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Interview:
Jimmy Eat World at The Fillmore, 5 Things To Know
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Call Jimmy Eat World reliable, if nothing else.

Since it's 2001 breakthrough with the platinum "Bleed American" album and its hit single "The Middle" (which got a sales bump this year thanks to a Taylor Swift commercial for Apple Music), the quartet has, like clockwork, released a new album every three years -- enough time to hit the road to support its predecessor, then bunker down and come up with a new batch of songs and maybe try some fresh stylistic tweaks or collaborations.

This year's entry is "Integrity Blues," Jimmy Eat World's ninth studio set, which debuted at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 in October (and No. 4 on the Top Alternative Albums chart) and launched the Top 10 Alternative Rock Tracks single "Sure and Certain." It finds the group working with a new producer, Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Paramore, nine inch nails, M83), and guitarist Tom Linton says it came with an even different sense of renewal than other times the group has regrouped and re-emerged...

During the interim between "Integrity Blues" and 2013's "Damage" the members of Jimmy Eat World took their longest break from each other, with some members working on other projects. "I think we just needed that time away," Linton, 41, says by phone from his home. "We took a year off and everyone kind of branched off and did their own thing and cleared out heads. And when we got back together we saw how much we missed playing music together and we focused don making the best songs we could for this record and make this record different than our old records."

Producer Meldal-Johnson, meanwhile, applied a fresh kind of work ethic to the process, according to Linton. "We sent him maybe 30 to 40 song ideas that were just at the basic level," the guitarist recalls. "Some just had a chorus idea or some would just be all music, no melody ideas, and he went through all those songs and picked out, I think, 15 songs out of those that he thought were the most interesting, and that's show we got it started."

Some of those songs actually hailed from the band's past, Linton says. "Some of those songs went back to 2006, 2004," he notes. "I want to say the oldest one was probably 'Pass The Baby;' The beginning, first drum machine part and some of the vocals were on there but we didn't really know where to take it from there, so that's something that just kind of formed in the studio. And it's probably one of the weirdest song we've ever done. The part at the end is like the heaviest riff we've ever done.

During his time off, Linton "kind of whipped myself into shape" with the Sweet Science. "I started taking boxing lessons, like four times a week," he says. "I was still playing music every day but That's something I hadn't done in the past. Jim (Adkins) played some solo shows and had fun doing that. Zak (Lind) did a little side project with is wife, and Rick (Burch) started brewing whiskey. And I boxed."

In an unlikely development this year, Taylor Swift listened and sang along to "The Middle" for an Apple Music ad that boosted downloads and streams for the song exponentially. "It was awesome," Linton recalls. "We heard from our management that it might happen but a lot of the stuff that gets offered we're like, 'Oh, it's not gonna happen,' y'know? A couple months later I remember waking up in the morning and seeing a bunch of texts from my family and stuff -- 'Oh, did you see the ad?' I think we were all blown away just to see someone, the biggest pop star in the world, singing one of our songs in a commercial. It was pretty crazy."

The Night 89X Stole Christmas with Jimmy Eat World, the Struts and Weathers

Wednesday, Nov. 30. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.

Tickets are $25-$59.50.

Call 313-961-5451 or visit thefillmoredetroit.com.

Web Site: www.thefillmoredetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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