“Big Casino,” the bombastic first single from rock band Jimmy Eat World’s new album 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 explains.
“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.”
But Adkins stresses that the song is not a commentary on the band or on the music industry, noting, “We’re in a very good place.”
Its new album “Chase This Light,” due October 16 via Interscope, is the follow-up to 2004’s “Futures,” which sold 617,000 units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Before that, the band’s 2001 self-titled album sold 1.5 million copies, powered by the surprise 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.”
“Futures” cemented Jimmy Eat World as a reliable Modern Rock chart hitmaker on Billboard’s airplay-based Modern Rock chart with songs like “Work” and its title track. “Big Casino” is continuing the trend, currently perched at No. 6.
“Chase This Light” fulfills Jimmy Eat World’s contract with Interscope, but the band remains comfortable in the major-label system.
“They make our life easier for the time being. Radio is still very important to us, (as is) having the strength of the distribution. It’s giving us the best chance we have in this kind of marketplace,” drummer Zach Lind says.
As for what comes next, it’s anyone’s guess.
Like clockwork, Jimmy Eat World has put out an album once every three years, but with its own studio in Arizona and a world of label options available, the group hopes to crack “the unbreakable three-year cycle” with more output once promotion for “Chase This Light” dies down.