Are you surprised the song has become so widespread?
NM: I am surprised every day.
MM: I never thought it would get this big. It is just really weird going places and having people recognize you. Every time I think, ‘Wait, what the fuck? You’re talking to me? No way!’
NM: I have people coming up to me to say how much they love me and my band. I’m not trying to sound cocky, but I’m just not used to that; it just happens. I have always been a quiet kid who keeps to himself, so it is weird for people to come up to me and say how awesome I am.
MM: We are pretty humble about it. We don’t brag or anything. I guess you could say it is kind of a gay gift.
NM: A gay gift?
MM: I didn’t just want to say gift, because that would sound gay, so instead I said gay gift.
NM: He means pleasant surprise.
How have your friends reacted to your sudden notoriety?
MM: To be honest with you, we don’t have that many ‘friends.’ We’re kind of anti-social. We are just really choosy with our friends. We have this one friend though, whenever we are with him in a mall or some shit, he will walk 20 feet in front of us and then hide behind something and yell, ‘Oh my god! I Set My Friends On Fire! Oh!’ just like mocking us. (laughter)
NM: We know a lot of people, but the people we really care about are just a close group. There have been a lot of people that have come out of nowhere pretending to be best friends because I’m in this band.
MM: The same goes for girls. You don’t know who wants you for you or for your music. As for me, I have a girlfriend, so I’m straight. But as for Nabil, there have been some weird cases.
NM: I am single, by the way. Let that be known.
How do you deal with all the kids and bands that hate on you guys because of the song?
MM: You have no idea! We have so many fucking haters.
NM: When the song came out, we had so many haters, but it has kind of slowed down.
MM: We are really sarcastic about it though when people try to hate on us. We are like, ‘Aw, you’re so cute.’ We don’t take it to heart because they aren’t succeeding with their band and we are.
NM: It’s kind of sad though, because people always hate on bands that are successful. I’m not gonna say our stuff is the greatest thing in the world, but I like it, and I like making music and I know Matt does too. People are entitled to their opinion, but we don’t really care.
MM: Did you notice the hate mail icon on our MySpace though? We just get so much hate mail that we put it there for them. It says new hate mail, so people can leave us comments through that.
Are you guys scared that you are going to always be associated with the Soulja Boy cover?
NM: I mean, we wouldn’t really be where we are at without that song.
MM: Pretty much the ‘Crank Dat’ song was just a grabber to get people’s attention. We have ‘Beauty’ and ‘ASL’ out there. That’s our actual music. It’s what we are really capable of and we really take our time with that music. People think that we record using crazy equipment though. We actually recorded it all ourselves in my garage and on our Macbooks.
MM: My whole reaction to that song is that in two years people will probably say that we are the band that did the cover, but to me it is like looking at an old baby picture of yourself. It is still embarrassing a little bit, but at the same time if you weren’t that little, you wouldn’t be where you are today. At least we will have something for people to remember us by, so that’s cool.
Are you currently writing more songs than just the few on your MySpace page?
NM: We have stuff written. We are just waiting to record our album to release them.
MM: We don’t want to just keep putting shit out, because we want to make it a full blown thing once the CD comes out. Everything that we are writing now is just really weird and really cool. If we put all the songs online, no one is going to buy and listen to the CD then.
If you could put a fact about I Set My Friends On Fire underneath a Snapple cap, what would it be?
NM: Matt’s not Jewish. (laughter)
MM: I am actually from Eqyption descent.
NM: Also, I’m not Arabic. I’m a mutt.
MM: Oh, and also, we didn’t take our band name from Aiden.
NM: Okay, I got it. We want to live in a world where manatees and penguins could live together and can prosper and frolic on the Earth without any consequence.
I Set My Friends On Fire will be playing the Bamboozle Festival on May 3 in East Rutherford, NJ. For more visit isetmyfriendsonfire.com