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Interview: Cherry Hill native Evan Weiss makes waves with emo pioneers in Their / They’re / There

Photo via Facebook.com/theirtheyrethere
Photo via Facebook.com/theirtheyrethere

It’s about 10 degrees in Chicago, but Evan Weiss is glad to be home.

The indie / emo / punk musician is back after a three-week full-band European tour with his solo project Into It. Over It., and coming off a year jam-packed with other tours, releases and other musical endeavors.

For now, it’s time to relax.

“When I’m home, I do some music stuff, but I don’t really have a job or anyone to answer to aside from doing music-related things,” Weiss says. “So I’ve just been hanging out since we got back. … I’ve been kind of relaxing and nesting for the last week.”

Weiss hasn’t always called Chicago home. He moved there five years ago from his hometown of Cherry Hill, and his home music scene of Philadelphia. His participation in past local projects includes The Progress, Damiera and Up Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start.

But it’s Chicago where Weiss was able to collaborate with fellow Windy City punks Mike Kinsella (Cap’n Jazz, American Football, Owls and his solo project Owen) and Matthew Frank (Loose Lips Sink Ships) to form punk supergroup There / They’re / Their. The band will stop by First Unitarian Church Friday as part of a short four-day run with Mansions and Birthmark.

With Frank’s intricate guitar parts, Kinsella’s post-punk drum beats and Weiss’ bass playing and distinctive vocals, news about T / T / T came out this past April when they put out a self-titled EP to coincide with Record Store Day. But the band had been formed more than a year prior in late 2011, instigated by Weiss’ desire to play with Frank.

“Matt and I had met through his old band. We hadn’t really been hanging out, but we’d see each other around at shows and I was very familiar with Matt’s guitar playing,” Weiss recalls. “I had this idea about doing a band that was his style of mad-house guitar playing, but kind of making it poppy. Not poppy, maybe catchy? Basically taking his crazy way of guitar and putting something memorable to it so it wasn’t just crazy guitar all of the time.”

Into It. Over It. then played the record release show for Owen’s Ghost Town, when frontman Kinsella told Weiss how much he missed playing drums in a band.

“I kind of mentioned starting a band with him, and how I’d had this idea to start a band with Matt. So I go to Matt and tell him, you know, ‘Hey I’d like to start a band with you. I think I have a drummer in mind,’” Weiss says. “It kind of came together pretty organically.”

After Kinsella’s initial shock at the first practice that Weiss would not be playing guitar (that’s what he’s known for playing with Into It. Over It.), the three musicians successfully ran through the few songs Weiss and Frank had written.

“He doesn’t write guitar the way I think about guitar, ” Weiss said of Frank. “His ideas are really out of the box and crazy for me … [but] I think that the way the vocals are written and the way the bass and drums are written, it kind of fools you into not thinking it’s as complicated as it is. That was the idea, to take something really crazy and make it sound really straightforward, even though it’s totally not. So, that to me is fun.”

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Listen to “New Blood” by emo supergroup Their / They’re / There (playing First Unitarian on 12/20)

TTT

They’d probably object to us calling them a “supergroup,” of course. But this collaborative project of Evan Weiss (Into It. Over It.), Matt Frank (Loose Lips Sink Ships) and Mike Kinsella (Owen, plus virtually every influential emo band and post-emo band from the 90s and aughts) is a slick and lively meeting of the minds. Dubbed Their / They’re / There, the project yesterday announced its debut EP, Analog Weekend, which will be released on December 10th through Polyvinyl and Topshelf Records. The single “New Blood” was premiered on Pitchfork, and it’s got number-crunching complexity and nimble guitar licks – the stuff that, back in the day, used to get called math rock, that today is referred to with the livelier and less nerdio-technical “twinkle” tag – but as the song chugs along, it gives way into a roaring raging refrain. Listen to “New Blood” below; we’re pretty amped to see this performed live when Their / They’re / There plays The First Unitarian Church on December 20th. Tickets and information can be found here.