You’ve won the Fan Power Award at the Rock Sound Awards! How does it feel?
“It’s amazing! We’re so excited to have won this award. We feel so fortunate to have the fanbase that we have, it’s hard to put it all into words! It’s a big honour, because we’re so proud of them.”
Does it make it more special in a way that it’s not just a celebration of the band, but also of the community you’re part of?
“That’s what makes it all the more amazing, because it’s become bigger than we could have possibly imagined. We care so much about the community we’ve tried to cultivate as our band has grown, and we’re very proud to see that they have this overwhelming sense of love for each other. And we keep an eye on that! It’s really important to us that, we almost feel like parents. If we see anyone out there fighting we want to make sure it’s stopped! We want to make sure it’s about love and supporting and lifting each other up. At live shows I’ll talk about, ‘This is a place where you can feel at home, this is a place where you can let out all the negative energy’, I truly believe that’s become a place where people know that they can be themselves one hundred per cent and not be judged. And that’s all we’ve ever wanted. To have anything like that recognised amongst the Set It Off fans, it’s the most overwhelming achievement that we could have had up to this moment. To say we’re honoured would be an understatement.”
Was that a positive part of your life growing up, being part of similar fan cultures?
“Growing up, it wouldn’t be uncommon for me to go to shows by myself. And there were shows where, even if I went with people, I would venture off to watch by myself to go to the front of the stage. At a lot of those shows, even though I was just kind of isolated at that time, I would feel so connected to the people I was around, and loved that. When I break it down to, ‘Why did I feel that way?’ what I loved was that no one there was paying attention to each other. When I was growing up I didn’t really fit in that well, I was bullied quite often and would come home in tears, and there was such pressure to fit in with everybody at school, and with extracurricular activities. But when I was at a show, I had the opposite of that feeling – because everyone was connected through this common interest, and all the pain that they’d been through, with the lyrics they were singing. I wanted that for us. I wanted to have a safe haven for people who maybe aren’t having the best days, or the best nights, or the best lives. I wanted them to have that escape - to be able to go out and vent - and bring them together with other people who are going through it just like they are. I think that’s where this stemmed from, why it’s so important to us. I know for Zac and Maxx too growing up, shows were all of our escape.”
On the other side of things, this album cycle has brought home how tight-knit and loyal your fanbase is. How important has that been for you in those times you’ve stepped out of the spotlight, been talked down, and then returned to find they’re still there for you?
“That part alone is just… incredible. The overall loyalty and the… I know the word support is used a lot, but it’s been literal support, lifting us up and promoting us. All over this album, they’ve been showing their friends and bringing more people to our shows. The last tour we did of the UK, it sold out entirely, our first time selling out a UK tour! Coming back into this album after having so much time off, you go into something like that terrified, knowing that it could go the complete opposite way. And then to come back after that break again in 2019 and see that they’d stuck by our side was beyond encouraging.”
Speaking of tour, there have been so many sold out shows for you over the last year or so. Which moments from those tours have particularly highlighted the bond you have with your fans?
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