Photo: Clare Molnar
Its been a pretty hectic year for SETMEONFIRE, dropping a new record and touring with bands such as Diamond Construct, Windwaker. 2018 is set to be huge as they are playing with Blind Oracle and In Hearts Wake as well as many more I'm sure! I spoke to frontman Cameron Eyre.
//Can you give a breif history of SETMEONFIRE and releases?//
This band is a continuation of a solo project of mine (Earth Project). Although initially it started out as a progressive metal deal, I quickly got bored of it and desperately wanted to try something different. I was over writing progressive music and felt I'd gone about as far as I ever could with it. The direction I wanted to take it was so far removed from where it started that I just ended up starting from scratch with a new name. We've released 3 EP's to date.
//How did the band originate?//
After figuring out where I wanted to go with the music, I started looking for people to work with. I initially searched for vocalists, but had no luck so I thought I'd just do it myself (a big step because I couldn't sing to save my life at the time - and arguably still can't haha). I started working with an individual but that didn't last too long. I happened to strike up a convo with Oliver, who I didn't really know too well at the time. I told him that I wanted a much more electronica driven sound. He showed me some of his production and we went from there. Since then we've rounded out the lineup with Stuart on guitar and Raymond on drums.
//Who is the first band that made you love music?//
I don't think there was ever really a single band or moment where it all clicked. Metallica was the first metal band I'd listen to as my dad had a cd (S&M), then it was Rammstein (Mutter) - also because my dad bought it. At the time I was getting into professional wrestling and rock and metal music was a big part of that. Then it was Linkin Park, Slipknot and Limp Bizkit... it was about then that I fell in love with music I guess. I was just at that right age for all that hormonal angst.
//Who inspires you to make music now?//
Now? Myself probably. Only because I'm old and I've had a lot of influences over the years that I constantly draw from. The fact that SETMEONFIRE isn't tied to any one genre means I can borrow from all my influences past and present. Rammstein, Fear Factory, Devin Townsend, Meshuggah, Karnivool, Pendulum, Noisia, Deftones, King 810, Tech Nine, Celldweller, Aphex Twin and basically every numetal band ever.
//What are some of the most important things you have learn while being together?//
For me personally, the last 10 years or so have been a massive learning curve. I've learnt that less is more. I've learnt to relinquish control. I've learnt that a good song is all that matters. I've learnt that if you really want something, you'll make the time for it. I've learnt to be more intuitive with songwriting - the first idea is usually the best. I've learnt that all music sucks, it's just up to you which brand of trash you choose to listen to haha.
//How do you view your band now as apposed to when you started?//
For me, my main goal is to write music. Everything else is secondary. I don't care for touring, I've done enough of it. The only reason we're playing shows is to get experience doing the whole frontman/singing thing live as it's all new to me. Unless the demand is there I don't want to do anything. merch, shows, tours. My focus is %100 on writing tunes.
//What's your favourite venue to play?//
The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle.
//Can you explain what goes on during the writing process?//
It's a bit of a mixed bag between Oliver and I. I usually start out by bringing a basic version of a song to Oliver. He adds a lot of layers and electronic elements in and gives it depth as well as helps arrange the track. Then I'll get stuck into the vocals and present a demo to Oliver which we'll chop and change and fine tune. He's great at coming up with melodies and phrasing. However sometimes Oli comes to me with his own track and we either use that as it is or I add to it. Sometimes he already has vocals and lyrics written. So yeah, bit of a mixed bag writing wise.
//Can you explain the recording process you go through?//
So far it’s just been the case that everything is programmed - drums, bass, synth. We track guitars and I track vocals in my closet. I try to keep it as in house as possible. I don’t have the time to be able to take a week or two off and go into a studio so I have to make do with what I can.
//What does this release mean to you? //
This release for me is the first time I’ve ever really just written something out of enjoyment and not because I’ve been trying to fit in with a certain sound. No boundaries, no rules, just do whatever I want really. Complete opposite of what I’ve been doing prior.
//What does the scene mean to you?//
Nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met so many wonderful people because of it, but as far as being in a band goes - it’s both good and bad. It’s very insular and clique-y. I’ve worked within it for years but now I have no desire to cater to it whatsoever.
//If you could change one thing about the scene, what would it be?//
To make it a safe and comfortable place for women.
//What song means the most to you?//
Sentinel is a song I wrote to my two sons.
//What's your favourite song to play live?//
Surrender to the Spiral
//Why do you play music?//
Because I need to
//Would you encourage people reading this to start bands?//
No. Being in a band is hard. It takes a certain kind of person to stick through all the bullshit in hopes of a payoff that will most likely never come. Hard work doesn't guarantee success, but I can guarantee you success doesn't come without working hard.
//What advice do you have for new bands?//
Songwriting is by far the most important thing. Booking agents, touring, managers... all that shit can only get you so far if you don't have the material to back it up.
//How important is it to network with other bands?//
Depends what your goals are. As far as playing shows and touring goes, networking is essential and will open a lot of doors for you. Again though, songwriting is #1.