Allison Weiss

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The belle of the punk rock ball Allison Weiss is making a name for herself with her just dropped 'Say What You Mean' album and I was able to grab a few minutes with her pre-show on one of the last dates of her Spring tour that happened two weeks before the album dropped. Seemingly loved and admired by people I've interviewed genre-wide, I knew I should jump on the opportunity to pick her brain for a bit when I could.
While bonding over our love for Hanson may have come up, we mainly focused on the new record and how she really got started in knowing playing music for a living is what she wanted to do. We also talk Joe Marro and Soupy Campbell who work as her manager and booking agent respectively but people who you may also know as music veterans in The Early November and The Wonder Years. Read on for our exclusive with the lady before she hits the road for the Acoustic Basement this summer!

This tour is coming to an end. I know you just have four more dates but you do tour alot. What are the three things you must have with you while on the road?
On tour? Oh, man! Well, my labtop because I'm like always working basically. I feel like these are sort of boring. My iPhone is crucial because I always tweet and instagram and all that sort of stuff and then I think everyone in my band would agree that we all need our sea bags which is like army green duffle bags. I could show you in the back (climbs over the back bench of van). A couple tours ago, I got one and I put all of my sleeping stuff in one of these bags. Of course, I picked a really heavy one. Everybody in the band loved them so much that for Christmas, I got everybody their own and put each of the band member's nicknames on them.
Oh, that's so cute!
So we all have these little sea bags that we come out with now. They're actually really amazing because they fit a ton of stuff. Like mine carries two sleeping bags and a floor mat. Pajamas and then boots and work out gear and all this stuff. I also have a suit case. There you go, my sea bag! Two things that are technology and my sea bag. All I need!
Maybe how has the tour been going considering your new album is out in less then two weeks?
It's been going great! It's really awesome. It seems like as the tour progresses, the hype is getting more and more. So I'm really stoked for the record to come out. It's weird to go on tour right before your record comes out because like half of my set is all new stuff but I feel like it makes people really excited too because people will come up to the merch table. 'What is this one song? What record is that on?' and I'm like 'Euh, that one doesn't come out for two weeks'. So people sign up on my mailing list and then hopefully the show is fresh in their mind so I can just let them know that the album came out.
Then 'Say What You Mean' drops on April 16th. How long has this one been in the making?
This record has been done for like a year and I started recording it a year before that. It's been a little while but everything still feels like brand new to me basically because I've just been siting on it for so long. So I'm ready for it to see the light of day.
And are you even like thinking for the next one considering it is something that has been written for so long?
I'm absolutely excited to start writing more. I've just been so busy. 'Say What You Mean' started out as a record that I was going to release and then sort of as it was finishing up, everyone around me was like you can't put this out yet. You have to get some help because it's got to like see more people. So that's sort of why it took forever to get it out because I decided I didn't want to do it alone. I wanted to team up and so I've just been working 24/7 and getting a team of people. I finally have management and an agent. I've recently signed with No Sleep Records so I've sort of in the past year went from being so incredibly DIY to having a whole team. Doing what ever I can to make sure I'm surrounding myself with a group of people to help this record go as far as possible.
Perfect! Then speaking of management, because I have interviewed Joe in the past and I know he manages you as well. Obviously he's a veteran in the music scene doing Hellogoodbye and Early November, how is it to kind of have a artist who knows what it's like from hands on experience to be your manager?
It's amazing! I love working with Joe because I know that he gets it. He started in his band I feel like when he was late teens.
He was super young.
