West Coast-based pop-punk band Set Your Goals – comprised of Matt Wilson (vocals), Jordan Brown (vocals), Dan Coddaire (guitar), Audelio Flores, Jr. (guitar), Joseph Saucedo (bass), Mike Ambrose (drums), and Justin Ksionzek (viking) – has been making an impact on music listeners since 2004. If you went to Warped Tour around ten years ago, you 100% know this band. They toured heavily off their well-received 2006 album Mutiny, and their live show has always been massively successful. And that’s the amazing part about it all. When you’re able to pick up your instruments together after a few years apart and play your most successful album to droves of fans, the magic never disappeared.
The best part? It allows another generation of concert-goers their fair shot to enjoy the timeless lyricism Set Your Goals has applied to their music.
So now we’re ready for new stuff, which has been in the pipeline for a while now. Luckily, it looks like the guys aren’t going away anytime soon. So, in honor of the 10 year anniversary of Mutiny, we caught up with the guys for a moment about what inspires them, and what the future looks like.
How did you get your start in music?
My first exposure to music was through stage musicals like West Side Story, Cats and Anything Goes, as well as film musicals like Meet Me In St Louis, The Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music. Next came my parents vinyl records. The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Sam Cooke, The Carpenters. And the final phase was Bay Area punk bands like NOFX, Rancid, Divit, Tsunami Bomb and Green Day before diving into Gorilla Biscuits, Bad Brains and Minor Threat around 15 to 16 years old. I performed in musical theatre growing up, and took up saxophone and guitar in middle school.
What is the earliest record you can remember listening to? Who introduced it to you?
The first record was a Tower of Power vinyl my mom owned, and I also recall The Suicide Machines’ Destruction By Definition being the first CD I bought in a record store.
If you could introduce yourself to an audience in any way, no limitations, how would you do it?
I would send them our music to listen to in their car, bedroom or favorite place to get away – on any format they prefer 🙂
How do you stay inspired to continually create music?
It just comes instinctively. When I’m bored, I pick up a guitar and just strum on it or else I go insane. I don’t pick it up to write, but something always comes out that I remember or record, and turn into a song later. Having serious issues socially keeps me motivated to write lyrics. There are some awful things happening, always, that need to be recognized and shared. People need to know what we know, and the other way around. I also need to play music to get my emotions out. I can pick up a guitar in any mood, and I know what mood I’m in once I hear what chords are coming out. It’s almost existential.
Are your friends and family supportive in your pursuit of music?
100 percent. I am very lucky. I want to do the same for others.
Where do you feel most comfortable as an artist? On stage, in the studio, on the road? Somewhere else?
All of these. It fluctuates. I need alone time, more than most, but I need to be around people, too, or I forget who I am cause I get ‘too’ in my own head. I like my imagination, but I need an appropriate balance of it. I can’t explain the adrenaline I get from playing on stage, but it’s the same I get in the crowd watching Hatebreed, Neck Deep or Paramore. The studio gets me hyped cause all I think about is other people hearing it and them these feelings with the music.
What has been your greatest challenge or moment in music or life thus far?
In music, having lost myself to ego and competition of growing a band. It’s not right. It takes a serious reality check to sort of beat the shit out of your ego and bring you back to reality. I had 3 to 4 years away from music. I was very paranoid, anxious, nervous. It was like PTSD. I found myself back in school and it was the most healing thing I could have done. It broke every fear and opened up knowledge I couldn’t have gained elsewhere. I’m grateful for this to have happened to me.
What’s your dream collaboration?
I’d love to write with Hayley (Paramore) again. It could be for either of our bands or just for fun. It doesn’t even have to come out. I really miss people like her in music who had a big imprint on my coming of age. I think you have a connection with people or things in common no matter how short or long you know them and I don’t think it goes away. Will (Cartel) is another musician I always looked up to and hope to write with. I’m beyond thrilled to be working with Mike Green again. And, lastly, Lin Manuel Miranda. He embodies everything that is positive in this world of music and people creating together, for the world, not just ourselves.
What’s in the pipeline for 2017?
Working on a new record, Mutiny! album plays!
Anything else you’d like to add, for our readers to know?
Thank you guys for staying with us. It’s been a long haul. We feel more present than ever. We owe everything to you. Thank you for understanding us.
Keep up with Set Your Goals here.