Jimmy Takes on the World with Invented

I have to be very honest with you all here and say that Jimmy Eat World are undoubtedly responsible for my musical growth throughout my youth. Jim Adkins' (lead vocalist, guitar, primary lyricist) lyrics to me were always full of everything I had always wanted to say, and I'm sure I wasn't alone in this. I had been introduced to them through a breakthrough track of theirs from 2001, "Sweetness," and from then on I had them on a pedestal, just me and Bleed American.


Ten years later, J.E.W are in full force and demanding attention again, between highlights and lowlights; their most recent album, Invented, wonderfully harks back to the golden days of tracks like "The Middle," "A Praise Chorus," "Clarity" and "Hear You Me." This is most probably due to Mark Trombino, (producer on "Clarity," "Static Prevails," and "Bleed American") taking a seat behind the decks once again to produce their latest album. Tom Linton (guitar and backing vocals) explains to me, "with a lot of producers there is always that time that you need to take to get comfortable with them, but with Mark we knew exactly what we wanted to do." It almost seems like Trombino acted as part member of the band; developing an electronic conversation with J.E.W via email on a daily basis; checking in, taking notes and providing feedback. Whilst Jimmy recorded in Unit 2, Pheonix Arizona, and were surrounded by family, Trombino served from his home in California.


Signature big hooks and contagious melodies feature wonderfully on the latest offering from J.E.W. Released as a digital download in August 2010, and a precursor to Invented, My Best Theory is a racy and action packed crescendo; it takes risks, and so it should. Linton explains keeping up to speed with techno haps has been an advantage in this new digital era they have found themselves in; a world of Youtube, and Itunes and even digital cameras! "We definitely encourage our fans to bring along their cameras to our shows, so we can watch and have a listen to it afterwards! We're trying different things, and embracing things like Twitter." Who would have thought ten years ago, the music industry would be looking like this. Those days of album releasing anticipation are dwindling. But Linton is right, what else can you do but wake up and embrace it?


Latest single, Coffee and Cigarettes, takes on a new, much more sophisticated J.E.W sound without letting go of their lyrical heart strings. Linton explains to me how Adkins developed his own way of establishing a narrative structure through his lyrics and the influences behind Invented on the whole, ‘Jim would open up a page in photographer Cindy Shermans book, and look at the picture, the girl in the picture and her surroundings and write the lyrics based around that… it's something that he has never done before." Essentially Adkins was inventing little stories to capture the mood of Sherman's photographs, in a way Linton says this made it a little bit easier for him to write the lyrics. Musically, it is obvious JEW have evolved, giving each song the attention it deserved. Linton says this was the way they approached each song, "it just went by what each song needed… I mean some of the rock songs are a little more stripped down and then with the other more mellow songs, we were able to add a lot of layers of guitars and keyboards."


Holding a successful group together can be rewarding and satisfying, but also tiresome and tedious, and when I asked Linton about the group dynamics over the years, and whether any major issues were raised through the recording process, he replied with a casual, "No, not really at all, I mean we've all kinda been friends even before the band started, and we get along really well, so I think that's one of the reasons we've been able to stay together so long." I believe it too. Recent addition to Jimmy Eat World is keyboardist Courtney Marie Andrews. Linton says Adkins spotted her at a show in Pheonix and wanted to get her on board with the new record instantly, "she was able to come out on this tour with us, and because there are a lot of things that we can't do, like keyboard parts and vocals, it's been nice having her around." Andrews definitely enhances the band both on the album and in a live context. And there I was at the Tivoli in Brisbane on that Saturday night, witnessing live, what I had only heard through my teenage headphones. Salt, sweat and sugar; all elements had culminated. From oldies to newbie's, from favourites and latest's, Jimmy Eat World played with remarkable energy, and left me, with a beautiful nostalgia I'd never really felt before; let alone be able to write about.

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