Mayday Parade Band Interview

Touring already is what we love to do and what we always want to do, and to add the fact that it’s for a great cause and you’re just doing something good every single night… [is] really kind of unbelievable. — Derek Sanders

Two years, a new album, and a major label record contract. Floridians Mayday Parade have just released their sophomore album, Anywhere But Here, their first on Atlantic Records. Leaving their Fearless family behind, though, hasn’t hurt them one bit. Shortly after the release of Anywhere But Here, the band co-headlined two back-to-back tours — Fall Ball and Take Action Tour. In the midst of the indie pop band’s rigorous touring schedule, Redefine Magazine caught up with Mayday Parade vocalist Derek Sanders to talk about the tour, the Atlantic Records family, and the band’s new album.

March 2010 Interview

How does it feel to be on Take Action Tour, a tour that’s supporting non-profits?
Derek Sanders: It really feels great. Touring already is what we love to do and what we always want to do, and to add the fact that it’s for a great cause and you’re just doing something good every single night… [is] really kind of unbelievable.

What’s the biggest difference between Anywhere But Here and your last record, A Lesson In Romantics?
Sanders: Well, the biggest difference is our second CD is on Atlantic Records. That’s obviously different than being on Fearless. And we’re older. We’ve grown as people, as a band.

What was it like recording for Atlantic compared to for Fearless?
Sanders: Atlantic was much more involved, I guess. Fearless kind of let us do our own thing, you know? They kind of trusted us to do our own thing and have our freedom. We recorded in a studio only about 45 minutes from where Atlantic is located. They’re very involved with the whole process. Kind of a good and bad thing. In some ways, I guess you feel like you don’t have as much freedom with what you want to do, but at the same time, you hope there’s a reason — that Atlantic knows what they’re doing and that it’s going to help out with the whole process.

Are there any things you wish you could change about the way the album came out?
Sanders: Not really. There are a few songs that didn’t get picked for the album that I kind of wish had been picked over some other songs. There is a handful of song we did that never ended up getting recorded.

Are we going to see these songs pop up on a future EP or live set list?
Sanders: A couple of them we actually went and recorded as B-sides. There’s a song called “So Far Away” and a song called “The Memory.” Both we recorded, and they’re on iTunes. But there’s even a few more we recorded that we haven’t done anything with, so at some point, there may be an EP-type deal or maybe we’ll hold onto them until it comes time to do the next record.

You wrote most of the songs on the album this time around. Are there any that are particularly close to you?
Sanders: There are a lot, definitely, but probably the [closest] is the acoustic track on the CD, “This Time I Mean It.” It’s about an ex-girlfriend. We dated for two years. We were actually dating up until the point we went up to New Jersey to record. Pretty much the first week we were up there to record is when we broke up. And it was really weird, because that song was written when we were still together. It was kind of interesting, going through the whole break up thing and then recording that song.

What are your plans after Take Action Tour?
After this, we’re going to the UK. Then it’s pretty much going to be non-stop touring up through Warped Tour. I can’t say for sure where it’s going to be after the tour with Madina Lake in the UK. Nothing’s been confirmed yet. But it’s going to be good stuff up until Warped Tour.


December 2007 Interview
Readers of Alternative Press voted Mayday Parade the runner-up band for “most underrated new artist” in the magazine’s annual Readers Poll Awards. While Alternative Press may have missed the boat, we are jumping right on board, despite the band’s distressful name.

“I’m at the mall buying a Coach bag for my mom,” confesses drummer/vocalist Jake Bundrick, standing outside a mall in his hometown. The band has taken most of December off to rest, go to their respective hometowns, and get reacquainted with family for the holidays.

Don’t get the wrong idea, though; the members of Mayday Parade don’t go around lavishly spending money or even have the money to do such a thing (yet). The band works just as hard now as they did when they began. In July, they released their debut full-length, A Lesson in Romantics. The band will also play alongside All Time Low for the Man Whores and Open Sores Tour in January, play with Emery until March, and jump on board with Meg & Dia, My American Heart, and The Color Fred for a U.K. tour shortly thereafter.

The workhorse mentality that vocalist Derek Sanders, bassist/vocalist Jeremy Lenzo, drummer Jake Bundrick, and guitarists Alex Garcia and Brooks Betts seem to have adopted is not new.

“I don’t know if you can imagine driving for two months and asking people to listen to your music,” says Bundrick. A seemingly easy thing to imagine becomes an extremely difficult task to apply to reality — at least in Mayday Parade’s case. Shortly after finishing the band’s first EP, Tales Told By Dead Friends, the band “followed Warped Tour [2006] and hustled CDs.” The grand total of sales personally made by the band was a whopping 11,000 CDs!

While Tales Told By Dead Friends saw quite a big success with heart-wrenching ballads like “One Man Drinking Games,” Mayday Parade have stepped it up for their full-length album. Under the supervision of producers Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount (Cartel, Collective Soul), the band recorded for two months in Atlanta, GA from January to March.

Ever since the completion and release of A Lesson in Romantics, the band has been whole-heartedly adamant about showing their music to as many people as possible. “[My favorite part of touring] is meeting new people and seeing new faces; I remember people’s faces. I just want people to know I’m a real person,” explains Bundrick.

What the band has to offer, though, is more than heartbreak lyrics and catchy hooks; A Lesson in Romantics is a painful memoir of the band’s collective love life. The track “Three Cheers for Five Years” talks about Bundrick’s relationship with a girl who cheated on him on their five-year anniversary. Bundrick also contributed to the title of the track, “If You Wanted a Song Written About You, All You Had To Do Was Ask.”

“It was the last thing I said to this [one] girl,” Bundrick explains.

On the road, though, the boys have been getting into a little bit of trouble — at least in the music video for their new single, “When I Get Home, You’re So Dead.” In the video, the boys go to jail for trashing Derek’s girlfriend’s place after she cheats on him twice. Okay, so maybe Mayday Parade haven’t got themselves into any real trouble lately, but Bundrick did divulge into a certain run-in with the police. The setting was a frat house in Orlando, FL, where the boys performed a set for Toys For Tots. They needed to wrap by 11 p.m., but when the crowd made a ruckus for an encore, Mayday Parade almost found themselves in handcuffs.

Mayday Parade, now avoiding run-ins with the law, are enjoying their success and continuing to push themselves ever harder to stay on the top of the scene.


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Alana Rome was an early REDEFINE magazine contributor from 2008-2010.

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