No Sleep Records is giving away my “Proper” album now for FREE!
Into It. Over It. with Hostage Calm
6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16
8911 N. Western Ave.
"The world of emo has changed a lot over time, and Evan Weiss — the man behind Into It. Over It. — has been there to witness a lot of it.
“It’s grown from us playing in warehouses and basements to us being able to play in venues and tour nationwide on the strength of this underground network,” he said. “It’s a really cool thing to witness.”
Weiss cut his teeth playing with a host of different bands aiming to be the next Brand New or Taking Back Sunday before breaking loose to start making music alone.
“I was tired of waiting around for people to make it full-time. It’s so much easier when you are only relying on yourself to get things going,” Weiss said. “It was just something I need to do. Nothing would ever get done, and now I’m taking the reigns and doing it my way, and it’s allowed for a lot of opportunity and decision-making.”
Now, he finds Into It. Over It. named a leader of the emo revival, alongside the likes of Title Fight and Balance and Composure, both bands making the dismissed subgenre hip again, even if he doesn’t fully agree with the emo label.
“I’ve seen it go through the cycles over the last 10 years, but now it’s finally getting to a point where some of the bands are at a size that music publications simply can’t ignore them any more,” Weiss said. “That’s where my influences are from, generally speaking, so it’s more appropriate than some genre comparisons I’ve gotten, but I don’t look at it that way. But if they are willing to expose their readership to this new movement of bands — my friends, basically — then I think it’s cool. All press is good press.”
There’s certainly more to the equation, with Weiss bringing in a steady stream of other influences to his music (which most would note bears similarities to Death Cab For Cutie, Minus the Bear and others that hedge the line between emo and indie), most recently showcased in Intersections, which hit shelves in late September.
“I like how I feel I’ve grown and honed my craft as a songwriter,” Weiss said. “It doesn’t sound like any of the other records, and I’m glad to have that differentiation, that line in the sand between each album. It confuses some people, but at the end of the day, it’s got to be something that pleases me. I’m the only one here, so it’s got to be right by me.”
Weiss looks to support the album on tour both here and abroad, with a Wednesday, Oct. 16 date at The Conservatory. It hits after a national tour in support of Saves the Day and before a trip over the pond to Europe with more national touring planned early next year. He loves the opportunity to share these new songs with fans new and old, he said.
“It’s smarter. It’s more thought out. It’s more fluid. It sounds like a record, like 12 songs that belong together, and I love that,” Weiss said. “It’s the best representation of my songwriting to date. As far as a total release, it’s the most pleased I’ve been.””
The last time we spoke to Evan Weiss, he had only done solo tours as Into It. Over It. Not too long after that, he started performing with a full band. Then he formed two other bands: Their/They’re/There and Pet Symmetry. With a new band lineup of Into It. Over It in tow, Weiss is currently promoting a new record,Intersections, and is an opening act for Saves the Day, which hits Trees on Wednesday night. We wanted to catch up with Weiss and ask how the hell he had time for all this stuff.
Can you give me a general overview of how it’s been for you in the last 14, 15 months?
Well, we got home from that tour and then I went to Europe for a while, came back, then started rehearsing with the previous band [lineup], which was the dudes who play in Stay Ahead of the Weather with me. The communication and the way we play together was already established, but having to teach them, you know, 17 or 18 songs was a pretty long and arduous process but it made for a great payoff. But those dudes have actual full-time jobs, so when it came time to start the new band, my two friends Josh and Tim swept in right at the perfect time to take over. We just finished rehearsing and learning even more for this trip.
Tell me about how Their/They’re/There and Pet Symmetry formed.
