Proper for a Change: An Evening With Into It. Over It.

Proper for a Change: An Evening With Into It. Over It.

Posted: by The Editor

If you’re in your mid-twenties and still listen to emo music (and you’re still calling it emo music), you might relate to what i’m about to say. Burnout is real; inevitable, unpreventable, and as I’m starting to learn, reversible. This is honestly the first time I’ve taken my thoughts to the keyboard about anything related to music since I left The Alt. It will actually be the longest piece about anything that I’ve put into the world since then. 

I want to preface these thoughts particularly for anyone older than me who might read this and say that you might already know all of this. Or I might be wrong. But I don’t want to come off as if I’ve figured it out or that I’m already on the other side. There isn’t an end to growth anyways. Anyways…

Last Wednesday I drove into Cambridge to see Into It. Over It. I hastily drove around Harvard Square for what felt like hours, finally scoring a parking spot next to a new ramen bar. If you put your ear to the bricks you could probably hear my hurried, pointed footsteps as I rushed to the venue. I made it up the steps of The Sinclair and through security just in time for Couplet to start. With frontman Tanner singing to only a handful of the actual crowd that would later show up, I realized this was probably the first time he’s played music on a national scale since the dissolution (and brief reunion) of You Blew It!. He seemed content with the sum of us. 

In between sets, I noticed how many people I recognized at the gig. It was officially an unofficial Boston emo band reunion. I caught up with Joe from Handwriting (then) and Baby Bowler (now) about how we’re both still making music, but how differently we treat ourselves and our bands now. I was reminded of the fulfillment I used to derive from my band being received well opening a show, or a piece I wrote getting a lot of positive engagement, and how much of a constant letdown the music industry could be when you really relied on it to come through. It was a cocktail of tunnel vision paired with rose-colored glasses, all of our younger selves determined to work the worst jobs so we could take time off for shows that didn’t cover the gas it took to get there. And when it didn’t work, when we didn’t make enough money to do the whole music as a career thing, it destroyed us (well, me at least). I didn’t want to feel resentment towards a scene that shaped me, so I took an office job and rendered all my musical ventures a weekend effort, much like some of the other patrons of The Sinclair that night. Despite this, there was fervent, fiery energy floating through the air. In reality, it was probably leftover particles from the set that Pool Kids had just crushed. Their set was electric and mesmerizing, somehow commanding a room of people with mostly unreleased or brand new tunes. Those kids don’t need a crash course on burnout. They’re going to burn bright.

After Pool Kids, I texted my brother, who was busy shooting a different show, that he had to get here and capture what he could of the night. Into It. Over It. jumped right into their set without even a greeting, just so eager to play a fresh batch of songs as he raced across town, somehow only missing the first two. No matter, as their stage banter revealed they had a 58 song repertoire store in an excel sheet that was opened each day to curate the setlist of the evening. The banter also revealed Evan’s thoughts on touring, performing, being good enough, not being good enough, and a revelation that quite possibly saved the band (I’m going to paraphrase): Selling your work as high-brow emo and not fun rock, trying to fit a mold, curating an image that’s more serious than you are, that’s not fulfilling and clearly lacks longevity. Wearing the biggest grin, Evan said, “It was fun for awhile, and then it wasn’t, and now it is again”. 

Evan seems to have it all figured out now. He got a job and stopped touring, and then couldn’t tour for years due to the pandemic. He didn’t need to go back to being a touring musician, and I think that’s why he seems so happy being back at it. Tanner too, having opened a coffee shop & bodega in his post You Blew It! life. It seems Couplet is a true to heart passion project, enough to pull him away from his newfound bean-roasting role. (Note: I cannot speak on Andy who has kept busy post-YBI by joining Pool Kids and continuing to play with Dikembe. It seems that man may have an eternal flame burning inside)

After ripping through songs from nearly every Into It. Over It. release, Evan mentioned playing bass on You Blew It!’s sophomore album – and just like that Tanner and Andy were on stage beside him, tuning guitars as the crowd realized what was happening. Backed by IIOI’s drummer Adam Beck, You Blew It! jumped into “Match & Tinder” to end the night on the highest note possible. Everyone on stage had levels of enthusiasm I’d never seen them wear before, and I’ve been seeing their bands for a decade! And what was the crowd to do but conform, starry-eyed as we piled on each other screaming lyrics to a song that hadn’t been performed in 4 years. 

I felt an energy watching them that had been absent for longer than I’d like to admit. I, like many other young musicians who devoted years to “the grind”, put too much pressure on myself to succeed in a way that matched what I was seeing other musicians achieve. And in doing so, I guaranteed that I would never succeed. When it’s all broken down, Evan said was that he’d rather be having fun playing music on stage with his friends than be at home watching Netflix. By those standards, this night, this entire tour, was already an immaculate success story. So I guess I’ll take their advice and keep going from there. If you’re having fun, then you won’t burn out. And if you’re already having fun, then Keep Doing What You’re Doing.



Kyle Musser//@godvfwine

Chris Musser//@chrismustard