Interview With Set Your Goals - 16th May 2011
Photo Of Set Your GoalsKim caught up with Joe and Mike from Set Your Goals to talk about their forthcoming album, their current tour, Slam Dunk Festival and much more.

You guys have been working hard since 2004 but what would you say your main highs and lows have been so far?
Mike – Well making it over here, making in Australia and Japan, just places none of us ever thought this band was capable.

Joe – I suppose the biggest accomplishment is seeing the world for free and playing our music. Signing to Epitaph Records too.

You have just completed work on your new studio album ‘Burning At Both Ends’ how did you find the whole writing and recording procedure this time around?
Mike – It was very humbling. We knew what kind of record we wanted to write and what the band felt was the best thing to record. We wanted to find the balance that was kind of both of our previous full lengths and bring back elements that we steered away from on ‘This Will Be The Death Of Us’. Just to kind of push the envelope. For about ten weeks in total of intense recording. It was definitely a struggle and a lot of hard work but the songs definitely benefited because of it.

Joe – I’m definitely more proud of this record. I mean we’ve all matured as musicians and as a band.

Mike – It’s a lot more fun, it’s definitely more upbeat, it’s just a lot more fitting. The songs are a lot more accessible y’know there’s no five minute songs.

Joe – I’m looking forward to seeing what the reactions will be like.

You recently put your new track ‘Exit Summer’ on You Tube, what has the response been like for it so far?
Mike – It’s been good, that was the second track from the new record that we put online. The two songs we’ve released are like the two extremes of the record. ‘Start The Reactor’ is a lot simpler structure-wise. Actually thinking about it, the chorus of both those songs were written in 2004 and then we retouched in a studio session because we thought it’d be fun after we dug out some old demos.

Joe – I mean online it’s hard to engage what the real reaction is from the listeners. I think there’s people who enjoy it and hopefully continue to do so.

What themes and stories do you feature on the album this time around?
Mike – Well a lot of the lyrics are about… well I don’t actually know that well, I just drum it!

Joe – It’s definitely a Set Your Goals style record. We have a song that’s pretty similar to ‘Summer Jam’ where it talks about growing up and being a product of the eighties.

Mike – Yeah, that’s a really interesting one. They wrote that about like, growing up before technology was around and it quotes a lot of eighties movies.

Joe – Everyone that has heard it has said this is very Set Your Goals.

Mike – There’s also a song about an old house Matt used to live in and it was just like the epicentre of everything! It was chaotic – we got away with everything you could think of there. There’s also a song ‘Unconditional’ I thin. It’s about personal family relationships. I think they might be better to answer this question to be honest as they wrote it all.

Your last album featured a lot of guest appearances from people like Hayley Williams and Chad Gilbert; does your new album feature any guest appearances?
Mike – We have one, there’s Andrew from Comeback Kid who sings on one song, actually he screams. It’s cool. It wasn’t a huge focus this time round, I mean it wasn’t last time either. We just got excited about all our friends who wanted some guest vocal spots.

Joe – We might have got a little carried away!

Mike – So yeah, we just thought of Andrew for this part so.

What would you say your favourite tracks from ‘Burning At Both Ends’ are?
Mike – Mine would probably be a song called ‘Happy New Year’. It’s the fourth track. This is probably a selfish reason but I love it because it’s really fun to play the drums on it. The guitar work on it is really cool – it’s fun times.

Joe - I think the working title ‘Care For Apathy’ is gonna be my favourite song to play.

You are currently back in the UK on tour, how does it feel to be back in the UK touring?
Joe – It’s great!

Mike – Yeah, it really is awesome. We love coming here. We spent a week in Europe and this is our first show back in the UK and we’re here for a few weeks. The last week in Europe was one of the best. And we have such a good time over here. We did all the tourist stuff. Dedicated our time, we actually got up early so we could do all the touristy things. We had a day off in Salzburg in Austria and it’s just a beautiful place. We asked a local where we should go for the evening and just to barbeque and she pointed us in the direction of this lake in the middle of nowhere – stole some firewood from someone’s house and just barbequed lakeside. It was incredible.

