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Set It Off: “Dare to be different”

Vocalist Cody Carson spills the beans on Set It Off’s new album, over a pumpkin spice latte. Rock’n’roll.

Hey Cody, what can you tell us about ‘Upside Down’?
We are incredibly excited and about to explode from having to wait for you all to hear it. It’s fresh, we take risks, it’s honest, it’s vulnerable and it’s overall a very catchy record.

You’ve described the new material as your most “mature” to date – what do you mean by that?
As you grow as a writer you learn a lot about what a song does and doesn’t need. We used to force instruments and sections of songs into a writing session because we thought it had to be there. Now it’s all about the best song possible and we have nailed our process finally.

You spent some time writing with All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth, how did that come about, and what was it like?
I’ve spoken with Alex for quite some time now but he ended up in LA when we were there and he came to my birthday event with Jack at a bar out there and we reconnected and talked about writing. I invited him to a session and he accepted and it went incredibly well. He’s a very smart and fun writer, we had a great time and got a lot done.

Did your recent line up change impact upon how the record was made, or the music you ended up making?
What it did is open up what sort of avenues could fill the role of “bass”. We were able to use bass synths and programming as well as actual bass. It opened so many doors and cool vibes for songs.

Do you have a favourite place from which to draw inspiration?
Not to sound cliche, but just life in general for lyrical inspiration and music from every genre you can imagine for musical influences. My parents raised me on a wide variety of music from Beethoven to Whitney Houston. My sis showed me pop, hip-hop, and R&B and I discovered all the rock groups.

What do you think is the key to creating a good album?
Worry about the songs and fight for perfection. Have variety and don’t stop yourself from writing a certain style in fear of what others will think. Dare to be different and have fun doing it.

What excites you most about being a musician right now?
The open mindedness of listeners out there. It wasn’t always this way. We are very fortunate to live in a musical world where all anyone wants is a great song. It relieves pressure and anxiety and I love what we do.

Taken from the October issue of Upset, out now – order your copy here. Set It Off’s album ‘Upside Down’ is out now.