by Vasilis, contributing writer
At a show earlier this year at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (opening up for Matt Pryor and James DeWees of The Get Up Kids/Reggie and the Full Effect), Evan Weiss performed his set in an unfamiliar position: standing up. Holding nothing but his acoustic guitar, the burly, bearded singer-songwriter announced to the crowd that after seeing the scale hit 200 for the first time, his “new year’s resolution” was to lose weight. One of the ways he wanted to do this was to stand up instead of taking his familiar pose of sitting down while angrily strumming away at his acoustic guitar. The funny and friendly musician has made a habit out of inviting his audience into his life during his live shows with his hilarious, embarrassing and informative stories from his life and experiences, and he has always been one to let it all hang out and hide nothing from the crowd.
While he changed his guitar-playing stance, one thing certainly has not changed for the talented musician: his tireless work ethic. Evan Weiss fans can always expect new music, and it’s one of the most rewarding aspects of listening to him. Not only does he churn out song after song and album after album, but all of them are relatable, dynamic and wonderfully crafted. 2013 has seen perhaps his biggest crop of production yet, as Weiss is currently writing and recording music for FOUR different bands simultaneously: Stay Ahead of the Weather, Into It. Over It., Their / They’re / There, and Pet Symmetry.
What always strikes me is the fact that each band has its own distinct sound, yet each new album, EP, 7”, or song adheres to that particular band’s structure and never crosses over to another. To balance so many competing styles and collaborative efforts with different members is commendable and impressive. Just as impressive is the fact that Weiss is only 28 years old, yet has crafted a lengthy musical resume that most would love to have at the end of their career. Weiss had previously found himself in several bands, most notably with Damiera, The Progress, and Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start before making a name for himself.
While struggling to make a living, Evan Weiss embarked on what can best be described as an ambitious solo project under the moniker “Into It. Over It.” He planned to record one song a week for an entire year. The 52-song double disc album, aptly titled 52 Weeks, showcased his clever, insightful, and relatable lyrics and his varying influences, ranging from punk to indie to emo. Though it featured its fair share of misses, the album was a strong debut showing, featuring some of his most popular songs, including “Anchor” and “Pinky Swear”. It was well received and became the catalyst for the project to become his full-time occupation. Since then, he’s released Twelve Towns, a collection of songs from 7” and EPs detailing past experiences in 12 different towns, and his first proper full length LP, appropriately named PROPER.
But 2013 might be the most intense year the singer-songwriter has ever put himself through. He already has plans to release his second full-length under Into It. Over It. in the fall with popular independent label Triple Crown Records. In addition, he is in the process of writing a follow-up EP for his older, punk rock side project Stay Head of the Weather. The group released a five-song EP titled “We Better Get Goin’ If We’re Gonna” in 2010 and played only a handful of shows, yet still acquired a big enough following that people will request their songs at Evan Weiss’s solo Into It. Over It shows (and on occasion, he will break out the SAOTW song “No Sleep ‘Til Humboldt”). The group recently released their first new song “No Money, Mo Problems” on a 12” split with The Wonder Years called “Punk Is Dead. Get a Job.” The release only sparked the speculation and the desire for more music.
You’d think two bands would be enough, but Evan Weiss has also become a pivotal part of two new emo revival bands that have quickly risen up and released two of the better EPs of 2013. He plays bass, sings, and writes for Their / They’re / There, a band he formed with emo legend Mike Kinsella (of American Football, Cap’N Jazz, and Owen), leading to the release of their stellar debut six-song self-titled EP earlier this year. He also writes and sings for the band Pet Symmetry, who released a 2-song EP and another song on a split with the band Dikembe. They are currently on their first U.S. tour, which stopped late last week in Massachusetts, New York, and Long Island. The group is also tracking songs for their first full-length LP. Tired yet? Well Evan Weiss sure isn’t, because he is also producing the 2nd full-length LP for emo revival band “You Blew It!”, just another one of his many talents.
With so much recording, writing, producing, and touring, it’s safe to wonder how Evan Weiss does it and yet brings out a consistently solid quality across all these platforms. With so much music, it’s safe to label Evan Weiss as one of the most prolific songwriters in music today. In the fall, he returns to the road in support of Saves The Day to promote his new Into It. Over It full-length. If you’re a fan of Evan Weiss or just a casual observer and admirer, 2013 is the year to pick up some of his music and get on board. The train isn’t stopping, it’s only picking up steam.
You can check out Evan’s Nervous Energies session where he plays “Humbolt” acoustically by clicking here.