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Mayday Parade’s Brooks Betts chats to Jen about their New Album ‘Black Lines’ and their upcoming Aussie Tour.

Pop punk phenomenon MAYDAY PARADE are heading Down Under in October on their most extensive Australian headline tour to date to support their fifth album, ‘Black Lines’.

 ‘Black Lines’ is a melodically diverse collection of striking tracks, blending driving rock riffs with the band’s signature heartfelt lyrics, without losing what is quintessentially MAYDAY PARADE. Vocalist Derek Sanders enthused about their new album, “It’s time to switch things up a little bit” and they definitely have!

Hi Brooks, stoked you guys are heading down here next month, I can’t believe that it is 10   years since you guys started back in 2005, are you feeling old? (Laughing)

Yes, starting too. (laughing) A little bit each year. I mean we don’t do things that we did back then. I think one thing about being older is that we spend more time at home and we have other obligations as we get older, I am not sure that I feel older physically but mentally yes.

I interviewed The Troggs last week now for the 50th ana of Wild Thing…… now……..they are old and they admit it!

Ah yeah!

You guys have been in the band since its inception. What do you think has been the key to your success in being able to working so well together?

It is hard to say. I think it might be the fact that we got together when we were younger and we all knew each other before handing because of that it was simply the fact that we got together when we were younger. We all knew each other before hand. When it comes to decision making, or anything really, things are pretty even, we have worked together for so long. We are friends. Other people work in bands and don’t know each other that well and they can find themselves in a sticky situation.


You guys are renowned for taking the time to hang around after shows and met with your fans. I have read many a story of how your music has changed peoples lives, and know many a teenager who says that as well. Does that come with a sense of responsibility or do you guys take that in your stride as it comes with the territory?

I think it is hard to say it is responsibility. I think we have the responsibility to how you put yourself out there in the world. We have the responsibility to be careful of what you say and how you say it. The people might be very vulnerable and fragile. I think that at the end of the day everyone is responsible for themselves. There are some things that might be said lyrically but ultimately it’s all art. People can take these things the way that they want to.  We put these things out in the world to be positive toward situations usually and hopefully kids take it that way. Even if it is a darker theme song and even what we are saying hopefully it can be used to put them in a better place. Maybe they could relate to something that we have gone through the same way.

You just released ‘Black Lines’, you experimented a little with the sound and worked with Mike Sapone. How much do you think did he contribute to finding that new sound?

Mike did contribute a lot to our sound for sure. If you go through our record and compare it to the other records, go listen to it and hear the difference, between  like that clinky, what we are hearing a lot of and seeing recording vibes. Especially Derek’s vocally, you notice a very clean sort of sound. It sounds like something that we would do live with any of our songs.  That is why we went with Mike. We  experimented because Mike likes to get very gritty and dirty and add a lot of character to things.  Definitely sonically he added a lot to our record.

I am really looking forward to hearing Some of Black Lines live, I think that ‘ One of Them Will Destroy The Other’ will be amazing live as will ‘Underneath the Tide’, well I think all of them will be great!

How do you feel they are sounding live now after you have had many opportunities to play them live?

I think that they sound great live. Because even with our cleaner recordings they always ended up sounding more like rock when we play them live. So now that we’ve got a record like Black Lines, that is much closer to the way we sounded in a live setting, it just naturally works into our live set. When it comes that it feels very organic.

You have the chance to play the songs like at Warped, what is your fav part of the warped tour?

My favorite part is just when you can get to hang out with friends at the end of the night, everybody comes around and has a chat. I have to say that is second to playing as usually my favorite part of the day is playing. Yes so just hanging out at the end of the night.

Any funny stories you can tell that happening this year?

I’m a terrible storyteller! I can’t think of anything funny that happened this year.

No Probs! I was wondering after playing Warped how long does it take to recover from a tour like that? As it seems like no time at all you are back out playing again.

Well if you are looking at the way I reacted to it this time probably about two weeks, usually a week is pretty good for most tours. I think I’ve been extra lazy this time around.

Some bands on their 5th album have really stuck to one sound but I like the diversity in your album. As it states in your press release you don’t lose the Mayday Parade sound. Did you set yourselves some goals to steer you to do this?

I don’t think so, I think that us as a group, just grow and we have expanded to be open to different sounds, that sort of thing not having to be a “Mayday Parade” sound. It was something that sort of happened.  I think everybody bought something a little bit darker to the table so that was interesting. It wasn’t discussed as such it just came out that way.

Dan Lambton, Real Friends’ vocalist, sings on “One Of Them Will Destroy The Other.” How did that collaboration come about? Are you guys mates?

Yeah, we have done some touring together. The vocal part of that song just made a lot of sense overall with the sound to use Dan’s voice. We are fans of the band Real Friends and also whenever you get a chance to cross promote with another band it is a good opportunity working with Real Friends is doing really well in the pop punk revival scene. It is something that we are into as well, we grew up on music like that and we are very excited to see bands sound like that. At the same time you want to write stuff that you feel close too as well.

Who designed your huge change in the CD cover concept? Was kind of expecting the faceless man!

I can’t remember his name but I think it was Jake’s idea bleither way, most of that stuff was Jake’s idea. The idea of not using the faceless guy was just sort of an overall sort of thing we thought, it would be kind of interesting. We tried to keep that sort of vibe with the papier-mâché faces. Kinda alluding to a little bit in that way. Just getting away from the thought that we had to have that all  the time. I actually think  that it is our really cool concept. I want to bring that sort of thing back in the future some time.

So if people don’t like it we can blame Jake?

Yeah  (Both laughing) But I guess we all have to take the brunt of it now.

You have some sweet threads in your merch shop, I particularly like the green tie dye black lines tee. Do you design all your own merch? On line store here

We have somebody else to do the designs and stuff and come up with ideas, people conceptualize them for us. We are no artists I mean drawing artists and we are not even that good at photo shop.

Recently you released a music video for ‘Let’s Be Honest which is a little quirky. I prefer the video for ‘Letting go’ although that is my fav song off the album.

What is the best music video that you think you have released?

Probably, would be ‘Kids in Love’, even though we weren’t in that to me it’s just the concept. It is an absolutely cool music video. Do you know that one?

Yes I sure do, I love that video.

That is most people’s favorite music video.

When you come down here will you have any time off for some sightseeing?

Yeah we usually do,  we usually have a couple of days off, I have not looked at the schedule lately but there are always days off. Hopefully we get out and explore a bit. We have done that in the past, we go around the major cities. I do wish that we can get outside of the city is a little bit more besides just the buildings and that sort of thing. I mean Bondi Beach is really cool, the beaches in Perth are really nice, that is an interesting area we have been all around their. We usually walk all days around the cities. Of course we want to get out there and do some more of that.

Any fav memories of Australia?

Yes one of my favorite memories is we were with AJ at the end of soundwave and we went to this Thai restaurant and Derek got shit faced and he was taking his shirt off in the restaurant and playing around, standing on tables, he ended up breaking his foot doing something stupid, it was a lot of fun watching them being idiots. That was a really good memory (laughing)

Sounds fun. Thanks for your time, I have enjoyed interviewing you.

Thank you I’ve enjoyed it too. You will be at our Show?

Yes, the Melbourne one.

Cool see you then!











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