“Big Casino,” the bombastic first single from Jimmy Eat World’s new “Chase This Light,” is the story of an aging rocker laying out his version of reality. The Vegas-circuit character is explaining to a younger musician that “rock’n’roll is not all it’s cut out to be,” frontman Jim Adkins says.
“It’s kind of a loser anthem. It’s about a guy with unearned confidence whose assumption of worth is a protective front for total failure. It’s not meant to be a commentary on the music industry at all. Really, it doesn’t have anything to do with anything [we’re doing],” he continues. “We’re in a very good place.”
He speaks the truth. “Chase This Light,” due Oct. 16 via Interscope, fulfills the band’s contract with the label. It follows 2004’s “Futures,” which achieved the band’s high-water mark on The Billboard 200 at No. 6. That album came on the heels of a 2001 self-titled album that featured the surprising top 40 smash “The Middle.”
“After having a top 40 hit, everything felt like it changed,” Adkins says. “‘Futures’ was sort of a reaction to that sudden change. With this record, it’s like we finally learned when to throw on the brakes when we need a break and also when to stop caring what other people think.”