By Georgina Langford

The first time this Punktastic team member came across Allison Weiss, it was via her music video for ‘Making It Up’, which features her dealing with the fact that Scott has broken up with her. Scott was her dog. It was a good introduction to Allison’s bittersweet, truthful and catchy songs with pop punk sensibilities; she’s an essential addition to the record collections of anyone who has swooned over a Best Coast or Candy Hearts LP. “Hopeless breakup songs” are a speciality – her words, not ours. Allison goes on tour with songwriting hero Matt Pryor next week (fun fact: she has previously also played in Lou Reed’s backing band), so we advise you catch her at one of their shows if you enjoy intelligent songs about feelings.

Hi Allison, what’s the first song you wrote that really changed things for you?

A very old song of mine called ‘The End’. It was the first song I wrote that felt real to me, I think because all the others I had written so far were very personal and specific but this was the first one that felt really universal.

The Wonder Years’ Soupy recommended your music to us. Who originally got you into music when you were growing up?

Definitely my parents. My dad is a musician so there were always instruments around the house. My musical upbringing included a lot of The Police, The Outfield, The Beatles… but in 6th grade I discovered the radio and fell in love with Top 40 and country music. Crazy, I know, but I just love pop songs. I think country music is made up of the poppiest songs around. Later on in middle school I got into Green Day, MxPx, everything on the old Punk-o-rama comps. High school was when I discovered emo and it was all downhill from there.

You’ve got a new found love for Tom Odell – any other UK artists on your current playlists?

I finally listened to The 1975 the other day and I’m a big fan now.

How does it feel to be going on tour with Matt Pryor – were you a Get Up Kids fan?

Matt Pryor is an excellent human being. We just toured the West Coast together so I’m excited to be back out with him. As for Get Up Kids, I knew who they were but I never took the time to listen. It’s a deep regret. It seems that they made such an impact on so many songwriters I love. I definitely missed out and it’s my own dang fault.

What’s your favourite song (or songs) to play live at the moment and why?

Probably ‘Wait For Me’. I like how it has the power to quiet down a room full of rowdy dudes. It gets me every time!

You just played the Troubadour – is that the most special venue you’ve had a show at, or somewhere else?

For me it was Bowery Ballroom in NYC. I lived in Brooklyn for 3 years, and the Bowery show was my last show before moving to California. I had always dreamed of playing there and it was such an honour to get to stand on that stage before I left.

It’s cool that you have a tape recorder on your merch stand for fans to leave you messages. Got any good ones so far?

I’ve gotten so many beautiful heartfelt messages, but the best was a very sincere young man who said, “My name is ****, I love suckin’ dick and Allison Weiss”.

Your recent video, for ‘Wait For Me’, is kind of heartbreaking [it features a woman listening to Allison’s song in real life just after leaving her family to study]. Firstly, is Josee a friend of yours?

No! She’s a friend of the director, Trevor Bowman. I haven’t met her yet. I think she’s busy in school.

Secondly, is making people cry (in a good way) something that you aim to do with your songs?

I aim to make people feel something. I aim to say the things that we’re all thinking when we’re stuck in those rough spots. When you’re right in the middle of it, it’s easy to feel like nobody on earth could ever understand. In reality, everyone does. I aim to put that feeling to music.

You recently got into a ‘discussion’ with Property of Zack over an article about sexuality and equality – are those both things that are important for you to discuss via your music?

I don’t like to get political in my songwriting (probably because I’m not good at it), but I will absolutely use my place as a public figure on The Internets to stand up for what I believe in, and stand up for my fans. It’s very important to spread a message of hope and love. Equality is not an opinion, it’s a basic human right.

What is your tagline, 100% Forever, all about?

It’s just how I live my life, really.

Allison Weiss goes on tour with Matt Pryor from February 14th. The album ‘Say What You Mean’ by Allison Weiss is out now.


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]