Set Your Goals

By paul

PAUL: Hey! Please introduce yourself and your role in SYG.
JORDAN: My name is jordan and i am one of the vocalists in set your goals.

PAUL: Can you please give me a brief history of Set Your Goals from day one to today!
JORDAN: Started in january of 2004 by matt wilson (vocals), mikey ambrose (drums), and jordan brown (vocals), the only three original members and song writers for set your goals. recorded a demo in april 2004. released the recording as an EP through a small label in june of 2004. began touring. didn’t stop. apporached by eulogy recordings in june of 2005. signed with eulogy recordings in december of 2005. sent ourselves up to seattle, wa in february
and march of 2006 to begin work on our first ever full length recording, Mutiny! Continued to tour throughout april, may, june, and are still on the road as of now (july). saw the release of Mutiny! last week, July 11th, and things are going strong. this is the very, very, VERY short timeline, as you asked for it. our band has so much history to it, though. i could write a series of books already. it’s something i’m actually considering doing.

PAUL: Which bands are currently rocking the SYG stereo? Would you say any of these are influences on your sound?
JORDAN: This year has seen some awesome releases. Crime In Stereo – The Troubled
Stateside, The Distance – The Rise, The Fall, And Everything In Between, Ignite – Our Darkest Days, No Trigger – Canyoneer, Angels and Airwaves – We Don’t Need To Whisper, to name a few. I’d say the only of these bands we’re actually influenced by is Crime In Stereo, for current bands at least. Awesome dudes who have yet to write a
tune that doesn’t sit well with my ears. i’m fairly convinced they never will write a bad one.

PAUL: Why did you decide to re-release the EP? Obviously you hooked up with Eulogy, but why not just release the album? What was the thinking behind this?
JORDAN: Basically the label who released it the firs time FUCKED us. there is more shady business doings going on in the underground than the mainstream. know that. always be careful of who you decide to give control to. we were young and unaware. we’ve learned a lot in the last two and half years and are still learning. eulogy came along, and since we had stopped pressing through the other label, we decided to license it to them (we still own the recordings), since we wanted the music to remain accessible. we had our friend donny phillips at InDesign give the artwork a makeover and Eight Clip Media did up a nice little enhanced video portion for the release with various footage we had collected over the years. another bonus is a Jawbreaker cover we had recorded for a Bay Area Punk and Hardcore tribute comp to older bands from our area, a release that sadly never saw the light of day.

PAUL: Going back to Eulogy, how did you hook up with the guys at the label?
JORDAN: We were on tour again with our brothers in The Warriors when the label first got in touch. this was summer of 2005. we had been approached by a number of labels, but they stuck with us the most. we researched and got to know the
label very well before we ultimately signed with them six months later. there was a period where set your goals almost didn’t survive being a band somewhere in the fall of last year. we took a good amount of time away from the band and everything, and when we came back, eulogy was still there.

PAUL: How’s everything going right now?
JORDAN: It’s going really well. the band is still in a shit ton of debt, but touring has becoming a way of life, and lot more fun and comfortable for all of us, which us weird cause we’re actually working twice as hard as we were before, but i think we all just understand our place a little more and don’t take anything too seriously anymore. syg is a priority for all of us, but we all have a lot going on outside of it, we’re just enjoying the band as being part of our lives now, instead of consuming our whole being.

PAUL: The new album, ‘Mutiny!’, has a pirate theme…are you all lovers of the high seas or was the theme kind of a last minute thing?
JORDAN: We came up with the album title while we were working on the album. basically, a mutiny is a takeover from within. it is an uprising. we saw our band as just that. we were entering into this whole new world of labels and music professionals, but still felt very connected to the garage we started, the same place all our high school summers were spent with other bands in each of our pasts. we were kind of fed up a with a lot of elements that had come in to play upon playing shows outside of those garages. and we didn’t want to have to compromise ourselves just to make a living playing music (note: living does not equal money, living equals survival at it’s very bottom). the song mutiny! was written out of some form of anger, it’s intent to wake up bands around us, and to make those unaware of SYG aware of who we are and what we are about. we do not claim to be the most punk rock band ever, death to major labels, etc. But in the grand scheme of things, we do hold our own, and we have since day one. we’ve been through a lot of stuff.

