Music News

Jimmy Eat World drummer explains “unique” “poignancy” to playing “The Middle” live

M Jimmyeatworld 090823
Dreamworks/Interscope Records

Jimmy Eat World spent the summer touring while celebrating the band’s 30th anniversary. As you might’ve guessed, the set list closed with “The Middle,” which has remained Jimmy Eat World’s signature song.

Reflecting on the legacy of “The Middle,” drummer Zach Lind tells ABC Audio that it’s “taken on a life of its own.”

“In a way, it’s kind of its own little universe, that song is,” he says.

“The Middle” was originally released as a single off Jimmy Eat World’s 2001 album, Bleed American. And while Lind and his bandmates certainly didn’t expect “The Middle” to become the hit that it did — nor could they possibly predict that a then-11-year-old Taylor Swift would grow up to sing it in an Apple Music commercial — they did have a pretty good feeling about it.

“When you listen to the demo, it’s like, ‘Oh, yeah! Something about this feels right,'” he says.

Playing “The Middle” live now, Lind says, combines the nostalgic and emotional attachment fans have to a song that, at its core, is a simple, energetic rock tune.

“When we play it, it’s like there’s this jubilation about it, but then there’s also people who are connecting to how that song has maybe helped them in the past,” Lind says. “So it’s kind of like this mixture of just kind of fun, but also there’s a sort of poignancy to it that is unique. I think that whenever we play that, everyone sort of releases that.”

All of which is to say that Lind certainly still enjoys rocking “The Middle” live.

“I love it,” he says. “When you play a song and everyone loses their s*** and has fun, what’s not to enjoy?”

Jimmy Eat World will be touring in 2024 alongside Fall Out Boy.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.