Did you know that singer Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World almost didn't include one of the band's biggest hits on their breakthrough album because it was incomplete? Or that one of their songs is actually a tribute to Weezer fans? Why was the album title temporarily changed for a couple of years? Stick around and we will answer these questions and more!
10 Things You Didn't Know About Bleed American by Jimmy Eat World.
Bleed American was produced without the help of a record label.
While the album may have helped Jimmy Eat World break through to mainstream audiences, it was actually the band's fourth full length album. Capitol Records previously dropped the band in 1999 following their third studio release Clarity.
"(The label) really didn't believe in us. But in a way, that was sort of a good thing, because it let us take control of what we needed to do. We learned we had to do it ourselves, because no one else would do it for us." - Zach Lind (Drummer); Zach Lind of Jimmy Eat World, Modern Drummer (May 12, 2004)
2. I Will Gladly Pay You Tuesday For An Album Produced Today
The band members each took various odd jobs to fund the production of Bleed American. Singer Jim Adkins sold art supplies, drummer Zach Lind worked at a car dealership, guitarist Tom Linton worked in construction, and bassist Rick Burch sold auto parts. The band also toured to raise additional money for recording. However, the money budgeted for the album was not enough. At least one band member wrote a check to cover mixing while hoping that it wouldn't bounce.
Fortunately, famed producer Mark
Trombino, who had also produced two of the band's previous albums,
offered to work for free until the album was finished. He felt confident
that he would be reimbursed by the expected commercial success of the
album. He was not wrong.
3. If The Studio's Rockin, Don't Come Knockin
The band had to lock their studio doors to keep people from harassing them during the album's production.
band create the problem for themselves when, at the suggestion of
Trombino, one of the members upload a handful of demo tracks to the
notorious music platform Napster. You may or may not remember Napster
from their hot-water controversy with Metallica in the early 00s as the
platform at one point had allowed users to download music for free. When
the new Jimmy Eat World demos leaked, thirsty A&R (artists and
repertoire) executives from various labels arrived at the Jimmy Eat
World studio unnanounced, like a feeding frenzy of sharks who smelled a
chart-topping album about to make a big splash.
4. Panic Songs
Much of the lyrical content on the album stems from singer Jim Adkins' anxiety disorder.
"It started toward the end of the Clarity tour... It was ultra bizarre 'cause I really couldn't pinpoint what was wrong. I was reading, and out of nowhere I started freaking out, feeling like I was having a heart attack or something. I didn't understand what was going on. I thought it was probably just physical stress...
It's tough to get rid of it completely... Whenever it gets to a point when I feel it building up a little bit, it kind of gets to your head like, 'Is this gonna happen again?'" - Jim Adkins; Brave New World, Bob Mehr, Phoenix New Times (Sep 27, 2001)
5. That Dog
Rachel Haden of That Dog makes a few cameos on the album.
former bassist of the notable Los Angeles rock band added vocals to the
songs "Hear You Me," If You Don't, Don't," "Cautioners," and "My
6. MTV Music Generator
Did you ever play a video game that could make a song out of you? Ok, maybe that doesn't make any sense, but the song "Get It Faster" features an intro segment that was programmed using MTV Music Generator on Playstation 2.
7. Tribute to Weezer Fans
"Hear You Me" was written as a tribute to two girls who ran Weezer's fan club.
The sisters Mykel and Carli Allen unfortunately passed away in a car accident on the way home from one of Weezer's shows in July of 1997. The pair had previously touched Jimmy Eat World's heart when they opened up their home to the band, inspiring the lyrics "There's no one in town I know/You gave us someplace to go."
8. "Salt Sweat Sugar"
The album title Bleed American was temporarily changed to Jimmy Eat World for a couple of years.
Released in July of 2001, the album title would be changed following the attacks in the United States on September 11. The self-titled moniker would remain until 2008 when the original title Bleed American would return. The album's title track was also changed to "Salt Sweat Sugar" during this seven year period.
9. No Sweetness
"Sweetness" which is a fan favorite from the band's catalog was essentially an incomplete track that was almost scrapped from the album.
"I just had this melody in my head and I was demoing it and singing it and kind of having a hard time with it. I almost didn't bring it to the band because I was thinking to myself, 'I can't just say nothing. I can't just use all these sort of alyrical whoahs for this much of a song.' " - Adkins; Pop Goes The Emo..., Brian Wallace, MTV, (July 26, 2001)
Fortunately Jim *did* bring the track to the band because the placeholder "whoas" have since become iconic.
10. The Email
Lyrics to the iconic smash hit single "The Middle" were written as a response to an email sent from a fan.
"That song was kind of a joke, really. It was just so simple that I didn't think any of the other guys would like it. It was right at the beginning of us trying to use the Internet and someone wrote us a fan e-mail — that was our foray into social networking at the time, that we had an e-mail address. Someone wrote in saying that they were in junior high and faced with an “I'm not punk enough” kind of feeling... I have an autographed promotional flat of Springsteen's Tunnel of Love and I was thinking, “What would the Boss say to somebody like that” [laughs]?" - Adkins, Jimmy Eat World On The Success Of Bleed American, Sarah Welsh, SF Weekly (Sep 21, 2011)
Brave New World, Bob Mehr, Phoenix New Times (Sep 27, 2001)
Jimmy Eat World On The Success Of Bleed American, Sarah Welsh, SF Weekly (Sep 21, 2011)
Pop Goes The Emo..., Brian Wallace, MTV, (July 26, 2001)
Zach Lind of Jimmy Eat World, Modern Drummer (May 12, 2004)