Review: Jimmy Eat World – Surviving

At least on the surface level, the title for Jimmy Eat World ‘s 10th full-length album feels like a proclamation. Surviving. Not many bands know quite as much about surviving as Jimmy Eat World. They’ve weathered a lot over the years: getting dropped by their first major label; being (incorrectly) considered a one-hit wonder by many; being a part of a genre and a music scene that most critics have always written off; touring with Third Eye Blind, apparently. Perhaps the most impressive thing they’ve survived is time. When I first started seriously listening to Jimmy Eat World, they’d been a band for ten years and were about to release the follow-up to their breakthrough LP. Fast-forward a decade and a half, and the band is celebrating 25 years and ten albums. They’ve kept the same four-person lineup since 1995 and have released a new album, like clockwork, every three years since 2001. And they remain as beloved today as they ever have been—a go-to “favorite band” for seemingly every person who follows them.

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I don’t think anybody had that kind of scope, at the time, to be able to know something big was happening. We would drive down to Florida for shows, and the band that would open was New Found Glory. Then you became friends, and the next time you went down there, you’d meet their friends — like Dashboard Confessional. And when you went out to the Midwest you’d be on a bill with Alkaline Trio, then you’d join them on tour with Face to Face. There never was a focus on the finish line, or mainstream success. The reason the emo and pop-punk world thrived is that it was real people doing things that they loved, and telling their friends.

Jimmy Eat World Interview with Billboard

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World talked with Billboard about their upcoming album:

On the acoustic part of the intro to [Surviving] song “One Mil,” I really wanted something spontaneous that wasn’t your typical studio setup. I went into the garage of our studio, set my phone down, did the part, and when I dumped it into the session, it sounded really good. The microphone on your phone is probably $300 or more — the research and cost is insane. I had to mess it up after I dumped it in, because it sounded too good.

So when Davey [Havok] was stressing about getting to a studio I was like, “No, no, no. Put headphones on, set your phone down, sing it, and just send that to me.” That’s what he did and that’s what’s on the record… I can totally see how there are Soundcloud rappers who have never seen an XLR cable, pumping out platinum hits now.