PropertyOfZack Interview : : Mayday Parade

by Zack Zarrillo - May 9, 2011

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PropertyOfZack had the chance to interview Derek Sanders from Mayday Parade not too long ago, and we’re glad to have had the chance! Derek and I discussed the band’s Valdosta EP, their third LP, how they did the album their way this time, and future touring plans. Read up and enjoy!

For the record, could you state your name and role in Mayday Parade?
My name is Derek, and I sing in Mayday Parade.

You guys will be playing Bamboozle tonight. How stoked are you to be apart of the festival once again?
It is so awesome. Honestly, it’s kind of a dream come true playing on one of the main stages this year. Bamboozle is always something I had heard about and wanted to go to growing up, and had never been able to because we’re from Florida. So the first time we were able to be there was in 2008 when we played it on the MLB stage. I got to go in 2009 and just see it, which was cool. Now playing it is an honor this year.

The band has been out on the Road To Bamboozle tour leading up to today. How have the dates been with Select Start?
It’s been awesome. It’s been two shows, but they were both a lot of fun. We love the guys in Select Start so much. Daniel, their singer, lives in Tallahassee so we hang with him a lot off tour when we’re at home. They’re a really talented band and are good guys.

You, Me & Everyone We Know were obviously supposed to be on the tour, but as we found out last week, are no longer a band. Did that put a damper on the tour whatsoever?
Yeah, it did a little bit. I honestly hadn’t even listened to You, Me & Everyone We Know a whole lot before, but when I found out they were doing the tour I was checking them out, and they were a really good band. I was really looking forward to them being on it. It’s all good though, the shows have been really cool. It’s still been fine either way.

The band is currently supporting its latest EP release, Valdosta. How has the total reception been to that? You definitely mixed it up a bit with that release.
It’s been cool. We didn’t even really focus a whole lot of time on making that. It was just a fun thing to do on the side. We recorded it in a studio in Valdosta, which is where we recorded our first EP. I always liked it when I grew up and bands did this kind of acoustic EP or covers, just little side things. We wanted to do this for a while and the timing was right. We just got done with our new full-length, which we just got done doing, and that’s kind of what we’ve been focusing on for the most part. We’re really pumped to get that out, hopefully in October.

How would you compare the two new songs to what the band worked on for the new record?
Obviously the two songs on the EP are more kind of chill acoustic songs. There are some songs like that on the full-length, but there are also some more rocking songs. It’s a mix of all of it. We’re all really pumped about it. It’s hard to say. We’re a little bias because it’s so new, but where it stands right now, I think this is some of my favorite stuff that we’ve done as a bands so far.

And Mayday Parade just finished record their third LP. How was the recording process with Zack and Kenneth?
It was great. It was so much fun. It was kind of one of the reasons we wanted to go back with them because we knew it was a good experience because it was so much fun in 2007 when we recorded with them. It was a great experience, and they’re awesome guys. They’re super nice and are easy to get along with. Really smart, really talented, and really creative. It was a good time and we knew that it was a good mix. There was no pressure either way; it was just a good vibe. It turned out great.

Jake tweeted that the band did this record your way, instead of how someone else wanted it to be, which was a possibly hint to the way Anywhere But Here was done. Can you explain that?
Whenever we recorded Anywhere But Here it was kind of a weird place for the band because it was our first album on a major label. We had just signed to Atlantic and it was our first album without Jason. He was the sixth member of the band for everything we had done before that. At the time I guess we just didn’t really fight as much for what we wanted to do. When we made that album there was a lot of outside influence from the label and we did a lot of co-writes for that CD and our producer had a lot more to do with everything and had a heavier hand in everything. We kind of let it go that way because we didn’t want to rock the boat too much and we didn’t really want to make Atlantic mad. In the end, it turned out that we were recording a bunch of songs that we didn’t care about as much or love as much, and I think that kind of comes across. For this album, they let us do it exactly as we wanted to do it and we really appreciate them giving us that opportunity. I don’t want to make it seem like Atlantic pushed us into doing that, because like I said, we didn’t really voice too much that we wanted to do it our own way until it came time to do this album. This one has songs that we love a lot more and songs that we care about. I think you can.
POZ: Does that come with the turf of signing to a major label?
Derek: Yeah, for sure. And honestly, I think for a lot of bands that it works that way. I think it’s a formula that works great for them. Just for us, it wasn’t really the right thing. I don’t think co-writing is bad, I just don’t think it works as well for me and the band. I don’t know, from the beginning we’ve just wanted to create music that we wanted to make and record it and then go play it. That’s been the only goal of the band from day one, and it still is.

What’s different on this record? Zack and Kenneth has said it sounds much more like A Lesson In Romantics.
I’d say so. I guess it sounds like a cross of the last two albums, but more than anything, it’s a progression forward. It kind of sounds different from both of them in a lot of ways. I don’t know, I’m really into it. I can’t wait for people to hear it and see what everyone things. I hope people dig it, but I guess time will tell.

How many tracks are on the record?
There are twelve songs.
I believe Zack and Kenneth also said that you guys brought in real string sections to record parts for the album. Was that a cool experience?
That was awesome. We got to do some live strings and we had like a small choir come in and do some parts that sound really awesome. We did trumpet on a song. There’s lots of cool stuff. We tried to keep all sounds on the album live recorded sounds and not do anything electric. There were a couple things that we did, but we tried to keep it all and have a live organic sound.

Looking back, are you happy with the total reception of Anywhere But Here?
We kind of have some weird feelings about it, because like I said, I think we all believe that we could have made a better album if we had tried to do it the way we wanted to do it and tried to do the songs we wanted to do and the way that we wanted to do them. I like the album a lot; we’re all proud of the CD, but there are just some mixed feelings because the process was very different for us. It was a very big learning process for us and I think it made us realize more who we were and what we wanted to do. Now with this album, we feel like it’s the right mix and that it’s perfect and it’s what we want to be from here on out.

The band just recently confirmed hopes for an October release. Is there any reason you’re aiming for the fall instead of the summer?
I guess it’s just time to get everything ready. I always hate how long it takes from the time we write the songs, so it’s been a long time coming just from writing them, playing them, and recording them. We’re all super anxious; we’d like it to be out as soon as possible, but I guess you want time to set it up. We might release a single or one song before the album comes out with maybe a video or something. We just need to get it all set up.

Mayday Parade will be heading to the UK later this month with We Are The In Crowd. How much are you looking forward to those dates?
It’s going to be so much fun. We’re also doing Germany and the rest of Europe, so it’s going to be a lot of fun. A Rocket To The Moon is also on the UK dates with We Are The In Crowd. We’re very lucky we to be able to keep doing awesome things like that.

Can we expect any summer touring throughout the US or possibly other places overseas to be announced sometime soon?
I guess I can’t say what it is yet, because it hasn’t been announced, but we will be doing some more US touring in the summer, and for sure there will be another full US tour before the end of the year. Hopefully right around the time of the album release. Maybe we’ll do a headline tour or a support tour. We need to figure it all out. I’m sure we’ll be doing a full US tour again.

Thanks so much for your time, is there anything else you’d like to add or that we should be on the lookout for?
Just thanks again to everyone for the support. We’ve been a band for nearly six years and it’s great that we’ve been able to do it for this long. We really appreciate the support from everyone.

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