Emo pop punk favourites MAYDAY PARADE are heading Down Under in October and will be performing at The Gov on October 12 with THE EARLY NOVEMBER to support their fifth album, Black Lines.
We spoke to guitarist Brooks Betts as he’s resting up after Mayday Parade’s performance at the Alternative Press Music Awards. The band did a duelling medley with The Maine and legendary singer Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind.
“It’s kind of interesting I was into heavier 90s music at the time Third Eye Blind came around. When I first came across their self-titled record and when ‘Jumper’ was really big. My younger brother actually listened to them more I have to sadly admit. It wasn’t till later that I really got into that band after I went through all the cycles of really good 90’s heavier rock. I kind of came back around to the softer side,” Brooks explains.
“It was definitely Guns N Roses who were my favourite band. A bit like Guns N Roses, Metallica, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice In Chains, Silverchair, is what really got me. I guess that’s what I was kind of into before [Pop Punk].”
Mayday Parade are no strangers to Australia, having performed on Soundwave 2011 and 2014. Brooks even managed to get starstruck himself one year.
“One of those years Slash was on it with us. I didn’t even go up and meet the guy. I just didn’t want to interrupt him, he gets all that all day so I didn’t want to bother him. But I thought that was really cool. There was a lot of really cool bands out there. There was Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, GWAR, Korn and Rob Zombie. Flying around doing that tour was pretty cool. What is even better is the massive crowds that we get to play to. It would be nice if they picked it up [Soundwave Festival] some time down the road.”
Last time the band was in Australia was 2015 supporting Yellowcard. Unfortunately, Yellowcard announced their final touring cycle together as a band and are set to end in 2017. Brooks reflects on the impact of legendary record Ocean Avenue and touring with Yellowcard.
“It was a big record for a lot of us. Undeniably catchy, classic songs. There’s no denying that record and its influence on the whole scene. It definitely grabbed a hold on a lot of us. It was really cool to tour with them, we just finished Warped Tour with them, they’re really cool guys and I hope they end up doing something else in the future. But for now, I guess, it makes sense for them to follow some other path,” Brooks admits.
Mayday Parade is now returning to the same venue where they supported Yellowcard in Adelaide, The Gov. This time they will be the headline act.
“I think with the shows coming up fans will be able to look forward to the new material we’ll have. We kind of figured out what fans like and don’t like from the new record. So we’ll be adding in what people want to hear from the new stuff and the old stuff. We were not headlining before so we’ll have a much longer setlist and they’ll get to hear some of the songs we obviously couldn’t have done supporting Yellowcard. A much better side of Mayday if you’re a big fan of that.”
Mayday Parade will be touring Australia with Philadelphia’s favourite sons The Early November, who were last here for Soundwave 2013. Mayday Parade grew up listening to The Early November and were inspired by their work. Like any other genre, there has been a changing of the guard and Mayday Parade are now being supported by the band they once wanted to be as successful as.
“Yeah it’s kind of a weird thing. But at the same time, I think it’s great when a band can do that. When they don’t worry about where they used to be and just work with bands anyway. We find it hard to tour with bands a lot because of that barrier. There are a lot of bands that we’d love to bring out on the road but would never come out with us because it would only make sense for them to support us. We’d create a great package together but they’d never do it because at one point they were a higher billed band than we are. So they won’t take that downgrade, it’s a shame, either way, this sort of thing is very cool,” says Brooks.
Mayday Parade is currently touring their new album Black Lines. This features a special appearance from Real Friends vocalist, Dan Lambton.
“Dan was a great fit vocally. Real Friends has a real good thing going with the whole pop punk revival. I think working with other bands like that on tracks is always a good cross promotion. We’ve done that with Pierce The Veil for a cover song we did. It’s always great.”
Pop Punk is making a comeback and Brooks recommends two of the few bands he’s got his ears on in the scene.
“Honestly, it’s sad to say but I don’t listen to a tonne of new music that’s coming out in our scene. Personally, as I get older I reach out and look into other scenes for the most part. Or just even go back to older music. I will say that recently there’s a band called Sykes, that I think is a really good band, they’re from England. There’s another band from California called The Heirs and they’re really young and coming up. They’ve got some really cool tracks, more along the lines on a 1975 type vibe but really cool music.”
Each Mayday Parade evolves over time and has a distinctive sound, the band have a unique approach to each album that not every other band can pull off.
“I don’t think we try to head in different directions, I think we end up writing music and putting it out. We put out what’s best of what’s on the table and every member writes in this band so it could come from anywhere. You’ve got 5 different minds being inspired by 5 different things or 10 different things. Then whatever comes out comes out. I think when you have an album like Black Lines, it’s just another progression and evolution of the band. I don’t think any record that we do will sound too close to the next one; it’s hard to replicate anything,” Brooks explains.
Mayday Parade has now been together for over 10 years. In this time they’ve had major success and Brooks finds it hard to highlight just one stand-out achievement.
“I feel like some of those are probably yet to come. Our greatest achievement was coming out with a really great record that put us on the map and was really a home run for us in the beginning. Our second biggest achievement was releasing our self-titled record that kept us going. All through I think we’ve put out great songs on all of our records. I don’t know, it’s hard to pick one. There’s been so many tours and albums but if I HAD to pick one it would be that first album, A Lesson In Romantics,” Brooks finishes proudly.
Having sold out all shows on their last headline tour, don’t miss MAYDAY PARADE this October. Armed with an electrifying live show and the same undeniable passion, these live shows are sure to be infectious and memorable as ever.
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