How could we forget that catchy song, “The Middle” that made us sing in the shower or scream it out while sitting in a traffic jam coming home from work? Well the band behind that hit and many others, Jimmy Eat World, is coming up on their 20th anniversary and not to mention, they just released their 8th album, appeared on Conan and began their journey on a massive tour! They’ve been busy to say the least.
Lucky for us, we were able to catch up with Rick Burch of the band to ask him some questions about the new album, the tour and the band’s awesome fans! We’re super stoked to see them play a Center Stage on August 14th! Check out what Rick had to say!
Congratulations on the new album, Damage! What was the recording process like for this album?
It was the most fun I’ve had recording an album because we were at Al’s (engineer/producer Alain Johannes) house, Al’s a good friend of ours and it was like just hanging out with your buddies. We had the music pretty much written out and we knew what we wanted to capture for the recording so it was just getting the sound we wanted and focusing on the performance. Another thing Al brought to it was that he recommended we record on a two-inch tape analog instead of a computer for the drums. Having that as the first thing that you record really makes you focus on your performance because we didn’t rely on the computer for editing to make things technically perfect. It felt right.
You all were recently on Conan and I watched you cover Taylor Swift’s song, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”. Are you all big Taylor Swift fans?
You know, I don’t own any of her music but I think everyone is aware of her. She writes well- she writes her own music, she’s in this pop world though where not a lot of people put out their own stuff. She’s pretty legit as far as being a songwriter. I think the genesis of us doing that song comes from the last few times she been through Phoenix; she’s reached out to us and asked us to come hang out at her show because she’s a fan of ours. She wanted to cover “The Middle” at her show and Jim to do the solo and it happened. It was fun and a friendship formed there.
What can fans expect from this show?
It’s tough because we’re working toward our 20th year as a band and we have a lot of albums and a lot of material. Our set time is about an hour and a half so it’s hard to choose what to play; you can only play so many. We want to represent all of the albums, so a couple songs from Clarity, a couple from Chase This Light, a couple of Bleed Americans, so it’s getting tough, but we are still able to do that. We’ll just have a great time! The shows are great, the audiences have been fantastic- it’s just been a lot of fun.
Over all the years, do you have one show that stands out to you as being the most memorable?
We played a show on Saturday Night Live and that whole experience was kind of out-of-body. You know you’re nervous, excited, you know, scared. That was a really unique sensation when we did that. We had a really great show in Denver, recently, too. It’s hard to pick out just one right now, but overall the tour has been doing really great!
What are 3 things that you have to bring with you on the road?
I have to bring my guitar, shoes, socks and underwear and I have to bring my pillow. I have MY pillow.
Music aside, how do you connect with your audience when playing a live show?
I never really thought about that. It just happens. That’s a great question. One way that helps us connect with the audience is being able to see them. Sometimes the lighting doesn’t permit that and you can’t see the audience, so it’s difficult to connect with them. If it’s just the really low light where you can see that there’s people out there and you can see whether someone is having a good time or not, it helps. If people are having a good time it’s great for us because it energizes us, but also, if people are not having a good time, I really try to make them have a good time. Eye contact is a big part of it.
What is the craziest thing a fan has done for you?
Macaroni portraiture. It was a number of years ago, but it was fantastic. It was like a mosaic of macaroni. It was a portrait of the band and it was unbelievable. I don’t know where it went. I think we tried to transport it home and with all the hustle and bustle I don’t think it made it. I was really sad about that.
What’s the next step for Jimmy Eat World?
We have some ideas for some songs brewing already. We are looking forward to making another album, putting it out and hitting the road again. It’s always our goal to shorten the time between album releases. One thing that we want to do in the near future is a 20th anniversary celebration. We also want to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of our album Futures. We don’t know what we are going to do, but those are things we want to do in the near future.
Bring back some great memories and catch one of our favorites, Jimmy Eat World, at Center Stage Wednesday August 14 with Royal Bangs!