POZ Interview: Mayday Parade

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 23, 2014

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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.

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Mayday Parade Warped Tour Update

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 19, 2014

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Mayday Parade are headlining Warped Tour all summer. Watch their second video update below after the jump.

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Mayday Parade Warped Tour Update

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 5, 2014

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Mayday Parade are headlining Warped Tour all summer. Watch their first video update below after the jump.

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Mayday Parade Live At 2014 Vans Warped Tour

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 1, 2014

Mayday Parade are headlining Warped all summer. Watch three live videos below after the jump.

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Mayday Parade So Devastating, It’s Unnatural Update

by Zack Zarrillo - May 30, 2014

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Mayday Parade have released an update from the So Devastating, It’s Unnatural Tour. Watch the second update below after the jump. 

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Mayday Parade Announce ‘Monsters In The Closet’ Deluxe Reissue 

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POZ Review: Mayday Parade - Monsters In The Closet (Deluxe)

by Zack Zarrillo - May 27, 2014

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by Becky Kovach, edited by Erik van Rheenen

Several months ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing Mayday Parade’s Monsters In The Closet. As someone who has always enjoyed Mayday’s work but has never closely followed their career, the album came as a surprise – I loved it almost immediately, and it easily made my list of top 15 albums for 2013. From start to finish, Monsters In The Closet was polished pop rock at its absolute finest, not to mention a stunning example of how emotional music can be.
 
One of my favorite things about this album was the fact that it felt complete. Closer “Angels” felt like the perfect counterpart to opening track “Ghosts,” and created a beautiful and delicate balance that provided listeners with closure after such an emotional journey.
 
 “Angels” was such a definitive ending that the announcement of three new tracks to follow it made me apprehensive. So while listening through Monsters In The Closet for what felt like the hundredth time, I tried to treat it as though it was the very first.
 
What I found was that the album still very much holds its own; many of the songs I have loved from the beginning still sent shivers down my spine and begged to be played again and again. “Last Night For A Table For Two,” “Demons,” and “Angels” in particular held up especially well. “Last Night For A Table For Two” emanates anguish in the edgy bass line that permeates throughout. “Demons” hides pain amid its pop-y exterior. And “Angels” is still hauntingly beautiful with its gentle harmonies and solemnly humming guitars.

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POZ Stream: Mayday Parade - “Stuck In Remission”

by Zack Zarrillo - May 26, 2014

Mayday Parade will be releasing a deluxe version if Monsters In The Closet on May 27th via Fearless Records, so be sure to pre-order it here. PropertyOfZack is very excited to be debuting a new song from the release today called “Stuck In Remission.” Stream “Worth A Thousand Words” via PureVolume, “Hear The Sound” via AbsolutePunk, and our exclusive, “Stuck In Remission” below!

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Albums Out This Week

by Zack Zarrillo - May 25, 2014

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May 27th is just two days away, and there are a few great releases coming out this week. Hit the jump below to check out the album details and download information for all the great records coming out this week!

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Mayday Parade Tease New Songs In Monsters Overseas Montage

by Zack Zarrillo - May 13, 2014

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Mayday Parade have released a montage video from the Monsters Overseas Tour. Watch it below to check out new song clips!

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Mayday Parade So Devastating, It’s Unnatural Tour Update

by Zack Zarrillo - May 10, 2014

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Mayday Parade have released an update from the So Devastating, It’s Unnatural Tour. Watch the video below after the jump. 

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POZ Discussion: Most Anticipated May Releases

by Zack Zarrillo - Apr 30, 2014

May is nearly here, and we’re continuing 2014 with a jam-packed month of releases that PropertyOfZack team members couldn’t be more stoked to hear. In today’s new Discussion, we’re highlighting our personal Most Anticipated May Releases. Check out our list below and feel free to reblog with what you’re looking forward to as well!

Andrew Jackson Jihad – Christmas Island (5/6)
This band has yet to do something that hasn’t impressed me. While Can’t Maintain may stand as one of my favorite albums of all time, it seems that Christmas Island is going to give it a run for its money. If you haven’t heard anything off this album yet, listen to “Kokopelli Face Tattoo” and tell me it isn’t perfect. You can’t. It’s the perfect mix of silly and serious, which is exactly what this band is good at. I promise you, this album rules. And besides, in the band’s own words, hating it won’t make you suck any less. - Marie Scarsella

The Horrors - Luminous (5/6)
Despite their name, English alt rockers The Horrors pride themselves on sweeping, brooding pop tracks constantly accented by a heavy synth presence. Their 2011 release Skying, which netted them their first Top 5 record in their native England, followed swiftly on from 2009’s Primary Colours with an equal glaze of melody and pop somewhere in between ‘80s new wave and ‘90s Brit Pop. Originally set for a release this past September, their fourth effort, Luminous, looks to continue with the same formula, emphasizing its electronic roots, which will no doubt complement the often moody and interstellar vocals of lead singer Faris Badwan. The band revealed two new tracks earlier this year with the seven minute “I See You” standing out as it sprawls and dances like some futuristic pop number with the sheen of 80’s club music. The album
already seems promising, and with only a few days to go before its official release, the anticipation is just too strong to avoid. - Jason Stives

Weatherbox - Flies In All Directions (5/13)
Weatherbox, my Weatherbox. How do I express my love for thee?

