Brisbane’s post-hardcore/pop punk boys We Set Signals are set to release their full-length album ‘ORDO’ on September 25th. Vocalist Nick Wilkinson and I had a chat about the album, the band and one of my favourite subjects Periphery!!!
You guys signed with We are Triumphant in 2017 how did that come about?
We had an album out and it reached 1 million hits on Spotify. We got an email from the label saying, ‘Hey we like what you are doing, its really popular would you be interested in signing a deal and we will put this album out again.’ So we signed on the dotted line and they rereleased that record which did very very well. They were also happy to do another record completely on their own backs this time round which was good.
Which is ORDO?
So where did the name ORDO come from?
Ordo is Latin for order. The album itself is a concept album based around post-apocalyptic themes and we thought that name was quite fitting for where we were coming from with the concept direction.
Your latest single Meet Me at the Starlight Drive-in, how has that been received, because I’m actually loving it!
It’s been quite popular. It’s probably been our second most popular song since our first single Where Were You. It’s doing really really well. I think it’s just got that boppy chorus, its what we do. We really tried to branch out and experiment with the other songs on the album. But Meet Me At The Starlight Drive-in is classic We Set Signals. That’s our sound to a T, that’s what we do. I think that gained a lot of popularity with people and we really enjoy playing that sort of stuff. We want to write something that is easy to sing along to and easy to bop to.
I’ve done plenty of bopping and singing to it around the house!!
It’s just once of those songs that if you can tap your foot and sing along to it then I think you’ve got a winner song.
So what’s the story behind that song?
It can be really exhausting chasing your dreams when you’re in a band. You’re amongst a hell of a lot of other talent and you’re trying to get noticed. For years we’ve just been grinding and grinding and when the tables start to turn, and you start to get noticed by people, its not what you thought it was going to be in your head. You build it up into something that is probably unrealistic and massive, once you finally get there it’s not that. Its kind of just the same thing but you’re a little bit more well known. So this is about working so hard to chase your dreams or whatever you think your chasing but then you finally get there you realise how exhausted you are to even enjoy the little things. For so long I would sit there and be like that songs not good enough, or we need to try harder and do this when I really should have been celebrating the little thing. Otherwise why do you play the music?
I’m doing one of Monica Strut’s courses and that is exactly what we talked about today. Celebrating all the small achievements and milestones.
Yeah you need to. Especially in this world now. You just have to keep taking all the little wins and celebrating them. You take all the enjoyment out of it if you don’t. So that song in particular is me telling myself to stop taking it so seriously and enjoy the ride.
Otherwise you’ll look back and think we actually achieved all of this amazing stuff, but we didn’t really enjoy it when it happened.
So the songs all flow into one another on the album?
Yeah they’ve been structured in a certain way to tell a story. They also connect in the same way musically. It’s a little bit of a journey, it’s definitely the type of album that you want to listen to from start to finish so you can get the full impact of how we wrote it.
Who does all the writing
I primarily write the majority of the music. I’ll write the bones of the song and then we all get together in the studio to arrange it and get it right. I’ve usually got the melodies and hooks in my head and I know how I kind of want it to sound and from there we all get together. We find that it’s a little bit more intuitive than all of us sitting in a room looking at each other trying to come up with something. We’re inspired in different ways and inspiration hits you differently so we kind of take things away from each other and then bring them to the table.
Where do you guys draw your inspiration from?
Particularly for this record I’ve listened to a lot of BMTH and I, Prevail. They just recently in the last couple of years have brought out new albums that sounded completely different to albums they have previously released. I just think that is so cool when a band keeps coming out with fresh music. That really inspired me to try and do something along the lines of that with our new music. Incorporating a few different arrangements into it.
That I, Prevail album is so good. In saying that I’m not really a fan of the new BMTH stuff, I’m a Sempiternal girl, but kudos to them for doing what they have done because they have created a whole new fan base. I do like their latest singles, Parasite Eve and Obey.
Yeah how good is it. When I was first getting into music, well I’ve been into music my whole life, but when I was first really starting to decide who I was as a musician I was really into that rock vibe. That whole Foo Fighters thing. So when I had the gateway into metal, pop punk and all that, that kind of never left me. So every time I heard something in rock or metal or post hardcore that sounded real rocky and had that strong back beat to it I really liked it. I was one of those people when BMTH’s new stuff came out I was like this is so dad rocky and I love it.
I love metalcore but I lean towards the prog/djent side of it. I’m a massive Periphery fan.
Oh I’m a massive Periphery fan. Don’t even get me started! If I could write music like that I would love it! They just keep writing bangers. I feel like they can do no wrong
I don’t think they can!
When they first talked about the new album and how there was a 16 minute song I thought I don’t know about that! Then you listen to Reptile and your just like jeeze. Its such amazing musicianship.
I always tell bands that if they want to learn how to be diverse in marketing yourself they are the band to go study!
Yeah Misha with his studio and tutorials
And Matt with his drum stuff
He’s such a good drummer I could watch him drum for hours.
When they came out and toured last time that was pretty much my focus! Watching him on the drums.
He’s like a mathematician on the drum kit. The way he puts the timing signatures together is just insane.
Ok back to the interview!! How have the other singles gone?
They haven’t done as well as the last two we released but that’s probably because we didn’t have much publicity around the release of them. We’ve had to really stretch the singles out across Covid because we wouldn’t been able to do anything else like play live shows. They were still well received but the first single and this current one are doing better because we’ve had the PR.
Like I said I ‘d never heard of you guys prior to hearing ‘Where were you’ The one bonus of Covid for me has been discovering all these new bands, even though some of you have been around for a while.
People have plenty of time to make music and put music out.
People have looked outside of the box to release stuff and man there is some good stuff coming out.
It’s been very refreshing. And if you write something and you like it why put a label on it. Just get it out there.
The other two EP’s that you guys released, Abandon Ship and Abandon Hope, are they connected with the titles being similar?
That was actually intended to be released as a whole album. But the label wanted to release it as two EP’s split. So we released six songs at the start of 2018 and then halfway through the year we released another six songs.
So how did you guys meet and actually become a band?
We were all from other bands that had broken up. We knew each other because we were all friends within the scene. Our guitarist and drummer got together and formed a pop punk covers band and they asked me to sing in it. I agreed, so we turned up to the first band practise and ran through some stuff. I was playing some music that I had recorded at home in my car and someone asked what it was. I told them it was some new stuff that I had been working on. They asked me to play the rest of the album while we were there at band practise, so instead of practising we sat around listening to what I’d recorded. Afterwards everyone said let’s just play this instead, why play covers let’s actually play this music that you are writing. So I said okay let’s give it a go. And here we are. The stars just aligned, and the timing was right.
And now you’re about to release your first full album!!
We’ve been a band for awhile now, and we have all this music behinds us but it’s kind of surreal.
Finally if you could tour with three other Australian acts who would they be?
It’s hard to narrow it down to three but probably Polaris, Northlane and The Amity Affliction.
Pretty sure that once ‘ORDO’ is out for the world to listen to this is probably not an unrealistic dream for the guys!!
Go hit up WSS’s socials and mark the 25th September in your calendar because you are in for a treat with ‘ORDO’
Check out Meet Me at The Starlight Drive-in below: