Florida natives Mayday Parade have been on quite a rollercoaster for the past few years. Their first full-length "A Lesson in Romantics" came out in 2006, but had them performing in front of thousands on the Vans Warped Tour in 2007. That same year, co-lead singer Jason Lancaster left the band after personal disputes. But Mayday Parade has continued on and after another successful Warped Tour in 2008, they set down to write their second full-length "Anywhere But Here".
The new record represents a Mayday Parade that has weathered the up and down system of the industry. "Anywhere But Here", hit stores in October of this year and the boys have been showing it off to the masses as co-headliners of the Alternative Press "Fall Ball 2009" tour with The Academy Isâ€¦, Set Your Goals, The Secret Handshake, and You Me At Six. Lead singer Derek Sanders managed to find a few minutes to talk to Blast from the road and tell us how things are going for Mayday and how they feel touring on a new record.
BLAST: How is the tour going so far?
Sanders: It’s just fun. We’re with good people, good bands. We’re just trying to give as much energy as possible. We have these pretty sick new risers. We just try to jump around while at the same time trying to sound good.
BLAST: How have fans been reacting to "Anywhere But Here"?
Sanders: It’s hard to tell but I think its been pretty cool. I don’t really know how to judge that. I mean as far as kids coming up to me or on myspace and twitter things have been good, but I don’t really know if anyone would come up to me and say that’s bad. I feel like it’s been a pretty good response but I guess only time will tell.
BLAST: How does "Anywhere But Here"’s sound differ from "A Lesson in Romantics"?
Sanders: It doesn’t have the double vocal sound as much. Other than that, its the same kind of songs for us. I feel like if anyone was a fan of the EP or the full length, it’s the same stuff.
BLAST: I read that you feel the new songs are more "structured" than your previous ones. What does that mean? What accounts for that?
Sanders: The thing is we spent more time in pre production and things like that. Sitting there and deciding on every single part and making sure that every single part was right. We just spent a lot more time with the songs. We made sure everything was really tight and flowed.
BLAST: You guys had about 50 songs for the record. How did you narrow it down to the songs that came out?
Sanders: It was really tough. It was a really hard thing. There was no way to make everyone happy. There are a handful of songs I would have loved to be on the album that didn’t make it. Everyone else feels the same way. We just tried to do our best to make everyone happy. I feel like it came down to the best 11 that we chose. It was just between us, our producer, our management and the label and everyone just choosing.
BLAST: What is going to happen to all the songs that didn’t make it?
Sanders: A couple of the ones that didn’t make it, were into made b-sides for and they come on the deluxe edition. The rest of them? I don’t know. I guess its a possibility we could hang on to them and use them down the road on the next CD or whatever. I don’t know at this point but I’d really love for people to be able to hear some of those songs that didn’t make it.
BLAST: That’s still an incredible amount of songs. Do you guys write on the road?
Sanders: That’s actually how we do a lot of our writing, on the road. And a lot of that is possible now because we’re riding on a bus instead of a van. So you have time to sit down and work out ideas with everyone spread out on the bus rather than cramped into a van. So that makes it a whole lot easier. On the road is where we spend most of our time. Over the past two years we’ve spent nine months out of the year on the road. You just get an idea for a verse or a guitar part and you write it down, and when it comes time to start working on the album you pull it out. And we throw all of our ideas in and put them together to try and make the new songs.
BLAST: I know you worked with David Bendeth, who produced Paramore and Underoath. How did that relationship start?
Sanders: Whenever it came time to choose producers, there were a couple of guys we were talking to, but when talking to David on the phone, it just really made sense. He’s a really smart guy. He’s a really talented guy. He just has a passion for what he does. He really cares a lot about music and I don’t know, it was just really cool. He brought a lot to the songs and we even did a little bit of writing with him.
BLAST: Any last words of wisdom?
Sanders: Thank you to the fans to anyone out there for listening and giving us a chance. The support means a lot. We really appreciate it.