Weatherbox got me through a good chunk of college and a big breakup, and at the time, that was priceless. In 2010 I did one of my first interviews with Brian Warren, the mastermind behind Weatherbox, and that’s when I truly realized how talented he is.

The honest lyrics and the complexity of Warren’s songs are what really draw me to his music. It has been 5 long years since his last full length album, The Cosmic Drama, and the wait is finally over. Triple Crown Records is dropping Flies in All Directions on May 13. This is hands down Brian’s most musically complicated and mature album. Flies in All Directions is already in my top 10 for 2014, so pick it up, enlighten your ears, and catch Warren and his band on tour when they come through your town. - Caitlin DeWeese 

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Mayday Parade “Hold Onto Me” Music Video

by Zack Zarrillo - Apr 28, 2014

Mayday Parade have released a new music video for “Hold Onto Me.” Watch the video below after the jump. 

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POZ Interview: Derek Sanders and Lauren Wilhelm (Part II)

by Zack Zarrillo - Apr 23, 2014

It’s easy to forget when we’re singing along with our stereos, but there’s a lot more to our favorite musicians than what they show us on stage. PropertyOfZack Senior Writer Jesse Richman spoke with Mayday Parade’s Derek Sanders and his long-time girlfriend Lauren Wilhelm, who performs as Dazy (The Girl), for an in-depth look at the real lives behind rock stardom. In Part II below, we talk about Lauren’s writing and recording plans, goals for Dazy (That Girl), Mayday Parade turning into the “elder statesmen,” and a lot more. Enjoy the piece below!

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by Jesse Richman

POZ: So Lauren, you did some recording with Zack and Kenneth at the end of last year. One of those songs [“I Told You So”], you just put out. Derek sings on it as well. How did you connect with them? Was it because Derek’s worked with them in the past?
LW: I can’t remember. I feel like I went up there… I was friends with some of the people in Every Avenue, so I went up there when they were recording to, like, cut their hair or something. I don’t remember what I was doing with music then; I feel like that was right before Maradona. Even before Maradona I was writing music, so you know, I was really excited. I feel like maybe Derek had been up there to record? So I met Zack & Kenneth then, we exchanged a few ideas — I feel like this was probably 2008, 2007. I sent them some ideas. I could never afford them, you know? It was never realistic. And so I definitely wanted to work with Zack & Kenneth. I did two songs with them. I’ve never had any of my songs professionally done that were just songs I had a vision for; it was always other people involved, and I don’t like that. I eventually want to produce. I have a very specific view and vision for my song, and they totally get it.

POZ: That’s actually what I was going to ask about, because obviously Zack & Kenneth are both incredibly talented guys, but your music isn’t really in the wheelhouse of what they’re usually putting out.
LW: I feel like that’s another reason I wanted to go to them, is it’s not exactly what they do all the time. I heard some other stuff that they’ve done, a little similar — that “Shake That Bubble” song Young & Divine did — but I’ve just always been a fan of their work, and they’re really nice and very fun to work with. And they just keep going; there’s no bullshit in the studio, as far as getting the work done, and that’s how I’m like. I just want to keep going. When I’m in the studio, I’m in the zone. I think that’s what I like most about them, they stay very focused, and really into anything they’re working on. You could write a song they don’t even like and they’ll still get into it, make it as good as they can, even if they don’t have complete control over the song.
POZ: So you did two songs with them.
LW: I did. The other one, the plan was for it to come out in April… I think that’s still the plan. I would say the last week of April.
 
