US pop/rock act Set It Off set foot in the country for the first time ever this week to play direct support to Japanese rock outfit One OK Rock and if you, like me, have waited almost a decade to see these guys touch down on Aussie soil, you’re probably fucking stoked for these shows. With four albums under their belt, their most recent being Midnight released through Fearless Records (our review here), Set It Off are one of the most hardest working bands in the scene right now. So we got the opportunity to sit down with frontman Cody Carson to chat about their debut Australian shows, how their music is based off of experience, some tips on getting over your ex and what it’s like to be in one of music’s most underrated bands…
Hey Cody! How’s it going?
I’m doing great, how about you?!
I’m doing excellent thank you, and excited because after having been a fan of Set It Off for YEARS, I’m probably as stoked as you are that you guys are FINALLY playing some shows in Australia. How does it feel now that it’s set in stone? Does it feel real?
OMG, it feels so real. It’s nuts, we’ve been trying to come to Australia for ages, since the band began. When we started this world tour, we didn’t have all the dates booked yet, but we’re like, we’re going to make this work. We’re going to put it out there, that way we have no choice but to make this work, we got the offer and we’re like “no freakin way!” We’ve toured with One OK Rock before and they’ve always been really amazing to us. They’re really good friends, and Taka (One OK Rock frontman) was actually responsible for me and my girlfriend’s (now fiance) 2-year anniversary dinner. I couldn’t imagine a better group to head out on tour with, so this is perfect.
What can Australian fans expect in your live show for their first time?
They’re gonna move alot! One of the biggest things I love about our live show is just the overall connection and interaction that takes place between us and the fans. When I was going to shows, I was always front row, waving my hands, clapping, moving around. It made me feel incredible, because I was coping, and getting out all of my negative emotion. Shows are kinda like my punching bag, if you will. I know that I can be there for the people, and when I see someone that is just standing still, I’m gonna single that person out, and I’m gonna make sure they move! I like seeing people let loose and step out of their comfort zone, and just have the time of their lives. That’s my #1 goal at every show, and I’m pumped for it.
I’m freakin’ stoked as well, and you guys have always had a knack for writing such great break up songs, like ‘Ancient History’, and ‘One Single Second’. It’s actually some of my favourite songs the band have put out actually. Have you just dealt with a lot of shitty breakups in the past, or where do you gather that inspiration from?
I mean, you’ve nailed it. I always write from experience, so it’s like shitty breakups in the past. ‘Ancient History’ was actually more about me having to break up and then realising that after the break up, we had a physical relationship after that, and it did not end well. That song is basically a warning to never sleep with your ex! Avoid it at all costs.
But ‘One Single Second’ is actually me bringing it back even further to like 2009/2010, to my first love breaking my heart for the first time. The way it started was I had a voice memo and it was basically a dummy lyric at first of “I don’t believe you for one single second” over and over, and hearing that with the instrumentation, I was like ohhh! My brain immediately went back to that moment when she cheated on me, and I was just like this is it, I have to get this out again. You don’t realise you need to vent until you start venting again, you know?
So are these new tracks you’ve released recently part of the Midnight studio sessions, or were they written in the last year?
With these new songs, we wanted these 3 songs to be on the record. But we illegally couldn’t. We couldn’t have an 18-track record but we’re not letting these songs just die, so we came up with the idea that during the interim period between the Midnight cycle and the next album, we decided that it’s great timing to just start dropping songs because who doesn’t want new songs? We knew everyone would be happy with it, and it also gives us a new song to play live. We just added ‘Catch Me If You Can’ to the set and the energy off that song is just so fun.
What’s the first thing you want to do when you get to Australia?
I’m sorry to sound so cliche, but if I leave Australia without holding a fucking koala, I will cry! I need to see Australian wildlife, and I want to experience the Australian cuisine. One of the things I love about tour is trying the local food. So I’m going to be asking a lot of questions, like where should I go to eat? All that good stuff!
And after this Australian tour, are we going to see an After Midnight EP from this, or even better a new album?
I’ve actually already started writing for the next record and my goal was to get at least 12 songs done by the end of 2019, and I ended up with 14! After this Australian and Asia tour, we head to Europe, and then back home in April. I’m giving myself a week off, and then I’m going to get back into it and my goal is to reach 40 songs so we can sit down and nail out a new record.
Awesome! Well we will be all over that new record when it’s announced and we can’t wait for your first shows in the country this week! Thanks for the chat, Cody!
Thanks for having me, and I’m excited to see everybody!
Interview by Tamara May (@citylightstam)
Set It Off are on tour with One OK Rock and Stateside this week!
One OK Rock Australian Tour
With Set It Off & Stateside
Monday 2 March – HQ, Adelaide, 18+
Tuesday 3 March – Forum, Melbourne 18+ – NEW SHOW
Wednesday 4 March – Forum, Melbourne, 18+ SOLD OUT! Saturday 7 March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, LIC AA SOLD OUT!
Tuesday 10 March – Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane, LIC AA