All the way from Belgium, post-hardcore quintet Set Things Right are ready to take the world by storm. Check out this exclusive interview with the band below, as we talk about their music, the music scene, and overcoming the hardships they've faced in the past.
For everyone reading at home, what is your name and position in the band?
Tom Welslau = Lead Vocals
Maarten De Roeck = Drummer
Jos De Roeck = Bass & Clean Vocals
James Falck = Rhythm Guitar
Kristof Du Jardin = Lead Guitar
How did Set Things Right originally begin? How long have you all known each other?
The band started in 2009 with a bunch of people with the same ambitions, who wanted the same thing, which was to write music and perform it for a living. We took Set Things Right seriously from the very first second we spoke about starting this band. We were all in other bands before hand, and all of them failed due to the lack of ambition from the other members of these bands. In this band, we only wanted to work with people with the same ambitions, and do things the right way from the start, and that actually explains our band name.
Antwerp is where the majority of us grew up, so it's essentially the hometown of the band, seeing as the majority of us live around the area. Our bassist/clean vocalist, Jos, our drummer, Maarten, and our harsh vocalist, Tom, played together in a band before hand, and our lead guitarists, Kristof, and James had our own projects before as well. Everyone brings their own musical preferences into the mix, this creates a very diverse result, the songs we write are a hybrid of what each member loves.
You guys recently released a brand new single called “Don’t Close Your Eyes”, with a music video to accompany it. Can you talk a little bit about the concept behind the video?
The concept of the video is set around loneliness, and how it can drive someone to breaking point. Life is too short to waste precious time. We all need to move on in our lives. All the members of the band, and probably people reading this too, have gone through dark times in their lives, and forgot to move on and live their life.
What is the song “Don’t Close Your Eyes” about?
The lyrics of the song are multi-interpretable. We encourage that each person takes their own meaning from the lyrics and applies it or relates it to a situation in their life. To us, the lyrics are about sanctimony, seeing the worst in a person close to you, and also admitting that you are the same as them in many aspects. The chorus talks about a lame excuse for your actions.
Our inspiration for the song came from wanting to create a post- hardcore song that wasn't particularly technical, but more of a catchy song and a natural/ mature progression from our previous album "the never ending road". We wanted the lyrics in the song to be multi-interpretable, so that no one took the same meaning from them.
It’s a song that has a bit of everything in it. It’s melodic, it’s heavy, it’s catchy, and it’s got some sing along parts as well. The song really describes what Set Things Right is trying to make: melodic metalcore written with a post-hardcore heart.
We wanted a perfect song where we thought about every sound, word, and feeling we wanted to create. We hope that people can interpret what they want from the song, lyrically, but also musically. What inspired us for all our new songs is just post-hardcore as it was a few years ago. We wanted a straightforward song with a catchy chorus.
Where do your musical influences range from as a band? Are they all across the board or more focused around one or two genres?
Set Things Right is a band with members who take their inspiration from a lot of different genres. All these musical influences together make this band sound the way it does. Of course we all like bands like ‘A Day To Remember’ and ‘Parkway Drive’, just to name the biggest bands in our genre, but also some of us get inspired by bands like ‘Blink 182’ or ‘Tool’, or even ‘Despised Icon’ and ‘Seasick Steve’.
When it comes to playing music live, we also take inspiration from great performances like The Chariot or Story Of The Year. We definitely like our sets to be as energetic as possible.
You guys are from Antwerp, which if I’m correct, is located in Belgium (not France). What would you say is the difference between the French music scene and other music scenes throughout Europe, and even the United States?
I'm not really sure about how the music scene is over in the States, but over here it has definitely been growing for our genre of music, but unfortunately there isn't a great deal of support from fans over here, and it seems to be pretty divided, hopefully that will change eventually. It seems that the music scene is the best over in the UK.
The band has been endorsed by Monster Energy (congratulations!). How did that endorsement come to be? Essentially, who approached who?
Monster Energy Belgium has worked together with ‘Campus’, and are currently working with ‘Now, Voyager’. Two great bands in our country who made it a lot further with their help. Monster isn’t just a drink company, they've integrated themselves within our culture. Everywhere you go, every event, in extreme sports/music, there is always a big chance that you'll see the Monster logo somewhere, not to mention they're one of the main sponsors at Groezrock. It's really amazing that they are now supporting us as well. We're really excited to work with them.
I read that Tom fell extremely ill last year, which led to the band taking a brief hiatus. All bands face obstacles along their journey to success. How would you say that this challenge has helped strengthen the bond you all have has a band, and as friends? And how is Tom doing now?
It was not easy. There was definitely a lot of uncertainty during those few months. Our singer was really sick, we weren’t able to find the perfect bass player, … The future of Set Things Right wasn’t really bright. But in the end our will to continue doing this helped us get through it. We found a great guitar player, our previous guitarist picked up the bass, and Tom recovered after 8 months. In the end, our dedication to the band helped us pull through.
I ask this question to every artist because I always get a wide variety of answers. What kind of message would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?
We want fans to take their own meaning from our songs, as long as they connect with the music, that's all we can ask for. We take our own meaning from the music so we hope that others can too.
What are the future plans for the band right now? (anything you’d like to let your fans/listeners know in regards to new tour dates, music, music videos, go for it!)
We definitely have plans to go back into the studio. We have a lot of material we want to release and a lot more that we're in the middle of writing, can't wait for people to hear them! We also have tour plans, nothing we can give away just yet, but we will hopefully be playing in the UK and the rest of Europe soon. Aside from that, we'll see what what the future brings!
We've got a bunch of exciting plans for the rest of the year and onwards, we're working right now on making those plans more concrete. We will definitely be touring soon, but no dates are currently planned just yet. We're also working on finishing material for the new album, making it as good as we can make it!
Thanks to everyone who has checked us out. Like us on Facebook, let us know what you think of our video, and we hope to see you at a show sometime in the near future!
You can check more on Set Things Right by liking them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/setthingsrightofficial) and following them on Twitter ( @setthingsright).