After nearly two decades in the music scene, it might be a bit tough for some musicians to appear entirely enthused about hitting the road and putting out records. That fresh-off-the-lot new car feeling eventually fades with the worn upholstery, stained door panels and stench of fast food remnants lodged under the front seats. In a nutshell, that touring and recording stuff might become a bit tiresome after your, say, 12th time crisscrossing the nation’s interstates.
But ask Jimmy Eat World bassist Rick Burch about his band’s most recent goings on—a new album on the horizon (titled Invented, hitting shelves/online shops on Tuesday via Interscope Records) and a tour in promotion of the release—and you’ll get the sense that his rock band of the last 17 years seems to feel as fresh as the day their debut hit store shelves.
Burch also notes that although the Platinum award-winning, Arizona-based quartet are no strangers to performing in the Pomona Arts Colony—he says Jimmy Eat World’s rocked The Glass House’s stage “dozens of times” throughout its formidable touring career—this will be the band’s first appearance at the larger, recently renovated Fox Theater, situated just a block south of their previous stomping grounds.
“We’re going to be playing some new songs off the new record, which we’re excited to do, [since] we haven’t played them out in front of an audience,” he says. “And [the Pomona show] will be one of the earlier shows that we’ve got, so we’re obviously anticipating the live reaction to the new stuff, and we’re looking forward to that.”
With this batch of newness in the Jimmy Eat World camp also comes some of the old, in the re-entry of longtime producer Mark Trombino, who had collaborated with the foursome on their first three major-label albums (Static Prevails, Clarity and Bleed American). The band worked with other producers for its most recent pair of releases, 2004’s Futures and 2007’s Chase This Light.
“We just wanted to see what else was out there, to work with different people for the experience,” says Burch. “It’s always cool working with different people because they bring different perspectives. But for this album, we did it all at our studio in Tempe with no one else. Jim [Adkins, vocalist/guitarist] was engineering everything. We were pretty much self-producing. But it came to a point where we knew a few songs were really good but we hadn’t brought them to their full potential. We were throwing around names of people who could get us there and his name came up. We called him up and he was into it and it just clicked. There was no awkward phase; it was just, like, right into it.”
And cutting an entire album in their own studio certainly had its advantages.
“It was one of the most relaxed experiences that we’ve had,” says Burch. “We weren’t in L.A. so we weren’t living in hotels. At the end of the day, we’d go back to our homes, to our families and sleep in our own beds and that was a huge bonus. It just kept it fresh every morning.”
Some of the other freshness from Invented includes the guest vocals of Phoenix-based Courtney Marie Andrews, who appears several tracks, and will also appear on stage with Jimmy Eat World on this tour. “Jim had a lot of parts for vocals that were out of any of our comfortable ranges,” says Burch. “She was super cool, she came down to the studio and brought it, and it was awesome.”
Now with their 20th anniversary moving closer on the horizon, what are some of the things that have helped keep Jimmy Eat World’s globe spinning?
“I think [it] helps with our longevity that we don’t have two leaders—there aren’t two people competing for the same role,” says Burch.
And what are each of the member’s roles?
“I pick up the loose ends, I guess,” says Burch with a quick laugh. “Tom’s like public relations, Zach’s the business guy and Jim’s the main creative force. And then I sweep up the scraps.”
Jimmy Eat World at the Fox Theater, 301 S. Garey Ave., Pomona, (877) 283-6976; www.foxpomona.com. Tue, Sept. 28. 7PM. $35-$45.