Over It

Over It

BandRock

Biography

Pay attention, students; science class has begun. Grab a handful of pebbles with one hand and a wad of bubblegum with the other (make sure to chew it first, of course). Take both hands and firmly clasp them together, mixing the ingredients-you might think you'd end up with a gigantic, slimy mess, but somehow, everything holds together. Good work, students; you've just discovered the chemical compound we like to call pop-punk. And if that's how deceptively simple the formula is, it's obvious after just one listen of Step Outside Yourself, the new album from Southern California quintet Over It, that these boys have their doctorates in the art of creating pop-punk hanging proudly on the walls of their practice space.

Originally hailing from Alexandria, Virginia, the first incarnation of Over It-frontman Peter Munters, guitarist Nick Bailey, former bassist/vocalist Seth Watts (who was recently replaced by bassist Jon Berry) and drummer James Ulrich-came together while still in high school, taking their love of mid-'90s skate-punk ("We worship Fat Wreck Chords and pray to the west a few times a day in the hopes that Fat Mike feels our energy," Munters jokes) and fusing it together with a pop sensibility not seen since Green Day.

Wait a sec; did we really just compare this tiny band to the kings of pop-punk? Isn't that a bit, er, ambitious? "I guess if I wasn't ambitious, I wouldn't be in this business," Munters states. And the band has constantly pushed themselves to do bigger and better things since their 1998 formation. After a few straightforward melodipunk releases issued by tiny San Fransisco indie Negative Progression Records, the band took themselves to the next level with 2003's speedy, technical and still uber-catchy Timing Is Everything, released by Lobster Records (where now-platinum pop-punks Yellowcard got their start, as well). A few hundred shows and a relocation to Southern California later, Over It had firmly entrenched themselves into the punk scene when they recorded their breakout album, 2005's Silverstrand. Silverstrand found the band slowing down the tempo a bit and expanding their pop songwriting chops, as evidenced with "Siren On The 101" (now re-recorded for their new album Step Outside Yourself). "What we've learned as songwriters is to just not question creativity and to go with the flow," says Munters. "For a band that came from a very under-the-radar punk-rock mentality, it's a big step for us to not over think the music and just let it out."

And let it out they do on Step Outside Yourself. It's a major-label debut for a pop-punk band tailor-made to pack stadiums, and it sounds like it. "Think Against The Grain" showcases new member Ryan Ogren, formerly of Don't Look Down ("He's super talented and super prolific," Munters gushes); "Lost" draws lyrical guidance from the TV show of the same name; and "Gunslinger," with it's dark overtones, was motivated by Stephen King's Dark Tower series ("It's actually written on my reflections of that book and where that book left me creatively," Munters says). Even the incredibly sunny "Dishonor, Disorder" has an incredibly unlikely source-"It's kind of inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche, the philosopher," Munters confesses, the laughs, "but I don't wanna sound like a pretentious ass, so I won't go into detail on that."

And that right there is what makes Over It so damn appealing: They're playing music catchy enough to roll your windows down and sing along to, yet intelligent enough to make you lock yourself in your room, break out the liner notes and discover what's really being said. And how many bands do you know that could hold their own with tough-as-nails crowds (they've done stints on the Warped Tour every year since 2002) and pop-music fans (the band have toured with everyone from Good Charlotte and Yellowcard to the All-American Rejects and Relient K), and win them over? Munters says, "We just like to play loud; we like to play fast; we like to play energetic and angsty; but we also like infectious, timeless pop music, and that's what we've always been raised on."

Well, that and polka-seriously. "When I sit down with a guitar, I come out with the random, super-folky, super-ethnic music," Munters says. "I was raised on eastern European traditional music and polka, so a lot of my melodies and my sense of rhythm is founded in that realm." But it's when the band marries Munters' unique songwriting style with their developed rock chops and crank the amps up to 11 that something special happens, and that magic is perfectly documented on Step Outside Yourself. It's like the band have reborn themselves again-and they know it. "This is the start of our career," Munters states. "Everything before this is the prologue. That's how good stories go, I guess. Three years down the road, it may begin again. But what is every day if not a new beginning?"

More Information:
- Total CD sales over 100, 000 units
- Step Outside Yourself was

Discography

Albums:
- Step Outside Yourself
- Silverstrand
- Timing Is Everything
- The Ready Series

EPs:
- Hindsight 20/20
- Self Titled

Set List

Available on request.