Set Your Goals Bio
Set Your Goals have always followed their own musical path and that fact has never been as evident as it is on the band's third full-length Burning At Both Ends. The album, which was written after a successful stint on last year's Vans Warped Tour, sees the band taking their unique blend of hardcore-influenced pop-punk to the next level in both the songwriting and sonic departments and will inevitably further establish the Bay Area act--which is composed of vocalists Matt Wilson and Jordan Brown, guitarists Audelio Flores and Daniel Coddaire, bassist Joe Saucedo and drummer Michael Ambrose--as one of the most vital and exciting acts in the genre.
Recorded in Baltimore by Brian McTernan (Thrice, Hot Water Music) at Salad Days Studio with additional production in Los Angeles by Mike Green (Paramore, The Matches), Burning At Both Ends sees Set Your Goals further developing their musical identity and carving their own niche in the punk community. "Brian was really great to work with because he helped us really fine-tune our sound so that all of the songs on this album were consistent with each other," explains Wilson, adding that skeletons for a couple of songs on the album had been floating around as GarageBand files for a while and those tracks helped "bring back the nostalgic feel of the album."
Since forming in 2004 Set Your Goals have toured with everyone from New Found Glory to Paramore and All Time Low to Gorilla Biscuits and been embraced by diverse crowds all over the world. "We've gotten to tour with some bands that I never would have thought possible," Wilson admits. "We've played shows with some of the hardcore bands I grew up listening to and some of the poppiest bands I've ever heard--but it's a dream come true for us because we listen to everything from metal to power-pop and hip-hop so it's cool to be able to play within so many different genres all across the musical spectrum and still be accepted."
Correspondingly while Burning At Both Ends undeniably sounds like Set Your Goals, it manages to work all of their diverse influences into a unique amalgam of music that's impossible to categorize. From the huge choruses of songs like "Cure For Apathy" and "London Heathrow" to instantly infectious melodic ragers such as "Exit Summer" and "Illuminated Youth" (the latter of which features a cameo from Comeback Kid's Andrew Neufeld), the album doesn't straddle the line between punk and hardcore as much as it demolishes it. "I think 'Product Of The 80's' is definitely going to surprise our fans because it's influenced by the Cars or Green Day but we were all into it so we're excited to see how people react to it," Wilson explains when asked what songs might surprise fans.
Lyrically Burning At Both Ends is the act's most personal album to date and instead of focusing on metaphors or politics, it sees the group writing about the personal experiences that have defined their last year both as a band and as individuals. "I wrote a song called 'Unconditional' about when good people do bad things," Wilson responds when asked about some of the album's most introspective moments. "It's easy to write people off in those types of situations but to me it's more important help them because without support you can't really improve your situation or make yourself a better person-- and that song is about my willingness to do that for someone very close to me."
In a music scene that's dominated by fads and Internet icons, Set Your Goals have built their fan base the old-fashioned way by hard work and relentless touring. "I'm proud we've grown from a grassroots level and the people who have followed us since the beginning are very loyal," Wilson explains. "Our listeners don't like us because we're the flavor of the week, they like us because they've liked us from day one and they support everything we do and trust we make the right decisions for our band and I think that's really cool. It's not something every band has; a lot of pop artists' fan loyalty is as short lived as their popularity, so I think we have something different and special and I definitely value that."
Ultimately Set Your Goals are just excited to get out there and share Burning At Both Ends with their fans and hopefully introduce listeners to the bands that inspired them along the way. "I know for a fact that a lot of people have come up to me and told me we were kind of a gateway drug to getting into other forms of underground music and I think that's really cool," Wilson summarizes. "That's how I got into all those subgenres of punk rock, so if we could do that for other people that's what it's all about."