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Interview: Derek Sanders of Mayday Parade

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The popularity of Mayday Parade has exploded over the last few years. The Tallahassee, Florida band released their major-label debut, Anywhere But Here, in 2009 and have been touring extensively all over the world. In early 2011 the quintet released an acoustic EP, Valdosta, which includes re-recordings of four fan favorites and two brand new songs.

Lead vocalist Derek Sanders, guitarists Alex Garcia and Brooks Betts, drummer Jake Bundrick, and bassist Jeremy Lenzo are collectively looking forward to the remainder of 2011 and beyond, with many exciting things for fans to look forward to. I recently spoke with Sanders about their upcoming projects and plans.

First off, congratulations – I understand Songkick named Mayday Parade the hardest working band of 2010 with 194 dates played.

You know that’s pretty crazy, but one thing that’s even weirder about that is that we feel like last year wasn’t even our busiest year. I think in 2008 we played even more shows than that.

Do you ever get burned out being on the road that often?

For the most part, it’s always really cool. We love being on the road as much as we can. We get to spend a couple weeks here and there with family and friends.

You’re playing the Bamboozle Festival again.

Yeah, we’re playing Friday [April 29, 2011].

You last played Bamboozle in 2008. Are you excited to be back?

Yeah, it’s going to be insane. I can’t believe we’re doing it on the main stage. We played a smaller stage in 2008, and it was one of the biggest shows we’ve ever played. There was an insane amount of people.

What has the fan reaction been like for the new Valdosta EP?

Everything seems to be pretty cool so far. Obviously the one point that is a little weird about it – the thing we were expecting people to judge kind of hard – is that we did a couple songs where Jake is singing the parts that Jason was singing before. But we loved doing it. I always appreciated when bands put out little side things, like B-sides or acoustic things.

We didn’t spend a whole lot of time focusing it. We just did it fast in a studio close to hand. The record that we just finished is what we put most of our time into. We’re actually playing one of the new songs from Valdosta, “Terrible Things,” we’re playing that one on the new tour.

How did you decide which older songs to redo acoustically for the EP?

It was kind of tough with all the songs to choose from between the two albums and the [first] EP [Tales Told By Dead Friends]. I really wanted to do one from the first EP, so we did “Your Song.” Originally there was an acoustic demo of “Your Song” that we did, which was really nice. “Jamie All Over” has always been one of our favorites and one of the crowd’s favorites, so we wanted to try that one acoustic. Maybe one day we’ll go back and do some more.

Including Bamboozle, you guys are doing several U.S. dates before heading over to Europe for a bunch of dates. What has your experience been like so far touring internationally?

Yeah, I’m so pumped. We’ve been to the UK three times now, we’ve been to Japan once, we’ve been to Australia twice. We’re actually doing a whole lot more this year. Like you mentioned, we’re going over to Europe, then Japan, and some of Southeast Asia. And then we’re talking about going back to Australia as soon as we can. It’s a lot of fun, a really great experience. The people are just unbelievable. It’s great being able to go across the world and have a crowd of people who really just appreciate you being there and are all singing along.

About The Other Chad

Hi, I'm Chaz Lipp. An old co-worker of mine thought my name was Chad. Since we had two Chads working there at the time, I was "The Other Chad."