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Set on End - Set On End Newsletter Interview

11 Jun 2016 // An interview by Shade


Set on End are preparing to take New Zealand by storm with their explosive and highly-anticipated first full-length album The Dark Beyond, which is due to be released on July 15. Matt (guitar) spoke to muzic.net.nz about what their plans are, and how their sound has matured since their EP Means To An End was released in 2009:

This upcoming release has been a bit in the making, but we wanted to take time out from playing shows to write something truly meaningful and honest for us. We'd lost a drummer and added a second guitarist along the way but we can now begin sharing what we've been working on all this time. 

It's a more matured Set on End than back in the Means To An End days when we were a 4-piece, so you'll hear more layers to the guitar work, a more progressive metal element and a new level of depth to the lyrics on The Dark Beyond. Signing to Artery Recordings in Sacramento California (Entheos, Attila, Chelsea Grin) we have an awesome team up there looking after us and Shan Dan (Artery President) has mentored us on marketing metal music globally.

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

I'm sure each member has their favourite but for me personally it would be the track Dark Beyond. It was a branch out in style for us being a little softer and more melodic but we also kept true to our form and I feel it also has the most emotive energy.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?

I'd say it's definitely aggressive with a core groove to it. Polyrhythmic, yet not overly technical just for the sake of it. We don't set out to be the heaviest, fastest most technical metal band out there, we concentrate on the songs as a whole. The structure, the feel, it's twists and its hooks, is what we focus on. 

What can we expect to see from you in the next year?

Next year we intend to hit some dates in Australia and hopefully also make it to the US for Artery's annual tour in North America.

What NZ musicians or bands would you like to see more of, and why? 

Anything Richard Simpson (New Way Home, City of Souls) touches basically. The man knows what's up and has an ear for quality.

What is your favourite NZ venue, and why?

The Studio in Auckland. Sentimentally because it was the first time we'd heard that huge crowd noise on mass, walking out on stage to a sold out crowd supporting BMTH. The kids went absolutely crazy. 

Have you got any tips for dealing with nerves before a gig?

Apart from not attempting to drink it away too much, I'd say being prepared. If you're prepared to the best of your ability and if something genuinely goes wrong, you know it was out of your control. What funny creatures we can be, it's an old fight or flight emotion, but do you we actually think we're going to be killed or injured up there?, no. I also think us Kiwis are at times afraid of looking too confident, the whole tall poppy syndrome thing.

How do you balance your music with other obligations; family, job etc.?

We all collect duckets off the man with full-time jobs but as Kiwi musicians, it's fairly impossible not to have a stable source of income. We all have flexible employers and family so making time for the band isn't a problem. 

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

Sometimes it's a guitar riff, or a drum beat. We've had lyrics start portions of songs or even a mood as a concept we've then built off. Each approach to a song for us has honestly been different and I don't think you could ever say there is a right or wrong way, only organic I suppose. We also don't always listen to "metal", such as Pink Floyd and Yelawolf for instance.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

For bands, I'd say to work as hard as you can on writing, find your strengths and exploit them, the songs must come first. Complete your projects with everything 100% ready to go before approaching labels or rolling it out yourself. Remembering its so social media driven today that you'll bore people pretty quick posting memes or "here's another new riff" vid without producing actual content. You've got to get those "likes", right???

Set on End's debut album The Dark Beyond is being released worldwide on 15 July 2016 on iTunes, Google Play, Merch Now and Big Cartel (AU & NZ only).

Locally, they're doing something a little different for their Australian and New Zealand fans with the album on a custom 4GB USB card containing album artwork, wallpapers, lyric booklet and music in multiple formats: ACC, FLAC, MP3, M4A and WAVE.

About Set on End

Forming in Auckland, New Zealand, Set on End released their debut EP, Means To An End in 2009, touring solidly and sharing the stage with a number of international touring acts. The band took a significant break in order to work on their creative direction, returning in 2016 with a new line-up and their first full-length album, The Dark Beyond, an evolution of the band's heavy, groove-oriented core.

Recorded between Mindset, and Zorran Mendonsa Productions in Auckland, The Dark Beyond was mixed and engineered by Zorran Mendonsa (Blacklistt, New Way Home, Saving Grace) and mastered by Ermin Hamidovic (Periphery, Plini, Haunted Shores) at Systematic Productions in Melbourne.

"The album explores humanity's journey as a species and as individuals, striving for a better world, striving to further our knowledge of who and where we are. Sometimes the path we should take is obvious, and at other times we simply wander into the dark, reaching out for the unknown."

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Set on End


The Dark Beyond
Year: 2016
Type: Album
Means To An End
Year: 2009
Type: EP

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