Interview with Derek Sanders from Mayday Parade: Re-energized

Let’s hope rock band Mayday Parade enjoyed their holiday break this year as their schedule is now filling up fast with tour dates. Currently out on the End Of The World Tour, singer Derek Sanders, guitarists Alex Garcia and Brooks Betts, bassist Jeremy Lenzo and drummer Jake Bundrick have been shaking up their setlist with new material from their self-titled album released late last year.

On the agenda after this round of touring, Mayday Parade will be headed overseas before spending their summer on the Warped Tour. But after listening to Sanders comment on touring, the atmosphere out on the road seems more like a party than actual work. Below, Sanders also took time to talk about the creation process of their latest record, his feelings on the end of the world and who you may see in the crowd at their future shows.

How are you and how’s the tour going?

I’m doing great. We’re about a third of the way through this tour and we’re here in lovely Texas and it’s been so much fun. It’s good to be back on the road and out with all these awesome bands. It’s like we’ve just been hanging out all day with We The Kings, Downtown Fiction and Anarbor.

Why did you decide on naming it the End Of The World Tour?

I don’t know. We bounced around a couple ideas for the name of the tour and just settled on that one. I’m sure that’s the one we liked the most, I don’t really know. I didn’t have a whole lot of input on that one (laughs).

That leads me to ask if you believe the world is going to end this year.

Oh, no, I don’t think it will, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens. I think some crazy stuff could happen, but I don’t think for sure that’s going to happen.

So I take it you guys won’t be throwing any end of the world parties come December?

We probably will, because I mean we’ve been talking about it for a while and I’m sure we will to have fun and whatever just in case it is the end of it.

Your New Jersey date is sold-out along with quite a few other stops. How does it feel to be selling out shows as you’ve done on this tour?

It’s really crazy. Especially since we’ve been doing this for over six years now as this band and it’s really awesome to be able to still tour and have these great members. And New Jersey’s just always been the best place for us, so we always love going there. Playing Starland again, that’s one of our favorite places to play and knowing that the show is already sold-out just makes us even more pumped. Plus, it’s towards the end of the tour and so we get to look forward to it the whole tour.

Are there any particular songs off of your current release you’re most excited to play live?

We’re doing a couple on this tour that we’ve never played, so that’s really cool. It’s just really refreshing to play new songs that we haven’t played for years over and over every night. I think there are five or six new ones from the new album that we do on this tour, so it’s really cool, it’s like a new energy in the band.

You just made the announcement that you’ll be doing Warped Tour this year.

I’m so pumped for Warped Tour, I think it’s just such a fun tour and I always love being a part of it. We’re looking forward to it. A lot of our friends are doing it, a lot of bands I love are doing it and I think it’s going to be an incredible summer.

Before Warped, you’ll be overseas. How do you keep from being tired out on the road?

I mean we definitely stay pretty busy and I guess that’s just how it’s always been for this band. We enjoy the steady pace and we enjoy knowing that we’re progressing and doing things as a band and it’s just cool to travel that much. We’ve gone to different places in the world that we never would have been able to go to. I think this will be our fifth time going to the U.K., so it’s just really cool and exciting. And to see it kind of build over there from the first time we went over up till now and see the audience grow as the same it did here in the U.S.—it’s very cool and it’s cool to see progress like that.

Do you get to sightsee when you’re out of the country or do you just go from venue to venue?

I mean, it depends. There are always days off every now and then, but you’re not very mobile, you just get off where the bus is. But we get to see a lot of very cool stuff and we enjoy it.

I just saw the video for “Oh Well Oh Well” and it’s such a great concept. Where did it develop from?

We kind of came up with this whole concept for the album and the videos and it’s sort of a story that we wrote out that kind of goes along with the faceless umbrella guy that’s been on the cover of all three of our albums. We wrote out the story and we originally wanted to do the “Oh Well” video as a live video, but just for a bunch of different reasons we decided to do animated. A lot of it was because of the budget for it, you know, like to do a cliff scene for it and CGI for the faceless people, so we did it animated. I think it’s cool the artwork of the album is part of the story as well. We just did a video for a song called “Stay” and that kind of continues the story a little more. We’ve never done something like that before and I’m happy we did that with this album.

With your current release, you had commented that it was done ‘your way.’ What do you feel you’ve learned with doing this album that you’ll carry over to future releases?

I think we’ve learned the most from the albums before this one and we’ve just been happy with the results and I don’t think there is anything that we would want to go back and change with how we did it. I think we’ve found the perfect formula for how to do it. We’ll probably do the same thing in the future—it’ll be us in a beach house in Florida for about a month and write most of the album there. We don’t talk too much about the next album, but the way we did it this time was awesome, it felt great and we’ll do that in the future.

Was there anything with this album that you hadn’t done in the past that you were excited about?

One of the things that was really cool was that we actually lived at the studio that we were recording at, so we could go in to the studio any time and work on ideas. So everybody was staying busy, it wasn’t like we were staying at a hotel and we were only at the studio for whatever hours of the day. But all day and night we could stay productive and work on the music and that was really cool, I liked that a lot. I think that’s the biggest one and going to the beach house, getting away from everything and having no distractions. We could just focus on writing and that’s pretty important.

Are you guys beach people?

Well, I guess, but that actually didn’t really have anything to do with it. It was just an hour away from where we live, so it’s just like getting away. It was in January, so it wasn’t a nice time to be at the beach really. It was mostly just isolating ourselves somewhere away from everything else and the rest of our lives.

I saw on your Twitter you guys reached out to Victoria Beckham to come out to your L.A. show. Did anything come of that?

(Laughs) I don’t know. As far as I know, I haven’t heard anything about it and I guess we probably would have, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Who would be an ideal celebrity that you would love to hear had come out to see you guys?

Um, I don’t know, that’s tough to say (laughs). I’d say Brad Pitt or Keira Knightly.


Mayday Parade will be playing at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville on Friday, March 2. For more information, go to