PAUL: You recorded the album with Barrett Jones – how did that work out? Is he someone you;d like to work with again in the future?
JORDAN: Working with barrett jones was very rewarding experience. the guy just gets music. he in no way tried to alter our songs, but he pushed us to push ourselves more than anyone had before. he saw the potential in each of them, and brought it out of everyone fully. one of my all time favorite bands is the movielife, and when his name came up as an option for the album, i remembered he had been a part of vinnie movielife’s new band, i am the avalanche. so i jumped at the chance to work with him. not to mention he had been a part of some other awesome recordings from years back. he had a solid roster under his belt. as for how we hooked up with him, i had emailed a producer network agency with our budget, got in touch with an agent over there, and he got me in touch with barrett.

PAUL: One line that really stood out for me on the new album was: “No, I will never finish all that I have started because life is about doing, the process and not the result.” So which do you feel is more important for your band – The process or the result?
JORDAN: The process. if the result is good, you know how you got to it. if it is bad, you know how you got to it. You have to pay attention to what you are going while you are doing it, or you’ll forget your roots in anything you do.

PAUL: Are you pleased with the reaction so far? Didn’t the new album make the top 100 on the US indie chart too?
JORDAN: Very pleased with the feedback we’ve gotten so far. I’ve seen some really great reviews for our album and some really great reviews against our album. as long as people have a strong opinion about our band, i don’t care of they love us or hate us, just as long as we move them to feel something about what we do. that’s passion. and we did hit the indie charts which we were all very excited about it. i’m waiting for our label to send over scans of the chart so i can chalk it up to the scrap book.

PAUL: After getting beaten up and mugged, how did you find the UK?
JORDAN: All in all it was very good that we went out there. The shows were fucking rad as hell, the people we met were awesome, minus the muggers, and we same some awesome sites. we played rome. i mean, come on. that alone was worth the trip. but we definitely worked harder in two weeks overseas then we have in five weeks in the US. we were missing plane flights, ferry boats, getting jumped, passports were getting stolen along with thousands in other possessions, vans were breaking down and some of us were forced to run miles in wet, amsterdam rain just to get a tow truck. we also were cut off from communication back at home, except for the ocassional internet cafe or pay phone collect call. it was rough, but like i said, the people we met at the shows and the shows themselves made it worth it. we’ll just be a little wiser next time we head out there. also, check out the steal, these guys supported us on the tour and were also the main reason the tour even happened. we owe them.

PAUL: Did you have any preconceptions of what UK audiences may be like? Are there any differences between UK and US crowds?
JORDAN: Accents. other than that, there is not a big difference. we got great reactions like we do in the US. plenty of circle pitting and crowd pile ons at every show like back home.

PAUL: Do you have any plans to return to the UK?
JORDAN: yes. but it’s gonna be a while still. we have a lot of people to play for at home first.

PAUL: Tell us a funny tour story involving you and The Steal.
JORDAN: We had a little jam session going oustide the nottingham show. old english gents from stories above us were yelling and throwing litter from their bathrooms, as we were being a bit noisy. the steal ended up taking the song we wrote and actually recorded it on one of their off days from the tour. they brought it back to us the next day and played it over the PA before we went on. it was pretty awesome to say the least. matt and i had been rhyming over the verses while mikey beat boxed, so we’re gonna have them send us the tracks to my email and once i get home, we’ll do a little remix of it. who knows, maybe it will see some rarities or b sides comp one day. otherwise it will just see soulseek.

PAUL: If you could base your musical career on another band, who would it be?
JORDAN: AFI. that band did it right and still does. they played every suburb of every major city for years and years. if one kid in a town of 500 wanted to see them, they were there. i have much respect for that form of touring, and i never want to leave anyone out in the same way they never did.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]