old Jimmy Eat World fans have come to know and love, drummer, Zach Lind describes the record as "a little different".
"I guess it sounds a bit more raw and natural and rough around the edges. It kinda sounds like it's just us playing in a room," he says.
And the weird thing, is that it is.
The boys gathered at producer, Al Johannes' place, set up, played and recorded then and there. That simple.
"It was really relaxed, his house is full of instruments and stuff and it's just a really musical place.We just kind of had to get out of our comfort zone - we usually record in our home studio which, of course, has its benefits but it also comes with a few down sides.
"After making records in the same place for a while we really wanted to get out and do something different and keep it interesting. This is to capture what we are doing and keep it kind of simplified and I think the one thing is it feels really cohesive, like all the songs belong together."
But the band is the first to admit there's "no huge creative change".
After near 20 years, eight records, and weathering (and inadvertently heading) the coming and going of the "emo" movement, the band's sound hasn't changed much.
And while for critics that may be a bad thing, for fans who were there since the beginning and who lived and loved with the anthems of Bleed American blaring in the background of their break ups, Jimmy Eat World isn't playing it safe so much as doing what they do best.
"It's still very much Jimmy Eat World songs. If you like our previous albums, you will hear things that sound familiar and feel familiar. Just a bit of a different sound. But these songs totally keep to what we do and what we think that we do well."
While admittedly, there are a few tracks on the album which are obviously weaker, it starts out strong with Appreciation, and once you hear I Will Steal You Back, followed by Please Say No, each track afterwards brings back that familiar feeling.
But this is one for the grown ups. An "adult breakup album", which Lind says is one of the band's most lyrically relatable albums.
"Anyone can listen to these songs and get it, because I think everyone has been in one of those situations," he says.
As has always been the way for Jimmy Eat World. So what makes this an adult breakup album? Simple. We all grew up together - the fans and the band.
"I think it probably just happened naturally, you know, we try not to worry too much about what any particular person wants when we are making a record. We just try to pursue the things that interest us and just hope that our fans like it.
"But I mean, we got older. We started this band when we were in our late teens and now we're in our late 30s. Our perspective changes and so does our fans', it just makes sense."
And while this album will appeal to fans by tugging at the same heart strings this band broke and repaired a decade ago, its simple melodies, catchy hooks and Jim Adkins' ever emotive vocals makes it easily accessible to newcomers as well.
A band that can last this long in the music industry without having to re-brand themselves or their music is rare, and these boys aren't taking it for granted.
"It's nice obviously. We love doing what we do and still really enjoy it and enjoy playing together, and I think as we get older we learn to appreciate things more," says Lind.
"When you're younger you're going through the process of being a band, and playing shows and all that. Now we look back on those days and can appreciate them more, we have a more genuine gratitude. It's still hard work, it's just a change in perspective that we have now. If anything its harder now because we're not as young as we used to be," he laughs.
But Jimmy Eat World aren't slowing down. They've just released Damage and they're hitting the road to tour for the record over the next year or so.
And to tide over their fans here in New Zealand, a promise:
"Well, I don't know any dates or anything but I do know we definitely plan to head down your way - if not this year then next year."
Jimmy Eat World's latest album, Damage, is available in New Zealand now.
- © Fairfax NZ News