POZ: In the meantime, you just did a video for “I Told You So,” right?
LW: Yes, it was awesome, it was so much fun!
POZ: Tell me a little about that video. I know you had Derek and the Stages guys and some other friends in on it.
LW: Well, basically, I’ve never shot a music video before so it’s a little bit weird at first. I had all these ideas for it, but being in front of the camera is not something I’d ever really done before. It was a whole day of shooting, so as the day progressed I know I definitely got better. It will be interesting. I’m kind of silly anyway, as you can probably tell, so I’m sure it showed through even when I wasn’t as confident. Towards the end of the night, I had all my friends and family dress up as their altar-ego. It’s really cool. We did some shots of… I don’t want to give away too much. But my parents came! My parents used to dress up to pick me up from school, it was really embarrassing, but really funny. So they also came to my video shoot. Like, my dad came and picked me up one time as a gorilla. Why, I have no idea. So my dad dressed as the Easter Bunny, and my mom, very drunk, showed up as the carrot to the Easter Bunny. Everybody pretty much looked like that. It was really fun, I had a great day.
POZ: Did you do the whole treatment for it yourself?
LW: Yeah. You know, I sat down and I tried to put some stuff down, I did the gist of everything — I wanted it to be silly, with lots of dancing. A lot of stuff we didn’t end up using. We just kind of had to go with the flow of things, I think that worked a lot better. It was a collaboration between me and Mike Wilson, who shot the video.
 
POZ: So you’ve got those two songs recorded that you did with Zack and Kenneth, and you’ve been putting out some covers on Soundcloud. What’s your plan going forward? Are you going to keep pounding out covers? Do you want to get back in the studio and write some more?
LW: I think I’m just seeing what kind of momentum I can get off of these two songs. As far as recording more, if it works out and the songs sell then I can do some more songs in the studio. Like I said, we have a studio at home, so I may end up just having Zack & Kenneth mix a few songs that I end up recording myself. As far as an EP goes, that’s definitely the plan. I’m going to try and at least put out an EP, that way it’s something for people to have. I like the covers; they keep people interested. I’m going to have more things on YouTube. I’m putting up my first cover on YouTube, it’s a piano version of “Chocolate” [by The 1975].
POZ: I actually just gave it a listen; you played it on The Gunz Show, right?
LW: Yeah. It’s a little bit different since it’s with the piano, it’s a little bit of a different feel, a little bluesier, I really like it.
POZ: How did you decide to do that song?
LW: So we went up to do the Gunz show when I was in New York a couple weeks ago. I had my friend, he goes by The Heavy Empty, he played with me, and I was like “we’ve got to do another song.” So I sent him two songs to do. But when I got to his apartment the day before, he was like “yo, you know what you would sound so good singing?” And he starts playing it. I’m like “dude, nobody knows the words to that song! I can’t learn all the words! It might as well be in Spanish! Nobody knows the words to that song, you think I’m way better at this!” But we pulled it off. I liked how it turned out. I learned it, so I might as well use it.
POZ: Are you a big 1975 fan?
LW: Yeah, more after I did the cover. I know my friends have been jamming it for the last few months, so I get to listen to it because of them, but I finally downloaded the CD. I’m very late when it comes to music. I do listen to lots of music — not nearly as much as I did when I was in high school or anything — but sometimes I end up getting out of the loop, and people are really surprised. They’re like, “ aren’t you in music?” Well yeah, but when I’m in music, that’s my only time to do music, so that’s when I’m creating music.

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POZ Interview: Derek Sanders and Lauren Wilhelm

by Zack Zarrillo - Apr 22, 2014

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It’s easy to forget when we’re singing along with our stereos, but there’s a lot more to our favorite musicians than what they show us on stage. PropertyOfZack Senior Writer Jesse Richman spoke with Mayday Parade’s Derek Sanders and his long-time girlfriend Lauren Wilhelm, who performs as Dazy (The Girl), for an in-depth look at the real lives behind rock stardom. In Part I below, we talk about growing up in Tallahassee, the beginning of their relationship, life at home with daughter Grey, and the practical realities of launching a career. Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow!

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by Jesse Richman

POZ: Let’s start with the story of you two. I want to spend some time just talking about what life is like for the two of you behind the scenes. How did you meet?
DS:  Well, we met over ten years ago. We met when I was sixteen and Lauren was fifteen, actually, at a show that an old band of mine in high school was doing that Lauren was… It’s kind of a long story.
POZ: I’ve got time! Go for the long version.
DS: Yeah, well, it was a friend of a friend’s birthday party kind of thing that we were playing, Lauren was there and we became friends. We dated back then, over ten years ago, and have always kind of just been real close throughout the years. Even when we weren’t dating, we were still really good friends. We’ve just always found our way back to each other.
LW: Aww, yeah.
 
POZ: Did you guys go to the same school? Did you hang out in the same crowds?
DS: We went to a different school but had the same group of friends, once they all met.
POZ: Did you click instantly when you met? Did it take some time?
LW: One of his other bandmates was pursuing me all night! I had just moved to Tallahassee and I didn’t really know that many people. He gave me his screen name, and we started talking. So I started hanging out with him, but I thought Derek was hot, I was into Derek. I was not into the other guy.
DS: Yeah, we just had, you know, mutual friends, and we all became closer throughout the years. We all went to shows together, played in different bands together. We were all connected through the music scene a lot, for sure.

