He’s with the band

He’s with the band

Into It. Over It. brings full band to Columbus

By Tim Anderl

Photo: Evan Weiss brings Into it. Over It to The Basement in Columbus on Feb. 27; photo: Shervin Lainez

Intersections, the latest album from Into It. Over It., builds on an impressive catalog spanning multiple albums and EPs delivered by prolific Chicago-based songwriter Evan Weiss. Long a collaborator and contributor to many different bands, including Pet Symmetry and Their/They’re/There, in 2007 Weiss began recording his own work under the Into It. Over It. moniker.

His goals were ambitious from the start. The brutal sincerity in his lyrics and compositions, and the months upon years lived out of a van playing any basement and club that would have him, have earned Weiss an incredible following of devout fans. Last fall, Into It. Over It. and Triple Crown Records released the Intersections album, which was recorded at the legendary Soma Electronic Music Studios by Producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine).

In support of the album, Weiss has assembled a proper band and is set to hit the road for a headlining tour that brings him through Ohio. This is what he told Dayton City Paper about performing, the new record and the emo revival.

I caught one of your performances after Proper came out and was impressed by the amount of banter with the crowd and storytelling you did. Do you see yourself as a musician or storyteller first?

I’m a musician first. The storytelling evolved through years of performing solo. Performing alone is truly difficult and it takes time to hone a style and approach. My songs are so personal and about such specific circumstances, the storytelling kind of took on a life of its own. I’d play the songs and eventually someone would ask what some of them were about. I would start telling the stories and getting into more and more detail. It started happening so often that it just became part of the show. There is a stigma to solo performers. It’s really a drag, but it’s really easy to be dismissed by an audience. The storytelling was my way of being able to connect and relate to the crowd. It became part of my approach. – Evan Weiss

Into It. Over It. spent some of the last year being a full-blown rock band. Was that a result of needing a change to keep things interesting?

Well, I’ve done maybe 20 shows as a band in the last 12 months. They were the first 20 I’d ever done. In the grand scheme of things, that really isn’t that many. The full band shows were needed because that’s how the songs are intended to be. They are rock songs. I was touring solo out of need and not so much for want. It’s been rad seeing the band morph and finally being able to play these songs the way they have always been intended. – EW

Will these be full-band shows, or you and a guitar or a mix of both?

It will be full band. – EW

You’ve done some significant support tours recently, but do you experience additional anxiety getting ready for a headliner like you’re doing now?

Totally. [laughter] Absolutely. I think if any band said otherwise, they’d be lying. It is a lot of pressure, especially considering I’ve never done anything like this before. That’s part of it. You have to take the next step. I’m going to do my best to make sure everyone has a good time. We are just hoping for the vibe to be right. So, I’ve invited two bands I really fucking like and we all get along. Furthermore, all the local bands are people we already know or are friends of ours, so I think the vibe for every single show will be awesome. – EW

Is it true you wrote Intersections without using a guitar pick? Was that a personal challenge that was stifling or did it open up doors of creativity you hadn’t explored before?

It is true. It gave the record its own vibe. That was the intention – to write a record and not just songs. It was a personal challenge that, among other things, certainly improved my guitar -playing and songwriting. – EW

Was there a moment during the writing and recording of Intersections that was exceedingly gratifying in one way or another?  

Between myself, Brian Deck and Nick Wakim (drums), it was a consistent theme to continue to challenge ourselves not just as musicians, but what decisions were “right” or “wrong” […] what felt natural and what didn’t. I think ultimately that was the most gratifying. We put in the time and truly pushed ourselves and it really shows. – EW

With Into It. Over It. you’ve played with ’90s emo imagery in your merchandise, so I have to ask you about the media revival phenomenon. What is your take on it?

Here’s my thing: I’m excited journalists are excited to cover the bands I’m in a community with. I think it is not an exclusive group. There’s nothing that says the bands I associate with or other up-and-coming bands can’t be covered by anybody. I think it is awesome people are taking notice and talking about me and my peers. But, I think attaching a term to it may give it a negative connotation. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it isn’t what I would call it. Would I refer to it is as that? No, probably not. But am I offended that other people are if they are talking about the music? No, I’m not. I’d much rather be called an emo band than a pop/punk band. It is more applicable and accurate description for us. – EW

 

Into It. Over It. performs Thursday, Feb. 27, at The Basement, 391 Neil Ave., in Columbus, Ohio. Also on the bill are The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die, A Great Big Pile of Leaves and SRVVLST. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 D.O.S. For more information, please visit intoitoverit.com.

 

Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Anderl at TimAnderl@DaytonCityPaper.com. 

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