Set the World on Fire

Album: Set the World on Fire (1993)


  • The first Gulf War took place in 1991 after Iraq, led by Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait. This got Annihilator guitarist Jeff Waters interested in the idea of dictatorships and their history, so he did some reading in an encyclopedia (which at the time was actual printed books). Waters learned that dictators usually fail in the end, with a trail of suffering along the way. He wrote a song based on this theme, which became the title track to Annihilator's third album.
  • Jeff Waters wrote the lyric to this song with Coburn Pharr, who was the band's lead singer for their previous album, Never, Neverland. The Annihilator lineup for Set the World on Fire included Aaron Randall on lead vocals and Mike Mangini (who would later join Dream Theater) on drums.
  • In our interview with Jeff Waters, he explained that this song sounds simple, but is actually very difficult to play. Said Waters: "It seems like one note for a lot of the song, and just getting four musicians together to play that perfectly is almost impossible, unless you're Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart."


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