I was home for most of the year, because I had to write a record. I was put on hold for the touring thing because the cycle for Proper was over. When I’m home, I’m chomping at the bit to work on something. So I had been talking to my buddy Matt, who plays guitar in Their/They’re/There, for a while about starting a band. It seemed like a good time because I was going to be home for a while. Him and I got together and started writing some songs on bass and guitar. We were throwing ideas around for a drummer and right before then, I played a show with Mike [Kinsella] and him and I were talking him really wanting to drum for a band again. So I suggested Mike to do it. Low commitment, we’re not going to tour, have any shows, we’ll just record some songs and put them out. Went to Mike with that idea. Matt was in school and I was doing Into It. Over It and he was doing Owen and having a family. He was onboard and we started playing together really easy. The whole thing clicked pretty well. That’s been a great way to fill some time, I think, for all three of us to have something to work on. It’s been fun playing bass in a band again. With Pet Symmetry, it was a similar thing with their songwriting. We just get together and play together and start working on stuff for fun. Doing stuff to fill up the year and stay busy and not having any pressure or expectations to write songs.
Would you say there was a lot of pressure and expectations withIntersections?
Yeah, I think so, but I always apply more pressure than needed on my own material rather on a band that I’m doing for fun. I mean, I did Into It. Over It for fun too, but there’s way more at stake. I’m way more critical and inside my own head about it, so it makes me more stressed-out about it, naturally. If I’m going to be writing something and working on it, I want it to be the best it can be, so it’s constantly pushing myself and getting nervous and guessing. That creative minutia that drives us to insanity.
Do you want future Into It. Over It releases to be with a full band?
I don’t know. I’ve never really thought about it. It’s one step at a time. If it’s something I’m able to do, I’m probably going to keep doing it because it’s way easier to be in control and work on it. But that doesn’t mean that would always be the case. It would definitely make it easier when showing everybody how to play everything. [laughs]
How long did it take to record Intersections?
We did it in, something like, 21 days spread over three months because Brian [Deck, producer] was working on another project at the same time that he had already planned and booked before we booked time with him.
With Intersections, the first few times I listened to it, it reminded me more of the 52 Weeks than Proper. Has anyone else said that to you?
Yeah, but that’s how I feel about it. The thing with Proper was that I wanted to write a rock record and I did that. I think that’s the best rock record I could make. I love that record, I’m really happy with it, I love those songs and I love how it came out, but I don’t want to make the same record twice, ever, for any reason. The next record is not going to sound likeIntersections, either. I don’t want it to. And I don’t think any of the other records, necessarily, sound the same, but I think stylistically, yeah, it’s back. 52 Weeks does have too many fucking songs on it and more of those are laid back because there wasn’t a lot of time to write with six days [to write each song]. I think if I wrote those 52 Weeks songs over an extended period, perfect them and craft them, it would have sounded like Intersections, which is, at the core, how I write music. You know, for people to try and compare Proper toIntersections, I don’t think that’s fair. I don’t think they’re the same. I don’t think they should be. I don’t think that makes for a career. People act like they want to hear a band to write the same record twice, but nobody really wants that. [laughs]
Unless you have a punk rock mentality! [laughs]
I think there are more open-minded music fans out there than just-punk rock fans. The ones who only want punk rock are more likely to complain about something.
Yeah! I think people who really liked Into It. Over It since the beginning are really going to like this. I’m still writing the same. There are people comparing it to Mike [Kinsella]’s songwriting. They just draw that comparison since we play in a band together. I don’t play guitar any differently now than when I did five years ago. I think that’s a lazy comparison. But Mike and I would agree we don’t write music the same. We don’t think about it the same. I make jokes with him that he ruined pretty guitar playing for everyone. No one can play pretty guitar anymore because he’s played it. [laughs]
Something that didn’t really make sense to me until I talked with Keith Latinen [from Empire! Empire! I Was a Lonely Estate] was how a lot of teenagers these days value what Mike has been a part of, whether it’s Cap’n Jazz or Owen. They value it like when we were younger, say, with the Ramones or the Sex Pistols. That’s how much they’re cherished. I’m curious if you were a little star-struck when you met Mike.
No. I’ve been listening to his bands since I was young. But no, he’s a dude. He’s a regular dude. [laughs] There’s nothing intimidating about him, whatsoever. The more we’ve become friends, I don’t even think about it anymore. I look at him as a peer.
With this Saves the Day tour, had you played with Chris [Conley] and the various iterations of Saves the Day before?
