Chatting to Set Your Goals

Set Your Goals are an American pop-punk band, hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area. They have graced the UK with their melodic, catchy songs many times in their 6 years of existence, playing both headline tours and festivals such as Slam Dunk and Leeds Festival. I caught up with Mike and Dan from the band at the Wolverhampton Civic on the first night of their tour with You Me At Six. Here’s how the interview went:

As the gigs in Edinburgh have been cancelled, what have you guys been doing to fill the time for the past couple of days?

Dan : We jumped on a couple of Young Guns shows in Brighton and Cardiff, it was fun. Our friends The Swellers were supporting them too so it was fun hanging out with them, everyone was very welcoming.
Mike: We met everyone and partied both nights. The first night in Brighton, the club turned into an 80’s– 90’s dance night, we stayed up until 4am dancing, it was the best.

Have you met the guys from You Me At Six and The Blackout before?

Dan: We have toured with You Me At Six before. I think this is like the third tour with them.
Mike: Yeah, they were on the whole of Warped Tour and then we did the AP Tour and Soundwave Tour in Australia.

So it is your first night tonight, do you get nervous before the first show on the tour?

Dan: No, I don’t get nervous.
Mike: This is a big room and I think it is easier to play huge rooms like this than more intimate clubs, at least for me ‘cos I sit at the back. When we play smaller clubs, I can see everybody and that is more nerve-wracking than just being on an enormous stage kind of in your own world.

What can someone, who has never seen Set Your Goals perform before, expect from one of your shows?

Dan: Fun…
Mike: High energy. We jump around the entire set, have a party on stage and get people excited. We are sometimes a bit sloppy but we are always having fun.
Dan: Fun is the key. Fun is priority.

Do you find that a UK crowd differs from a US crowd when you perform?

Dan: Overall we usually get a really good reaction here. There are certain parts in the States that are better than others but here we generally get a good reception everywhere.
Mike: We love coming to England, it is good fun every time.

How do you come up with the names of your songs? For example “flawed methods of persecution & punishment” and “with Hoffman lenses we will see the truth”?

Mike: (Laughs)
Dan: I think that is just what the song is basically about. With songs like that, they tie in the theme of the lyrics and that is basically what the title is. Some songs like Look Closer they are lyrics. Summer Jam was like a working title.
Mike: Yeah, that was how we referred to it before we had a title, it was just the music. It was a summer jam type of feel and when we were naming the songs we thought let’s just keep it as that.

On Punk Goes Crunk you did “Put Yo Hood Up” do you ever perform that?

Dan: Ha, I wish!
Mike: I think it would be impossible… Seriously, the way that that thing came together was incredible. We procrastinated until the day before it was due and scrambled to put it together. There is a studio in our home town that’s real small time, we had never used it before but we knew the guy that ran it. He let us go in for the day and we got our friend in ‘cos he knew how to work the board. He came down, we invited all of our friends and pretty much winged it on the spot. I don’t think we could ever pull it off as well.
Dan: It would be weird.

You worked with Hayley Williams on “the few that remain” how did that collaboration come around and what was it like working with her?

Mike: We are friends with her and we have done a tour with Paramore. She is also dating Chad (Gilbert, of New Found Glory) so we have a lot of mutual friends and we just asked her if she wanted to sing on the song. We sent her the song, she recorded it in Nashville and sent it back. Yeah, she rules.

You have worked with Hayley, is there anyone else you would love to team up with?

Mike: We did a lot of collaborations on the last record, we haven’t really discussed collaborations for this up-coming one.

Christmas is soon upon us, what are your plans? Will you have some time off?

Dan: No, not this year.
Mike: We always try to make a point of being home for the holidays. We missed Thanksgiving two years ago and it was weird. We all have pretty good family relationships and since we are touring the rest of the year, there is no better time to say ‘okay, let’s go home’. We don’t like touring in the winter a lot at home. We had a bad accident a few years ago so we use that time to either be working on stuff at home or have a bit of time off.

So what does the New Year hold for Set Your Goals?

Dan: New record.
Mike: Yeah, new record. It will be out spring time/ early summer. We will head out to Baltimore to finish it during Christmas and it should be done by mid January.
Dan: After that there will be non-stop touring. We will be here of course and anywhere else we can go.
Mike: We just want to stay on the road and keep on going.

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Posted on Tue 4th January 2011 and filed under Interviews, Musicians.

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