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INTERVIEW: Jimmy Eat World

Photo Credit: Michael Elins
Photo Credit: Michael Elins

Infectious Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing Jimmy Eat World bassist Rick Burch to discuss the band’s new album, Damage, mom and pop record stores, bucket list wishes, and the one question he wishes you’d ask. Check it out after the jump, purchase a CD or vinyl of Damage or buy concert tickets here.

Infectious Magazine: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me. How are you?

Jimmy Eat World: I’m well, thanks.

IM: You recently released your latest album, Damage. How has audience and critic response been, and do you feel any aspects of the album were overlooked or not given enough attention by fans/critics?

Jimmy Eat World: Gigs have been great. The audience has been digging the new songs we have been playing. I’m not keyed into what the critics have been saying, been focusing on our shows.

IM: Along those same lines, what is one thing you’d like fans to know about the album, that perhaps hasn’t seen much exposure?

Jimmy Eat World: Damage was recorded in Los Angeles in September of 2012 at our friend Alain Johannes’ house. He is such a talented and great person. Check out his bass shredding on Your Wife Is Calling on the Sound City soundtrack, so rad!

IM: You guys recently spoke about mom and pop record shops and the memories associated with them. With the economy hit hard, maintaining those mom and pop shops in any field, but especially records, is no doubt very difficult. Do you think there is hope for a resurgence of those things?

Jimmy Eat World: Times are tough and with the changing ways in which music is being distributed, sampled and purchased (digitally) record stores are struggling. Along with these changes, there has been a resurgence in the vinyl record market and I could see this as becoming the saving grace for record shops.

IM: You recently performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which I’ve heard is a vastly different experience than traditional touring shows. How do you keep up the energy and still convey that to those watching at home?

Jimmy Eat World: Performing for a television audience is weird. There may be only 100 or so people in the room and they are way back behind the lights and camera area. The broadcast could be reaching millions. So the performance is both the smallest and biggest simultaneously. My approach is to give the same performance I would give at one of my favorite rock clubs, like the 9:30 Club in D.C. and hopefully I can concentrate on that, rock out and have fun.

IM: You hear stories of older generations being incredibly frugal because when they were younger there was little if any money to go around. Without trying to compare that to the music industry too much, but using it as an example, how do you think the industry, the music we listen to, the way the business is conducted on both the artist and consumer end, etc will shape this generation and our habits?

Jimmy Eat World: More and more the way we shop and communicate is through the some sort of device like a computer or smartphone. Although this is convenient and allows us access to things and people that would normally be out of reach, it is diminishing the value of person to person interactions. This could lead a generation that prefers to communicate through devices and finds face to face experiences awkward.

IM: I read an interview from back in 2007 when Jim Adkins had said the main focus for writing the songs on Chase This Light was just making sure the creative process was fun and everything was concise. Six years and a whole lot of memories and a few albums later, have you added anything to your focus?

Jimmy Eat World: I’m pretty sure Jim still maintains this approach.

IM: Another artist we had interviewed, Andrew McMahon isn’t shy about his influence and reference of Jimmy Eat World in his songs. In addition to being flattering, do you think that camaraderie or open influence amongst bands and industry professionals is essential in a lot of ways?

Jimmy Eat World: It was once said by someone wiser than myself that, “All great works of art are interpretations of previous great works of art.” It is important we understand we take inspiration from all of our experiences and it is healthy to acknowledge this.

IM: What is on your bucket list?

Jimmy Eat World: Ride Whistler mountain bike park.

IM: When you first began the band nearly 20 years ago how do you feel your impact, reach, and possibly even music and performance were different than it is present day? 

Jimmy Eat World: 20 years ago we didn’t think we would still be doing this. It is a great honor to be cited as influences for so many musicians.

IM: What is one question you’d like to be asked but never have been, and what is the answer?

Q: What is your favorite beer?

A: Barrel aged barleywine homebrewed by my friends and I.

IM: What’s in the future for Jimmy Eat World?

Jimmy Eat World: Jimmy Eat World will be touring through the end of 2014 and working on our next album during and after that.

IM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Jimmy Eat World: Thanks for listening, without You there is no Us.

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Angela Mastrogiacomo

Founder of Infectious Magazine & Muddy Paw Public Relations. Lover of passion, ice cream, and books.

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