Cody Carson – Set It Off ‘Giving it 110% No Matter What’

Whilst Melbourne has been shivering through a cold start to the winter, Florida’s Set It Off have just returned from the European summer festival circuit, including their debut appearance at Download Festival.

Straight from the hot to the cold, Set It Off are coming out to Australia from Sunday to support You Me At Six, and I was lucky enough to get some time to chat with frontman Cody Carson to talk Australia, festivals, and heaps more.

Where in the world are you right now?

I’m home now, for about 4 days, then I’m going to Florida to see my family and we’re gonna go on a cruise. I’m gonna really detach, we just did a 55 day run so I’m ready to like, really be a person while disassociating from everything.

Speaking of your 55 date run, you guys just played Download Festival for the first time, how was that?

Oh my god it was amazing! It was an incredible incredible experience, we’ve done Warped Tour before and we’re so blessed to be able to do that. I knew it was a big festival, but I didn’t know HOW big we were talking. It was mad, it was a ten, and it was gigantic and there were so many people there who just wanted to have a good time. The thing that I appreciated about it, it was extremely hot, and we were in a tent, and it just captured all of the heat but even though they were tired and exhausted, they gave us everything and we did the same. Dude. I think I threw up after the show.

I was, I drained everything I had into that show, and between that, Rock Am Ring, Rock Im Park, Rock For People, it was just a dream lineup of festivals. First big festival run and I cannot wait to do it again. It was absolutely amazing.

Please tell me you at least made if off the stage before you threw up?

I did! I’m not gonna make everyone watch that. It’s like my body knows, ‘alright no one sees and purge!’. By the way, it’s not a common thing it’s just because it was so hot. I don’t change my energy on stage, whether it’s 5 people, tens of thousands, whether it’s cool or hot, I’m giving the same amount every time and sometimes it has a reaction.

[I started my next question and had to pause for a moment because Cody’s dog Loki interrupted. Cody took a moment to grab and when he came back and sat down (after a momentary technical problem as he changed his headset), he had his beautiful pupper sitting on his lap. Cody is one of the smiliest, happiest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of interviewing, and I will never be mad about someone bringing their dog with them to an interview.]

Aww, Loki’s like, excuse me, Dad, you’ve been sitting on the computer all day and I would like you to pay attention to me please!

For real! He’s like you’ve been busy all day. Dude, this guy, he breaks my heart whenever I have to leave for tour. I’ve never, because I tour so much, I was never able to get my own dog. I’m like the stepdad to our other dog Mateo, because I’d always be gone and I wanted to be there for the puppy years. During the pandemic, I was like well, I’m gonna be home for a little while and we go this little guy. Because of that, he’s like, really attached, all the time, when I’m touring, he lays in my suitcase if it’s out and just looks at me. Now he has a new move where if I’m rolling up clothes to put into the suitcase, he’ll slowly move over to where my hand is to stop me from packing.

So not only have you guys just played some massive festivals, you also had your own, ‘Why Worry Fest’.

So much fun! It was honestly scary, it was daunting because we’d never done a festival of our own before. The tour ended in Anaheim and we’re like, why don’t we put together a festival? Let’s see how it goes. It was just short of selling out, the bands and the artists that wee on there we just absolutely incredible. I have to say, Anaheim, or Los Angeles is not known for having the best energy or crowd, they were out of control and one of my favourite crowds of the whole tour. It amped up the energy of the enture day and it was really, really cool. It was a huge success for us, and who knows, maybe we’ll bring it back. We’re very grateful for how it all went.

Why did ‘Why Worry’ stick out as the best choice for the name of the festival to you guys? You’ve got so many great song titles!

It’s a song that’s always been really prevalent for us, and I think it’s special to us because I think ‘Why Worry’ was the first breakout for Set It Off. We’ve had songs that have done well, but with ‘Why Worry’ was the first time that we came onto the scene and everybody started talking to us. We started getting interviews, and attention started happening. I also think the message of it is really important, and whenever I’m able to play it live I try to speak on the message of that song too, in a way that everybody can really gravitate towards it, and open up and heal from it. We wanted to choose something, and it felt like a good title. Come to the show, don’t stress, have a good time, it just sounded like a good name.

Was there any other titles that were in contention for it? With a laugh Cody answered.

There was the go fuck yourself fest…no I’m just kidding! Honestly, it kinda came out right away, because now we’re independent we had to get a distributor and we were told we had to make up a label name, which I guess is a thing you have to do, and we named it Why Worry Records. I forgot what the other ones were, but because Why Worry Records had happened recently, it just really felt like it was the one.

We are SO excited to have you back out in Australia, it’s been 3ish years (2 and half because it was December last time) since you were here last. Have you toured or played shows with You Me At Six before?

Luckily it’s not been 11 years! That’s how long it took us from being a band to eventually come out, so I’m happy the gap is closing! We’ve played Slam Dunk Festival with them and we got to meet them, and they are just sooo fricken nice. They’re so great at what they do so, really pumped and happy that they’re willing to have us on the run.

