Interview: Set It Off, Underground (Köln)18. Mai 2015
Cody – Vocals
Lest We Forget: You’ve already released two albums which were both placed in the US Billboard 200 Charts. Would you say that the pressure is now bigger for your upcoming albums?
Cody: I don’t think that the pressure ever gets to us now. You can say that your first album is most important to make impressions. The second is most important because you have to keep up and the third one is most important because.. there’s nothing most important, just to write good music. Write a good album and focusing on writing a good album. There’s not so much pressure anymore. I feel really confident on my writing ability, like today, me and some of the guys got together and wrote a song and it’s really good.
Lest We Forget: A whole song in one day?
Cody: Yeah, it’s not fully done, but we got the melody and the chord progressions that I’m really confident in. We’re faster now. Faster and writing better songs. That means that the next album can only get better.
Lest We Forget: You’ve got a of attention because of your YouTube channel. What are the pros and cons of these social networks for bands like you?
Cody: It depends how you go about it. If you do an bunch of covers the pro is that you get a ton of exposure. If you do a bunch of covers as a band and you play live, a lot of people want to hear those covers and not the bands music. So you become more like a cover band instead of an individual band. But the idea behind it is to get a lot of new viewers by doing a version of these covers that are like your band and showing them what your music sounds like.
I don’t think that this is necessary a con: You show off your personality. If they like it, they like it. If they don’t, they don’t.
Lest We Forget: You released your last album in 2014 and now you’re on tour. Is touring more important do you than writing new songs?
Cody: No, they’re equal. We tour a lot and I know we don’t release albums as frequently as we tour, that’s impossible. The way a band makes money now is by touring. You don’t make money by selling albums. It’s the truth and it really sucks because you work so hard on these things, you spend hours and people think that it’s so easy to make a record. It’s not. It’s really tough. It’s so stressful to produce these music and people like it but then then everyone goes and steals it. I’m not knocking anyone who does it. I’ve done it, I still listen on spotify. I can’t say don’t do it, it would be hypocritical of me. We make money by touring and so, we tour nonstop. But touring is just as important to continue creating new music. You can’t tour if you don’t have new music. You can only tour of one record for so long before people are like okay, we’re seen the show. They both equal important. They both support support each other.
Lest We Forget: And What’s the hardest thing of recording a new album?
Cody: I’d say the hardest thing is the uncertainty, not knowing what people think of this evolution of your sound if you are evolving. And that’s ???? evolving as a band as you want to make sure that your sound changes from record to record. It doesn’t have to be drastic.
Right now, with Duality (2014) We’ve found a sound that we like the most and that is the most Set It Off. It’s going to evolve naturally if you’re not focused on writing a whole new type of record. And so that’s the biggest challenge. Creating a consistently progress.
Lest We Forget: In which country do you like touring most?
Cody: It’s like apples and oranges. I feel like in Germany there is the most friendly group to hang out with after the show. They are more quiet in between the sings because not everyone can understand, but I can’t blame them for that. But during the show they’re loosing their minds. But also different cities are different like munic and cologne are a bit more lively than Berlin.
UK used to be very much like that for us. London used o be very much reserved but now London is one of the craziest crowds to play to, so its all different for every band so it’s hard to give an exact answer. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. I’d just say if you want to set the bar up for your scene just make sure everyone around you is enjoying themselves and actually giving a shit about the music they’d pay to see.
Lest We Forget: What is the best thing happened to you as a band?
Cody: It’s tough to name one.. One of them is, we met someone named Sherry who was just working for some other band at the time. She is a very creative mind and she is a very hard worker. We met her and we bought her onto our team and she helped us a lot with helping develop our band and style, how we marked ourselfs. Your team behind the music is very important, so I think she’s one of the best things happened to us. Another think would probably be being fearless in the studio. Not worrying about trying to fit in a specific niche, just writing music that we like and being more selfish about writing, so it’s more like we write music that we’d like to listen to than that everyone else likes it. One of our favorite shows is South Park. We think it’s ridiculous show, but it’s a successful show. Or any sort of comedy show, the only way that the know what they’re writing is funny is because they’re laughing in their writing room. They don’t trying to impress people, they trying to impress themselves. If they find something hilarious while writing it, then mostly everyone else will find it funny.
Lest We Forget: What’s the best merch you’ve ever seen?
Cody: I wanna find something more unique than a T-Shirt. That’s tough I don’t really observe it, but I like it when people get unique with their merchandise, like action figures. That’s awesome.
One of our merch items is a Set It Off coffee mug. I love coffee.
Lest We Forget: What was the first thing you bought with money you made with this band?
Cody: That’s funny. It was with our signing bonus. I like scotch a lot, so when we got our signing bonus I bought one bottle of Jonnie Walker red.
Lest We Forget: How would you describe your music to someone who’ve never listened to it?
Cody: I would say if you enjoy story telling, an energetic way of story telling, pop rock and 90’s pop and r’n’b, like N’sync which everyone love, if they admit it or not, then check out Set It Off.
Lest We Forget: What do you like more in interviews, funny questions or serious ones?
Cody: It depends on the vibe of the person asking. If they’re more serious then serious questions make more sense. But I like them both a lot. But there are some funny questions which I don’t like, some awkward questions.
Cody: All the guys in the band! I know that’s very cliché and easy but we’ve been in a band since 2008 and I don’t wanna kill any of them yet. That says something.
song I’ve ever written
Cody: That’s so tough, like picking a favorite child. I’m really proud of Bleak December. I think it’s a very solid song. I’m also proud of Miss Misterious. Why Worry is another one. I’m equally proud of those three.
experience while being on tour
Cody: I had a really fun recent one. The moments like this are my favorite is was us and a good friend in Paris where we had a night off. So we met under the Eiffel tower with bottles of alcohol and we were just under the Eiffel tower, drinking and then we wrestled [shows some marks at his arms]. That moment, I drank whiskey and wrestled under the Eiffel tower, that’s a fun thing to say. Moments like that are memories that you hold onto forever.
Cody: Actually no one was better that touring. Oh, one of them is a day Italy, but my favorite vacation on holidays was when I was with my family when we were on our first cruise. I’ve never had more fun in my life. It was just me, my mom and my sister who were on cruise. We just laid by the pool, I’ve got a snorkel and could see some wild fishes and sunken ships.
time in Germany
Cody: Hopefully this will be the next one. We start at Germany today. I guess my first one was my favorite because we were in a van and explored a lot. We saw the Berlin wall, we saw different cathedrals and castles. I think the first time we were here was with Yellowcard. It was awesome.
Cody: Entertaining. Being on stage or having to act. I think that are my strengths. I always continue to work on. I’m proud of myself as a singer and as a writer, but I know that I have so much room to grow in both of these areas. I think that talking to a crowd is one of my biggest strengths, but you can never be satisfied, you have to continue. You can’t just be like I made it, I’m good enough now. You’d just ruin the chance of become the best you probably could be.
Cody: I feel like I’m mostly the one who breaks up relationships because I realized that I’m not happy and that it won’t work out. I’m in my mid-20’s and if I ate somebody I probably gonna marry this person, and if I can’t marry this person I’m done. I’m wasting my time and their time by continuing a thing I know won’t work out in the future.
This is serious though. I’m trying to think of a funny break-up line. It’s not you, it’s me. That’s the worst. I can’t do that.
Lest We Forget: I once heard of someone breaking up by baking a pie that said sorry it’s over.
Cody: Oh my god, that’s literally the sweetest way to break up with somebody.