“We Want To Make The Best Record Of Our Career” An Interview With Set Your Goals.

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Backstage at the Vans of the Wall Stage at Boardmasters this summer I managed to catch up with the American pop-punk band Set Your Goals. Co-Frontman Matt Wilson and drummer Daniel Coddaire took 10 minutes out of their busy schedule to tell me about touring, recording and Punk Goes Crunk.

How’re you finding touring this summer? Is it any different to other years?

Matt: Yeh normally we’re used to doing Warped Tour, we do Warped Tour all the time. We’ve done it about four times.
Dan: We haven’t been over here in the summer time since 2007.
Matt: Yeh this is our first proper European tour in five years. We had some catching up to do. The festivals have been awesome.

This one?

Dan: Yeh, all of them, more than half the shows on the tour have been festivals. We’ve been to about ten.
Matt: We’ve finished up the tour with a week-long set of shows with Eager Teeth and Mixtapes. It’s been a lot of fun, every night has been awesome.

Do you have a favourite UK festival that you’ve played?

Matt: Reading and Leeds was amazing.
Dan: Yeh, or Give It A Name
Matt: Give It A Name was amazing too, but we really do have a soft spot for Slam Dunk. Every time we go there it’s literally incredible, all night, our set, then watching other bands and then going to a party, it’s always fun.

Do you have a favourite live act you’ve seen at another festival? Is there anyone you try and catch?

Matt: We were just talking about this, Meshuggah at Hevy Fest, we were all in a trance watching them.
Dan: We all admire and respect them, they’re an incredible band.

Are there any particular favourites you like to play?

Dan: Yeh, there’s some that are almost guaranteed to go off and we have songs that are a little riskier, we usually try and gage out the crowd, see what sort of show it is.
Matt: Yeh, if we play a metal festival  we’ll try and play the more aggressive or fast songs , if we’re playing a headlining show we’ll choose the fan favourites such as Mutiny, Fallen, Over Again.

Why did you choose to work with Chad from New Found Glory on your new album?

Dan:  Actually we’ve only done two songs with him. We’re set in line to work on the next album with him, sometime next year. It was awesome! It just sort of worked and it just seemed like a natural thing. We sat in a room for nearly six hours and just jammed all these cool ideas, we got both songs done and recorded them in two and a half days. It flowed and it was really enjoyable. A lot of times our recording processes are very intense and sort of last minute rushed and very stressful. This one hasn’t been, it was fun.

You’ve toured with SO many bands, are there any bands that you like to tour with in particular? You must be friends with pretty much all of them now.

Matt: Yeh
Dan: Yeh, absolutely.
Matt: New Found Glory, we’ve become really good friends with All Time Low over the years, Four Year Strong.
Dan: Every Time I Die were awesome to tour with.

I’ve also wanted to ask about the Fearless Records Pop Goes Crunk album, what made you choose that cover?!

Dan: They asked if we wanted to do it.

Did they choose the song for you then?

Dan: Yeh, they sort of did and we were like ‘er yes!’
Matt: We basically picked all these songs by California rappers but they were ALL taken. Like somebody’s already doing 2pac, someone’s already doing Dre. So we were like ‘what’s available?’ and they said Lil Jon and then my room mate at the time was like super into this Lil Jon song callled ‘Put Yo Hood Up’ and I’d never heard of it and he played it for me on youtube and I was like ‘er dude this is the one!’ Showed it to the band and they were like ‘yeh’, so we did that one.
Dan: We procrastinated as usual and it came down to the last day before we had to turn the song in, we’d done a little preliminary production stuff like Cyrus the drummer in New Found Glory, he did all the beats on the song, he programmed them with samples from some old new found glory recordings so they were actually his drums, it’s pretty cool. But then we hadn’t done any of the vocals so we were like ‘oh shit’ how are we gonna get this done? We went into the local studio.
Matt: Literally down the street from our house, we had our friend record it.
Dan: He just showed up we invited all our friends and just sorta winged it and that’s what came out.
Matt: The most fun we’ve ever had in the studio and then we finished up the vocals in random hotel rooms on our Australian tour.
Dan: Like with a RockBand mic, screaming into our computers.

Are there any new, up and coming bands that you would recommend?

Matt: My friend Sam just started this band called Souveniers, in California, they’re really good, I think they’re gonna blow up in the next year, they just put out thier EP, they recorded a demo and an EP put it out with 61/31 records, who put out a lot of cool bands in California  so I think that’ll do well, think they’re gonna start picking up soon.
Dan: My friends from This Time Next Year have started a band called Misser, they just made a record which is really good. The Story So Far are really big right now, they’re in the studio recording.

My last question is what does the future hold for Set Your Goals?

Dan: A little bit of time off!
Matt: Yeh, think we’re going to take a year off.
Dan: Just gonna regenerate.
Matt: Writing a new record, hopefully record early next year and then just tour after that. We wanna hit a lot of spots we haven’t been to yet, because that’s what keeps touring exciting for us. We really wanna go to South America, Russia, maybe China, Hawaii, there are places we haven’t been before.
Dan: First things first, we want to make the best record of our career.
Matt: it’s like putting fuel in your tank, you’ve got put that into your music.

Actually I have one more! Do you have any tips for new bands on how to keep going?

Dan: Never stop writing! All the time, any idea can turn into something awesome, as soon as you put out something awesome, people want the next awesome thing .
Matt: If you want people to know who your band, the best way to do that is to tour and don’t expect to make money, at the end of the day it’s a passion project whether you get paid or not is secondary.

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I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.

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