Interview: Jeremy Lenzo of Mayday Parade
Florida pop-punkers Mayday Parade are making their triumphant return to Australia for the 10th anniversary of their 2007 debut album A Lesson In Romantics this October. Mayday Parade has garnered a lifelong, massive dedicated fanbase, in their evolution from hard-working local band to global force. Delving into the musical influences that have inspired their decade-long career, the band have always delivered refreshing, exciting, passion-driven releases. While musically raising the bar, Mayday Parade constantly reminds fans and industry alike just why they are leaders of their field. We got to speak with bass player and founding member, Jeremy Lenzo, as he expressed his excitement for their upcoming Australian tour, re-visiting old songs, career highlights and fond memories, plus much more.
So you're in the UK right now for your 10th anniversary of A Lesson In Romantics, how has the response been so far at the shows?
It's been great! We've come over here for the past 6 years probably every 7 or 8 months give or take. We always try to visit the UK whenever we get the chance, and there's a good fanbase here for us over here, the shows have been a lot of fun so far. Especially with In Confidence and All Get Out, who are two other great bands playing these shows with us. It's just made the tour a lot more enjoyable.
Well we're especially excited for Mayday Parade to come back to Australia this October. What is it about Australia that makes you want to keep coming back?
You guys have great weather most of the time that we're there, so that's one plus. But really, it's the fans who make the show and you guys have a lot of fans that really go wild during the performance. There's always a lot of crowd surfing and a lot of interaction with the audience and that makes it all feel very special and unique. We always look forward to coming back.
Will you be playing A Lesson In Romantics from beginning to end? Or will it be a bit of a mixed setlist with old and new material?
It'll be A Lesson In Romantics from beginning to end, in that order. Then we will probably do about 6 or 7 songs after that, just random other things from our other albums.
A lot of bands seem to be doing anniversary tours lately where they will play a certain album in its entirety. Is it fun to revisit an older album and play it in full again?
It is because there are a lot of songs from A Lesson In Romantics that we haven't played for a long time, and I think a few that we have never played before because I think they just didn't get the crowd response or people didn't seem to catch onto them at the beginning. So there's definitely a few songs that we've never played, and playing them now is really cool and interesting to see how they stack up against our more recent material and how fans interact with it.
Do you sort of have to go back and relearn some of those songs because you haven't played them for so long?
Oh yeah, we definitely had a few rehearsals and we had to relearn a few of them. But, surprisingly it wasn't as tedious as I thought it might be, it took maybe two days of rehearsal to feel comfortable with all of the songs again, which isn't that long considering.
In the last decade, has their been a particular highlight for you being in Mayday Parade?
This is something we all wanted to do when we first started the band, we knew that we wanted to play music for a living. When we were in High School we were booking our first tour while we were all still in school. Then as soon as High School ended, we went out on the road two weeks later with a month long tour booked, so that was pretty crazy but we knew that was what we wanted to do. I don't think we ever thought we would still be around after 10 years, so that's something that I don't think any of us really predicted to happen. It's still something that we love to do and I can't see it ever going away.
It's pretty rare for a band to never have any lineup changes, especially after being active for over 10 years. What's kept Mayday Parade so strong over the years and how do you keep the bond between bandmates so tight?
I think for us it's just, we grew up together and we played in local bands. Like I said, we went to High School with each other and we were all best friends growing up. But after being around each other almost every day for the past 10 or 15 years, I mean this record it 10 years old but we've been around each other for the most part for about 15 years now. It feels like we're just family at this point, and we can still get on each others nerves but you're quick to realise that they're just not in the best mood right now so you come back later and give them some space. You try not to let someone's mood affect you in the wrong way, we always apologize to each other if we're in a bad mood. You just gotta treat everybody like family and I think that's what we do and it's always worked well for us.
You guys have obviously been to Australia a couple of times now, so do you have any fond memories that stand out from your time here?
Last time we were in Australia we went to a football game, AFL I think it was, then after the game I met some random people outside of the stadium and they took me to a bar. I went out with them and stayed out with them all night until probably about 3am I would say, with these people who I'd never met, these random locals. By the end of the night, I was done for, I was pretty trashed and they took me back to the hotel we were staying at. They were very nice and I remember having a lot of fun with those people, it's always nice to meet people you never think that you'd normally hang out with, but they were very lovely. It was a great evening and I think about that quite a lot.
Are you guys working on any new material at the moment? Can we expect a new Mayday Parade album soon?
You can, normally we try to release a new album every two years, this particular tour has kind of pushed back our schedule to record a little bit. I think you can expect something new in maybe April or May next year with the way things are going. But we are in the studio and we've been working on a few new songs, and when we get back from this Australian tour we will go back into the studio in December and try and record some more songs and finish off the new album.
Written by Steve Jenkins
Check out the track "Jersey" taken from their album A Lesson In Romantics Anniversary Edition:
You can still get tickets via Select Touring. With Melbourne and Adelaide SOLD OUT!