Jimmy Eat World

'Future' Shock

JimmyJust as Jimmy Eat World was recording "Futures," the follow-up to its hit 2001 self-titled set, the band's future was thrown into doubt.

The Mesa, Ariz., rock act should have been sitting pretty for the first time in its career. Dropped by Capitol after the 1999 release of "Clarity," its major-label debut, the band paid for the recording of "Jimmy Eat World" (aka "Bleed American") with its own money. The set was picked up by DreamWorks and, bolstered by the hit "The Middle," sold 1.3 million units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

But as the foursome began work on "Futures," word came down in November 2003 that Universal Music Group had acquired DreamWorks, and most of the roster was being shifted to Interscope. "We weren't sure what was going to happen, like if we were going to get dropped," guitarist/vocalist Tom Linton says. "It seems like every record we've done we go through this stuff."

Fortunately, their fears were unfounded. "Futures" is an emotive gem, hard-rocking but more complex and serious than "Jimmy Eat World." Notable are a preponderance of guitar solos, which Linton says were enabled by the proximity to a guitar shop as the band recorded the album in Tucson, Ariz. "We had a lot of instruments lying around, older guitars, so we were able to get a lot of different sounds," he says.