Uncut: Your fans tend to be a little bit crazy, but how do the British crowds compare to their American and European counterparts?
JA: Culturally it’s different country by country. I don’t think it’s a Jimmy Eat World specific thing. European audiences just seem to have made up their mind when they go out where as American audiences are waiting to be blown away. There’s a lot more dancing at European shows.
Could that be due to drinking age being lower in Britain and Europe?
JA: Haha, maybe, didn’t think of that.
You are playing two sets at Reading/Leeds festival in both cities. How will they differ?
JA: “I think it’s just an opportunity to play some different songs. I wouldn’t say it will be like the tour we did in America where it was all kinda mellow songs but there will be some totally different sets, different songs. We’ll play some older songs that maybe we wouldn’t normally play at a festival on a main stage.”
Will you be playing many of the songs from the upcoming album? Which ones?
“We’ll play Big Casino and maybe a song called Carry You. We know what we’re doing on the Main Stage but we just don’t know totally what we’re doing on the [Lock Up] tent stage. We might add a few things.”
The new album is a bit more upbeat, while keeping some of the broodier songs…but it’s a different sound, isn’t it?
JA: “We’re all still the same people and we all have our over reaching ideas of what we like and then bring that to the band. To me that sounds like us. It’s hard for us to answer that. We don’t really think a whole lot about ‘us’. We never recorded songs thinking ‘should we be recording this? Does it sound like us’? We typically like to try out new things, and have a variety of songs. Nothing was calculated about it. I think it’s just where we are, and where our heads are as a band and what we count as challenging and fun to play, and if it ends up being categorized as more mainstream rock – so be it.”
Butch Vig, who produced your new album is known for taking bands from their own sub-genre (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins) and making them mainstream success stories. Is this one of the directions you wanted to take; move away completely from the ‘emo-core’ sound of Clarity and embrace mainstream rock?
JA: “I think Butch got into the process of helping us to make our record. There was never a time we felt Butch was trying to make his record. He really didn’t come in and dictate how it should be. It was more like ‘this is working, this sounds good’, or maybe ‘this isn’t working, how can we make this different’. [His contribution was] feedback that’s usable for us to come to our conclusion and to implement in the way that we would as a band and in a way that’s natural.”
Jimmy Eat World have always been labelled ‘emo’ or some other tag by the media, is that frustrating?
JA: “I don’t think music can be put into such easy sound-bite description. ‘Emo’ or pick whatever subgenre, it’s a little bit of lazy journalism to say ‘check out this ‘emo’ band’ – it doesn’t describe anything and its not an academic description.”
What does ‘Chase This Light’ mean for Jimmy Eat World?
ZL: “I think in general all the songs have different lyrical things and meanings but as a whole I think the album represents the band sound of our “Futures” [album] era. Recording and touring for that record there was a lot of adjustments we had to make and difficulty getting through that and I think as a whole the record seems like a response or a natural bounce back to that more optimistic outlook and that’s kind of where I think we are as a band. More optimistic, healthier point view.”
Big Casino is the next single from the album, why did you choose that song in particular?
JA: “It’s kind of in the context of the record it’s doing its part and from a DJ perspective it just works as a good rock song to kick it off.”
RB: Maybe the reason we wanted to put it first in the album is kind of the same reason we thought it might make a good first single. I think it’s definitely a new sound for us on that one.”
What’s the most likely follow up to Big Casino?
ZL: “I like Fire Fight a lot, I think it’s my favourite song lyrically. It could be the second single. It’s definitely a contender for the second single but lets wait and see.”
In the past you have always toured very heavily to promote your albums. Can we expect any announcements soon?
“The record [Chase This Light] is going to be released this October so we’re going to tour around the States in late September until the rest of the year pretty much, and then early next year we hope to be Europe side.”