If you could get Josh Franceschi to come out and sing on a song with you guys, which one would you choose? I’d love to hear him sing on ‘Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing’!

Oooh, my gut is ‘Win Win’ because there’s a feature on that, but I feel like it would, what would be better suited for that? ‘Killer In The Mirror’, I think his voice would sound really good on that one. You know what, I think he would absolutely kill it on ‘Punching Bag’, that would be fun.

Are you guys looking forward to coming back?

Yes, absolutely, we loved our time in Australia last time! Not just how great the shows were, but being able to explore and seeing what the aera had to offer. We had extra time there that we were accounting for as we were meant to be doing a tour after it, and things started happening with COVID and we got to become residents for like a week so really enjoyed our time there and make a list of things I haven’t done before.

Are you prepared for how cold Australia can be in the winter? I know last time you were here was December and summer and really hot!

I shit you not, every person I’ve spoken to today has told me how bad it is at the moment. I’m gonna have to bring some layers! I was almost going to show up in like, summer clothes, because I didn’t realise.

What’s something you remember from last time that you either really want to try again, or that you missed out on last time?

Definitely I have to say, I attempted to surf, BUT, I think it’s going to be too cold to do it this time. I miss it. It was the perfect place to do it, it was the most beautiful beach that we were at. I didn’t get up obviously, I was brand new to it, I just laid down on the board and caught a wave. I felt the wave on either side of me, and I heard it and nobody was talking to me, and there was birds in the air. It was like time slowed down. It was the most amazing experience. Serenity embodied. Once that happened I was like, I get why people fall for this. I would like to try again, I’m not trying to carve up waves or anything, I just want to experience it again if I can muster up the strength to not freeze to death.

I know last time you were here you got taught the dance to the Nutbush, a dance which all Australians know and I don’t know how we know, we just do.

Yeah we did! Can you remind me how it goes?

No way dude, I’m not doing it on camera with my headset in, I’m sorry.

You’ll have to do it in person when we’re there! I swear, some areas just have like a specific cultural thing. Like Chicago. In Illinois has a drink called Melort and if you go there, they’re gonna try and make you drink it, and it is terrible, but they all pretend that they like it and it’s a weird prank that they do. I don’t know how to describe it, and people are gonna get so mad at me for saying this but it’s just not good, it’s awful. I’ll participate and drink it, but like, don’t tell me that it’s good. If you go there, do it for the sake of it, but make sure you tell them that it’s bad.

I’ll keep that in mind! Referring to Loki still in Cody’s lap, I asked aside from leaving him, what’s the hardest thing about going away for tour?

I’ll obviously miss my fiancé Shay (Phox), we have so much fun together. Yesterday she picked me up from the airport and we went straight to Disneyland. It was great! We just enjoyed the park and then came home. Other than the dogs and Shay, I love what I do, and we’re at a place in our lives and career where it’s just going so well, that I have no reason not to love it and to want to rush home. Luckily, the tours are only about a month at a time and that’s the longest I’ll be away, and it allows me to go to Florida to see my family. We always back it so we’ll have a Florida show and then a few off days so I can see my family, or go to a theme park together, and do some fun stuff. In a way I’m working but I get to travel and see my family and loved ones and then see friends I haven’t seen in forever.

You guys have been a band for so long now that I’m sure Zack (Dewall, guitar and bass) and Maxx (Danziger, drums) are your family as well so you’re not alone.

Of course they are! Those dudes, they’re my brothers through and through. It’s so funny, there was a time where we all lived like 15 minutes away from each other, but when we’re home we like never hang out! We’ve had a couple of board game nights because we love Catan and things like that. Whenever we get together again the joke train starts rolling and we love each other very much.

If you love board games, I absolutely recommend you go to Fortress in Melbourne. It’s an underground e-sports/gaming/tabletop gaming bar.

Yes that sounds great! I’m definitely going to have to look that up.

[Cody took a second to look it up on his phone and check it out before getting really excited and proclaiming]

OH MY GOD you know what I can’t wait to go to?! Holy Moley! How have I not brought this up once today?! We LOVE Holy Moley, like, we abused it twice in two days back to back last time. It’s the best mini putt place EVER! You pair mini golf with drinking, and there’s a theme, it’s just fantastic.

With a final small interruption by Loki who was glaring at Cody to get off his phone, we cooed over his cuteness together before I asked if Cody had anything he’d like to say to Set It Off’s Australian fans.

Thank you so much for your patience, and we cannot wait to come back. I love coming out with other bands because it gives us a chance to build up a fanbase so that when we come out for a headline tour we can justify it because we know there’s people who want to see us.

Thank you so much for your time, Cody, and for bringing Loki in with you, it’s always a great time when I get to see a pupper and we cannot wait to see you.

Thank you! I agree, whenever I see a dog on tour it’s going to be a great day!

Interview by Kelsey Trevan @kelsey_139

You can catch Set It Off alongside Between You And Me opening up for You Me At Six across Australia, including Perth and Adelaide, from Sunday!

with Set It Off and Between You & Me






Tickets Here