Set Free: Spirit Filled Hardcore from Ocala

Set Free is a spirit filled hardcore band whose dynamic tunes and intensive live performances will definitely have listeners paying attention and taking heed of their positive messages.  Their Self-Titled debut has recently been unleashed through Eulogy Recordings, and Set Free is now making their way across the nation, resulting in fevered mosh pits as well as many inspirational moments.  Here is a recent interview we conducted with one of the Set Free members to find out more about this upcoming Ocala, Florida based collective.  Read on…

Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in the band.
Hello! My name is Danny Sherman and I play guitar in Set Free.

Where is the band based out of and what is the music scene like there?
We are from Ocala Florida. The music scene there is struggling due to the lack of venues. It’s not dead though. People still show up to shows when they seem to happen.

Do you have any local bands you could recommend?
Our buds in Brought to Their Knees, Male Daughters, Frameworks, and Lowest.

How did you wind up being signed to Eulogy Recordings?
A friend of ours (Josh White/Step Out Touring) started book shows for us, we played a show in west palm that he booked and met our now manager (Alex Kenny/Big Hit Management). We already had our full length finished and were still figuring out if we wanted to shop the record out or self release it. Alex along with Cliff Wiener (Big Hit Management) set up the deal with Eulogy. It’s been a great experience so far. John Wylie at Eulogy is an incredibly nice and understanding guy.

Select two songs from your new album and what inspired the lyrics?
The first song on the record is called ‘Believers‘. We wanted it first on the album so there was no confusion. Not only because musically we felt it was a good over all representation of the record but also lyrically it makes no qualms about what we stand for. Set Free is a Christian band. As Christians we are called to go out and spread the gospel. We feel there’s a lot of Christians and Churches that are comfortable sitting in Church on Sundays and don’t like change. The song is a call and a reminder to those people to go out fulfill the great commission.

I guess the other one I’d pick is Search and Destroy. This song is all about looking inside and being honest with yourself and overcoming things you dislike then making a change. Then doing our best to keep that change. It starts off with a prayer and moves into retrospective of ourselves and humanity in general.

We wanted an honest record and talk about real things that people deal with. There’s other songs on the record from the perspectives of struggling single mothers and people who wrestle with thoughts of suicide. We talk about other issues like addiction, depression, doubt, and the battles of morality in the world today. We do our best to bring light into all those dark situations and show that there is hope in any situation regardless how hopeless or dark it can look. We know that hope to be Jesus Christ.

Who produced your album and what was it like working with them?
We self produced a lot of it. We recorded with Kenny Gil out of Tampa FL. He plays in a incredible band called Reveal Renew. He had a lot of good input helped us out a lot with capturing the sound and the feel for the record. He was pretty quiet for the first little bit of the process but after farting in his face a few times and making him feel uncomfortable in general he loosened up. He’s become a good friend of the band.

Would you consider Set Free to be a Christian band or ministry? Why or why not?
Set Free is a Christian band and ministry is what we do. We’re not really the band to stand on stage and preach for 10 min. but we make it known why we’re there. We feel the best way to tell people about Christ is to show them through loving them, be there for them, and sharing the gospel.

How do you feel about non-Christian kids who may like your music but may not necessarily be into the message.
It doesn’t bother us if they don’t agree. The way we see it, they’re singing along and already have the words in their heads. We hope that one day when they need hope in a situation the words in their head will make its way into their heart.

What could one expect from a live Set Free show?
We do our best to put a great show musically and put everything we have into it. We put everything we have into our live. We’re not a gimmick band we just shoot for a good ole’ fashion punk rock show.

Any strange or scary stories from the road you could share?
Haha oh man.. We were on a full US tour this summer with our best friends in Strengthen What Remains (Blood&Ink Records). We had a few days off on our way out to California so we decided to take a detour and go see the Grand Canyon. Once we got there we ended up way off the beaten path realized that we had a long way back up.. almost straight up. Some of us almost didn’t make it haha. There’s a lot of crazy stories from that tour.

What was the overall experience like playing Cornerstone and how many times have you played the event?
Cornerstone was great! It was a first for all of us. We met a lot of new friends and got to build relationship with them. We play the Sacrosanct Records stage 2 different times. We met Tony who owns Sacrosanct. He was an awesome guy and helped us out a lot.

What’s up next for Set Free?
We’re currently on tour with From the Eyes of Servants and My Maker and I. Both awesome bands and people. We’re playing Bringin’ It Back Fest in south Florida and Rocktoberfest in Savannah GA this month. We’ve been touring a lot lately so we decided to take November off and we’ll be back out on the road in December with Reveal Renew. We’ll be working on our next record with our time off in November. We always seem to be writing. We’re hitting it hard next year touring wise. We’ll be playing a lot of festivals and have some pretty cool stuff in the works.

Any final words of wisdom?
Stay away from gas station hot dogs.

Thank you and God bless.

Set Free is:
Chris Marcello- Vocals
Daniel Laxton- Bass
Zack Marcello- Drums
Danny Sherman- Guitar

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

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