Set and Setting
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Set and Setting

Saint Petersburg, Florida, United States

Saint Petersburg, Florida, United States
Band Rock New Age


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs



"A SUMMER CLASSIC: SubAp! at Antiwarpt 2011"

With Bright Light Social Hour making sure everyone was happy at State, I decided it was okay for me to leave and catch one of my most anticipated sets of the day. It was dark onstage when I walked into The Local 662 and Set and Setting were setting quite the doomsday vibe.

Front lit with incandescent green lights, the band – a guitarist, bassist, and two drummers – showed why they’ve dubbed themselves “St. Pete Sonic Soundscape Builders.” Mark Etherington – shirtless with a mess of curly red hair – is a menacing presence behind the drum kit and he, along with Stephen Handal, seem to be the engine that drives this barreling engine of swollen, ominous instrumental down the path to infamy.

Set & Setting like cigarettes./Photo by: Kelley Jackson

The band says they play “songs you can turn your mind off to,” and by the looks of the crowd – all mostly looking down and head bobbing to the drone – that description isn’t too far off. - Suburban Apologist

"Know The Music: Set and Setting"

Set and Setting: Looked on by some as only a group of St. Pete locals, these four guys captivate the stage with their psychedelic, post-rock slow droned tunes giving you chills down your spine while watching them completely immersed into their sound. Their mixture of slow melodies accompanied by deep guitar riffs and hard drums they make transitions that constantly turn the tempos, making you question if it is even the same band from the song’s start to finish.

With a similarity to bands such as Explosions in the Sky, M83, Do make Say Think, Mogawi and even bands such as Boris- an audience of any kind would find this band to be nothing but stimulating. The feel of their music is not only grungy but exciting and new, as it should be. - Antiwarpt

"Artist of the Day: Set and Setting"

For the past two years, St. Petersburg’s Set and Setting has evolved into an instrumental post-rock powerhouse. Their lineup has changed as they’ve developed, but they have settled into their current four-piece arrangement of Shane Handal on guitar, John Allen on bass, Mark Etherington on drums and Stephen Handal on drums and synthesizer.

The band didn’t set out to be sans vocals, it just happened. Shane Handal said they had a singer early on, but it just didn’t work out.
“We realized that the music speaks for itself without the vocals,” he said. “We started to adapt to the fact the we didn’t have a singer and it kind of just went from there.”

For any band, the choice to go the instrumental route is difficult one. Can you express ideas and emotions to the audience with music alone? Will you be able to connect with them and keep them interested? This can be a daunting task, especially for a young group like Set and Setting, who all are in their early 20s.

But they’re more than up for the challenge. The proof is their three-song EP, Nychtemeron (which is Greek for a period of 24 continuous hours), that accidently became a concept record — the songs are titled Dawn, Noon and Dusk. Through swells of echo heavy guitar, melodic bass, and rolling drums, each song thoughtfully conveys its title.

“We realized that these songs had a similar mood to a full day’s worth of ups and downs,” said Shane. “Just a normal day’s moods and feelings. On top of that, (there was) the environmental aspect of the sun coming up. At first, it wasn’t a conscious decision to create a concept album, but after writing the second song we realized that it works. We wrote them to flow together where we could play them in a live show without stopping.”

Set And Setting succeeds by taking the listener on a journey within the song. Though there are no verses and choruses, the songs are intricately arranged and take unexpected turns.

“I usually have a mood or some kind of idea of where I want the direction of the song to go,” Shane said. “We put the pieces where they go, but we don’t necessarily know where they’re going.”

Set and Setting plays with YoLaJa at 9 p.m. Friday at New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $7. (813) 248-4969. Download their three-song EP, Nychtemeron, for free at - Tampa Bay Times

"Album Review: Set and Setting - Nychthemeron"

Not that these guys are drama queens, but they have a sick fetish for making you wait. They use their songs to construct tension like a high rise, stacking layer upon layer until you realize you were waiting for a moment that has already passed.

It’s like riding a wave that builds from nothing and ends in a tsunami. Reflecting echoes of guitars inflict slight inebriation, but the heavy percussion holds you up like a good friend post keg stand.

Shane Handal, guitarist, describes Set and Setting’s writing process as a “total creative feeding,” almost a potluck of ideas in which everyone in the band brings something to the table.

Shane and his brother Stephen splash layers of color on a sturdy foundation laid by bassist John Allen and drummer Mark Etherington. The goal: sonic mind alteration.

Set and Setting are sound chemists attempting to create an audibly induced barbiturate. Their name comes from a quote from psychologist Timothy Leary, “the nature of experience depends entirely on set and setting,” referring to the mindset of the individual and the environmental setting they inhabit.

The passage of time and influence of environment are rampant themes throughout the band’s EP, “Nychthemeron” (nik-THEM-er-on). The title is taken from Greek, meaning a 24-hour period, thus the song titles: “Dawn,” “Noon,” and “Dusk.”

Each song is meant to represent the amount of light present. Darkness makes way for light, just as melancholy for joy. The EP is the manifestation of the band’s perception of the human experience, an interest that permeates the members’ lives way beyond their music.

As anthropology, psychology and criminology majors, they have spent countless hours studying the human condition and applying their knowledge to their musical journey.

Yet, they know the importance of not taking themselves too seriously.

“It’s all about the free beer, self-satisfaction and good times,” Handal said. You can’t get more philosophical than that.

Expect good things to come from these guys as they perfect their chemistry. “Nychthemernon” is available for free download at and is due for release in hard copy on Nov. 13 at Fubar in Downtown St. Petersburg. - The Crow's Nest


"Trails" | 8/24/2011
One song EP - Digital Release on Pangaea Records

"Realms" | 7/30/20111
One song on Feels Like Home Records Comp FLHR05

"Live on WMNF 88.5 5.11.2011" | 5/11/2011
2 song EP - Digital release on GNC Records

"Nychthemeron" | 9/24/2010
3 song EP - Self Released



Since 2008, Set and Setting have been described and categorized as many different things. With a wide range of influences from Pink Floyd to Godspeed You! Black Emperor to Pelican, and Mono a wide range of sounds are combined into one unique blend described on the Tampa community Radio station as "of operatic proportions, epic tragedies told through music alone". With a full length in the midst of the creation process, the plan for 2012 is an LP among a seven inch or two. After captivating a strong local following with many shows in the Tampa Bay area with bands like the Appleseed Cast, Wolves In The Throne Room, and music festivals Tropical Heatwave, and Antiwarpt the time to take the music elsewhere is now. In November, Set and Setting will be hitting the road DIY style for the first time. Plans for more touring across the U.S. are being established for year 2012.