Yeah! I did the Where’s the Band? tour together a few years ago, which was three and a half weeks of me and him and few other dudes in a van, playing shows. I [had] never played shows with Saves the Day. I used to see him all the time when I grew up in New Jersey. So I’m looking forward to these shows.
So with the Saves the Day tour, a tour of Japan, what’s coming down the pike after that?
We’re going to Europe right after that. I’m basically not in my house until December. After that, in the new year, we’re going out again.
How many bands do you plan to form next year? [laughs]
None. No new records. No new releases. This year was my year at home, so, that time I made a bunch of stuff. Now I’m done making it, I’ve got to go out and play it. [laughs]
When you do a Google search for “Evan Weiss,” you are not the top result. A trumpet player is. Have you ever been confused with Evan Weiss, the trumpet player, or Evan Weiss, the comedian?
No. Never. Not one. [laughs] I know about the comedian. Him and I got into a spat on Twitter about Obama. [laughs] He’s a comedian and a right wing conservative and I am not. We were talking about who was the better Evan Weiss and I think I might have won. [laughs]
Is The Progress going to do a reunion show?
We’ve been talking about it. It’s just a matter of finding out when we could do it. We all have to relearn all of the songs. We’ve all been waiting, trying to get this vinyl release together. Until the vinyl release comes together, it doesn’t make any sense for us to play a show. It’ll happen eventually. There’s no rush.Into It. Over It plays with Saves the Day and Hostage Calm at Trees on Wednesday, October 9th.
Did you grab a ticket to the full band Into It. Over It. record release show at Schuba’s yet? Small room and not many tickets left!
"Have you ever watched a child play with a toy? He’ll usually love the living hell out of it right up until the moment that he doesn’t. When he’s tired of trying to jam it up his nose or smash it through your flatscreen TV, he’ll drop it on the floor and forget about it forever. Forever…or until someone else starts to play with it, at which point, IT IS HIS FAVORITE THING IN THE WORLD AND HE WANTS IT BACK NOW NOW NOW NOW. Music critics are a lot like children and right now their toy is emo.
At some point recently, someone must’ve picked up the emo toy and music writers everywhere decided they also wanted to play because seemingly out of nowhere, a buttload of articles about emo revival started popping up on the more popular music sites: “Twenty Bands You Need To Know In The Emo Revival Movement,” “Emo Revival Is Real And So Is Your Pain,” “Break Out The Razor Blades And Start Cuttin’ Again, You Fucking Nerds, Emo Is Back!” It’s all bullshit of course because emo never went away in the first place. Much like the toy on the floor, it’s been sitting there until someone decided it needed to be picked up again.
Sure, emo absolutely saw a golden era in the mid-to-late ‘90s when bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, Mineral, and Texas Is The Reason were on fire. Or as “on fire” as a band can be while still singing about girls breaking up with them. But just because most of the music press moved on to other things like publicly fellating Jack White for a decade or pretending folk rock isn’t the most embarrassing white people music on the planet, doesn’t mean emo ever died off. New bands have come and gone, old bands have reunited and broken up again, and some staples have just stayed the course.
Look at folks at Tim Kasher of Cursive/The Good Life or Mike Kinsella of Owen or Jonah Mantraga of onelinedrawing. All stuck it out. All have more or less been putting out the same sound for a decade. Same goes for emo grampas like The Appleseed Cast and Jimmy Eat World. Hell, even emo-millionaire and mini-Hugh Jackman look-alike Chris Carrrabba is still cuddling close to blankets and sheets with Dashboard Confessional.
Or look at someone like Evan Weiss. Literally look at him, he is a beautiful man. Evan is enjoying the perks of this “emo revival” coverage. His Into It. Over It. project has received positive mentions lately in emo revival round-ups in The Village Voice, Stereogum, and Pitchfork. A great bump for this burgeoning new artist. Except wait. Evan has been pushing his wimpy emo jams on people for the last 14 FUCKING YEARS. It’s just that no one cared to write about it until now.
