It seems like only yesterday that A Lesson In Romantics was making us feel all the feels, so it’s a bit of a shock realizing that Mayday Parade are celebrating a decade as a band. With a new album out last week and a headlining spot on the AP Tour, we caught up with frontman Derek Sanders to see how he’s handling the transition from upstart young punk to leader of a scene institution.
Black Lines came out Friday. How are you feeling about everything right now?
DEREK SANDERS: It’s so funny, when it gets to this time. It’s been almost a year of planning and putting everything together for this moment that’s coming up here. There’s an excitement that builds. There’s no better way to kick off an album release than to go do an amazing tour like we’re about to do. So yeah, everything feels really good. We’re really happy.
You’re in the middle of some downtime right now, but you did play Riot Fest in Chicago a few weeks back. Was that your first chance to work out some of the new songs live?
Yeah, we played “One Of Them Will Destroy The Other” and “Keep In Mind, Transmogrification Is A New Technology” for the first time, so we were all a little nervous about it. The first time playing new songs can be kind of intense and crazy, but I think it went over really well. We actually spent two days rehearsing, which is kind of unheard of. Usually for a one-off show, we wouldn’t really rehearse, but because we were going to do these new songs and we hadn’t played them since we recorded them, we booked a rehearsal space and practiced for two days. Which I think really paid off, because we were a lot more comfortable with the songs.
I know that at that Riot Fest performance, Dan Lambton from Real Friends joined you onstage to sing “One Of Them Will Destroy The Other.” Is that something we’re going to see repeated on the AP Tour?
Yeah, absolutely. Obviously it depends on whether he’s able to do it every night, but I certainly hope so. As far as what we’ve talked about, he’s down to do it, so I think that’s the plan. I loved seeing stuff like that when I was younger and going to shows. I loved seeing any kind of collaboration, guest vocals whatever. It’s cool to see.
There’s a camaraderie between Mayday Parade and Real Friends that goes back well beyond recording “One Of Them…” and the AP Tour. How did you and Real Friends become, uh, real friends?
We met them in Toronto at Riot Fest [in 2013]—I watched their set and then met the dudes and we chilled. The next time we all hung was at Soundwave in Australia. You kind of get grouped together with certain bands; it was us, the Story So Far and Real Friends, we did all of our Sidewave shows together, stayed at the same hotel and traveled together. I got to chill with them a whole bunch on that tour, which was cool. And then we did Warped Tour and we hung out all summer. Just having those opportunities to hang with those dudes, we became buds, and this all kind of made sense for all of this.
Until now, you guys have typically been one of the “new school” acts on tour. But on the AP Tour, with Real Friends, This Wild Life and As It Is supporting you, you’re now repping for the old guard. Do you see Mayday Parade as mentors for the younger bands or are you peers?
I’d say a little bit of both. When we do these tours with bands that are pretty new into it, it always brings me back to the first real tour we did with the Plain White T’s back in early 2007. When I think back to it and how green we were, we had no idea what we were doing, and they were super-cool. The Plain White T’s would invite us onto the bus to chill, and they were just super-hospitable and very friendly. So we always try to make sure that, for any of the younger bands, we show them the best time possible.
Is it hard for you to stay present in the album release moment? How much of you is already on to the next one?
It’s weird because, to me, it’s almost like old news. We’ve had this album and been able to listen to it for months, and I’ve already been starting to work on some new ideas. So yeah, I am super-pumped about this album and super-stoked to get it out, but part of me is ready to do the next thing. I don’t know what will happen but part of me wants to consider, in the future, doing either an EP or some singles, two songs, whatever. I kind of like the idea of, instead of just putting out a big chunk of music every two years, doing stuff in between. We’ll see how it all goes.