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Jimmy Eat World is an American alternative rock band from Mesa, Arizona, formed in 1993.
Formation and origin of name:
Jimmy Eat World was formed in Mesa, Arizona in 1993. Singer/guitarist Jim Adkins and drummer Zach Lind, who had been friends since kindergarten, joined forces with guitarist Tom Linton and bass player Mitch Porter to try their hand at music. In its early years, the band emulated the style of their punk-rock influences, eventually recording and releasing three singles and a full-length on local label Wooden Blue Records.The original name of the band was We Suck Asshole.
The name Jimmy Eat World did not refer to lead singer Jim Adkins. Tom Linton's younger siblings, Ed and Jimmy, fought constantly when they were younger. Jimmy, who was stronger and heavier, would usually win. In one instance, Ed, as revenge, drew a picture with crayons of Jimmy shoving the entire world into his gaping mouth with the caption, "Jimmy eat world." The picture, and by extension the band name, may have been inspired by an episode of the cartoon show Tiny Toon Adventures, where the main characters put on a student film festival. Dizzy Devil's film, "Dizzy Eat World", was a 5 second piece drawn crudely in crayon where Dizzy's gaping jaw engulfed the Earth.
Eventually, spurred by bands such as Fugazi and Sunny Day Real Estate, the band began to experiment with a different sound which can be referred to as "new punk or emo." As they began writing songs and touring in the indie scene, the band were surprised to find like-minded bands such as Christie Front Drive, Sense Field, and Seven Storey Mountain working on similar sounds. Typically, similar sounds came from local scenes (such as Seattle's grunge explosion), but with "new punk/emo", the scene was spread throughout the country.
As the band continued touring, they began to attract modest attention in the indie underground. In 1995, label president (and former Nirvana A&R) Gary Gersh signed the fledging band to Capitol Records. Around this time, bass player Mitch Porter parted ways with the band and was replaced by Linton's friend Rick Burch. After a brief scouting for producers, the band joined up with Drive Like Jehu drummer Mark Trombino to record their debut album Static Prevails. Static Prevails closely reflected what existed in the "emo" scene at the time, a balance between punk-influenced scream-alongs and quiet, introspective moments.
Rather than push the band through the major-label promotion machine, Gersh opted for a more subtle approach, allowing the band to develop within the indie underground. In the ensuing years, the band was allowed to release singles on independent labels, including split 7-inch's with Christie Front Drive, Jejune, Sense Field, and Mineral. Where most major-label bands were ostracized from the underground as "sell-outs", Jimmy Eat World found themselves in a unique position where they had support from a major label while being embraced by the indie community.
In 1998, the band entered the studio (again with Mark Trombino) to record their follow-up, titled Clarity. Around the same time, however, Gersh was forced out of Capitol. The band delivered the completed album to the label mid-way through the year, but found themselves out of favor with the new label heads, who shelved the album to focus on more popular acts. As a way to help promote what had been recorded, the band negotiated with Capitol to release a self-titled EP on indie-label Fueled by Ramen (run by labelmates Less Than Jake) containing two songs from Clarity and three b-sides. The band sent the release to several key alternative stations in the hopes that they might give the songs some airtime. To their surprise, several of the stations added lead single "Lucky Denver Mint" to regular rotation. Capitol reacted by scheduling the full album for release in February 1999.
On the subsequent tour for Clarity, the band found themselves playing to larger and larger venues. Where they had been playing to crowds of fifty to a hundred a few weeks earlier, the band was suddenly playing to 500- and 1000-capacity venues, including packed houses at Boston's Middle East (which aired live on local radio station WBCN) and at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. As a result, the band found themselves receiving much more attention from their label, who released a video for "Lucky Denver Mint". The song was also featured on the soundtrack for the movie "Never Been Kissed" but in the final release of the film the demo version of the song "Seventeen" from the album Static Prevails was used instead. However, the label's enthusiasm was short-lived. Plans to release "Blister" as a single were axed, and the band found themselves dropped by the label by the end of the year. Coincidentally, on Jimmy Eat World's Myspace page, the track "Lucky Denver Mint" from the album Clarity has its album info written as "Clarity, 1999 Crapitol".
Having been well-versed in the ways of indie bands and having wide support from the indie community, Jimmy Eat World saw getting dropped from their label as an opportunity. The band compiled most of their independently-released singles onto a single CD, titled simply Singles, which they released on indie label Big Wheel Recreation. The band's burgeoning fanbase snapped up the release, earning the band enough to fund the recording of their next album. The band then had complete freedom to make the album they wanted without having to take input from outside influences.
Working for a third time with Trombino, the band recorded the album Bleed American. Joining forces with Gersh's new management company, GAS Entertainment, the band scouted for a new label, eventually signing with DreamWorks. The completed album was released in July 2001 with the title track as the lead single. (Following the events of September 11, 2001, the band decided to re-issue the album as Jimmy Eat World out of concern that the title Bleed American might be misinterpreted.)
With the release of Bleed American and the subsequent success of second single "The Middle", the band found itself at the center of newfound attention to "emo". For most of the 90s, "emo" had been an underground movement that almost completely evaded major label and mainstream control. Nearly every late-90s emo band that signed to a major label broke up before releasing an album. But where Clarity was seen as the quintessential emo album, Bleed American was a step away from that sound, standing closer to mainstream rock. While songs like the title track were certainly emo-influenced, songs like "A Praise Chorus", "The Middle", and "The Authority Song" clearly were not. However, since the mainstream media had nowhere else to attach the "emo" label, Jimmy Eat World continued to be referred to as an "emo" band, meaning that the term "emo" began to describe something completely different and more mainstream than what existed in the 90s. Major labels pounced, and began signing bands and releasing music that subscribed to this "new" version of emo.
After lengthy touring in support of Bleed American, the band regrouped to work on the follow-up in early 2004. Once again, the band joined up with Trombino, but the collaboration was short-lived. The band decided to part ways with Trombino, instead bringing in producer Gil Norton, well-known for his work with the Pixies and the Foo Fighters. Futures was released in October 2004, with lead single "Pain" immediately finding success at alternative radio. (By this time, Dreamworks had been acquired by the much larger Interscope Records.)
Subsequent months saw the release of "Work" and the title-track as singles. Having already toured the US on their own and with Taking Back Sunday, the band signed on to tour in the summer and fall of 2005 with Green Day. In September 2005, the band released the Stay on My Side Tonight EP, containing reworked versions of demos recorded with producer Mark Trombino that were not used for the album.
Chase This Light:
After their tour, Jimmy Eat World headed home to Tempe and started working on material for a sixth album. This album was self-produced by the band, Chris Testa (Dixie Chicks), and executive produced by Butch Vig (Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth). John Fields also co-produced the record. Some of the songs on the album, titled Chase This Light, include "Carry You", "Big Casino", and the title track "Chase This Light". "Carry You" originated as a track from Jim Adkins' side project Go Big Casino. (Several Go Big Casino songs eventually appeared on Jimmy Eat World albums, including "Hear You Me", "My Sundown", and "12.23.95".) "Chase This Light" was released in the United States on October 16, 2007, debuting at #5 on the Billboard 200.
-Jim Adkins (Lead vocals, Guitar).
-Tom Linton (Guitar, Vocals).
-Rick Burch (Bass).
-Zach Lind (Drums).