ALLISON WEISS // NEWS & BLOG


ALLISON WEISS & KRISTIN RUSSO LAUNCH CAMPAIGN FOR GENDER-NEUTRAL RESTROOMS

ALLISON WEISS & KRISTIN RUSSO LAUNCH CAMPAIGN FOR GENDER-NEUTRAL RESTROOMS

Hey yall! It's me, Allison Weiss, your friend and confidante. 

If you follow me anywhere on the web, you know I care deeply for LGBT rights and consider myself a champion of the cause. I've been lucky enough to acquire an incredibly supportive fanbase over the past 10 years of making music, many of whom come up to me at shows and say things like "I finally told my parents I was gay because of you!" and "You saved my life by coming out!" You can see why I'm so personally moved and feel it's my duty as a "public figure" to use my platform for the greater good of my community.

Which brings me to the purpose of this long letter!

I recently started an organization called OUR Restroom with my friend and fellow activist Kristin Russo (Everyone is Gay, The Parents Project). OUR stands for "One Unisex Restroom", and we have a very simple, and specific mission: to help restaurants, bars, and other businesses understand why taking the gender markers off of single-stall restrooms can be so helpful to so many people. You can watch this little animated video (also below) for a quick and easy intro to why this is important: 

The long and short is that many transgender and gender nonconforming people (if you don't know what those words mean, you can learn all about them over here) feel unsafe and anxious every time they have to choose between going into the men's or women's room, and OUR Restroom has a super easy solution: if businesses have single-stall restrooms, they can just take off the gendered signs! (Also bonus prize: It also helps parents whose kids are a different gender than themselves, those who are caretakers for elderly or disabled people, and means less waiting in lines!)

Once OUR Restroom launches, users will be able to visit our site to tell us about businesses in their area that have gendered, single-stall restrooms. Then, we'll send the businesses information, call them up, and do whatever it takes to convince them to change their signs to say "unisex". We've already converted a local business here in Eagle Rock, and in doing so learned a lot about super fun stuff like international building codes and the sometimes arbitrary decisions made by building inspectors.

Kristin and I with Corissa, the co-owner of Craft Brew Cellar in Eagle Rock, CA, the first OUR Restroom ambassador to make their restrooms unisex!

Local Highland Park print shop Shorthand has donated 200 letterpress signs to OUR Restroom, which we'll be sending to business to display on their counters!

Local Highland Park print shop Shorthand has donated 200 letterpress signs to OUR Restroom, which we'll be sending to business to display on their counters!

A month into our existence, it has become clear that we'll be doing more than educating, this will be a fight to change legislation in many states across the USA. You know what though? It's not just us who support the cause! Laws have already been passed in Philadelphia PA, NYC, Austin TX, Seattle WA, and Washington DC that REQUIRE single-stall restrooms to be unisex. Hell yes!

So here's the part where you find out how you can help! OUR Restroom has FOUR DAYS LEFT in a fundraising campaign we're running through IndieGoGo. You can donate to our cause and help us kick off our first year of work right here: www.OURrestroom.com. In exchange, we've got all sorts of cool prizes like a compilation album (featuring musicians like Jenny Owen Youngs, Vivek Shraya, Ingrid Michaelson, myself, and more), adorable t-shirts and bandanas, a gorgeous poster, and so much more. If you can't afford to donate, a simple social media post to your friends would be incredible.

Thank you so much for reading this super long letter, and thank you for helping me on my quest for equality. You can learn more about the work, share, and support right over here: OURrestroom.com

Love forever,

AW

For any press inquiries or to see how you can help beyond donating, contact us here.

NEW LOVE INTERVIEWS: FORREST KLINE, PRODUCER

NEW LOVE INTERVIEWS: FORREST KLINE, PRODUCER

Many moons ago, maybe this time last year, I was talking with potential labels about how I envisioned my next record. One in particular asked, "Who would you love to work with?" and honestly, I hadn't thought of it before. I'd only ever worked with close friends, so the idea of seeking out a producer wasn't something I'd entertained. For some reason, the first name that popped in my head was Forrest Kline. I'd been a fan of Hellogoodbye since my teenage years, and really latched on to their recent two records Everything (Is Debatable) and Would It Kill You?. I didn't end up signing with that label, but after making lists of possible producers and narrowing it down to two names, I found myself on the path to making a record with the guy my subconscious wanted all along.

