rushonrock: You’ve warmed up for the UK shows with yet another stint on the VANS/Warped tour – how’s it been this summer?
Derek Sanders: It’s been awesome. It’s our third year playing it and it gets more and more fun every time. I think it’s safe to say that 2010 has been one of the best summers I’ve ever experienced. It’s a very different kind of tour and even though we’re all pretty much used to it by now it still throws up plenty of surprises. There are so many good people backstage and out front and the shows by the other bands always blow me away. You know, I’m pretty bummed it’s over so it’s just as well we’ve got the UK dates to look forward to.
rushonrock: So who were MP’s bands to watch on this summer’s tour?
DS: Honestly, there were so many. Bring Me The Horizon were always so much fun to watch night in, night out. And You Me At Six are a blast – those guys are great. I liked Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong and, of course, Enter Shikari. They’re another British band who you could watch every night – and I think we did.
rushonrock: Will you be going for the VANS/Warped four-peat in 2011?
DS: If the offer is there I just can’t see us turning it down. It’s something we look forward to and something we love doing when it comes around. It’s hard to imagine us turning it down but it’s too early to know what we’ll be doing in 12 months’ time.
rushonrock: Your latest album Anywhere But Here is probably your most polished work to date – are you pleased with that record?
DS: Absolutely. Overall we’re happy about how it worked out and it contains some of my personal favourite tunes as a songwriter. The timing was a bit weird as there was a whole lot going on for all of us at the time we were putting it together. It was our first record for a major label and the first without Jason [Lancaster] and so for a time it was kind of like a train wreck. We had a lot to work out but I felt like we could learn a lot from what, at times, was a testing period. We did learn and so I’m even more excited about the next record.
rushonrock: So are you saying Anywhere… is flawed?
DS: Well, put it this way – we know what we don’t want to do on the next album. Our producer David Bendeth was great in terms of teaching us techniques we’d never considered before. He really cares about the bands that he works with and definitely brought a lot to the songs. He gave some of the songs a whole new lease of life and that’s what I mean about that album being a learning process.
rushonrock: Did you feel the pressure working on a major label debut at the same time as moving forward without Jason?
DS: We absolutely felt the pressure. It was our second full length record and that, in itself, is a big deal as any band or musician will tell you. There are certain expectations. So yes, it was kind of tough in that respect but you can’t worry about that stuff too much. All you can do is go into the studio and make the best record that you can. I think we did that.
rushonrock: The pop punk genre is very competitive right now and does that mean there’s no other option but to be at the top of your game?
DS: I’d agree that the genre is over-saturated and there are a lot of bands like us around right now. We’re trying to develop our sound and, at the same time, try to keep our existing fans happy. It’s a case of trying to resist changing the winning formula too much without sounding like every other band out there. It’s important that we keep the songs catchy and poppy but at the same time we don’t want to rehash what’s gone before. It’s a fine balancing act. But as musicians we don’t want to put out the same CD time and time again and we don’t want to sound like every other band out there. So far I think we’ve struck the right balance.
rushonrock: How much are you looking forward to the UK tour?
DS: We’ve toured with the guys from The Maine before and they’re the coolest guys. I’m really looking forward to getting the chance to play with them again every day. As far as Mayday Parade is concerned we really want to make an impact in the UK. The first time we played here was on the Give It A Name festival and after that tour we always felt we should have come back again sooner. It was two years in the end – then earlier this year we came over with Madina Lake. Now we’ve got this leg and we’re already looking to come back again in early 2011. We’re thrilled that so many of the shows have sold out and we can’t wait to give the UK our best shot again.