POZ: Derek, you’re from Tallahassee right? Did you grow up there?
DS: Born and raised.
POZ: Ok, that’s what I thought. Lauren, you said you moved there when you were fifteen, is that right?
LW: I moved there when I was thirteen.
POZ: Where were you before that, and what brought your family to Tallahassee?
LW: Clearwater. My parents are from that area, born and raised down in Clearwater. My dad grew up with fishing and going all over on dirt roads there, so once it got really populated he was over it. We started looking at charts and stuff — my dad has always been into boats, he’s a sailor, so he was looking up in the Tallahassee area, so we drove around and eventually found our way up to Tallahassee. And I really like it, I love Tallahassee.
POZ: Did you like it right away? Was it an easy transition for you or was it tough?
LW: I didn’t not like it. I was kind of ready. I wanted to move to Tallahassee, I kind of encouraged my parents, I really wanted to. And then when I got here I didn’t know anybody, but that’s never been a problem for me, I can always keep myself entertained. Actually, the summer when we moved here, I taught myself how to play the piano, that’s when I started messing around with getting good at playing classical and pop, 90’s pop music on the piano.
 
POZ: What were you guys into back then? Were you scene kids? Were you art kids? What was your thing?
LW: Emo. Dashboard Confessional. [Laughs].
DS: Yeah, I’d say we were scene kids, basically. We went to a ton of shows. I, at the time, was playing in local bands and stuff, playing all the shows. That was a big part of who we were for sure, at school and everything. Yeah, we were scene kids, emo kids, whatever you want to…
LW: I was a chorus emo kid!
POZ: You were singing even back then eh?
LW: Oh yeah, in high school.
 
POZ: I assume with chorus you weren’t singing rock and pop, you were probably doing more showtunes-kind of stuff?
LW: I did, actually! We had the first pop a cappella group in our city, or our area, at all. You know how they do Glee, stuff like that? It was pretty much like that. It was called the Main Event, and so yeah, we’d sing a ton of current pop music, and I had several different solos in that. That’s where I really… I loved chorus, but I really loved doing Main Event, pop a cappella is awesome. I still love it. It gives me chills every time, watching people.
POZ: Do you still play around with any of that stuff?
LW: Oh, I definitely, when I write music, write tons of vocal stuff, and I think it’s probably because of that. I would actually mess around with my own arrangements of stuff. I was really nerdy in high school when it came to music. Instead of doing my whatever homework, I was studying sheet music for my chorus class so I could play it if I needed, on piano or whatever. I was really nerdy.
POZ: So you have some of that classical training then.
LW: A little bit, yeah.
 
POZ: Were you just singing at the time? Were you playing as well?
LW: I was playing piano. In high school I would write songs about my friends and, like, joke songs. One of them got huge in my high school at the time. It’s very perverted and provocative. I ended up playing it for, like, a school showcase. It was really funny, everybody knew it.
POZ: Were you playing piano from an early age?
LW: Yeah! I started playing piano at… I did a couple lessons, and I didn’t really… I don’t want to say I didn’t like my teacher, I feel mean saying that, but he just wasn’t very encouraging. I don’t think I wanted to learn it at the time. But when we moved here and I didn’t know anybody, I had learned the basics. My mom played piano. I had a really good ear for piano. So it didn’t take very much for me to pick it up and go from there. That’s all I was really doing.
POZ: Is it still your instrument of choice?
LW: Yeah. Definitely.
 
POZ: So lets talk a little bit about when you guys got together. Is there a story behind your first date, or your first kiss?
DS: Actually, our first date was in Tallahassee on Valentine’s Day of 2003. We went to a show in Tallahassee, it was the All-American Rejects, and I forget…
LW: Was it Rufio?
DS: No, I don’t think it was Rufio. Home Grown maybe? I don’t remember exactly. I just remember it was the All-American Rejects headlining and it was Valentine’s Day. And that was our first date kind of deal.
POZ: That’s so perfect for what you’re doing now. So how long were you guys together that first time around?
LW: Almost a year.
DS: Yeah, we dated for almost a year, and then broke up. We still were able to be close even though we weren’t dating and were still really good friends for a long time. And then, just kind of eventually, things just fell back into swing, and here they are.
POZ: When did you guys officially get back together?
LW: Well, we dated another time before this, in between.
POZ: Oh, so it’s really been on and off!
LW: Yeah. We dated again, actually, right as Mayday formed I feel like.
DS: We dated for about two years that time I think. So it’s been kind of a back-and-forth kind of thing. And then now it’s been over three years that we’ve been back together again. It’s been, what, almost three and a half years. So a grand total of over five years of dating in the over ten years I’ve known you. Sorry, I know it’s kind of confusing!
LW: It’s very confusing!

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