Alter The Press!


Interview: Set Your Goals - 16/12/09

Prior to their last show of their recent European headline run, Alter The Press! sat down with Set Your Goals vocalist Matt Wilson before hitting the stage at the London O2 Islington Academy.

Matt spoke to ATP about their biggest UK headline run to date, guest appearances on the new album, meeting fellow member Jordan Brown at a New Found Glory show, the possibility of a 7" split with Fireworks and more.

Alter The Press: How has 2009 been for you?
Matt Wilson: It's been busy; we've been on tour most of the year and, combined, had about only two months off if that. A lot of tours and a lot of good stuff happening.

ATP: You're wrapping up the last tour of the year, playing your biggest headline shows to date in the UK, how has it been?
Matt: It's awesome, definitely a lot better from when we last headlined. Last time was good, but it was over two years ago. The crowds are bigger and more familiar with our band and we got to bring over some cool American bands this time, which was awesome.

ATP: How did Set Your Goals get together?
Matt: I met Jordan (Brown - vocals) at a New Found Glory show and we hung out, went to shows. At the time, he was in a hardcore band with Dan (Coddaire - guitar) and Mike (Ambrose – drums.) He sent me some riffs of him messing around on guitar and I thought it sounded pretty catchy, so I was thinking we should start a pop-punk/hardcore influenced band and we did; I robbed a couple of members from his other band and got the ball rolling. It started as a fun sort-of-thing at first, but then we recorded a demo, put it online and there was this internet buzz; kids were into it and wanted us to go on tour, play shows, it snowballed it's way from there. Now we are a real band, put out CDs and tour the world. We are now running with it.

ATP: Your latest album, 'This Will Be The Death Of Us,' has been the most successful release to date. How would you say the response has been?
Matt: Satisfying. It's nice to see we have a label behind it, a really important thing for a record, which is a luxury that we didn't have with our last record; it’s been a really big help. We are really stoked how it turned out, having kids turn up every night to the shows and sing-a-long. I think that's the best thing about recording a new record, you get to finish it, listen to it a few times, enjoy it and then share it with the rest of the world.

ATP: How did you end up collaborating with these big artists (New Found Glory, Hayley Williams of Paramore) on the album?
Matt: It's just been friends we've made over the years of touring. Every guest vocalist we've just toured with pretty much, and had parts we wanted them to do, parts that would sound cool with a different vocal, one thing led to another. At first, we only had one or two planned guest vocals and it sort of evolved from there. We like the way it turned out and I like how they are doing something different to what they usually do like, Hayley (Williams - Paramore vocalist) is rapping and we got Chad (Gilbert - New Found Glory guitarist) to sing instead of scream. It was cool to challenge them to try a different style.

ATP: Why did the track ‘The Lost Boys’ (featuring New Found Glory vocalist Jordan Pundik) not make it to the album and just a b-side on iTunes Japan?
Matt: We had an extra song, it sounded a little different, and we wanted to record a b-side for the Japanese release. I like that song a lot; it turned out really great.

ATP: Considering you and Jordan met at a New Found Glory show, and now you are really good friends with them, how does that feel?
Matt: It’s awesome. The first time we toured with them, we didn’t really talk to them because we were geeking out, and now they are just good friends with us. The last tour we did with them, they said that we are their favorite band to tour with, and we couldn’t believe it! Those guys are so awesome, down to earth and good dudes.

ATP: Will there be a Four Year Strong, Set Your Goals and Fireworks UK tour?
Matt: I don’t see why not!

ATP: What is planned after the tour?
Matt: We are off for a month then, a US tour where we are supporting Motion City Soundtrack with The Swellers and then going to Japan/Australia for Punkspring and Soundwave Festival. After, we do a short headline run in the US then Warped Tour the whole summer.

ATP: Have you been working on anything new?
Matt: Jordan has been playing around with a couple of riffs. The month we go home would be the best time to work on that because, when we don’t write too much on the road, we have to designate blocks of time at home to do that.

ATP: There are talks about a possible 7” split with Fireworks?
Matt: That has definitely been talked about. It would be cool. It’s all just speculative right now.

ATP: Anything else you would like to add?
Matt: Follow us on Twitter - @therealsyg.

'This Will Be The Death Of Us' is out now on Epitaph Records.

- Jon Ableson

Alter The Press!