This is Mayday Parade's cover of 'New Years Project' by Further Seems Forever.
Rock Sound is excited to be presenting the world premiere of Mayday Parade's contribution to the Hopeless Records 'Songs That Saved My Life: Volume Two' compilation.
This is an important song, from an important band, for an important compilation, with a very important message.
Mayday Parade selected 'New Years Project' by Further Seems Forever for their cover - a song that's important on a personal level to Mayday Parade frontman Derek Sanders. We caught up with Derek to talk through his choice of song, the importance of speaking about mental health, and the power of music.
What was it that made you choose ‘New Years Project’ as the song best suited to this project?
Says Derek: "It was kind of a difficult process really - when we got the offer from Hopeless to be a part of this compilation, this was the first song that popped into my mind. We talked about it as a group and there were a bunch of ideas that were thrown around - it took us a few weeks of us going around those ideas but then we finally landed on this one, which I was so happy about. This song definitely means a lot to me in particular but we all got into Further Seems Forever a good bit when we were all back in High School. It’s a song that I feel really changed all of our lives. I’m so happy with how the final version has turned out as well."
What was your relationship with the band like back in High School? How did you first come across them?
"I was probably in tenth grade and 15 years old - this was back in the days when I was just starting to get into the whole emo scene. I first heard Further Seems Forever from a compilation CD - I can’t remember what compilation it was, I used to get a lot of them back in the day. The song on there was ‘The Bradley’ which was the second song off ‘The Moon Is Down’. I loved that song, so shortly after I went to Hot Topic and bought the record. I loved hearing that whole album through for the first time, but I certainly remember hearing ‘New Years Project’ for the first time and being blown away - I had never heard anything like it before. It was one of those moments where you’re listening through an album and you skip back to listen to a song again before moving forward. I ended up going to see them live a couple of times - I remember once when they played ‘New Years Project’ as an encore and that was the first time I ever crowd surfed. I got to the front of the stage and they stuck the microphone out and let me sing along. It was such a cool moment for me."
What does the song mean to you personally?
"It’s a song that I would use when I was going through stuff with friendships or girls or whatever - I would listen to it a lot and feel super emo and super sad, but it would really help me out a lot. This was the period of time was well where I was shifting from playing in bands that sounded like Metallica and Bush to the music we started playing when we were listening to Saves The Day and The Juliana Theory. Further Seems Forever was another band that helped to shape us into what we soon become as Mayday Parade."
How did you go about putting your own spin on the song?
"That’s always a tough thing to do whenever we do covers - like, how much should we change it? How much should we leave alone? I really like where we ended up with this one though, it’s a pretty good balance. The biggest change is with the piano thing at the start, where in the original it is full band. If I’m not mistaken that was Alex’s [Garcia, Guitarist] idea - he mentioned the possibility of really stripping down the beginning and I loved that idea. I sat down alone and created a rough demo of how that would sound and sent that over to the guys and they all thought it was cool. Then from where it builds up into the full band it’s pretty similar to the way that the original sounded, but we didn’t want to mess with it too much because it’s such a powerful and emotional song.
"I really love the way it turned out. It’s one of my favourite covers that we’ve done, if not my favourite cover that we’ve done. I think that has a lot to do with how much the original song means to me. I actually got to send the song over to Chris [Carrabba] and he had some really nice things to say about it - that was a really unbelievable moment. He actually came to a show when we did Forever Emo over in Nashville. We were doing ‘Screaming Infidelities’ on that tour and he came out and sang it with us. That was another dream come true moment for me."
How does it feel for you to have a song that means as much as it does to you appear on a compilation such as ‘Songs That Saved My Life’?
"It’s an honour. I head about the first compilation that came out last year and remember thinking that it was something I wanted to be a part of. I love that Hopeless are continuing their work in such a way. They always had the ‘Take Action’ comps back in the day - they have always had these music and charity blends and tried to reach out to people in this way. There’s nothing better than being asked to be involved with such a thing - whenever something like this goes towards a good cause it makes it even better."
How important has it been for you as a band to be able to talk with your fans openly about mental health and the importance of music throughout your career?
"I think it’s hard to even state how important it is - I think it has everything to do with why we are still here after all these years. It’s been 14 years since we started this band, and I don’t think we had any idea of the level of what this was going to become and how much our music was going to be able to help people. That’s something we got a real sense of the moment that we started playing shows and talking to people every night. You hear so many stories about what people have been through and how your music has affected them and it’s a really powerful thing. It makes it easy to want to continue and to be better and to do better for those people - we’re lucky to be where we are and be in a position where we can continue helping people in such a way."
With all that said, check out Mayday Parade's cover of 'New Years Project' by Further Seems Forever below:
Songs That Saved My Life is a brand centered around music that played a pivotal role in the lives of artists and fans, that benefits mental health and suicide prevention charities. Everyone has music that helped them through a tough time. STSML looks to engage current artists with cover versions of those songs and share those stories with the world. This project benefits a variety of mental health and suicide prevention organisations. Currently, this project benefits Crisis Text Line, Hope For The Day, The Trevor Project, and To Write Love On Her Arms.
The full album features 10 covers - check out the full tracklisting below:
01. State Champs - 'Real World' [Matchbox 20]
02. Silverstein - 'Disarm' [The Smashing Pumpkins]
03. With Confidence - 'Drops Of Jupiter' [Train]
04. This Wild Life - 'Wicked Game' [Chris Isaak]
05. Doll Skin - 'Shake It Out' [Florence & The Machine]
06. The Frights - 'Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes' [Modest Mouse]
07. Mayday Parade - 'New Years Project' [Further Seems Forever]
08. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - 'Trust' [Thrice]
09. Sharptooth - 'Die For The Government' [Anti-Flag]
10. Trash Boat - 'Given Up' [Linkin Park]
'Songs That Saved My Life: Volume Two' is set for release November 08, and you can get more info on it here.