Mayday Parade play GVSU Fieldhouse, discuss touring

GVL / Matt Oberski
Mayday Parade

GVL / Matt Oberski Mayday Parade

When Mayday Parade lead vocalist Derek Sanders met guitarist Brooks Betts in seventh grade, they had no idea where their future was headed.

“The day that I met him, he came back with me to my house that day to play guitar and just try and like play together,” Sanders said. “That was our interest right away, as soon as we became friends.”
So they kept making music together, joined at least seven different bands, and went to shows all over their home state, Florida. Music was their only focus.

“It was like the music that we played and the band and everything was the most important thing, more important than school or anything,” Sanders said. “We would focus all of our time and effort into whatever band we were in.”

But it wasn’t until a Taking Back Sunday show in Jacksonville, Fla. more than six years ago that Sanders realized he wanted to pursue his dream of making music with his friends. “(It) just fueled us even more to work harder and try and make this happen,” he said.

Within the past year, Mayday Parade has put out a third studio album, finished a contract with Atlantic Records, toured the U.S., South America and the United Kingdom, played Warped Tour and are now on a co-headlining tour with The Maine – but they aren’t stopping there.

While on tour, Sanders said they’ve been thinking about ideas for a fourth studio album, and have been talking with possible new labels because they are now free agents.

“We all kinda have been (thinking) individually. We have ideas that we come up with and then we’ll kinda get together and finish the album, or write the album in maybe January,” Saunders said. “And then we’ll go into the studio, record another one, and then kinda do the whole thing all over again. Put out a CD and probably tour for a year or two, or however long.”

With a young daughter at home, touring for months at a time can get hard for Sanders. “I miss her so much when I’m gone, so I enjoy being home whenever I can,” he said. But he said after the first few days of a new tour, the band falls into a routine, which makes it easier and lets them enjoy making music.

“For the most part it’s actually really awesome,” he said. “We enjoy staying busy and working hard for this. And plus, it’s a lot of fun to travel as much as we do and see the world, but there are times when you’ve been out for a few months, three or four – seven months straight is the longest we’ve been out without a break at home, and that can definitely get really exhausting, but it’s so much fun to play every night and its certainly helped us get where we are now – the fact that we’ve stayed as busy as we have.”

Being on a bus the same five guys can get stressful for some bands, but Sanders said Mayday Parade hasn’t really had any major issues.

We practically grew up together,” he said. “I’ve known Brooks for over half my life … we all kinda met when we were younger and in school and going to shows together, and we’ve just been friends for so long and this is kind of our shared dream. I think we all realize we’re lucky to come as far as we have, so we just enjoy it.”

But they don’t only have fun onstage. With all the bands together, he said they like hanging out and having a good time after shows. “Sometimes we get into trouble – not too bad, we keep it pretty clean, I guess,” Sanders said.

The band is always meeting new people, and Sanders is always a little shocked when fans recognize him off-stage. “It’s very humbling,” Sanders said. “I don’t even know how to react to it, but I appreciate it and I just try to not take it for granted.”
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