For Evan, the “emo revival” trend is bittersweet. “I think it’s awesome that major music publications or cool indie rock publications are posting about these bands,” he told me. “But I feel to call it an ‘emo revival’ is kind of lame. They’re all like, ‘Yo, check out these really cool bands…that you should feel guilty for listening to!’ Are you kidding me? It’s almost like this weird backhanded compliment.” (It should be noted that when I talked to Evan for this, he was wearing LL Cool J’s hoodie from the “Mama Said Knock You Out” video and I had to sit through him repeatedly shouting, “Don’t call it a comeback! I been here for years!“)
Evan takes it all in stride though because he’s been around long enough to know where this whole revival train is headed. “The weird’s gonna get weirder and the poppy and commercial stuff is just gonna completely destroy it and it’s gonna collapse on top of itself all over again. It’s a cycle… Every genre has a way of being co-opted.”
Right there, Evan, in his infinite emo wisdom just touched upon the exact source of the problem: co-opting. Emo’s current situation can all be traced back to the early 2000’s when whatever dumb, lazy music journalist was the first person to start calling MTV-friendly bands like My Chemical Romance, The Used, and Fall Out Boy “emo.” For the record: they are not. No, let me write that again in all caps. THEY ARE NOT. God, that felt good. Really, someone should have coined a new genre for those bands years ago. (Is it too late to suggest “Your Little Sister’s Favorite Band-Core” or “Hot Topic Rock”?) Because by lumping those bands in with emo by default, you are pissing into the emo river and poisoning the genre, giving it the awful stigma that emo is nothing more than a bunch of eyeliner-wearing goth teens with stupid swoopy haircuts and black nail polish. (In actuality, real emo kids are preppy nerds who wear black-framed glasses and have VERY SERIOUS opinions about Jets to Brazil.)
The irony in all of this is that a large reason emo “died down” in the first place—aside from most of its followers finally losing their virginities and getting lives—is because it was forced to go underground when every music outlet stupidly tried to stick emo with My Chemical Romance and Paramore. And now, in 2013, those same music outlets are trying to tell us what new emo bands we should check out. It sounds a lot like when Dick Cheney goes on Fox News and advises Obama on how to handle the Iraq war. Thanks, guys, but we’d all rather eat a Hitler sandwich than take your shitty, hypocritical advice.
Eventually, this problem will solve itself. The “emo revival” articles will soon hit a critical mass. The straw that will break the camel’s back will be when some New York Times writer takes a break from penning the paper’s 500th “Have You Noticed There Are Hipsters Living In Brooklyn???” article to write a trend piece on emo. TheTimes' anti-Midas touch will kill the trend dead where it stands and everyone will lose interest in emo and move on to whatever dumb music subgenre is popular that week, like indie drone Celtic trip-hop or whatever. But for the moment, we’re all currently trapped in fake emo revival hell and to borrow a line from emo legends, The Promise Ring, nothing feels good.”
A huge thank you to anyone who has purchased “Intersections”. It means the world to me and I cannot thank you enough. If you haven’t yet purchased you can do so at the below links!
Physical US: http://bit.ly/vQ6bF
Physical UK: http://bit.ly/176wysa
New Zealand: http://bit.ly/1bEBppF
"They say emo’s coming back — and by they, we mean Stereogum, who is totally right, even if emo never really left. Into It. Over It. is one of 12 bands pegged by the indie site as leading the current wave of emo, and their track “No Amount of Sound” is definitely worthy of the praise.
The Chicago one-man band’s latest single eschews rhythmic heat or hard-riffing power chords for some slo-mo ’90s noise, mustering decaying electric guitar riffs and the heavy volume of feedback and open chords underneath Evan Weiss’ bedroom-tender melody. It’s not far from the sound of Translanticism-era Death Cab for Cutie or Pedro the Lion circa Control.
Watch Into It. Over It.’s “No Amount Of Sound” video after the jump.
The song’s careful video fits the track’s noisy build, capturing Weiss alone in a room, briefcase in hand. Where is he? The office? Nope: Soon we’re diving through his memories, and it seems to be his childhood bedroom, empty and abandoned. He tries to fill up the room with furniture again, but it fills up on him instead — a visual metaphor too moving to spoil.
