It’s common knowledge that the internet is a very powerful tool in today’s culture. It gives a public voice to people, and it can make a band’s career. Orange County rock band Over It knows the power the internet can have in shaping a band’s career. Their praises consistently appear on influential webzines such as AbsolutePunk, PastePunk and the now defunct PunkRocks.
“I think the association is amazing,” says Nick Bailey, guitarist of Over It. “The internet is such a great way to promote our band, and we are so stoked to have our name out there!”
The consistent praise from the internet community has helped Over It rise throughout the ranks of the underground rock community with each subsequent release. Noticing their rise was Virgin Records, who offered to put out the band’s next record. “We could sense that everything we wanted for the band Virgin could help us achieve,” says Bailey. “We want everyone to feel good about themselves when they listen to Over It, and Virgin gives us the means for those people to hear our music.”
Coming from a community with roots in punk rock philosophy, Over It’s decision to move from an independent label, Lobster, to a major label, let alone a major label that features Korn, Janet Jackson, and Lenny Kravitz, is always a move that is sure to be met with accusations of “selling out” from message board pundits.
“What is selling out?” asks Bailey. “We will always stay true to ourselves, our fans, and our music. Keeping it real is the only way to roll so the option of selling out just doesn’t exist for us.
“Elvis Costello said it best, what’s more punk rock? To spend your best friends’ money putting out records ‘till he’s broke, or spend the corporate dollar putting out records and hooking your best friends up?” says Bailey.
Not letting the politics of signing to a major label bother them, Over It went into the studio to create Step Outside Yourself, their fourth full-length record. The record takes its title from the difficult experiences the band endured while recording.
“While we were working on the album we all had so many obstacles, both personally and musically to overcome,” says Bailey. “We found the best way to get through is to step outside of yourself and put life in perspective … personally, I lost my grandpa during the recording process which hit me pretty hard. I know that death is a fact of life, but it was such an unusual sensation to feel so blessed to [be] able to live out my dreams in music, while at the same time I was away from a dying loved one.”
The personal turmoil Over It faced during the recording process seems to have sparked a creative bloom in the band. Step Outside Yourself finds the band incorporating a variety of different elements into their distinctive melodic punk sound, both musically and lyrically. “We wanted a range of songs to pay tribute to all the influences we have from jazz and classical to rock and metal,” says Bailey. “Lyrically we wanted to have more focused topics from racism, to singing about our favorite TV show Lost.”
While expanding their musical palate on Step Outside Yourself, Over It retains their distinctive ability to wrap their adrenaline-injected songs with an extremely catchy hook, which will surely delight long time fans. Fans of Over It will also enjoy the re-recorded version of “Siren on the 101” from last year’s Silverstrand. “Our team at Virgin felt very strongly about having this song on the album, and we still love playing the song live so it was no worries to re-record,” says Bailey.
Over It also added another member to their line-up during the time between Silverstrand and Step Outside Yourself, Ryan Ogren, former lead singer of Don’t Look Down. “We are so stoked to have Ryan in the band,” says Bailey. “Not only is he a best friend of ours but a musical genius as well, so it brings a new dynamic to the songwriting and the live show. Having Ryan gives Pete [Munters, lead singer/guitar] more freedom to put down his guitar and sing, and Ryan also plays piano … we can’t wait to work that into our live show. The piano is definitely something we will be experimenting with more and more,” says Bailey.
Whether Over It’s success with the internet webzines and the underground can translate into the type of mainstream success that Virgin might be hoping for is yet to be seen, but whatever success or lack thereof happens to Over It, it’s probably not going to bother them too much.
“You gotta let the bad in with the good,” says Bailey. “Life is what you make of it, so step outside yourself and enjoy the ride!”