The 27-year-old driving force behind solo act Into It. Over It. has been penning his tales since 2007. With music that is wholly heartfelt and unabashedly unapologetic, Weiss has been making waves in both the indie and punk rock worlds since the release of his debut, “52 Weeks.”
The collection of songs – which, as the name suggests, was written over the course of a year – began as a project without grand intentions. But as he discovered that people genuinely liked his music, he continued writing. His debut was followed up by a series of splits, featuring songs about towns, which would later be compiled onto “Twelve Towns,” an album that came out earlier this year. There was also the split with Koji, featuring five songs about neighborhoods in Chicago, which is where Weiss is located. And finally, in September of this year, Weiss came out with “Proper,” a 12-song release which, in some sense, he feels is his first proper album.
“I am so proud of that record, and with the amount of time we had to make it, which wasn’t very much, I’m really pleased with how it came out,” Weiss said. “And I think people are generally really stoked on it.”
Disregarding his track record of writing songs that are thematically related, Weiss’ approach this time around was to pay attention to how the songs fit together and fed into one another.
“We made a point to make a cohesive album, which we’d never done before when we were writing songs,” Weiss said of the collaboration between himself and drummer Nick Wakim.
With the exception of Wakin’s role, the rest of the album is entirely written and performed by Weiss. This, admittedly, can create some confusion on the road for fans who have only heard the recordings and assumed that Into It. Over It. was a full band.
While there is always the possibility of touring with a full backing band, the slight disparity between the recorded and the live versions is something that Weiss treasures when performing in front of crowds.
“I think it adds a different vibe to the songs and it allows them to become more personal for people,” he said. “The songs are so personal that it’s like I want to share that intimacy with people that would come see the show.”
“It’s been nice to get my feet wet again, playing shows here…cause it’s a completely different feel,” he said of the experience. “[And] it’s been rad playing for crowds that aren’t necessarily mine…and being able to win a bunch of people over.”
Although he has been friends with members of the bands for a long time, Weiss acknowledged that his music doesn’t necessarily “fit” with that of theirs. Because of this, audience members who aren’t there to see him specifically are often skeptical of him at first. The good thing though, is that he said he acquires new fans that way.
“To see someone get on stage with just an acoustic guitar…you get written off pretty quickly,” he said of the experience. “It’s definitely been a lot of me, like, having to like, show my worth.”
Although Weiss might come across as a songwriting powerhouse, he shared that he isn’t always initially confident about his songs, explaining that they don’t tend to see the light of day until after they’re already recorded and it’s too late to take them back.
“I do run into periods of self-doubt,” he said of the songwriting. “But really that struggle is just an internal struggle.”
When it comes down to it, he said he is proud of each and every one of the songs he has come up with.
“I mean, there’s 95 songs [and] I love them all, like, I really like every single song,” he said. “You know, maybe there’s things about them that I would have changed, had I recorded them again, but, like, as far as the music goes, or the message, or what I was talking about, they’re all really important to me.”
Looking back on the past four years, Weiss said his attitude toward his songs hasn’t changed; the old ones are just as meaningful to him as the new ones. But he did admit that he himself has changed, both as a musician and a human being.
“I’m a little more focused and I’m more responsible and I think I’m just overall a better person than I was when I started, but I think that also just comes with age,” he said with a laugh. “I would just say I’m more of a grown-up, like, in a good way, you know. Not in a boring way.”