Know Your Edge Artist: Jimmy Eat World, Third Eye Blind, and Ra Ra Riot

Featured this year as a part of Artpark’s Coors Light Concert Series, Jimmy Eat World will be taking the stage with the legends in Third Eye Blind and Ra Ra Riot.

Forming over 20 years ago, Jimmy Eat World, the four-piece band from Mesa, Arizona has released nine full-length albums and has no plans of slowing down.

The band’s name came from a crayon drawing incident between guitarist Tom Linton’s younger brothers, Jim and Ed Linton, who frequently fought. According to an interview with Chris Linton, “Jim usually won, but Ed sought revenge by drawing a picture of Jim shoving the Earth into his mouth; the picture bore the caption ‘Jimmy eat world’.”

During these founding years, they fell into the pop-punk influences of Mr. T Experience, Radon, and Tempe’s Horace Pinker.

Clarity, the band’s second album, was recorded in two different California studios between 1998 and 1999. This album marks the start of Jim Adkins on vocals putting Linton strictly on guitar. The single on this album,” Lucky Denver Mint” received a radio remix that was featured in the movie “Never Been Kissed.” This song and album led the band to a cult-following. Clarity has since amassed cult status and critical acclaim.

Their third album, Bleed American, is what got their name into the mainstream realm of music. The band decided to go without  a label for this one and completely supported themselves financially with touring and picking up day jobs. The album was released in July of 2001 featuring title track, “Bleed American,” named “Salt Sweat Sugar,” in the UK and “The Middle,” which became the band’s biggest single to date. “The Middle”reached number 5 on the Billboard Top 100 chart and the music video received a significant amount of airplay on MTV’s TRL. Bleed American was certified platinum by the RIAA.

Following the September 11 attacks, the band decided to reissue the album as Jimmy Eat World, and the title track to “Salt Sweat Sugar,” out of concern that the title Bleed American might be misinterpreted, possibly as a threatening “bleed, American”.

In an interview with CFOX, Adkins said that, “It was something that we decided around September 14 that we wanted to do. … We wanted people to listen to the recording with as unbiased a viewpoint as they can bring into it so they could make the songs what they will for themselves and we just felt like maybe the album title would get in the way of that.”

In 2008, the album was re-released as a deluxe edition and renamed to its original title, Bleed American. This edition contains a total of 32 tracks — the original 11 as well as 21 bonus tracks, which are live recordings, demos and B-sides.

In 2017, Rolling Stone marked Bleed American as number 25 on  their list of the 50 Greatest Pop-Punk Albums.

In 2016, Apple debuted an ad to promote Apple Music featuring Taylor Swift lip syncing and dancing to “The Middle” According to Fuse, this caused significant renewed interest in the band; their song “The Middle” rose to #32 on the iTunes Top Songs Chart, while Pandora noted a 325% increase in Jimmy Eat World station ads in the first day after the ad premiered.

Be sure to be at Artpark on July 3rd to hear all of Jimmy Eat World’s chart-toppers and lesser-known favorites.

Forming in the same year as Jimmy Eat World, the Coors light Concert Series headliner Third Eye Blind found commercial success since their start in 1993. In a meeting with Epic Records executive Dave Massey occuring in April of 1996, the band landed themselves an opening slot for Oasis at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium. In an unlikely turn of events, they got cheered on for an encore, which never happens to an opening band. The promoter paid them double and their success has only gone up since then. The band found themselves in a bidding war between recording labels and after a showcase, vocalist Stephan Jenkins signed the band with Sylvia Rhone of Elektra Records because they believed it offered the most artistic freedom.

Their first album, Third Eye Blind was released in 1997 and had five singles “Semi-Charmed Life”, “Graduate”, “How’s It Going to Be”, “Losing a Whole Year”, and “Jumper.”

“Semi-Charmed Life” gave Third Eye Blind a lot of notoriety for only having one album out. It peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was number 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks for 8 weeks. It also earned the band a Billboard Music Award for modern rock track of the year.

To date, this has been the bands most successful album, selling 6 million copies in the U.S. alone. During this time, the band opened for a number of shows on U2’s PopMart tour.

In 1996, their second album Blue was released but did not receive as much popularity. However, it did sell 75,000 copies in the first week of release and 1.25 million copies in the U.S. by 2003.

After extensive touring from the release of the self-titled up through 2003, the band had  taken a  break from performing, appearing only at charity events. The band put on shows for Tiger Woods Foundation and the Breathe Benefit Concert in Los Angeles after Jenkins’ mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. During the gap from touring and writing, the band built a recording studio in San Francisco called “Morningwood” Studios to ensure that they could feel comfortable recording future releases.

The band has released numerous albums since the self-titled and Blue, none of which had the same amount of success as the first two.

In July of 2016, the band played a benefit concert for “Musicians on Call,” a charity organization in close proximity to the Republican National Convention.The band took the opportunity to speak out against the Republican Party, criticizing their views on science and LGBT rights, and playing tracks specifically critical of their stances, including “Jumper”, and “Non-Dairy Creamer.”

In 2017, Third Eye Blind planned on releasing an EP titled Summer Gods coinciding with the title of their tour with Silversun Pickups at the time. The Ep was supposed to explore a variety of new sounds for the band, including trap music. The EP was not finished in time for the tour and became a live album of performances from the tour instead. In June of 2018, Jenkins announced that the band would release an EP consisting of covers titled Thanks For Everything. The seven songs that Jenkins chose were “ an act of reinterpreting and recording cover songs of various genres that had influenced the band over the years was done to help find inspiration for the creation of a future studio album.”

Be sure to check out Third Eye Blind co-headlining with Jimmy Eat World in the beginning of July.

Opening the Jimmy Eat World/Third Eye Blind co headliner are the American indie-rock band from Syracuse, New York, Ra Ra Riot.

The band formed in 2006, playing at houses and small venues around Syracuse University. In February of 2006, the band recorded a demo and then started to receive attraction due to their energetic shows, which was enough to gain an appearance at the CMJ Music Marathon; this all happened within the first six months of them forming. After this appearance, their live show received favorable reviews from Spin, calling them “”one of the best young bands we’ve heard in a really long time.”

The band went on to open for Art Brut and Bow Wow Wow, bands based out of Germany and England in New York City. They toured the UK twice on their one, then returned as an opening act for an English rock band called Editors.

Their first solo headlining tour in the U.S. happened in 2007, and then they embarked on another in 2008.

In July of 2007, the band released their debut six-song EP which was released on the Rebel Group label, In the winter of that year, the band signed to major label V2 Record and to celebrate, they released “Dying Is Fine” and “Each Year (RAC Mix)” on 7″ vinyl as an A/B single. In December 2007, the band announced that they had finished recording songs for their debut studio album.

In May 2008, the band had signed to Basuk Records, and released their debut album, The Rhumb Line in August of 2008. The music video for “Can You Tell” wonBest Music Video at the 2009 Finger Lakes Film Festival.

In January of 2011 the band was nominated for the 10th annual Independent Music Awards in the Pop/Rock Album category for The Orchard, their second studio album.

Their third studio album, Bela Love, was released in January of 2013, coinciding with a live worldwide Internet broadcast of the band’s concert that night at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York. This album marked a shift in their musical style away from their earlier baroque pop and more towards synth pop.

Following this tour with Third Eye blind, Ra Ra Riot is to release their fourth studio album Superbloom, set to be out in August.