Yeah, like really young. He's done the whole touring in a van and coming home like negative money. Pouring everything into making your band work and his band got to that amazing level. When I was in high school, I remember The Early November was like one of the bands that I knew was like a big band. They were like all over the place. Still are! So it's cool to work with someone who's done the whole thing. Who isn't just like a guy at the top who thinks he knows what he's talking about. Joe Marro has lived it, the whole thing! So it's cool to have him on the team.
Then maybe how did you first get interested in doing music? Knowing this is what you wanted to do.
I've been writing songs since I was in my early teens. Sort of in high school and it was mostly just because I was a teenager with a lot of feelings that I wanted to write songs about. You know what I mean? When you're in high school, you want to be cool and I thought what's cooler then being in a band? So I was like, let's do this! Let's learn guitar. Clearly answer to life. My dad played guitar. He taught me some chords and there were always guitars around. I was able to just sort of pick it up and then sort of towards the end of high school, I was doing a lot of open mics and it seemed like people were really liking it. I was having a total blast so I kept playing music through college. Sort of around that same time, I was promoting myself on the internet. I had the myspace and the tumblr and all of that. By the end of college, I had a little bit of a fan base and it made sense to do it like for real. There wasn't a certain point where it was like 'Okay, I'm going to do this!' It was sort of I started doing it and I just haven't stopped.
Then I know you're doing the Acoustic Basement on Warped, doing a few weeks with that. Maybe how did that come about? I know it's pretty picky just from working with Marquis (the coordinator) a bunch.
Yeah, I don't know! I think he wrote me through Joe or my booking agent Soupy from The Wonder Years.
That also helps! That you have a lot of people looking out for you.
Of course! My people know a lot of people. Well, Soupy in general forces people to listen to my music which is really amazing. It's not often that you come across people who are like actively making it happen. Everyone's like 'Oh, let me help you do this thing' but then there are like a few people who are like 'No way! I have to force people to listen to this'. Soupy's one of those types. I think it's just because those guys know Brian and he was really into my stuff. I started as an acoustic act so as far as doing shows completely solo, I've got that down pat. So Acoustic Basement just seemed like a really awesome opportunity and a fun way to spend a couple weeks in the summer. Sort of promote the record in a different kind of way.
Then maybe considering the line up. People like Ace Enders, Vinnie Caruana with the Movie Life, William Beckett from The Academy Is. All acts that kind of have had really long lasting careers. Is there anyone you're looking forward to seeing while you're playing it?
All of those people you just mentioned I'm super stoked on. I did a song with Ace for this Teenagers project that I did all last year and so I'm sort of excited to hang out with him a lot and all that stuff.
Then do you remember the first CD or cassette you ever bought as a kid?
The first cassette. I bought two at once. Hanson, like whatever their first record was called, 'Middle of Nowhere' and TLC's 'CrazySexyCool'. Those are my two first cassettes. Maybe TLC was the first one and then Hanson.
That was the exact same as Mike from Pentimento.
Wait, both of those? 'CrazySexyCool'? Maybe you should put 'CrazySexyCool' as my first. No, I think it was two at once. I like went for it! I was like I'm getting some cassettes, two at once!
Those were pretty epic cassettes. Do you remember the first concert?
Hanson definitely! Age ten. Huge fan. I was like the farthest back you could be and I wept. Like cried so hard because halfway through the set, I realized that I wasn't going to meet Hanson and I just broke down. I had a literal breakdown.
Because you weren't going to meet them?
I met one because they were headlining the show where I interviewed Joe and Forrest.
Yeah, right? Maybe one day I'll convince him to fulfill my ten year old dream.
Joe can help you out!
Yeah, totally!
I didn't recognize him. It was Zac but he had his hair up. It wasn't like long and flowing.
He's my favorite one.
It will work out, you'll meet him!
Yeah, I'm sure it will! Now it's only a matter of time because I'm like one degree away.
Perfect then to end it off, like we said, this tour ends in a few days but what is coming up?
I have a few like short runs. I'm going to Bled fest in Michigan and then after that, there's another fest called I Got Brains in Virginia and I'm doing that. Then as far as everything else, all my guys are just sort of working on tours in the future. Just more touring. Just nothing announced yet.
I'm sure you have plenty coming up. Well, thank you so much!

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