Jimmy Eat World

  • Alternative rock band formed in 1993 from Mesa Arizona. The members are Jim Adkins (frontman, lead and backing vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion), Tom Linton (lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards), Rick Burch (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Zach Lind (drums). All members contributed to songwriting.
  • Adkins and Lind were friends since preschool, and as seniors in high school, Lind suggested that they form a band. Linton and bassist Mitch Porter were recruited to join – all four were veterans of local garage bands. They chose their name from an argument between Linton’s younger brothers. The brothers frequently fought, with the larger brother Jimmy usually winning. As retribution, smaller brother Ed drew a picture of Jimmy shoving the entire world into his mouth – the caption at the bottom of the picture was “Jimmy Eat World.”
  • They adopted a punk rock sound, and after a demo tape was created, they released an EP and a self-titled studio album in 1994 through an independent record label. This increased their exposure, and in 1995 they were signed to a national label. Porter opted to leave the group, and Linton’s friend Rick Burch took over bass guitar duties. In 1996, the Static Prevails album was released, and in 1999, the Clarity album was released. With these records, they evolved to an emo-pop band, as emo continued to evolve as a genre. The albums and singles did not chart, though critics lauded the Clarity album, and over time, it was dubbed one of the greatest emo albums of all time by several publications, including Rolling Stone.
  • Their lack of commercial success led to a change in record labels. They funded their next album themselves, working various jobs to get enough money for studio time. Once completed, they shopped it to various labels, and in 2001, a label took the project. It became their breakthrough album, Bleed American. Seven weeks after the release of the album, the September 11 attacks occurred, and the band hastily re-released the album, changing the name to the self-titled Jimmy Eat World. It maintained that name until it was re-released again in 2008. The hit single from the album was The Middle – the song peaked at #5 on the Hot 100 chart and it topped the Alternative Airplay chart. The follow-up single was Sweetness, which reached #2 on the Alternative Airplay chart. The success of these songs enabled the album to achieve platinum status.
  • After a tour to support Bleed American, the group wanted to take time to develop new music. They recorded their next album during 2004, and Futures was released in October that year. It was less of a pop album compared to Bleed American, moodier with more complex guitar work. Critics applauded it, and it made several “Best of 2004” lists. It debuted at #6 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and two singles were hits on the Alternative Airplay chart – Pain topped the chart, and Work peaked at #6. Their final album of the 00s was released in 2007 – Chase This Light. Big Casino from the album reached #3 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.
  • The 10s decade saw the release of four more studio albums. Their highest charting single during this time was in 2010, when My Best Theory peaked at #2 on the Alternative Airplay chart. Now 25+ years into their careers, the band had developed a solid fan base, co-headlining tours with other emo rock bands from the 90s. As emo goes, Jimmy Eat World was one of the earliest successful entries into the genre. The Middle is still paying the bills for the group. Here’s the video – it received massive airplay on MTV, thanks to the general lack of clothing. Power-pop emo at its best!

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