Mayday Parade is without a doubt one of the powerful drawing acts for this year’s Warped Tour. Since 2007, this Florida pop punk group has stolen the hearts of both the young and old generation when it comes to their catchy and spirited tunes. Their peppy stage presence, as well as their eagerness to share their positive attitude, makes for a sprightly and toe-tapping set to watch. We spoke with frontman Derek Sanders on the band’s reception to fan’s appreciation towards their latest record, Monsters in the Closet, as well as their humble appreciation of their journey thus far.
Cliché: Mayday Parade has been going a solid streak for years. You have fans from all ages. What is it about your music that has such a timeless effect?
Derek Sanders: I don’t know, honestly! We’ve been in the band for almost nine years now, so I feel that we have a lot of fans from the beginning that have grown up a lot with us, that are obviously older now, and there are newer, younger fans that are getting into it for the first time, so maybe that has to do with it. It’s honestly tough to say.
Does Warped Tour feel like a second home to you?
Yeah! It’s amazing. This is our fifth time playing it, and we followed it once and sold CDs outside, so it’s tough to not have a good time on stage at Warped Tour. It’s like the best part of my day, you know? There’s so much people and singing, and it’s just so much fun. I just truly enjoy it. I mean, I’m a pretty happy person in general, but even if I’m having a rough day or whatever, I still always have so much fun on stage. It’s what I love doing.
Your lineup almost contains the entire original Mayday Parade crew after all these years. What do you think has kept the band together for so long?
I think that kind of has everything to do with it; we all grew up together. I met Brooks when I was 12 and we started a band together, so I have been in bands with Brooks for longer than I have not been in bands with him, you know? Over half my life, I’ve been in a band with him and we’ve all played in different bands together and eventually found our way into this one. When we started this band, we said that we want to make sure everybody is on the same page. It was something that we really wanted to dedicate all of our time and effort into to make it happen. That’s one of the toughest things about being in a band—finding the right group of people to play with and to surround yourself with. I think that’s a key thing that’s led us to being around for so long. You see drama with some bands, [like] internal struggles and conflicts, and there’s never been any of that with us. We’re always just happy to be doing this and we try to appreciate where we are.
Monsters In The Closet came out last October, followed by the deluxe edition in May. How has the reception to this record been, and does the reception motivate you to write for future releases?
Yeah, absolutely! The reception has been incredible. It’s crazy—this is our fourth full-length album, so it’s crazy to see things still moving forward, and we had our biggest first week sales. That kind of stuff is crazy because at some point you expect to see things plateau or fall off moving forward, but it’s been great. I feel like we tried to push ourselves to do things a little different, like trying songs that before maybe would have been a little too outside the box, but now let’s take those ideas and try to add some different styles into the music, into the album. We want to keep on doing that gradually—not make a big change, but just keep on pushing ourselves with each album and trying out new things.
So, we have the catering every day, which is great. I do the vegetarian and the vegan stuff, so they have great vegetarian and vegan options every day. [I like] pretty much any good vegetarian spot. There are a lot of different cities where we’ll find a cool veggie spot and that’s great. Oh, and pizza! A lot of it! I love pizza, too much!
This Mayday Parade Interview was originally published in Cliché Magazine’s Aug/Sept 2014 issue