New York rockers, Set The Charge, are working their way into the mix through adding a splash of their chromatic color into darker hues and lyrically tackling battles within. Waking up to the potential of pushing the band further, lead vocalist, Anthony Vincent, has been integrating remnants of wisdom gained from his project, Ten Second Songs, and leading the band in a promising direction. In the midst of the excitement leading up to the upcoming release of the band’s debut LP, ‘Sky Goes On’, I caught up with Anthony to discuss how his roots have influenced his artistry, the music video for “Everything But Me”, how his work with Ten Second Songs has expanded his creative prowess, tattoos, and more.
Congrats on the upcoming release of your debut LP, ‘Sky Goes On’. Tell us the backstory behind the title for the album and the intention that you set out to send through the music.
The title of the album came together after we saw all the grouping of songs and realized the title track, “Sky Goes On”, was going to be the closer for the album. It just made sense to call the album ‘Sky Goes On’. Every song speaks of some form of struggling, whether it be with trying to find balance, the basic fundamentals of existence, where you fit into society, your past, your age it all circles back to “the sky goes on”. The universe is on its own course and however big or small we perceive our own problems to be, the world will still spin without even knowing we’re here.
Your recent music video release for “Everything But Me” features lyrics that you wrote back in the midst of your youth. Tell us about what those lyrics mean to you today and why you decided to release this track now.
I was going through my hard drive and found a song that I wrote when I was 20 entitled “Too Free”. I always thought that was a dumb title, so I cleaned up the lyrics and settled on “Everything But Me”. The old recording of the song is me and an acoustic singing in a much lower key. Back in my “let’s bring back 90s alternative” days. I wrote the lyrics pretty quick and at the time I felt I was saying something that resonated with me but I didn’t know why because my life didn’t really reflect the lyrics. Looking back, I realized that it reflected me perfectly, just not at that time. I was writing about the future.
At that time I never could have guessed I would have blown up on the internet for being a man of “many voices”. Releasing viral videos of me doing songs in the styles of different artists. At that time I wasn’t even aware I could do that! The past three years have been a hell of a ride and an amazing time because I gained a lot of recognition and have been able to turn this into my living, which as we know, is one of the hardest things to do for a musician. But at the same time, my integrity as an artist is still very important to me and I don’t only want to be known as the “Ten Second Songs guy”. I understand that no matter what, most people will always think of me as that. That’s ok. Just as long as some people know I do other things as well.
The lyrics speak for themselves, a lot of people already get the gist of what it means, they could put two and two together. But I don’t like to spoil it for people, I want everyone to connect with it in their own way and draw their own conclusions.
What was the greatest challenge that you guys overcome and gained wisdom from as a band while creating ‘Sky Goes On’?
The greatest challenge was figuring out how to make all of our different influences work together. This is why every song has its own flavor. The big challenge was to make that work. Instead of forcing ourselves to pick one direction, we decided to keep it eccentric and figure out interesting ways to make the songs transition into one another smoothly. That was a big challenge, but once we tackled it, it was worth it. We’re always learning something new.
Any upcoming tour or festival appearance plans for Set The Charge that you can fill us in about?
We hope to have an answer to that very soon!
If this aligns, tell us how being exposed to a variety of culture having been brought up in New York has introduced you to an expansive landscape of thought and artistry.
If we weren’t all New Yorkers our sound would be wildly different than it is now. My brother (Frank, our drummer) and I were raised in a family of musical theater fanatics and artists with our father being the biggest example of that, as he’s also a singer and an actor. Starting at the age of seven, we’ve seen more Broadway shows than I can even remember. Tom Dicarlucci (Guitars) and Derek Ortiz (Bass) also have a musical theater background. All four of us went to Archbishop Stepinac HS, in White Plains NY, where Tom and Derek both worked for the Drama club. In addition to that, each of us was raised on so many different styles of music from so many eras, and being from New York plays into a lot of that. When I hit the stage, all I want to do is play to the audience like a New Yorker. And I feel like people will get that vibe from us.
Let’s talk tattoos. Tell us about any personal pieces that you have which carry your own version of meaning and the tattoo artist that you worked with to bring the piece to life.
All my tattoo work was done by my boy Little Mike from Addicted to Ink in White Plains, New York. I trust him with anything and Addicted to Ink is the best. My favorite is still my classic monsters half sleeve, particularly my Dracula, Bela Lugosi. At the age of two, my favorite movie was the original Phantom Of The Opera, the silent movie with Lon Chaney, and I was obsessed with those films as a kid.
Give us a little rundown of your journey as Ten Second Songs and how you were able to translate what you have learned through that project into Set The Charge’s artistry.
Through my journey with Ten Second Songs I’ve gained a ton of experience on all levels of production, musical arrangement and performance. Even my engineer, Rob Ruccia from Uptown Recording, who produced the last Nonpoint record, has stated that “mixing a Ten Second Songs video is like production bootcamp”. I couldn’t agree more. It forces you out of your comfort zone and encourages you to push your limits beyond anything you thought possible and that’s precisely why I love doing them and why I still do them. It’s a mental game, it’s a challenge and a mountain to climb, every time. The experience I’ve gained made for a way better product with my own music. “Sky Goes On” wouldn’t have the same production value if it weren’t for all I’ve put myself through these past three years.
If you could metaphorically affiliate the lyrical content of ‘Sky Goes On’ to the characteristics of an animal, which animal would you choose and why?
A cat. Because rearw? Brrrt. *runs away*
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?
I wanna say 25, but deep down I know I’m lying to myself and I really feel 45 most days. It’s the tight hip flexors and the grey hairs sprouting on my neck.
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?
Yes. Thank you all for being there to watch whatever I put out, to those of you who give me the benefit of the doubt and watch each project with an open mind, thank you; it means the world. I hope you can give this album a fair chance. Either way, I still plan on releasing highly requested Ten Second Songs videos in the near future.