No one does it quite like Mayday Parade. The band’s mix of pop and rock instrumentation coupled with a bleeding heart on sleeve approach is exactly what listeners search for in a band. With four albums under their belt and a fifth on its way, Mayday Parade will make their way down to Austrlaia in July to support the almighty Yellowcard. We caught up with lead singer Derek Sanders to talk about the band’s history and future, and what the tour has in store for them.
Hey Derek, how are you going man?
I’m doing very well, thanks.
Awesome, whereabouts in the world are you at the moment?
I’m in Tallahassee, Florida at my house of all places!
Okay, not recording or writing today I see?
We have two weeks off actually, yeah. We just got back from spending a month together in Lake City, Florida. It’s like this cottage in the wood kind of thing, writing. Now we have two weeks off and then we play a handful of shows in Texas then go to New York to record the next album. After that we’ll release it and tour and start the whole process over.
Have you guys taken such a big break like this before, between the writing and recording?
There have been processes where we’ve gone straight from the end of writing into the studio and then other times we’ve taken a [break] but this is the longest break we’ve had. I think it’s good though, it gives us time to sit on these songs before we record them, which is really good. We’re all really stoked right now, the writing went really well and we’re happy with what we’ve got, we can’t wait.
Would you also say it’s because you guys now have families, or at least most of you do, that you’re taking this break?
Oh, for sure! In general, we take a bit more time off and spend a bit more time between things to spend time at home which is different because when we were a lot younger we’d just be go go go! But these days we like to take a breath between each big thing we do with a week or two or even a month. It’s good though, it’s a good balance between family and what we do.
Just on that, has the addition of your own families changed the meaning of this band to you? I know musicians always say music is an outlet but has it now taken on more so of a job now?
I guess it kind of inevitably turned into a job but I don’t like to think of it that way because we still have so much fun doing it and we realise how lucky we are to do this. Even though we all have bills to pay and responsibilities and need to make a worthwhile living we are still having a blast and loving it and hopefully we can continue to do it.
Speaking on growth, have your new responsibilities and what not changed your sound at all or do you still focus on that youthful, pop-rock area?
Oh we’ve tried to push the boundaries on each new record and it’s hard to say right now with how the record is gonna sound and what not, but I can say for sure this is the most ‘out of the box’ record we’ve done. To say we’re drastically [changing our] sound is wrong though. There will be some classic Mayday Parade songs for sure but I feel there will some trial things we haven’t done before which is exciting because you don’t want to just play the same song over and over. Which is partly why I’m so excited about the new ideas and new areas we haven’t tried out before.
I’m assuming you wrote most of the lyrics this time around as usual?
Yeah, most of what we’ve got so far has been from me but there are songs that the other guys will help with it. Not all of it, but the majority yeah.
So this probably fits more with the whole growth and maturity thing from before but lyrically is it significantly different from your other records? Are you also trying to push the boundaries there?
Yeah, I’d say it’s in the same page. There will some of the relationship stuff but there are some new elements as well. It’s too early to say as not all the lyrics have been done yet but from what we’ve got I can definitely see that it is moving in a new direction like the music. And that’s something I’m really excited about.
In terms of producer, engineer and mixer who are you guys going with? What’s your team looking like?
We’re going with Mike Sapone as the producer which was an off the cuff decision for us because we’ve done three of our four albums with Zac Odom and Kenneth Mount in Atlanta so it was a tough decision fur us to go with someone else, but we talked with Mike and I think he really embraced the idea of something different and it was exciting to change it up. We also wanted to seal the deal on this whole new feeling we want to give off on the record and the best way for that is to work with different people. I mean he’s got great experience, he’s done a few Brand New records, which is awesome.
Right now, I don’t actually know who’s going to engineer the record yet but in terms of mixing we’re not one hundred percent sure but we normally get Dan Korneff who’s worked with us a lot and I think he’s produced the two latest Pierce the Veil records. I’m pretty sure he’ll do it at this stage.
But we’re excited about who we’ve got lined up and we can’t wait to work with them all!
So just continuing on with it in terms of growth and development, have you seen the same thing in your fan base with older fans coming to show and mixing with younger, newer ones?
Well it’s little bit of both. It’s one those things I find interesting. I’d say it’s half and half at our shows. There are people there who have grown up with us and started out as young kids who are now in college or whatever but there are also still these new younger, fourteen, fifteen years old and it’s amazing to me and one thing I’m grateful for is that we’re still relevant to these young kids. They’re listening to Mayday Parade and not Drake or something. It really helps us stay relevant I guess but it’s still really interesting to see the percentage of the crowd being older fans and other being younger newer kids.
So we better talk about the Australian tour.
(Laughs) Yeah, we better.
Have you played shows of this calibre before or is this whole small-arena show thing new to you guys?
Well, it’s interesting because we’ve done festivals that are probably this size, I think. Like we’ve played on the main stage at Warped Tour and that’s like a few thousand kids! But the closest thing we’ve come to in supports would be the spring fever tour we did with All Time Low and Pierce the Veil which did a few four-thousand, five-thousand seaters. But I think a few of these will be a lot bigger but we’re just going to go out there doing our own thing and play like we always do no matter how many kids are there at the time.
Tell me how did this tour came about between you and Yellowcard?
Well, you know we’ve kind of been in the same circles of bands and what not because we are pretty similar in style so we’ve always known each other but it wasn’t until Warped Tour when they played that we became quite close. Even before then it’s always been a thing we’ve said that it would be cool to do a tour together but until now we just hadn’t lined up in availability so when we got the offer to come to Australia it was an obvious decision to say yes! Now we can’t wait to come down with the guys in Yellowcard.
Awesome man! Well that’s all I’ve got time for, thanks so much for your time and all the best on the tour.
Thanks, Matt, was a good talk.
Mayday Parade support Yellowcard on their Australian tour this July.