Interviews | back to Issue 9
Interview by Wade
Back in March of this year, not only did I have the pleasure of seeing Jimmy Eat World perform in Buffalo, but I also got to interview the band before the show. The band has made quite a name for themselves with or without the backing of their major label, Capitol Records. The show was packed and Buffaloís biggest local alt-rock station sponsored the event. This interview begins as we finished discussing the names of bands written on the wall of the Showplace Theaterís dressing room. (Did Jawbox really play there in 1989?)
NIMBY: Could you everybody go around in a circle and say your name, what you play, and your favorite place to buy coffee.
Tom: Iím Tom, I play guitar and do some singing, and my favorite place to buy coffee is probably Albertsonís.
Zach: Iím Zach, I play drums, and... I donít really drink coffee. Iím not a big coffee drinker.
Rick: Iím Rick, I play bass, and I donít really drink too much coffee either.
Jim: Iím Jim, my favorite place to buy coffee is Macyís in Flagstaff. [Jim plays guitar and sings.]
Scott: Iím Scott, I play tambourine, and Iím just here for my looks.
NIMBY: So a friend of mine told me that your dad [Zachís] is the third base coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Is that true?
Zach: Thatís correct.
NIMBY: He wanted to know if any of you had met Jim Leyland back in the day.
Jim: [breaks a string on the guitar he is tuning] Shit!
Rick: Jim, try to refrain from...
Zach: Yeah, I did meet Jim Leyland. Very briefly. My dad spoke highly of him.
NIMBY: So are you guys big baseball fans?
Zach: I am.
Jim : We once saw the Pirates play the Dodgers in spring training when we were down in Florida.
Tom : Thatís whatís cool about Zachís dad is that he hooks us up with tickets if weíre ever in the same city where the Pirates are playing.
Rick : Actually, I think heís mistaken, it was the Yankees...
Jim: Oh God. Damn. Sorry. It was New York.
NIMBY: I guess I should ask about this new album you have out... do you guys have anything to say about it, in general?
Zach: Itís a musical journey.
Rick : Buy it!
Jim : Buy our shit.
NIMBY: I already did...
Jim :Buy two.
Zach :Buy the Japanese import.
Jim: Thereís gonna be extra songs on it.
NIMBY: What, like the songs from the EP?
Tom: No itís gonna be songs from the same sessions as the album...
Jim : Thatís what we should have done, we should have put the EP B-sides on the Japanese version.
Rick: Uhh... nah. Itís too late.
Zach: Letís move on.
NIMBY: So before this you were touring with At The Drive In, could you say something about them?
Zach: They rule.
Tom: Omarís got a really big dick.
Zach: Omar has the hugest dick!
Rick: He whipped it out on the last day, because we had heard the stories. Itís a legend now.
Zach: Is it as big as Sergieís from Samiam?
Rick: It made Sergie put his away real fast when he saw it.
Tom: What about Garret from Texas Is The Reason?
Zach: I donít know about him.
Jim: We shouldnít spread rumors about other peopleís dicks...
NIMBY: Well, theirs are on [Samiamís] website...
Rick: Garretís and Sergieís.
NIMBY: So you guys are from Mesa, Arizona, right? Tell me everything there is to know about Mesa, Arizona.
Zach: Itís got a population of 440,000...
Tom: No, the population is 340,000. Itís large, itís a very large area, very big city. Itís the third biggest city in Arizona. The mayor is Willy Wong.
Jim: Heís not the mayor anymore...
Zach: We used to have a mayor named Willie Wong. I loved it when he won. It gets really hot in the summer.
Tom: It gets really boring.
Rick: Tempe University is there...
Tom: ...along with a lot of Gila monsters, cactuses, scorpions, tarantulas...
Zach: A lot of Gila monsters get eaten by coyotes. [?]
Jim: Thereís a lot of broken-hearted women in the wake of Tom.
Zach: Little kids get mauled all the time by coyotes.
NIMBY: I read a little while ago, before this record came out, an interview where you were talking about Capitol Records, and you said they hadnít really done much for you, as far as promotion and stuff like that. Has the situation changed with the new album?
Tom: Yeah, theyíve put more effort into promoting us. Weíve had a little bit of success on the radio, and theyíve sort of jumped on that, theyíre trying to push us more.
NIMBY : I hears someone saying that you did a radio thing today...
Paul: You mean you didnít hear it? You werenít listening?
NIMBY: No, I listen to a Canadian station...
Tom: We went down to The Edge [in Buffalo] and played an acoustic version of ďLucky Denver Mint.Ē
NIMBY: So there seem to be a lot of extra instruments and electronics on the new album... how do you play those songs live? I donít know if Iíve heard any of the new stuff live...
Tom: Some of the piano parts were originally guitar parts, we just play them on the guitar live.
Rick: Some of the stuff we canít do live.
Jim: Everything was pretty much live at first, we just disassembled it and rearranged it in the studio.
Rick: So in reality, the live versions are really the true versions of the songs, so if you want to hear the new record you have to come to the show.
NIMBY: So I saw you a year ago in Philadelphia which was Jets to Brazilís first show... What is Blake Schwartzenbach really like?
Jim: Super nice.
Tom: Heís a nice guy.
Rick: When he was in Jawbreaker they toured Arizona. I was a server in a restaurant and I served him, I refilled his Coke. [Later] we were in the club, and they showed up and he was like, ďHey, I know you,Ē and he remembered me!
Tom: Thatís because you said something stupid to him!
Jim: He was nice. Heís a really cool guy.
NIMBY: Do you guys still have day jobs?
Zach: Not right now on tour, but we have day jobs back home...
Rick: I hope when I get back itíll still be there... Odd jobs, like delivering futons.
Zach: (impressive belch)
NIMBY: Letís say that your album suddenly got really big. How would you feel if you woke up one morning and the video for ďLucky Denver MintĒ was on VH-1?
Jim: I wouldnít care.
Zach: Iíd be happy. How much is it every time your video gets played on VH-1 or MTV, the royalties...?
Rick: Is that all you think about, the money?
Zach: Itíd be cool because it would mean a lot of people are hearing our music.
NIMBY: Well I think Angels In The Architecture is on, so I better get out of here...
Rick: I think itís still sound check. What time is it?
Tom: If you wanna get out of here, itís cool...
NIMBY: No, no. OK, one last question, and be honest: who in Jimmy Eat World gets all the women?
Tom & Scott: Jim.
Zach: Well, I have a girlfriend so I only have one woman, so Iím not in the race. But being on the outside looking in on this whole thing... none of them can close the deal, every time. In my opinion they should be able to close the deal every night and they never do.