The Death Set – NXNE 2012 Emerging Artist Spotlight

The Death Set

Check out our complete NXNE Coverage here

June 5 2012 – For the 18th straight year, North By Northeast (NXNE) is happening in Toronto from June 11th to the 17th 2012. NXNE is a music festival, conference, and even a film festival all rolled into one. NXNE is the most anticipated summer music event in Canada and aims to bring exposure to Canadian music of all genres and in general to support the Canadian music industry. Over 650 bands and 40 films converge for 7 days in Toronto and put us on the map in terms of large artistic and creative gatherings. Modeled after the fabled South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, we are very pleased that Toronto is hosting NXNE and we are certain that NXNE will grow in both number of attendees and stature in the music industry (much like Toronto’s International Film Festival has). SXSW is plagued by over commercialization and unless you’re deeply embedded in the industry you can forget about watching the big names. NXNE will also feature large free performances at Yonge-Dundas Square for four nights with the Flaming Lips being the main attraction on June 16.

After we weeded through all the bands bios found here and listened to their music, we were still left with a long list of bands that we were interested in finding out more about. We approached some of our favourite bands to request interviews for our Emerging Artist Spotlight series. Today we set our focus on a band from Austin, Texas named The Death Set. All bands we talked to are asked similar questions to each other so we can get to know them better. The description on The Death Set’s NXNE bio page reads:

Electro-punks The Death Set burst out of Baltimore – via hometown Sydney and latterly Brooklyn – late last decade with all the self-proclaimed “Ritalin and Sunny D-induced” energy of Licensed To Ill period Beastie Boys and Minor Threat’s boom-bap thrash power. Not on their second record, the band are still going loud, fast and chaotic as ever.

 Here is what the band had to say to us:
  • Hey there The Death Set, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Let’s start off with the obligatory introductions. Who’s in the band and what instrument does everyone rock?
The Death Set:  Our arsenal includes Johnny Siera on guitar and vocals, Dan Walker the
same and Will Broussard on drums.

  • How about the history of the band, when did you get started and how did it happen?
The Death Set: We all met online and slowly gained each others trust. No… Its been a whirlwind adventure from the Gold Coast and Sydney of Australia to Baltimore, Philadelphia and Brooklyn with enough hiccups, delights, dances, downs, peaks, disasters and overall mayhem to be very happy to reflect on.

  • Who are some of your musical influences?
The Death Set: So many different things but primarily underground punk, hip hop and electronic music. People sometimes trip when I tell them I like house music as much as 80s hardcore.

  • We found you as we were searching through the mountain of artists being featured at the 2012 NXNE. Why should a music fan come and see your show instead of all the other choices available to them?
The Death Set: If you like to spazz at a show then we are your choice.
The Death Set
  • What is your favorite single line of lyrics the band has written and why?
The Death Set: “If I felt cynicism I’d warp in a blanket of discontentment, Fuck that!, I feel better knowing that I decided not to”
I attach myself to that particular lyric in particular as so many kids have said they have been touched by it. Which means a lot to me. And in my own life it helped me deal with not begin so negative and embracing a positive mental attitude.

  • What does the rest of 2012 and 2013 hold for you? 

The Death Set: We just signed to the L.A. label Dim Mak after two records on London label Ninja Tune. So we are writing a new EP for them now.

  • The band has been through a lot lately. Has that influenced your music?

The Death Set: Of course. Our second record was markedly effected by the loss of our band mate and friend Beau Velasco. But coming out the other side of it now, and with the benefit of hindsight, we had to continue the band and write that record as a testament, and for our own sanities.

  • We were talking about punk the other day and it seems to be a widely used term these days. What is pink today and how is it changing?
The Death Set: I mean to be honest I don’t really care much for defining what punk is. It is what you want to take from it, and give back to it. A conversation as to what punk is or not is so morbidly boring to me. But for us I guess the similarities exist in energy first and foremost. We have toured in every sense, DIY, kitchens, warehouses to stadiums. I’m not sure if we are punk or not and I couldn’t care less.

  • Sorry for asking such a morbidly boring question ;-) Imagine that you were asked to be the opener for any band’s world tour (both current and historical). Which band and tour would be your dream opening gig.  
The Death Set: It would have to be The Beastie Boys. Just an overall fan, from teenager to present day. But I would like to do it in 500 person or less capacity clubs.
The Death Set
  • What is the future of the music industry? With the concept of the album and physical CD’s facing extinction, how will we be consuming music in 10 years? Are the economics feasible for emerging artists?
The Death Set:  I think its obviously become more multimedia and multitalented based. Musicians now make videos, websites, T shirts. Which is nothing new to DIY artists. But I mean if anybody thinks that playing weird music is economically feasible then they are ridiculous. It’s obviously for the passion of it. Its like selling crack, only a few make it big.
  • Where can people get your music/CD, is it being sold anywhere? 
The Death Set:  They can find links for msuic and merch at iTunes and Ninja Tune. Upcoming EP on Dim Mak.

The Death Set
  • Any closing remarks for our readers?
The Death Set: We have a lil saying in Australia that we have done our upmost to bring out here to Brooklyn and I’ll leave it up to the readers to decipher so just…


Thanks so much to The Death Set. We hope that you can see them live. They are playing The Wrongbar on Friday night, June 15 at 1 am for NXNE.  The band’s website is here and as you would expect they are on Twitter and Facebook. In the meantime check out their video below.

This entry was posted in Emerging Artist, Interview, NXNE and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Death Set – NXNE 2012 Emerging Artist Spotlight

  1. @EdgeGrrl says:

    Love the great interview and depiction of this band's music and soul.
    The energy they bring is rockin out riot causing infectious.,

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