Friday, 1 October 2010

MPM meets... Mayday Parade - September 30th 2010

Mayday Parade are a 5-piece from Tallahassee, Florida. Only a few days after their UK release of their latest album, 'Anywhere But Here', they set off on a UK tour with The Maine, starting in sunny Birmingham. We caught up with frontman Derek Sanders to see how everything's been going.

What's it like to be back in the UK?
Derek: It's awesome. It's very awesome. We've been looking forward to it for a long time. Last time we were here with Madina Lake in February, I think it was. It was a blast. We came one time for the Give It A Name tour, but that was a couple years ago now. Between that and last time we came was two years, and we were really hoping it wouldn't be another two years until we came back. So it's definitely awesome. And we love The Maine, those are awesome guys, they're a great band, so it's definitely gonna be good.
What are the best and worst things about being on tour?
Derek: There's so much about it that's awesome. Playing shows is probably the best part, that's why we do it. Having the kids there sing along and stuff is just the most fun part of my day. Other than that, you get to travel. Not just the US, you get to see the world. Great countries, meet a lot of great people, hang out with good friends. The only thing that's really bad about it, I guess, is not having a 'normal' life, like missing the people that you love at home, things like that. It's 100% worth it, it's the greatest job in the world as far as I'm concerned. I just love it, I love touring. Actually, whenever we're at home for more than a week or two, I start to get bored and wanna get back on the road again.
What's the weirdest thing you've seen or done on tour?
Derek: I've seen a lot of weird stuff, but nothing too crazy. We met a lot of interesting homeless people, but that's just kinda how it goes. There's been nothing recently. Crazy girls. We get a lot of them some times, but it's flattering, it's cool, it's part of [being in a band]. You can't complain about stuff like that, because if people like our music and are extreme about it, then you can't complain about that.
How are fans reacting so far to the new album?
Derek: Very well. It's been out for almost a year now, which is kinda crazy to think. It's cool because at first, when a CD came out and we started playing songs off it, it was always weird just because people didn't know it as well. But now it's been out for a while, people have had a chance to listen to it. It's cool to be able to play old stuff and new stuff and have a big reaction to both. It's been awesome.
What's your favourite song off the new album?
Derek: It's hard to say, it kinda switches, but maybe Bruised and Scarred. That's one of my favourites for sure. Kids In Love is also one of my favourites, and I Swear This Time I Mean It is one of my favourites. Those are probably my three favourites.
How do you feel about the controversy that's sparked over the Kids In Love video?
Derek: We expected that, because obviously the content of the video is pretty extreme and pretty explicit. But that's kinda why we wanted to do it, it was to do something different and surprise people and shock people. I think it's a really cool video. It's very real and the people had fun. They had such a blast, that's huge that you can tell they had such a good time doing it. I think it's definitely very cool. Obviously it's not something I'd want to show to my 12 year-old cousin, but that's okay though. It has a censored version as well for people that are offended by it or whatever, so they can watch that one.

What inspired you to be a musician?
Derek: I've always just loved music, I loved listening to music as a kid growing up. When I was a lot younger, my older brother started a band and I thought it'd be cool, so I asked for a guitar for Christmas and started playing, and I've pretty much been doing it ever since. I started a band in middle school with Brooks [Betts], our guitar player, and we've been in bands together since.
Did you ever expect to get as big as you've gotten?
Derek: No, definitely not. After high school, we decided not to go to college, [just] to try and tour and do the whole band thing, and [we were] not sure how it'd turn out, but it's definitely way better than we expected. We're very grateful, very fortunate to be where we are.
When was the moment you realised what happened in terms of your fame?
Derek: I dunno, there wasn't really one moment. It was a lot of things, like getting signed in the beginning. That was huge for all of us, obviously, that's kind of what you dream of. Then things like playing Warped Tour, being on the cover of a magazine, or just being able to tour, have kids come out and sing along to our music, that's the best part about it.
What do you dislike the most about the music industry?
Derek: The only thing I would say is maybe labels having creative control over the band. Or really anybody outside of the band having creative control over the band. I think a band should be able to do whatever they wanna do, write the songs that they wanna write, make the videos that they wanna make, dress the way they wanna dress. I don't think anybody else should be in charge of that. Unfortunately, that's the way it is, and sometimes you have to kind of compromise a little bit. Not a whole lot, we still write our own songs, but it's like you have to fight to get what you want, it's kind of a pain.
What's your opinion on illegally downloading music?
Derek: I do it sometimes so I can't complain about it. I try not to, and if it's a band that I know personally or care about or if I really love the band, I always try and buy the CD. But there are some CDs that I download. And that's kinda just the way that it is. I don't think it's the death of the industry or anything. It's just something everyone's gonna have to adapt to. It's not a big deal.
Do you think it's unfair to people who make the music?
Derek: Yeah, I guess, but it's coming to the point now where it's not just music. You can get pretty much everything online, you can watch movies online for free, it's gonna affect a lot of industries. I guess it is a little unfair, but I guess at the same time, kids still come to the shows, and still buy merch, listen to the songs and sing along. That's still pretty cool. And besides, the people who complain about it have too much money anyway.

Who are your heroes?
Derek: I would say my dad. And Freddie Mercury.
What's the weirdest dream you've ever had?
Derek: When I was really young, I used to have a recurring dream. I used to have the same dream every night, like all the time, I had this dream that my family and I were walking up a road towards a big blue castle, and there were these black footprints on the road leading up to the castle. And we'd get there, and as soon as we went in this big black bear started chasing us, and we had to run from it. And we'd run down this hallway and there was a chain-link fence that we had to climb, and I would always get stuck in the chain-link fence and my family would leave me. I had that dream all the time when I was a kid, it's really weird.
If you were trapped on a desert island and could only have four people and four items, what would they be?
Derek: I'd say the band guys, except there's probably gotta be a girl there. I'll go with the items first. I would bring a guitar, I would bring my laptop, I'll bring my cell phone, and one of those Swiss-army knife things that had a bunch of cool gadgets and stuff so I could cut things down and build things.
What would you be doing if you weren't in a band?
Derek: I really don't know. When I was a really little kid, I wanted to be a scientist. I went through all the...astronaut, fireman kinda things. But I wanted to be a scientist. And then since I got my first guitar, I always wanted to do this. Probably about 5th Grade.
What's the greatest memory you've had since the band formed?
Derek: It's hard to pick one. But going to Japan was awesome, coming here's always been awesome. All of our travelling overseas has been awesome. There's been so many good memories on tour and stuff. I guess travelling overseas, going abroad, seeing the world have been the best times probably.
What's the coolest thing you've seen around the world?
Derek: Oh, I don't know. I love the culture in Japan, the people in Japan, the food in Japan. Tokyo is one of my favourite cities in the world.

The co-headlining thing, how did that come about?
We've done this kind of thing a couple of times, we co-headlined a tour with The Academy Is..., and way back in the day, we co-headlined a tour with Madina Lake in the States. I dunno, it's kinda whenever two bands wanna go on tour together, but if it makes sense that the two bands are on the same level or whatever, to co-headline. I don't really know.

Tell us about the picture you've drawn for us.
Obviously there's ants eating this picnic, but despite all that, it's still a beautiful, sunny day. So even though some small little things like this are going wrong, like ants eating your picnic, it doesn't really matter because in the big picture, it's still a nice day, and you're out having a fun and whatever. You can't worry about the small things.  

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