You mentioned the 52 Weeks project [Weiss wrote and recorded a new song every week in 2007] really helped you hone your work ethic. Prior to that undertaking, did you struggle with your motivation?
Before I started working on that project I wasn't doing anything. I was completely unmotivated. It set something in motion, and since then I haven't stopped. It helped get my life back on track and helped me evaluate decisions I'd made in previous years. I learned to not be afraid to live or to take chances. It was the perfect way to figure out what kind of human being I am and what I want and don't want out of life.
Your songs tend to reference very specific states and cities and even neighborhoods. How are you with geography?
I think I'm pretty good with United States geography. However, there's an area of the country I'm totally clueless about — the southern, bible belt area of Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi — and it's the one we're driving through. I really have to work harder to figure it out because I really don't even know where the hell we are right now.
Into It. Over It., 6 p.m. March 1 at Bottom Lounge. $13.
Evan Weiss personality test
Last album you bought? “The new Mogwai ['Rave Tapes'].”
Song you've listened to on repeat recently? “I'm really bad at this because I always just put my iPod on shuffle. Can I just say that? My iPod on shuffle?”
Song you never want to hear again? “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney
Best concert you've seen in the last year? “When Dave Bazan did all of 'Control' at the Metro.”
New band you don't know personally that deserves to be big? Radiator Hospital
Favorite movie ever? “My instinctual response is 'The Shawshank Redemption,” but an honorable mention needs to go to 'Groundhog Day.'”
Chicago's best music venue? “Schubas, without a doubt.”