Mayday Parade are no strangers to Warped Tour. From following the tour in a van selling CD’s on line, to headlining the final tour to thousands of fans, Mayday Parade have seen it all. This year, the band was celebrating not only a successful Warped Tour career, but their sixth studio album, Sunnyland. We sat down with vocalist Derek Sanders to talk the end of Warped Tour and the future of Mayday Parade:
You guys are obviously no stranger to Warped Tour, how does this year compare, for you, to previous years, and how do you feel about it being the last Warped Tour? Is it different?
It’s pretty comparable to the last couple of times we’ve done it, but we’ve gotten super comfortable with this tour. Our first couple of years doing it it was such a different thing. We were always kind of nervous and, you know at one point we were a band following the tour, we weren’t even on the tour, so we were the smallest fish in the pond. And then we worked our way up, and each time you do it you get more comfortable, it’s more fun, and you realize that as long as you’re staying positive and working hard, it’s going to be easy and you’ll have a good time. It’s been so much fun this year, and it being the last one is really a sad thing. Every day I think about it, especially because we’ve been to so many of these venues so many times. The first time I went to a lot of them was back in 2005. It’s been so long at each of these places, and I’m never gonna come back to a lot of them. Like under a bridge in Milwaukee, we’re not gonna go back to that spot ever without being there for Warped Tour. So its super sad, but we’re in good spirits and having a great time.
You said you used to be one of the bands that ran around outside the tour selling CDs, and you weren’t on it yet. Did handing out CD’s on the tour and hoping people would listen to your band help you get your start?
We were selling CD’s back then — back in 2006, we were selling our first EP. We had only been a band for six months, so it was the goal right off the bat to write and record an EP and go sell it on Warped Tour. We sold a lot of them that summer. This year we’ve been going out as well, pre-signing a bunch of copies of our new album, and then we go out and hang out with people, take pictures, and sell those. It’s cool to come full circle. And it’s a lot easier to go and sell now, because people come up to us now — we’re not chasing people down with CD players anymore. It’s a crazy thing.
How have you guys seen the tour evolve over time?
I mean, in so many ways, its still very much the same. The only things that are different are, I don’t even know. It’s all reasonable stuff, but it used to be more free — there’s more rules. You can’t just be like selling beer outside of your bus like you used to be able to. Having your own parties, selling alcohol and stuff, now you can’t really do that. It’s all because I’m sure Kevin Lyman has been sued so many times by so many different people for so many different things that he has to enforce rules as a liability, to crack down on certain things. Anyway, for the most part, its still the same vibe. It’s even better this summer because the shows have been so big and the shows have been selling out and I think that kind of helps boost everybody’s spirits.
Warped has always been such a huge staple in this scene, and a lot of younger bands when they’re coming up are thinking, ‘one day I’m gonna play on Warped Tour,’ what do you think is going to fill that spot?
I don’t know! It’s so tough to say. I think that there will certainly be something, and I guess we’ll have to wait and see what that is. I’ve heard all kinds of rumors of different things, but nobody really knows what will happen. I think there will be other smaller versions, but I don’t think anything will attempted to this scale. 70 bands on the road, it’s crazy. I don’t know, we’ll see I guess. I think Warped will still put on festivals and less of a tour. I’m just hoping that in five years, or ten years, they’re like, ‘never mind, reunion, let’s bring it back.’ Or, somebody brought up a really good idea — doing it like the olympics, where you do it every four years.
That’s a great idea!
You don’t do Warped Tour every summer, you do it every other summer, or every couple of summers. I think it’s a pretty great idea.
I think people would be into that, it makes it more nostalgic and gives people something to look forward to.
Yea, I’ll have to talk to Kevin about it.
Definitely! What do you think will be the greatest loss to this scene with the end of Warped Tour?
It’s so many things. This tour just means so much to so many people, and obviously to all of us out here. And then to so many people come here as an escape, or a way to be in such an open environment — you can do mostly whatever you want, or be whatever you want — there’s a lot of things that people come here to celebrate. I don’t know, it’s sad, really. But hopefully the spirit of it will live on somewhere.
Do you have a favorite Warped Tour memory? How many have you been to?
This is our sixth time playing the whole thing, and then we played half of it once, and we followed it once as well, so it’s been a lot of summers on this tour. To be honest, a lot of my favorite memories are things that I can’t really share, for one reason or another. But I don’t know, it’s hard to say any one. That’s whats so insane about it — every single night there’s just so much life on this tour. There are so many people, there’s so much going on. There’s never a dull moment, unless you take a break if you’re able to. If you want to go hang out and have fun and do something interesting, there’s just so much going on at all times. Every day is pretty awesome.
I’d love to talk a little about your new album — you’ve been playing a few songs from it on this tour, how has the response been?
The response has been really good! We’re really excited about it. We love the album and people seem really into it. At this point, it’s our sixth album, so each album keeps us trucking along and keeps us moving in the right direction. That’s pretty much how it’s been. We’re only playing two songs off it on this tour, because Warped Tour is only seven songs, but in the fall, the rest of this year and next year, we’ll be playing more songs from it. I’m excited to get to play more from it.
Do you have plans for tours coming up after Warped Tour?
Yes, but they haven’t been announced yet. So I can’t share what it is, I don’t know what I’m allowed to say. But there is a fall thing in the works, and all of next year as well. We’ll be out touring all over the place, and then start working on the next album after that. Or the next EP, or the next, whatever is next.