Jimmy Eat World singer-guitarist Jim Adkins says the band’s “Summer Gods” tour with co-headliner Third Eye Blind has hit its stride.
“You can rehearse as much as you want, but you don’t really get better at playing in front of people unless you play in front of people,” says Adkins, calling from a tour stop in Cleveland. “It’s like if you want to run faster, the secret is you’ve got to run faster.”
And after 25 years together, Jimmy Eat World, which plays Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater Thursday, knows exactly what it needs to do to prepare for a tour, though this time it has readied more songs than usual, about 40 of them — from breakout hits such as “The Middle” and “Sweetness” to recent singles “Love Never” and “Half Heart,” from its upcoming album.
How do you pick a set list? You have songs that you have to do or the audience will riot.
I like playing songs that people want to hear. We’ve never been this sort of sadistic type of act that didn’t want to play the singles… For a tour like this, there’s definitely hard-core fans of ours there, but there’s also a lot of people that maybe are just sorta familiar with us.
Your two new songs “Love Never” and “Half Heart” kind of show the two sides of the band — the harder guitar side and the more contemplative side. Was that planned?
Yeah. We had like a batch of songs and we just felt like these were the best, Grade A ones. It was sort of like the classic A and B sides.
Is that in line with the rest of the new album?
When we’re writing, it’s just all about the best songs. And sometimes you put all the best ones together and it’s like, ‘Well, these are just better than these other ones’…. I feel like for this album, it just seemed like the more rock-guitar songs seem to have won out.
Do you have a favorite Long Island show?
We did a radio show at Jones Beach a long time ago, where it was Papa Roach and The Strokes and us... It’s pretty nuts if you’re a music fan to get all that in one day. That was pretty crazy… Jones Beach is such a great venue, man. We’re stoked to get back there.
WHO Third Eye Blind + Jimmy Eat World
WHEN|WHERE 7 p.m. Thursday, Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
INFO $29.50-$119.50; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com