How does playing shows in the UK compare to playing shows back home?
Joe – It’s nice. I mean the coasts in America are definitely awesome but more central it’s a bit hit and miss sometimes.

Mike – I think England definitely compares to the coast. The whole country is always awesome. It seems like there is a stronger appreciation over here. America has like millions of bands so to be able to come over to England and play is just amazing and the crowd reactions are just wow.

Joe – I personally love coming over here and have more fun out here.

A Loss For Words and This Time Next Year are supporting you on tour, were these handpicked by you?
Mike – Yeah, they’re good friends of ours and we got them ‘cause we knew it’d be a good time and we’ve done tours together before so we mix well and we knew it was gonna be a ball so it was a pretty easy choice.

You are playing many shows in the UK including appearances at the Slam Dunk Festival, but are you looking forward to certain shows more than others?
Mike – Hell yes! Slam Dunk last year was the coolest festival we’ve ever done - hands down. I mean we don’t have many festivals in America really other than Warped tour. Soundwave in Australia definitely rivalled Slam Dunk.

Will you be checking out many bands on the Warped Tour?
Mike – I gotta be careful with what I say. There are a lot of good bands a lot of friends although I’d say this year has the least amount really. It’ll still be interesting Warped is always good fun.

Joe – I’m really interested in seeing the crowds for A Day To Remember.

Mike – It’s just a crazy spectacle the kids really do go nuts.

Can we expect to see Set Your Goals back in the UK touring before the end of the year?
Mike – Yeah, we don’t have anything locked down but we’ve talked about doing a full extended Euro tour and touch down in England. But it’s just tight with trying to fit as many tours as we can. If the opportunity is there, and we’re not insane from being on the road for so long then yeah definitely!

What’s your take on the digital revelation killing off the music business?
Mike – I love it, I’m a guilty person in that regard, and I’m always downloading stuff. I think it’s cool how easy it is to share music. It’s just the way that technology is steering the ship and the music industry has just gotta find a new medium to make an industry. It’s exciting being on the forefront of it all as musicians but the source of income will dry up and we’ll just have to think of another way. I mean I’d be a hypocrite to be like ooh fuck that!

Social network sites seem to be a big tool in the music industry these days, with artists communicating with their fans over it and some even ditching their own website and having just a social network page, what are your opinions on social networks as tools in the music industry?
Joe – It’s pretty similar to the downloading thing. It’s a necessary evil. I mean without MySpace or Facebook or Twitter we wouldn’t get the same kind of exposure.
Mike – There’s a lot of negative things but it’s getting more awareness, free publicity and free promotion.

Where do you hope to see Set Your Goals in a year’s time?
Joe – Still playing the record and playing shows.

Mike – Just doing what we are now. Travelling with our friends and recording new music hopefully.

One last random question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a zebra or Giraffe which one would you be and why?
Joe – Hmmm, that’s actually such a tricky question. I think I’d be a giraffe, I mean they have high perspective. It’d be kinda cool to see that much all at once… and their purple tongues.

Mike – Kind of a target though, just standing there. Predators are out there. Zebras are faster though, I don’t know how fast giraffes are but all they get to eat are leaves anyway.

Joe – It’s a tough question, there are a lot of pros and cons to both.

Mike – Let’s both go with giraffe!

Thanks for your time is there a message for your fans reading this?
Joe – Just to check us out on Facebook and Twitter, we all have individual accounts that we update regularly as well as the band one. Especially when we’re overseas, we’re just sat there doing it all.

Mike – We also have a new website Pre-orders for the record are up and we’re just gonna stay on the road for as long as we can so thanks for coming to see us. We hope to come back again soon.

Interview By Kim Horsley
 Band Members

Matt Wilson
Jordan Brown
Joe Saucedo
Michael Ambrose
Audelio Flores
Daniel Coddaire
 Latest Releases
Set Your Goals - Burning At Both Ends
Release Date - 27th June 2011
1. Cure for Apathy
2. Start the Reactor
3. Certain
4. Happy New Year
5. London Heathrow
6. Trenches
7. The Last American Virgin
8. Exit Summer
9. Unconditional
10. Product of the 80's
11. Raphael
12. Illuminated Youth
13. Not as Bad
 Band Related Links
Set Your Goals Myspace