Since their formation in 2008, Set It Off has already released three EPs, signed to Equal Vision Records, toured non-stop, and shared the stage with the impressive likes of My Chemical Romance, A Day To Remember, Say Anything, Against Me! and We Came As Romans.
And now they’re ready for more.
The Tampa, FL-based quintet, comprised of Cody Carson [vocals], Dan Clermont [guitar], Zach DeWall [guitar], Austin Kerr [bass], and Maxx Danziger [drums], will release Cinematics, their debut full-length record on Equal Vision Records, on September 18, 2012. The 12-track album was recorded over the course of four weeks with Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount [All Time Low, Cartel, Mayday Parade] at Vintage Song Studios in Alpharetta, GA.
In a recent interview with Alternative Press, Carson explains that the new album features Set It Off’s signature sound of orchestra-infused pop with a new sense of heaviness, diversity and intensity in the album, both lyrically and musically. He states, “What’s really present on this album…we’re very theatrical when we present our story. If it’s a darker subject, there is a lot of angst and neurosis that goes into that song…In fact, in one song, Zack and Ken think I sound like the Joker from The Dark Knight. Not that I’m going for that, I just really try to get into character for each song as far as the mood goes. It has that diversity, but it still sounds like Set It Off.”
In a separate interview, Carson further expounded on the band’s experience in working with Zack and Kenneth recalling, “Our favorite phrase they would use is ‘You can beat that.’ They allowed us to become better musicians and individual writers…in the vocal booth, they helped drive my darker side out of me when it needed to show. Through bringing it out in the studio every day, it allowed me to bring “him” out on stage too. It’s like therapy for me.”
For their first full-length ever, Set It Off ambitiously set out to take their signature sound to the next level and pushed themselves further than ever before in every possible way – technically, musically, lyrically and emotionally in the writing and recording process. “Musically I feel like we are the strongest we’ve ever been. All the touring we’ve done in the past year has made us night and day tighter for our live performances and working and meeting other musicians on that next level has forced us to push our skills musically in all aspects from playing to writing,” explains Clermont.
Danziger notes that, “Once we got in to the swing of things though, it started coming together very naturally…we liked what we did with Horrible Kids and you can definitely hear that sound in this new record.” He continues, “But a lot has happened in the past year. We’ve made new
friends, faced new challenges, had new experiences, and from that we’ve all grown up a lot. I think the new album reflects how we’ve changed as people. It has a similar feel to our most recent EP, but is more mature and polished.”
In August 2011, the young band made their label debut with the re-release of their third EP Horrible Kids, which garnered widespread praise in the press from the likes of mtvU, Alternative Press, Guitar World, Rock Sound, Outburn Magazine and more, launched them into countless tours around the US, and ultimately prepared them to write and record their first full-length record. Horrible Kids debuted at No. 63 in the 100 Alternative Albums on iTunes, with their music video for “@reply” featured as an iTunes “Hot Music Video” and the music video for “Breathe In, Breathe Out” receiving great accolade on its own, as it was added to rotation on mtvU after winning the station’s The Freshmen challenge.
Horrible Kids was recorded at Red Sparrow Studios in Wilson, NC with Brandon “B-Real” Ham and John Harrell and mastered by Paul Leavitt [VersaEmerge, The Dangerous Summer]. The EP blends contagious, driving melodies and hard-hitting choruses with genuine sincerity and a powerful message, creating an emotional concept album referencing the troubles of being bullied growing up and importance of being yourself and embracing who you are no matter what.
The band’s new album takes the same energetic and passionate approach, but strays from a specific theme, allowing the band to touch on a broader spectrum of topics. “Lyrically, Horrible Kids was me digging deep into my past. With the new album, you’re getting to jump inside my head and think how I think, feel what I feel, and really understand how human we all are.” Carson confesses openly. “We are human - we have good times, we have bad times, we think pure thoughts, and we think impure thoughts. As far as how I describe these situations, I want you to feel like you are sitting down for a short film…and if I’m not evoking any sort of emotion from you then I’m not doing my job.”
“We are very proud of our last release, Horrible Kids EP, but this album is just on a different level, and we’re very, very excited about it,” concludes Danziger. “This is a new era of Set It Off, and we’re ready for it.