That May, I spent 12 days in Long Beach at Forrest's home studio, where he, Brad, and I tracked New Love as fast as we could, with only enough time to trust our guts. It was glorious. I've done it the other way too, overanalyzing every little moment in a song until you can't listen anymore. I think I prefer the way we did it. Fast and fun, from the heart, exactly how I'd envisioned it.

AW: How long have you been a professional creative person?

FK: i've never been a pro-creator, always more of an amateur-creator. but in terms of night-timing, i quit delivering pizzas when we signed to drive thru records and they gave me 5 grand to make a record.

When you were a kid, did you dream of doing what you do now?

i've got to be honest, i never thought that far ahead. i just did what i enjoyed, and i enjoyed making music. so that said, life has been cooler than i ever dreamed. i did look up to my favorite bands in 6th grade and got a guitar for that reason, but i had no image of what it meant to be blink 182. i didn't know what the day to day of that was, i just knew i wanted to write songs.

How do you define ‘success’? Do you feel successful?

it's a moving target, and my accuracy hitting it is variable. but generally speaking, for me, its satisfying that voice inside that is looking for something engaging and exciting. keeping fresh horizons makes me feel successful.

My album is called 'New Love'. You remember the first time you fell in love? Can you describe the feeling?

i can't say that there is a hard line between out of love and in love, in hindsight my first high school loves look more like seeing an exciting trailer for a movie. it was giddy, unknown, full of potential... but sometimes good trailers don't pay off. now, if we're keeping the movie metaphor, we never really see anyones whole movie, there's always mystery, but the concept of love continues to grow for me. BUT, what if the whole thing turns out to be an m. night shamylan production?

How old were you when you had your first KISS!!! Feel free to tell us the story?!

its a bit fuzzy because i was 6. me and a stone cold fox (im guessing... i don't really remember), jennifer, played a little house. had a little kiss. o0olala.

How old were you when you had your heart broken for the first time? How did THAT feel?

i guess i was 16 or 17. it feels like some magical (in this case mormon) demon swaps your very nice reality with a decidedly less nice reality in a blink and its a bit hard to make sense of.

Do you even believe in love? Feel free to elaborate.

love is everywhere, its one of the most universal concepts. i think of it as wishing-well for external things to varying degrees. how can you not believe in that?

What was your favorite part of working with me? 

you are devoid of affectation.

What is your greatest memory associated with our time together?

listening to brad clear his throat on loop. hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm hemchmm

What is your favorite track on ‘New Love’?

who we are because it feels like pounding your chest and flying.


'New Love' is now available everywhere!

Summer Tour Dates with Aaron West!

Summer Tour Dates with Aaron West!

I'm headed out on a solo tour this summer with my buddy Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties, along with Can't Swim and Cold Collective. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10am local time! See you out there!!

May 31 – Boston, MA – The Sinclair
Jun 01 – New York, NY – The Studio @ Webster Hall
Jun 02 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts
Jun 03 – Syracuse, NY – The Lost Horizon
Jun 04 – Buffalo, NY – The Studio @ Waiting Room
Jun 05 – Cleveland, OH – Mahall’s
Jun 07 – Chicago, IL – Subterranean
Jun 08 – St. Louis, MO – The Firebird
Jun 09 – Nashville, TN – The End
Jun 10 – Charlotte, NC – Visulite Theatre
Jun 11 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
Jun 12 – Orlando, FL – Backbooth
Jun 14 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
Jun 15 – Anaheim, CA – Chain Reaction
Jun 16 – Oakland, CA – Oakland Metro House

Holiday Internet Show on 12/13

Holiday Internet Show on 12/13

Join me for an acoustic show, live from in front of the Christmas tree in my parents home in Flowery Branch, Georgia. I'm making this an early one so folks all across the globe have a chance to check it out! I'll be doing acoustic versions of songs from my new record 'New Love' as well as some old favorites and a holiday song or two.

Click here for tickets!

Post your requests in the chat box!

NEW LOVE INTERVIEWS: BRETT BULLION, MIXER

NEW LOVE INTERVIEWS: BRETT BULLION, MIXER

Brett Bullion is a Minneapolis-based producer, mixer, engineer and all-around badass. When we were halfway through recording New Love, I started thinking about who was going to mix it. In my opinion, your mixer is just as important as your producer. The right mix can make or break a record. I wanted to take what Brad and Forrest and I had just worked on, and put it in the hands of someone who could polish it off to be exactly what I'd envisioned. So I asked Brad what he thought. Brett was the first name to come up. He did Brad's SOMBEAR record, he mixed Tancred's last studio EP, and then we listened to a record he'd just done (Bad Bad HatsPsychic Reader) and I was sold. 

