boy sets fire
think everyone of you knows the fantastic last album by Boy Sets Fire called
‘After the eulogy.’ If you haven’t already checked it out, then you should
do so immediately, it’s one of the best records I have heard recently. This
was reason enough for me to send the guys some question by mail and here’s
what they had to say…
there, who is this answering my questions? What is your role in Boy Sets Fire?
is Rob, I play hot licks on the bass, and I roll around in broken glass (what
a weird hobby… - Stefan).
talk a little bit about the new record first. Are you satisfied with the result
of the album? How long did it take to write the songs for the new record and how
long did you record?
love the new record, since I'm new to the band it’s the only one I've recorded
on (besides our new euro-single). I did the layout for it to, I love everything
from the way the artwork came out to the quality of the production. The songs
were written over a two year period between the records. We recorded the record
in about 4 weeks.
came up with the cover for the new record? Did you choose the artwork or is that
something Victory does? Do you talk with them about the layout etc.?
did the layout and graphic design for the record... I came up with the layout
based solely on the title of the record. We have total artistic control over
everything band related, that was outlined in our contract with Victory.
really love the sound of Boy Sets Fire, the way they combine both melodic and
hard elements. So Rob, how do you write the songs as they are so different (one
half is in the emo vein, the other half is rather new school), does one half of
the band write the more melodic
songs and the other half of the band writes the more aggressive songs or do you
create the music together?
all come together to create the music...and no one person writes a particular
style, all of our musical tastes are so diverse that it comes out in the music.
One person might come to practice with a heavy part and another person may have
a part that goes with it, and it just clicks, then Nathan will add vocals and it
may totally change or dictate the outcome of the song creating a whole new end
do you think, will you concentrate on just melodic or just these aggressive
songs in the future or will you continue writing the way you do and will you
keep that style?
writing has matured to the point where we're actually writing songs that are
kind of in that grey area between heavier and more melodic music, our own
style... We're getting less and less polar while still keeping the songs
What are your influences to create the music you play, I guess it's pretty varied?
My Bloody Valentine, De La Soul, Jurassic Five, Tool, A Perfect Circle, Tortoise,
Trans Am, Ride, The Smiths (hey Tobi, how do you like that? – Stefan),
The Clash, Samiam (yeah! – Stefan), all kinds of stuff.
your new record one can find addresses of political organizations etc., also on
your homepage. So I guess you're very interested in politics, right (I'm smart,
am I not)? Do you engage in any organization?
and Nathan are affiliated with the US communist party, but the rest of us aren't
bound to one particular organization. We try to be politically active in our
communities by attending marches/protests or playing shows for political
prisoners like Mumia Abul Jamal.
from Where Fear and Weapons Meet told me that politics and hardcore have nothing
to do with each other, do you agree? Don't you think it's only the music that
should be important?
Jason a kiss for me, and tell him that music and politics have gone hand in hand
since the sixties, musicians and artists are often tied to left wing liberal
politics, and this comes out through the music, look at Rage against the Machine,
The Clash, Struggle, Bob Dylan, Woodie Guthrie, etc., etc. Music is an important
aspect of it, and if a band isn't political then awesome... We happen to find it
a good vehicle for addressing our political/social/personal viewpoints.
you think that bands like Rage against the Machine or Boy Sets Fire can be
influential on the listener to make them aware what's going on and is that your
intention? Do you think your fans focus on the music or do you think they also
try to find out what the lyrics are about?
know for a fact that Rage against the Machine can have a positive impact on
their listeners. I for one was turned onto politics by Rage... Before I listened
to them I couldn't give a shit about anything political, if it weren't for them
I probably wouldn't be doing this now. I know that a lot of people are totally
into it for the music, but for those few that get effected by the politics
it’s totally worth it. Based on emails and interactions with kids at shows we
know we have made a positive impact politically on kids that are into Boy Sets
to something different, but it seems for many people these are politics, too.
What do you think when some people are talking bad about bigger indie labels
like Epitaph or Victory, because these people often say these labels would act
must not have kids to feed, or rent to pay, or a message that they want as many
people as possible to hear.
I first heard the name Boy Sets Fire I thought about Bad Religions album 'Suffer'
where the burning kid is shown on the cover. Did you get the inspiration for
your name from that record, haha? What does the name mean for you?
got it from a book of poems entitled "The boy who set the fire" so we
shortened it, and bam there it is. It means the inherent potential within all
people for change.
a lot of people (including myself) the early records of Bad Religion were very
influential, concerning the music but also the lyrics. Which bands were
influential for you and which band is your favourite band?
don't have one particular band that I call my favourite, I like so many
different bands. Early records that influenced me would be ‘Soar’ by Samiam (great
one indeed – Stefan), the first Rage against the Machine, anything by The
Clash or The Smiths.
old are you and what are you doing besides the band? Do you have jobs, do you go
23, Josh and Nathan are 28, Chad is 25, and Matt is 23. I do graphic/web design
when I'm not on tour, I had to drop out of school in order to tour so much. Chad
and Josh are carpenters and Matt and Nathan are in between jobs.
did that Split 7" with Snapcase come to life? Do you like them and their
love Snapcase’s music and they're fun to hang out with, we're going on tour
with them after our euro tour, I'm stoked for that...(sounds great –
Stefan). Apparently the band FAR was
first asked to do the split and couldn't do it, so they asked us.
same questions for the Split 7" with Shai Hulud, on which you do these
Metallica covers. Why did you choose 'Fade to black'? What do you think about
Metallica in general and who came up with the idea of covering them? Do you
listen to metal bands?
wasn't in the band at the time, I really don't know how it came about or why
that song was chosen. But I love Metallica, and I love metal, I've been
listening to metal since I was like 10 years old. I love stuff like Slayer, At
the Gates (isn’t this guy just great? At the Gates must be one of the best
death metal acts ever – Stefan), Sepultura, early Cave In,
also did a cover of 'Holiday in Cambodia'. How do you choose a song that you
cover? Will there any more covers in the near future and which songs would you
like to cover?
just brainstorm on what stuff we like... I really want to do a Dag Nasty (hooray
– Stefan)cover or a Smiths cover... Ummm we'll be doing an Elton John
cover of the song ‘Rocket man’ on our European single on Jointheteamplayer
Records which should be out soon (I’m curious if that will be as great as
the one Me First and the Gimme Gimmes did – Stefan).
you tour Europe to promote the new record in the near future (I really hope
so!)? With which band would you like to come over and how's the tour with Ann
leaving Wednesday to come to Europe (Sept 20th). We'll be rockin’ over there
for 7 weeks. We're coming by ourselves this time, but I'd love to tour again
with Ann Beretta, they're great guys...
I guess that's it, how did you like this interview and do you have anything to
it. Nothing to add...must sleep.