The video doesn’t spell out why he’s come back in the first place, but connect the dots and you’ll see why dude’s so bummed. We’re not, though! Emo forever.”
Minus me not being in the video, this is fun! Thanks mtv!
If you haven’t seen the “No Amount Of Sound” video released on Monday, stereogum has posted today. Check it out!
Check out the stereogum “12 Bands To Know From The Emo Revival” feature!
"It’s a simple narrative that never seems to fail: A music genre gets hot, wears out its welcome, gets banished to un-hip purgatory for a period of time and then, inexplicably, comes back cooler than before.
It’s happening right now to the punk subgenre “emo” — the sexier label is the “Midwestern emo revival” — and Evan Weiss, the 28-year-old singer/songwriter from Chicago better known as Into It. Over It., has emerged as the one of movement’s most vital artists. Just don’t ask him if he’s surprised by it all.
“It’s funny that people are only noticing it now because I feel like that revival has been happening for the last six years,” Weiss said. “It doesn’t seem new to me, but if it’s new to them, let them enjoy it.”
Weiss, understandably, has greater concerns than genre semantics. Into It. Over It.’s fourth album, “Intersections,” was released Tuesday, and he’s touring the United States (including a stop at Washington’s Black Cat on Sunday), Japan and Europe all before Christmas.
Since beginning Into It. Over It. in 2007 as a songwriting exercise (his first official release was “52 Weeks,” a double album of tracks Weiss wrote a week at a time), Weiss has continuously honed his skills as a lyricist and songwriter. “Intersections,” the culmination of his refinement, is Into It. Over It.’s most expansive effort, and as a result, makes for one of the best albums of the year.
The key to Into It. Over It.’s success, Weiss said, has been a constant battle against complacency. He calls 2011’s “Proper” his “rock record,” and said that when it came to record “Intersections,” Weiss knew he wanted to head in a “100 percent different” direction with producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine).
“I enjoy confusing people. I enjoy doing whatever makes me happy,” Weiss said. “You can call it ‘emo,’ I can call it ‘punk,’ whatever. I think writers have kind of a harder time pinning exactly what I do and that’s because I don’t do anything besides what I want.”
For “Intersections,” Weiss wanted to see how much he could write without using a guitar pick. He wrote and recorded the entire 12-song album without one. To an outsider, it’s an intriguing approach, but Weiss said it was a natural progression.
“I thought about it later and said, ‘But there’s finger picking on all of the albums,’“ Weiss said. “It’s not that unique but it definitely gave the album its own vibe and made it have a warmer quality.”
Like many forefathers of his genre, Weiss’ lyrics are specific and fueled by raw emotion. Unlike others, he often leaves songs open-ended. On “Intersections,” he returns to past songs and themes to continue the story. “Upstate Blues” references “Buffalo, N.Y.,” a song from 2011’s “Twelve Towns” album. “Connecticut Steps,” a fan favorite from “Proper,” addresses an unexpected death, and new standout “The Shaking of Leaves,” an update to the former according to Weiss, reminds us that while friends die, they never disappear.
“I was going through this year and realizing there are these updates on stories and where relationships in my life were now versus where they were three or four years ago,” he said.
“Intersections” has more deeply personal and intense moments on it than “Proper,” Weiss said. On “Obsessive Compulsive Distraction,” he sings, “I can’t recall a single thing before I turned 18 / A quarter crisis from the back of my destructive brain.”
“That’s actually my favorite song,” he said. “It was definitely the most emotional, I think, of all the Into It. Over It. [songs]. Definitely the most dark.”
Recently, songs from “Intersections” have received praise from outlets that didn’t cover the release of “Proper,” including SPIN and Pitchfork most notably. Whether emo is having a moment or critics are finally recognizing his talents as a songwriter, Weiss doesn’t seem to care either way.
“People are going to label things the second it gets pushed out, but I don’t look at it the way. It’s bands writing music they want to write,” Weiss said. “Love it or hate it, I know I made something I’m really stoked on.”