Chicago's Into It. Over It. has had a busy year. Between multiple releases from multiple records lables and a heavy tour schedule, it is safe to claim that Evan Weiss is an incredibly hard worker. IIOI's most recent LP, Proper, was released in September while on tour with Andrew Jackson Jihad and Frank Turner. Punknews Interviewer, Justine Rowland, was able to catch up Evan at his hometown show to discuss his latest release and his experiences on the road.
Currently Into It. Over It. is on tour with Broadway Calls and The Swellers. Beginning January 19th 2012, Evan will be on the "Where's My Band Tour" with Matt Pryor (The Get Up Kids), Chris Conley (Saves The Day), Anthony Raneri (Bayside), Ace Enders (The Early November) and Dustin Kensrue (Thrice, limited dates).
First of all, thanks for taking the time for this interview. I know you've only got one day back in Chicago on this tour. What did you do with your time here today?
I hadn't been in my own city since August 20th. I woke up. Got coffee at my favorite spot (Wormhole), got lunch at my favorite taco place (Big Star) with my best friend (Nick Wakim) and then hung out with the lovely lady for the rest of the day.
You've been on the road with Andrew Jackson Jihad and Frank Turner for a while now. What has that experience been like for you?
It's been incredible. The shows have been mostly sold out and really positive for everyone involved. We've all been riding together in one vehicle and it's been a nice "family affair" sort of experience. Everyone gets along really great, making it a really smooth trip. We've also lucked out with the weather big time. No rain this entire tour.
Have they turned you on to any new music over the course of the tour?
I think we all have. Frank and I have definitely connected over some shared tastes that we have. AJJ and I have been going back and forth sharing song writers and hardcore bands we enjoy. There hasn't been as much music listening on this trip as I think we'd all normally prefer, however.
Obviously you know this interview is for Punknews, but the tour package you're with isn't with full bands for anyone. How do you feel about the trend of stripped down or solo punk musicians touring these days?
Well, Frank has his band with him and they are loud as shit. AJJ and I technically have our full bands as well, haha. This tour has been really cool because from the start of the show to the end, it takes very nice steps sonically. I wouldn't call performing solo a trend whatsoever. Performing solo isn't a popular option. It's a choice that most of us choose out of necessity. Very few people have the confidence (more like bravery) to get up in front of a crowd, alone. There aren't many of us that aren't afraid. People that perform solo (at least speaking from my own experience) are just tired of waiting around for other people to be able to go out and do things… To be productive and work hard… to hone a craft and share it with people.
With 2011 coming to a close, have you begun to look ahead to 2012 in regards to touring yet?
Oh yeah. I'm booked through June at this point. We'll be announcing the new tours as the year rolls on. I'm always on the road.
Switching gears a little bit, this year IIOT had four releases plus a split with Such Gold. Do you see yourself keeping up this pace for recording and releasing music?
Well most of those releases were part of the Twelve Towns project. This involved putting out 7" records to encompass one great project that was culminated in the collection LP. Really the only super new material was Proper. I have some one-off plans for things coming up this year, but nothing as engaged. I put out a record and I plan on touring/supporting it. I wanna give it a nice push. I wanna focus on those songs and give them their all. It's the first time I'd released something that wasn't project related. I'm sure I'll be ready to record again sooner than I expect though. It's my favorite thing to do.
How was your experience recording your Proper LP versus Twelve Towns LP, which was clearly more of a concept album?
Well, the Twelve Towns songs were all recorded doing a couple songs at a time for each 7" release. I would write a couple songs, record them, release them and then write a couple more. The sessions were usually always just one day and spread across fall/winter 2009/2010. It was less of an album and more of a collection. Proper was written in one winter and recorded in 14 days. It was a completely different experience. It's the first actual album I'd ever done as IIOI.
Did you receive the feedback from your Proper LP that you were hoping for?
Totally. The reaction has really been nothing but positive. Either way though, I'm super proud of it.
Do you expect to have time to work on any of your other music projects in 2012? (Stay Ahead of the Weather? Damiera?)
I haven't been in Damiera since 2008 and was never a writing member. I just toured with them for about a year playing bass. They are in a new band now called Hidden Hospitals.
SAOTW is basically just an extension of IIOI. Nick and I used the same writing process and just put those songs out for fun. The SAOTW 7" would have just become scrapped IIOI songs otherwise. I'd say that we have plans to write more, but we really don't. We enjoy getting together when we're all at home and have some time to goof off and play music. With my touring schedule and everyone's jobs, this has become close to impossible, but we're not pulling the plug on anything.
I've really wanted to start a couple different fun bands in Chicago, but it's just a matter of finding the time. IIOI is really the focus.
Once again, thanks for taking a few minutes to talk with me.. Anything you'd like to close out the interview with?
Nah, this has been killer. Thanks Punknews.