Interview with SETYØURSAILS — “We believe it’s just not right to remain quiet.”

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Young, enraged, and wielding steadfast statements against racism, sexism, and homophobia –SETYØURSAILS do not mince words in the least. The newcomers from Germany perform uncompromising yet melodic post-hardcore spiced with standout metalcore elements, convincing both live and on record. They recently released their sophomore album, “Nightfall,” so we talked to vocalist Jules Mitch about the album. Read our conversation here…

Hi and thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Your sophomore album, “Nightfall,” was just recently released? How have you experienced the release and how has the feedback been so far? 

Hi and thanks for having us! The responses we got for “Nightfall” were so extremely positive. We are still in shock, to be honest. We had zero expectations and were just overwhelmed by all the love and support we got for this record. All I can say is that we are forever thankful for the feedback. 

Usually the writing process of a second album differs a lot from the first album. What was the writing process of “Nightfall” like? 

We really took our time to sit down and work the songs out. We worked with producers for the first time and just tried to be honest with ourselves and as open-minded as possible. André and I just sat together, passing the guitar to one another, and tried to turn our ideas into songs.  

Is there some sort of an overarching theme present on the record or are these songs separate statement pieces? 

The whole record is pretty much like my diary. I talk a lot about my daily struggle with depression. But there are also songs like “Reason” and “Fckoff,” which have a political influence. 

The press release mentions that the album is young, enraged, and wielding steadfast statements against racism, sexism, and homophobia. Politically-loaded themes are very relevant these days. Is it important for you to create more awareness about certain issues in our society? Do you think that music can approach people in a different way, for instance?

100%! Yes. I personally believe that music is the one way to connect people. It is very important for us to stand up against everything that isn’t right. Hate, in general, is something that we do not support at all. Especially when it [is] anything discriminating. Our grandparents had to face what hate can cause. So we believe it’s just not right to remain quiet. 

I watched some other interviews and one other theme that you guys write about is mental health. Is it difficult for you guys to open up about these topics? Do you think it’s important that people talk more about mental health?

You know… when I wrote the lyrics for “Nightfall,” I had no clue that it would be released on Napalm Records, worldwide, which allowed me to just be open and honest with myself. I had no pressure whatsoever and just wrote down what I felt in these moments and what I went through. I struggled with releasing a couple of songs but figured that the songs, which helped me the most as a teenager, were the most honestly written ones.  

The music video for “Mirror” shows you playing as a band. Is that the kind of energy fans can expect from live shows from SETYØURSAILS?

Hell yes! We love playing live and we love performing! As soon as we can get back on stage we’ll rock the sh*t out of it! 

Speaking of that song, I think it’s definitely one of the highlights for me off the record. The breakdown of that song is sick! What can you tell about that song (either about the lyrics or the songwriting process behind it)? 

André and I wrote the song in 2019 but never finished it. So we went into the studio and I was completely depressed about it. I was so unhappy with the chorus and wanted to change it. Our producer, Julian Brecker, forced me to sing it and convinced me to keep it. I actually had six different choruses for “Mirror,” but we stuck with the very first one. I wrote the breakdown for “Mirror” in the studio. Julian had just figured out the bridge part right before it. And then suddenly there was the breakdown in my head. I remember standing next to him writing the breakdown. We had a short party over it and it was just so much fun to record the song. So I am really happy to hear that you like it! 

Another song I really liked, because it has a cool groove, was “Fckoff.” Any fun stories regarding that track that you can share with us?

Haha yeah, I have a very short story for you. André and I wrote the song within 20 minutes. I was like dude, we need a rock ‘n’ roll banger to perform live and involve the people, so he came up with the riff and it was done in 20 minutes. I  believe writing the lyrics took another day. It’s going to be our favorite song to play live. 

Was there a particular moment related to this album that was challenging or that you had to overcome? 

I had like ten panic attacks and twenty mental breakdowns while writing it. I always put a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to writing music. 

One thing I really love is your cover art. What can you tell me about it and how does it reflect “Nightfall” in your opinion? 

Thank you so much. I fell in love with this statue a while ago and bought it on amazon. It stood and still stays on top of my studio desk. While I was working on a song, I looked up and she stared me right in my eyes. It just clicked within a second. So I took her and a camera and went to André’s place. We then did the entire artwork ourselves. It reflects the darkness that comes with the record. Also, the veil represents the hiding a person, who’s dealing with depression has to live through in their daily lives to avoid conversations.  

Unfortunately, live shows are still unclear. However, do you have any touring plans or other things in the works that we should keep our eye on?

Yes, we have! We’ll be supporting ANNISOKAY on a Europe tour this May. Also, we have a lot of plans. Actually, we plan on playing as many shows as we can. So there will be a lot coming up in the next months.

Lastly, any last thoughts you want to share with your fans/our readers?

First of all, thank you so much for taking your time to write about our music! I just really hope that we can meet as many people on tour personally as possible so we can show them how thankful we are. Stay safe everyone, we’ll make it through COVID and we’ll meet in the pit anytime soon!

Written by Laureline Tilkin