"I’m really so proud of this album. It’s the best version of Mayday Parade."- Derek Sanders of Mayday Parade on their upcoming album 'Sunnyland'
SO WHAT WERE YOUR INTENTIONS GOING INTO THE RECORDING OF ‘SUNNYLAND’?
When we first got together for the first writing session, which was in January of 2017 after the whole ‘Black Lines’ cycle, we didn’t really know exactly what we wanted to do moving forward. That’s part of what we wanted to figure out together and a lot of it was figuring what we think that Mayday Parade does well. It’s always a learning experience. With each album you do you’re always learning and adapting. Saying that I’m really so proud of this album. It’s the best version of Mayday Parade. There’s a little bit of everything we have done over the last 12 years. We have really tried to nail those things that people have connected to and what we are good at.
HOW DID REVISITING ‘A LESSON IN ROMANTICS’ LAST YEAR AFFECT THE WRITING EXPERIENCE?
I think it definitely had an effect. There was a little bit of a different mindset within all of us and the songs we were writing before we did the 10 year ‘A Lesson In Romantics’ tour and what we were writing after. We realised for one how important that album is to us and to our fanbase and it was pretty incredible to do that tour and receive the love and support for an album that we hadn’t realised just how important it was. Also, everything was so different back then when we were writing ‘A Lesson In Romantics’ so it was a lot of fun trying to put ourselves in the same mindset and try and channel from that. The songs we were writing changed a bit but ultimately it all became more fun. That album may be sad in a lot of ways but it’s also fun and has a lot of energy to it.
HOW YOU FEEL YOUR MINDSET DIFFERS NOW TO HOW IT WAS AT THE START OF THE ‘BLACK LINES’ CYCLE?
Personally I feel better about this album than any album in the past. I just really can’t wait for this thing to come out because I really think we have a better sense of what Mayday Parade is and what it should be. I’m really happy that we did ‘Black Lines’. It was very experimental and it was something we had never really done before. I think we needed to do it and make an album that we really wanted to make without considering much else. I don’t think that style is exactly what people want us to be as much, whether we want to be heavier and darker or not. Even though I don’t think it’s something that we do as well necessarily, you still have to confront those things and try those things to move forward.
SO WHAT DOES ‘SUNNYLAND’ ACTUALLY MEAN TO YOU BOTH AS A TITLE AND ALSO AN IDEA?
For me, a lot of what ‘Sunnyland’ represents is childhood and growing up. There actually used to be a physical place called ‘Sunnyland’. There was an abandoned children’s hospital in Tallahassee in the early 1980’s. It’s just right down the street from my house. We used to go there as teenagers. You could sneak in and it was such a cool place. This old five-story white hospital that was overgrown with weeds and vines. It was super creepy inside and had some of the old beds. It was pulled down maybe 10 years ago but it really was one of the coolest things about Tallahassee. There’s the song on the record that’s actually called ‘Sunnyland’ and one of the lyrics is ‘I left something important back in Sunnyland, I know that it’s something I’ll never find’. It’s the fact you can’t get your childhood back. That was the idea from the start and then we thought it would make an awesome album title. Most people won’t know the story of the hospital but I think it’s still a cool visual that brings up these different ideas for different people.
ASIDE FROM THE ALBUM, YOU ARE ALSO JUMPING ON THIS SUMMER’S WARPED TOUR FOR THE VERY LAST TIME. HOW ARE YOU FEELING?
It’s hard to really know how to feel about it all. On the one hand I’m super excited about it. Warped Tour has always been one of my favourite things to do. On the other hand, it’s coming up real soon and then before we know it, it will be over and done with. One of the first things we did when we recorded our first EP was follow the tour in 2006. We had only been a band for 6 months at that point and we sold a bunch of EPs and that’s really what gave us momentum. Then we came to play 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and now 2018. It’s such a huge part of our career and so we’re super grateful to be a part of it. It will definitely be really sad. I can’t imagine a summer without a Warped Tour. We will see how things go.
'Sunnyland' is due for release June 15 through Rise Records. It's available for pre-order now, and you can get all the info here.