Band interviews return! Woohoo! Into It. Over It. is an incredible project that you should know about. Evan Weiss (The Progress, It’s A King Thing, Up Up Down Down) has been writing and recording one song every week since his 23rd birthday. Weiss is 23 weeks in and has 23 songs to show for it. They are all available as free downloads on his site. I talked to the head honcho recently. Here is the Q&A with Evan.
Into It. Over It. Discuss the name. I think it’s something a lot of us can certainly identify with.
This was something Steve Poponi (Up Up Down Down) and I started saying when The Progress would be having recording sessions.
“Where do you wanna eat?”
Of course, after days of eating nothing but Wendy’s, the response would naturally turn into “Over it.” With the initial idea of the project, I thought the name was appropriate for a bunch of reasons… mainly right when I get really into a new song, I have to stop thinking about it and start working on another. I’ve tried my best to say both of the phrases as little as possible as to not get joked on by my friends. They joke on me anyway…
“Why don’t you write a song about it?”
When did you first start thinking about undertaking this project?
June 2007. I was in a rut and totally uninspired. I thought of a way to get out it. I had gotten the idea, but figured it would be better to begin on my birthday as to maintain a definitive start and end date. I tried writing songs beforehand because I thought it would make it easier. I got about seven together. I haven’t used ANY of them — honestly, none of them were that good.
The project was started to keep you motivated. I assume it has worked? Has their been any strain to keep up?
I’ve been stressed out about it a couple times. The only trouble I find myself having is not repeating similar ideas. I generally always allot myself an appropriate amount of time for each song. A couple songs though (ATM Disaster Scenes is one of them) were written less than 24 hours before deadline. I tend to work better under pressure.
Have you noticed any patterns in your songwriting that perhaps you weren’t aware of before this project?
Vocal patterns. I also really love going from loud to quiet as quickly as possible. Steve at Gradwell (Gradwell House is the studio owned and operated by Steve Poponi) described the songs as all sounding really different, but somehow all making sense together. I don’t get it. I just write what I like. Doing the bands I’ve done before, I have never had the ability to develop my own sound. IIOI has really given me that chance. I’ve also decided that being brutally honest at all times is necessary to writing a good song.
Obviously, Into It. Over It. gets a lot of help from your friends. Talk about how Steve from Up Up Down Down and Brian from It’s A King Thing and others have helped. Did they think you were crazy to try this?
Haha. When I initially got the idea, I called Gradwell and talked to Steve about it. I needed to book every Wednesday night at the studio for an entire year. He thought it was a great (but really crazy) idea. Initially, I don’t know if he thought it was possible to do (and afford) each week, but now that we’re in a rhythm it’s gotten really easy to work together and be productive.
Brian is the biggest supporter in the world. Each week he comes up with great art ideas and it’s really become a super important part of the project. He helped me buy the domain and set everything up for the website. I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to that kinda thing. I can visualize an idea, but I can’t translate it… so I visualize it to him and he makes it come to life. He’ one of the most amazing dudes I’ve ever met. He has always thought it was a great idea. I owe him so much.
Everyone I talk to about IIOI thinks it’s pretty crazy. They tend to think it’s even crazier when they actually listen to the songs. That’s why I had to make an FAQ section of the website.
The thing I find amazing about the project is that you write each song the same week you record it…correct?
You bet. Each week I have until Wednesday at Midnight to get something to tape.
What’s going on with your other bands?
The Progress is on an indefinite hiatus. At least I think we are. Jason is making plans to go to law school. Mike and Eric are working a lot and I’ve been doing this. We had stuff written for a new record, but I don’t know if anything will happen with it. I tend to think that over the 10 years we were a band, it might have just run it’s course.
It’s A King Thing is playing shows and supporting the record. That’s Brian’s thing though. I’m just there to play music with him and jump around. I really enjoy doing that band cause it’s super low-stress and just fun hanging out with my friends. Plus, all of Bri’s songs are killer.
So, what happens after October 2nd, 2008 when that last song is finished? Will Into It. Over It. continue?
Here’s the tentative plans: The songs get pulled off the website on Thursday, October 9th. They will be remixed and mastered and pressed on 2xCD and 4xLP. I’m gonna try and tour after that for a full year. I’ve been talking about doing this all over again when I turn 25. We’ll see how it goes. Everything is subject to change, but I have no plans on ditching the name or the idea behind the project.
Can you write a song about this interview?
WEIRD — HAVEN’T HEARD THAT JOKE BEFORE!!