Set It Off Talk “Cinematics” and More
Mon, 29 Oct 2012 12:03:56
Cinematics is the perfect title for Set It Off's latest album.
Their debut is rife with ethereal visuals catapulted to the forefront by an otherworldly rock song unlike anything else out there. You'll definitely fall under the Florida quintet's spell after only one listen.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Set It Off singer Cody Carson opens up about Cinematics and so much more.
Did you have one vibe or vision in mind for Cinematics?
As far as a vision goes, we didn't really think of it as a concept album. Since we were kids, the one comment we were getting on our lyrics is that you could picture everything in your head. That's where the title Cinematics came from. We wanted people to feel like they were sitting down for a short film. That's why we're very descriptive with each song so people can get a visual aspect of where they are when they're hearing the song. The main goal was to have a very diverse record. We have a jazz song. We have a song in 6/8 time. We have a major key song and a minor key song. We didn't pre-plan anything. We wrote what we felt, and it came out this way.
Is it important for you to evoke imagery with the lyrics?
What's important for me when I'm writing lyrics is first I have to be able to emote everything I want to get out. Usually when I write lyrics down, I'm venting, getting something off my chest, or exploring something I want to talk about. I want everyone to be able to understand where I'm coming from. When I would listen to Jordan Pundik's lyrics, I loved the fact that I knew exactly where he was coming from on each New Found Glory song. I'd be like, "Yeah, I've been there before!" Using descriptive imagery is one way people can jump in the song or inside my head and really relate as best as they possibly can.
What's the story behind "Grand Finale"?
We were on our first U.S. tour. It was all D.I.Y. We finally got to California, and we were loving it. We had a day off in San Diego. We were all doing our own thing. Half of us were chilling on a hill hanging out, and the other guys were walking around. We spotted this running track. There were these people dressed up seriously. It looked like they were getting ready to train for the Olympics. We decided to have our own race and do our thing. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, an air raid siren goes off. Everybody within eyeshot completely stopped what they were doing. It looked like everybody though, "This is the end. A nuke is coming. We're all going to die." I specifically remembered how I felt in that moment. I started thinking, "What would I do if this was the end of the world?" For instance, what if after the siren, the earth shattered beneath my feet? I took the song as an opportunity to tell a story of a man and a woman. The first verse is about a guy who accepts his fate. He just stands there and lets it happen. Verse two is about a female who's frantically looking for answers or something she can do to protect herself. The song puts you in a different perspective and makes you think, "How would you react if the world was ending right before your eyes?"
What tends to influence your lyrics outside of music?
I've never been asked that before. That's cool. I like really good horror books, but I think a lot of my inspiration comes from listening to other artists and personal experience. There are a lot of people who have gone through worse, but I feel like I've gone through enough to draw inspiration from things. Even when I was in high school, I did pretty well in English class, but what I was really good at was writing poetry. It just comes out of my head. I'm proud of how that's developed over the years.
If you were to compare Cinematics to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
If I were to pick a movie for Cinematics…that's a good question. As far as orchestral compositions go, I draw inspiration from Hans Zimmer who does The Dark Knight music. I'd have to go with The Dark Knight. Ever since I watched it, I've been obsessed with how Heath Ledger played The Joker. It wasn't just that he did a good job. When he came on screen, I would feel uncomfortable, and it would evoke a lot of emotion for me. I really felt something when I would watch that movie. My hope is that I did my job and I'm able to help people something as well when they hear the songs on the album.
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