On November 4, 2008, I had the chance to meet up with the vocalist of Mayday Parade, Derek Sanders to talk about what it’s like to be on the road and a few of his favorite things. This interview was conducted outside of the Regency Grand Ballroom in San Francisco, while the band was on the Compromising of Integrity, Morality, & Principles in exchange for Money tour. A big thanks goes out to Allison Hata from Fearless Records, Casey their tour manager, and of course Derek for taking the time out to speak with Driven Far Off.
What are your biggest influences?
Queen and Freddie Mercury in particular.
What is the message you’re trying to convey to your fans?
We just try to be as energetic and entertaining and positive as possible. Really there’s not too much of a message, we just hope that people can relate to our songs and know that they’re not the only one going through things that we were going through.
Are there any significant events in particular that you wrote a song about?
There’s a lot of things its all different stuff you know, lot of its stuff with the stress of being on the road, having a relationship back at home, breakups, and friends.
Out of all your songs in A Lesson In Romantics what is the most meaningful to you?
Probably track 10 its called “Take This To Heart. ” That one or track 9 “I’d Hate To Be You When People Find Out What This Song Is About” that one is just about an old friend that kind of screwed us over.
What do you miss when you’re out on tour?
I mean its so much fun being on the road you know that its not bad. The only things that we all miss is our family back at home, girlfriends, friends, and you don’t really have a much a normal life, an everyday routine and I guess sometimes you kind of miss that, but all in all this is the best there is, I love it on the road.
What is your daily routine when you are on tour?
Usually we all wake up pretty late, it’s really easy to sleep in when your in the bunk and you close the curtain, its pitch black in there, and I can sleep forever. I usually sleep in pretty late till around 1:30 or so and then get up and usually find something to eat or whatever, kind of hang out, read my book, play video games, play guitar, and obviously sometimes there’s interviews and acoustic performances before the show we have to do. So it’s always kind of like you never really know until the day of what you’re going to end up doing. Then once it gets closer to the show, we get ready, and then play the show and for the rest of night it’s just hanging out with people, fans, and hanging out with the bands after that. Just having a good time.
What’s your favorite tour story?
It’s tough to say there’s so many, this tour especially it’s been so much fun every night. Its pretty much all the bands hanging out having a good time getting into trouble, lighting things on fire, stuff like that.
Do you guys ever do any contests like a hot dog eating contest or the most ridiculous tattoo?
We don’t have anything necessarily like that, we have a game we invented, well we didn’t really invent this game, we kind of extended upon this game called wizard staff and maybe I shouldn’t get into it too much, but it’s kind of a drinking game, but that’s really the only kind of contest kind of thing.
So what’s your favorite video game?
This game that I’m playing now is called Fallout 3 it just came out and it’s a really really good game, but in general me and Cabbage, our bass player his names Jeremy, but everyone calls him Cabbage, the two of us play most of the video games and we’re both really into Final Fantasy games, role playing games. We’re kind of nerds.
How did you get into music in the first place?
Really the biggest part of it was my oldest brother, he started a band whenever I was in 5th grade and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. I really wanted to do it, so I got a guitar for Christmas in the 5th grade and I’ve done it since then.
What is your favorite part of touring?
There’s so many pluses about it especially now on the bus, its not as stressful and you’re not having to drive all night every night and be tired and everything. You get a good night sleep, get to see the world, get to see new places everyday, and meet new people everyday, and get to play shows especially now because there’s a ton of kids, it’s awesome. It’s so much fun having people there singing along and singing back at you. It’s the coolest thing in the world.
Who is your biggest role model?
My dad is probably my biggest role model, because he’s a good person, thoughtful, and unselfish.
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions yet?
I have not even thought about it at all, I’m going to have to get on that. It’s crazy that New Years is coming up, you’re right I haven’t even considered it.
To see photos from Mayday Parade’s show, please click here to go to Driven Far Off’s photos section.