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Could Set It Off be changing the face of music with their fourth studio album Midnight?
Possibly. The latest release takes their interests in multi-genre melding and turns it up a notch so they jump from awesome to epic. If you disagree, one thing is otherwise certain—the Florida rockers are changing the face of their outfit. “We’re excited, anxious, and want everyone to hear it so badly!” cries vocalist Cody Carson.
Having released singles Killer in the Mirror, Lonely Dance, Dancing With The Devil, For You Forever, and Midnight Thoughts, and making the rounds with media all over the globe, the Midnight word is being spread fast and heavy. Carson in his interviews, has been adamant he wants everyone to be a part of this journey, and he couldn’t be happier with how that journey has begun. “The response we’ve had [to the singles] is honestly, the best response to dropping anything in our careers, we’ve ever gotten,” he says.
With Killer In The Mirror, Carson says Set It Off wanted to showcase the new sound in general–a metaphorical drum roll was happening, Set It Off upping their game, the fans ultimately, Carson says gladly, freaking out. “It was the perfect combination of excitement and anxiety that I could have hoped for!
“The thing that excited us was looking at the numbers–the music video for Killer In The Mirror had a million [YouTube] views in a month! That’s something we’d never gotten before.”
Numbers grew across Spotify as well when subsequent singles were released, something Carson calls the culmination of acknowledgement. Carson is pumped. Like, really pumped. He’s the kind of vocalist whose charisma, swagger, and overall attitude is as genuine on-stage in front of fans as it is off-stage with media. This is a guy who emphatically wants to answer any and all questions and who really loves every aspect of what he does.
It was the perfect combination of excitement and anxiety that I could have hoped for!
[ Cody Carson ]
What’s really intriguing about Set It Off (if we’re going to pigeonhole here), is that they’re largely classed as alt-rock. But in Midnight, Set It Off have addressed a little bit of every genre, showcasing their skills as multi-instrumentalists–that texture, awesome as it is, was never something they were actively trying to achieve. “I’ve learned a while ago, never go in with an agenda,” says Carson, “But as far instrumentation–whether we had the gospel choir involved, the clarinet, trumpets, horns, strings, all that stuff–at one point in our careers we did make it a priority, but as it went forward the priority became making the best song.
“’Whatever benefits [it] will happen, what is too much will not.’”
“I don’t think you can tell by my voice but I get excitedly easily!” Carson breaks his own chain of rambunctious rambling to state the obvious–the obviously endearing. “I get carried away,” he continues about his song writing. “I wanna do everything—‘let’s have this in there, let’s have that’–and I’ve learned over the years as a writer to just calm down and pay attention, like, ‘does this actually benefit the song?’”
“It’s not as intentional as it may sound. All we wanna do is make the best song possible.”
Orchestrating with Mike Green (Neck Deep, All Time Low, State Champs) to make the best songs possibly meant also bringing on board some stellar guest talent. With members of Issues, Wayfarers, and Reel Big Fish making an appearance, what those talents bring that compliments Midnight was nothing preconceived–it all comes down to pure chemistry. “Basically, three out of three, we had no idea those guys were gonna be on this record!” laughs Carson. “But I think that’s what makes this record special to us is that everything is organic, natural.”
This is a band on the up and up because of their explosive energy and explosive creativity. Such is Carson’s endearing and passionate manner, you can’t help but hope his band keeps on climbing that ladder. “Another huge part of it is the team we have behind us, that just lets us run wild!” says Carson. “There’s a special world out there where labels can tell you what you’re writing, and no one’s ever done that with us.
“They listen to our songs and we want their constructive criticism, their advice, to know what they feel. Fearless [Records] have been nothing but instrumental in furthering the success of these songs and ushered the band by basically opening the door and saying, ‘Hey, go have the time of your life!’ And we have!
“I think that has a lot to do with why the excitement is building between not just us, but the fan base as well–it’s a nice feeling.”