It's funny to trust someone you've never met IRL with the outcome of something so personal as a collection of songs. I've still yet to meet Brett in person, but it's 2015 and the future is now. Check out my interview with Brett below to learn a little more about this man of mystery.

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AW: How long have you been a professional creative person?

BB: since i was about 16 and started playing drums in bands and studios.

When you were a kid, did you dream of doing what you do now?

yes i always wanted to be working on records but back then it was more from the session musician perspective. 

How do you define ‘success’? Do you feel successful?

food in fridge, friends nearby, work to do, not always in that order. yes i do feel successful but it depends on wether i think the mix is sounding good… i am sure the therapists out there will have a problem with the latter.

My album is called 'New Love'. You remember the first time you fell in love? Can you describe the feeling?

hmm, i think i remember? i was dramatic in high school. maybe wasn't really in love tho until you learn how to not get what you want and instead do something for your partner.

How old were you when you had your first KISS!!! Feel free to tell us the story?!

oh man, i can't remember, probably middle school. stories probably too much.

How old were you when you had your heart broken for the first time? How did THAT feel?

i thought i had had my heart broken but i hadn't really until i was about 23-24. haha it sure didn't feel swell. but some of the best times when you're that raw and open to whatever is next.

Do you even believe in love? Feel free to elaborate.

i do. putting others before yourself is probably the simplest definition. it's really hard to do, the essential human problem.

What was your favorite part of working with me? Your least favorite? ;)

good songs. people that trust me to do what i do and then be collaborative about it. thats the best part. really no least favorites. 

What is your greatest memory associated with our time together?

brad and i walked the dog a lot during the mix revisions. that was fun. also mixing "over you." it was late and i had mostly all the lights off and i was just moving faders and not thinking about it, and then all of a sudden 5 hours went by and i was singing along with the mix. the best kind of day. i think i texted you a video of the mix room because i was so excited about it.

What is your favorite track on ‘New Love’?'

probably "over you" "counting down" and "out of this alive" most fun sonically to mix i think… but they were all fun. nice to have some big guitars on one song and then some spacious pads on the next.

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Check out Brett's website to see more of his work at www.brettbullion.com.

'NEW LOVE' is out now! Get it now on iTunes or click here to find out where else it's for sale.

Acoustic in-stores this weekend in Los Angeles!

Acoustic in-stores this weekend in Los Angeles!

Hey yall! It's release week! That means New Love is out EVERYWHERE on Friday and I'm doing a whole lot of celebrating. Join me for some super intimate acoustic performances at some of the coolest record stores in Los Angeles. Come hang out and pick up a copy of New Love from me!

Friday, Oct 2 @ Origami Vinyl
1816 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
8:00pm / all-ages / FREE

Saturday, Oct 3 @ Vacation Vinyl
3815 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
7:00pm / all-ages / FREE

Thursday, Oct 8 @ VNYL
1136 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
7:00pm / all-ages / FREE

Share the image below and spread the word. See you out there!

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NEW LOVE INTERVIEWS: PETER RECINE, GUITARIST / MD

NEW LOVE INTERVIEWS: PETER RECINE, GUITARIST / MD

Peter Recine is the musical director of my touring band, my go-to guitarist, and one of my best friends. Crazy enough, we met on Craigslist. In 2012 was putting together a band for tour and I was looking for something special. I wanted professional players who also happened to share the same DIY punk ideals that I did, people who were down to join me on this crazy journey of mine. 

Pete thought his audition went terribly. He broke a string on the first song. He broke a string on the second song. I still talk about how much I loved it. What I saw was a guy who was so good he could have everything go wrong and yet play the parts perfectly. I was sold, and nearly four years later, he's still my right-hand man.

Pete is really really really fucking good at knowing exactly what I want. When I ask "can you play something like needly needly noodley noo" he somehow is able to translate that into the guitar lines of my dreams. When we were making New Love, I played everything I could within my limited scope of ability (I'm a rhythm guitarist, I guess?) and then Pete swooped in and saved the day, filling out the songs with the intricate layers that were the icing on the cake.

For the next three weeks, Pete will be holed up in his newly built studio in Los Angeles, producing and engineering as many sessions as possible before we hit the road. Check out my interview with him below to learn more about him, and make sure you say hi when you see us on tour this fall.

AW: How long have you been a professional creative person?

