Interview: Mayday Parade

If you want alternative rock with a hint of pop and emo then Mayday Parade are definitely your best bet. With over 1 million likes on Facebook it seems likely that so many people can’t be wrong, right? Right indeed my friend, right indeed.

Their latest, simply self-titled album has been out since October last year, so the band have been hard at working touring it all over the place. Of course, they love the UK and are back for a 6th time when we interviewed them ahead of their rightful headline slot on the second stage at last month’s Slam Dunk Festival.

Already Heard had a sit down and a chat with vocalist Derek Sanders and lead guitarist Alex Garcia about their upcoming tours, the reason for their new album being self titled and a couple of U.S. acts to check out.

Already Heard: Welcome back to the UK guys! You’re no strangers to Slam Dunk, so what is it that you enjoy about the festival?
Derek: The biggest things is just seeing all the people, like all the bands we know. Just, you know, the whole experience is awesome and the shows are a lot of fun to so many people. We played last night headlining our stage and it was just an incredible show. Erm, yeah! It was just a cool experience.
Alex: I concur!

AH: Upcoming tours for you guys are Warped tour in America and Beyond The Blue tour in Japan. What are you looking forward to with them and are there any bands you’re looking forward to seeing?
Derek: Yeah, we play today, we’ve got a day off tomorrow and then we fly to Japan and it’s with William Beckett, There For Tomorrow, With The Punches, Every Avenue so it’s with bands that we know and have toured with in the past and are friends with so it’s going to be a great time. We love Japan! We’ve been there twice now. And Warped tour of course is a ton of fun and it’ll be our third time doing the full tour and 4th time being a part of it so yeah, it’s great. It’ll be a fun summer.

AH: Is it better being on home turf or do you enjoy going abroad to play?
Alex: It’s a little bit more comfortable playing at home. You know, we’re used to the U.S. and we know what to expect.
Derek: I think we like where we’re at now and what we do now where it’s just a good balance of spending a good time overseas and then doing stuff in the U.S. as well and getting to do it all, you know? It’s awesome.

AH: Are these tours to support your new self titled album?
Derek: We’ve always kind of done it where we put out an album and then tour for about 2 years roughly, you know, and then… well maybe year and a half, I don’t know. And then write another album, record it and hit the road again for another year, year and a half or so and yeah.

AH: Is there any reason for the new album being self titled?
Derek: Yeah. Well, there’s a couple of reasons but mainly because it kind of felt like a statement of ‘this is who we are now’ and we’ve learned a lot over the last few years and the album before that one, our second album, ‘Anywhere But Here’; we learned a lot doing that album and kind of went through a change I guess or figured out more of who we are and what we want in this band. So yeah, we wanted to go on and make an album that we loved and naming it ‘Mayday Parade’ just kind of you know, fit that.
Alex: Lets kids know that’s how we feel.

AH: With the exception of ‘Tales Told By Friends’ each of your releases has a distinct artwork style; What is your favourite record cover of all time? Is the artwork something that’s important to you?
Alex: I think Oasis’ ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory,’ That’s like, one of my favourite albums. I feel like it’s hard to just, pick an album soley on the artwork, you know? Although there is… King Crimson has a really famous picture of a guy screaming. I’ve never really heard the album but the artwork is awesome.

AH: Do you think it plays a big part in people’s preconceptions; Do you think people will judge an album by its cover? Do you think that happens a lot?
Derek: I think it can go either way. Obviously there’s a kind of appeal to a really awesome album artwork but there’s also a lot of you know, Weezer album covers that are just simple or ridiculous things. It doesn’t really matter what the cover is, you know.
Alex: I feel like album covers kind of set the mood for you know, an album like, whenever you listen to a band… there’s nothing to visualise except for whatever other images you’ve seen. I think album covers really play into that.

AH: ‘A Lesson In Romantics’ was recently released on vinyl; are you guys big record collectors?
Derek: In the past few years I’ve built up a collection of maybe like, 30 records, so I’m not that big into it but I’m trying to and you guys *points to Alex* and Brooks (rhythm guitarist) does as well. It’s just you know… it’s fun. I think it’s cool to and I’m glad we released ‘A Lesson In Romantics’ on vinyl and we released our newest album, the self titled, on vinyl as well and that’s just cool for us to have.

AH: What’s your favourite record that you’ve got? If that’s not too tough a question!
Derek: Oh erm, I don’t know…
Alex: I have two, nothing like too crazy or special but I have two erm… One of my favourite guitarists is Duane Allman and there’s a… they released an anthology kind of collection after he died and there’s 2, I have both of those anthologies. They weren’t actually hard to find at all abutfor some reason I thought they would’ve been but I like those a lot. The artwork’s really awesome and there’s a ton of awesome pictures and it’s cool; it’s just a great album.

AH: You’ve got a UK tour later in the year in October with support from The Summer Set and Natives. Why did you guys pick those bands as support?
Derek: Well we know The Summer Set and we did a tour with them a year ago and they’re good folks so we pulled them in again and then Natives… I don’t really know them but…
Alex: We just heard really good things.
Derek: Yeah, yeah. I’m sure it’ll be cool to meet them and hang out with them and yeah.

AH: Natives are quite a small band in comparison to you guys, so are there any other similar, smaller bands you know of from the U.S. that we should check out?
Derek: There’s a band called The Weathers that I love they’re from are our area and they’re like friends of ours but they’re a phenomenal band but I think they’re going to release their first EP pretty soon so that’s reallycool. There’s a band called Maniac that I think is really cool that… I don’t really know if they’re… I just heard of them recently so I don’t know if they’re a new band necessarily but I’ve just heard them and I think they’re unsigned.

AH: Anything else to add?
Derek: I don’t know. We’re just you know, thanks for the support and we’re pumped to be here. Having a good time in the U.K. and it’s our 6th time over here so it’s crazy.

‘Mayday Parade’ by Mayday Parade is out now through Independent Label Group and Fearless Records.

Mayday Parade links: Website|Facebook

Words by Michael Brown

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