POZ Interview: Mayday Parade
PropertyOfZack Senior Writer Jesse Richman headed out to Warped Tour a few weeks ago to sweat while watching bands, but to also do some great interviews for the site.
Jesse spoke with Derek Sanders from Mayday Parade about Warped Tour, Monsters In The Closet a year later, future plans, and writing for a next release. Read the interview below!
POZ: Derek, I know we caught up with you fairly recently, but we’re now in the middle of Warped Tour, and Mayday Parade are one of the headlining acts, so I just want to know how it’s going to far.
DS: It’s been incredible. It’s always tough to say while it’s happening, but it’s certainly, if not my favorite, then one of my favorite tours I’ve ever done. It’s my favorite Warped Tour I’ve done. I feel like each time you do Warped Tour, you kind of get more used to it and comfortable with it. It’s such a great experience. We know so many people on the tour. And like you said, we’re playing the main stage for the first time, which is really incredible, it’s a milestone for us. It’s all good things, it’s great!
Having done it so many times, does it feel different being a mainstage act?
It’s a bigger look. Warped Tour is intimidating at first. We followed it and sold CDs outside at first — we weren’t even part of it — and then we played it several times on smaller stages and kind of worked our way up. At first it can be very intimidating; you don’t want to do the wrong thing, or piss off the wrong person. It’s almost overwhelming. But each time, as you do it more and more… And part of it, being on the main stage as well, it’s comfortable. But it’s very cool.
Is it a different approach from a production standpoint?
I suppose so. The stage itself isn’t that much bigger than the blow-up stage, the Monster Energy stage or whatever, but we tried to do our best with a cool backdrop scrim, a 3D-kind of thing. We just go out and have fun.
One thing I thought was kind of cool about the lineup this year is, some years there’s one or two super-huge headliner acts, but this year there’s more parity at that mainstage level. How do you think that’s affected the crowds that have come out?
It’s tough to say. It seems like it’s been doing really well, there’s a lot of people. I feel like a lot of times, there’s the one band that always plays towards the end, because they’re kind of the headliner, and this year it seems to be a little more spread out. I think that maybe that’s a good thing, so long as people are still showing up. And it’s probably always like this, but I feel like it happens more and more, where there are bigger bands on other stages, so you have fewer kids that just stand in front of the main stage and watch all day. People float around and check out other bands on different stages. It’s been great vibes so far.
You guys have been doing Warped Tour for a long time; this is, what, your sixth run?
It’s our fifth time playing it, and then we followed it, so that doesn’t really count, but we essentially did all of Warped Tour that year.
I imagine there were kids who were, like, the youngest kids in the crowd coming to see you those early years, who are now the old folks here. Maybe they’ve got their little brother or sister in tow who are getting exposed to you for the first time. Do you feel like you’re bringing in kids who still don’t know about you at this point? Or is it more of your loyal fanbase showing up to support you?
I’d say it’s a little bit of both, and that’s what’s great about it. It’s almost been nine years of being in this band, so anyone who was a fan in the beginning is a lot older now. I feel like we’ve had a whole lot of people who have stuck around, and there also seems to be a lot of newer, younger fans who are getting into it as well. It’s a blend of both, which is amazing. We’re very grateful to still be able to tour at this level.