PR: I've been playing music my whole life and started recording my own bands when I was a freshman in high school but I didn't start making a living off of music until I was in college. By the time I graduated and moved to Brooklyn 5 years ago I was able to support myself solely with music. It was really hard starting out, but I'm living comfortably now.

When you were a kid, did you dream of doing what you do now?

My mom used to do this really cute thing where she would use a cassette recorder to 'interview' my siblings and I - there's one tape where she asks 3 or 4 year old me what I want to be when I grow up and I say, "I want to be like John Lemmons!" (Mispronouncing a Beatle! Unforgivable!) I started playing music so young that I don't really have any memories of the time before. For a long time I didn't realize it was anything more than something I loved to do. I didn't know it could be a 'job' or a career - I didn't really grasp that concept - I just knew I loved it.

How do you define ‘success’? Do you feel successful?

Success is a tricky word in the music biz. I feel like many people wouldn't consider a musician or performer successful if they aren't big in the public eye. This always becomes evident in holiday conversations with extended relatives who want to know if I'm "still doing the music thing..." and assume, since I don't play for one of the 10 pop singers they know, that I'm living in total squalor. I've never had any designs on 'fame' - I've only ever wanted to make music I love and believe in for people who appreciate it for what it is. In this regard I happily consider myself successful.
Personally, I define success, in general, as being able to do what makes you happy. I am lucky enough to live a life where I get to wake up each day and do creative work that I love. I live and work in beautiful places surrounded by wonderful like-minded people and I get to travel all over doing it.

My album is called 'New Love'. You remember the first time you fell in love? Can you describe the feeling?

I guess my first love was music. One of my earliest memories is my mom teaching me how to drop the needle on a record player because she was tired of me digging out LPs and bugging her to put them on for me. I couldn't ever get enough and that love affair is alive and well to this very day. In terms of people love, like romantic love... The first time I really fell in love was I was 19. I really didn't expect it. It was like opening a door expecting to find your apartment, but this time you open it and it leads you to a totally different and new world that you've never been to before. It turned my whole life upside down and made me feel weightless. My world felt bigger than I thought it could be. It was exciting and terrifying and I didn't know how to handle it which led me to screw it up real bad!

How old were you when you had your first KISS!!! Feel free to tell us the story?!

The first time I really like liked a person [like, like liked] was when I was in the 7th grade. I had just played guitar at a school assembly - I think it was the time that my friend and I played Blink 182's "Dammit" substituting a few choice words... (Did you hear? He HUGGED her!) I went into the band room to stash my guitar before going back to class and there was the person I liked, hanging around and waiting for me to come back. She asked if I'd ever kissed anyone before and I said I hadn't and she asked if I would be her first kiss... It was real awkward and messy, but we kissed on the mouth in the instrument locker room and then walked back to class holding hands the whole way.

How old were you when you had your heart broken for the first time? How did THAT feel?

I was 21. It was my fault. Still, I felt abandoned - like I'd carved a giant person sized space in my world that was left empty. I tried to fill it with other people and other things but it never felt right. I don't think heartbreak is something that I'll ever completely get over. I feel like I'll always be carrying a piece of that experience around with me, at least until a new person appears and turns my world upside down all over again.

Do you even believe in love? Feel free to elaborate.

I absolutely believe in love; love for people, love for places, love for things. It can be an intangible and elusive thing, but there is nothing more beautiful than two people who care for each other so much that it's all consuming and freeing at the same time.

What was your favorite part of working with me? Your least favorite? ;)

My favorite part of working with you has always been how genuine, real and honest you and your music is. There's a realness that so many artists lack, or are afraid to show. It makes the music so immediate for me, I just know what to do for you. My least favorite? That it all happened so fast! We only did one day of guitars together for New Love. It was still, as always, an honor to get the opportunity.

What is your greatest memory associated with our time together?

We've had some times! I think my favorite memory is from our first tour together. About a week into the tour, when we'd known each other for about 2 weeks total, the band had a night in Chicago where we all drank some wine and told the stories of our '#1 Exes'. It was so emo haha! We all became such fast friends on that tour.

What is your favorite track on ‘New Love’?

My favorite is 'The Same'. It's too easy to relate to. And that lonesome guitar at the end...uugh.

Follow Pete on the internet via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and find him out on tour with me this fall.

NEW LOVE is out 10/2/2015 on Side One Dummy Records.
Hear "Golden Coast", "Back To Me", and "Who We Are" now on Spotify.