Mayday Parade

Every kid wonders what's in the closet when the lights go out at night. It's not about being genuinely afraid of anything either. Rather, it's the youthful wonder surrounding the unknown. What's behind the door? What's up ahead on the horizon for me? What will I be when I grow up? For Mayday Parade, their fourth full-length album for Fearless Records the aptly titled, Monsters In The Closet, answers some of those questions, while raising a few more with a smile. The Florida quintet knows its identity, but it's got more excitement for the future—and with very good reason.

In early 2013, the band—Derek Sanders [vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar], Jeremy Lenzo [bass, vocals], Alex Garcia [lead guitar], Jake Bundrick [drums, vocals], and Brooks Betts [rhythm guitar]—rented a beach house in Panacea, FL. For a month, they simply wrote songs without any distractions. Emerging from the creative exile, they hit the studio with friends and producers Kenneth Mount and Zack Odem with a clear and cohesive vision for album number four.

"Monsters In The Closet is a little bit of everything we love about Mayday Parade and more," declares Derek. "We try to expand our sound a little more outside with box with each record as we mature as a unit and become more comfortable in the studio. We didn't do anything drastically different. We know what works and what doesn't work, and we enjoy the freedom to make music that want to hear. I'm proud to say that this is my favorite record we've done."

That sentiment will undoubtedly carry over to the group's fervent fan base. These five musicians have honed their patented style with a distinct pop punch and a whole lot of real rock energy. It's simultaneously catchy and kinetic, evincing evolution in the songwriting department. You can hear it loud and clear on the unshakable first single.

Derek goes on, "I started writing some of the songs on this album years ago, so they are very close to my heart. It's wonderful to have ideas that evolve through each stop of the process. Most of the songs are about love and life, growing up, and all of the things we've learned along the way."

Mayday Parade has certainly come a long way since their landmark 2007 debut, A Lesson In Romantics. Most importantly, that growth shines through in the shimmering and soaring hooks, which abound across the offering's twelve tracks.

"When we recorded A Lesson In Romantics, we had only been a band for a little over a year," the frontman admits. "We've obviously experienced so much. I've known some of the guys in the band for over half of my life. We grew up playing together and appreciate the opportunity to do what we do. We try to work harder than anyone to keep our dream alive. Playing all over the word has not only helped us become better friends, but better musicians as well. Our second album, Anywhere But Here, was a key experience for us. We tried a lot of new things and they didn't necessarily work out as we had hoped. Recording that album showed us we could trust ourselves more and go with what we feel."

When Mayday Parade does what comes naturally, sparks always fly. A Lesson In Romantics debuted at #8 on the Billboard Heatseeker's Chart, holding a chart position for seventy weeks and laying the framework for the band's path to success. To date, their album sales exceed 600,000, while track sales surpass 3,000,000. Their self-titled third offering entered the Billboard Top 200 at #12 in 2011, and the band covered Alternative Press. They've been a standout on the Punk Goes… series and have crisscrossed the world on countless tours.

Now, these Monsters are loose, and Mayday Parade stand poised for the biggest and brightest chapter yet. "We want everyone to enjoy these songs as much as we do," concludes Derek. "It means a lot to us, and I know it will mean a lot to some people as well. We've been inspired by so many fans we've met. This is just as much for them as it is for ourselves. We're not stopping anytime soon either. We're on this ride together."

Consider pop punk defended. Man Overboard, the four-piece outfit out of New Jersey, have made a statement with their debut full length Real Talk that is much harder, faster, and louder than a catchy, often-quoted band mantra. While the band's previous material has been extremely enjoyable, climbing to the most coveted parts of my iTunes play counts, their latest offering is their first real spoonful of pop punk. Dual vocalists Zac Eiestenstein and Nik Bruzzese are more aggressive on Real Talk, and their vocals are paced by dirtier-sounding guitars, contributing to a more punk-influenced style. As an overwhelming initial wave of support shows, I'm in the same boat of thinking as most Man Overboard fans when I welcome the new style. It's the exact direction I was hoping this band would take, and the direction that they needed to take to back up their mantra. It's safe to say that Man Overboard have not only defended the genre, but have exceeded all expectations in the process.

A lot has transpired since we last put forth a full length album. This band has gone through many tumultuous yet exciting experiences that have brought us to this point - the release of our 4th album, Collider. The title is a representation of those aforementioned experiences that shaped the continuing career of Cartel. When juxtaposed forces collide in the arena of physics many things can happen: destruction, creation, and metamorphosis, to name a few. We feel as though all of those things and more have shaped the career arc of this band. But most of all, they have had a direct impact on the way we create the music that you'll hear on this record.

We found ourselves without a label and marched forward to experiment with the idea of self-releasing and self-producing our music. That experiment was the In Stereo EP. The unintentional discovery in that process was that there is an honesty that is imperative to the making of our music that is necessary to create the best possible sonic experience. That is to say, we're at our best when we are not concerned with anything but making an album that we WANT to make. It was evident in Chroma. We strove for it despite the spectacle perceived in our self-titled album. We tried to find it again on Cycles. And now, with all other distractions and deterrences aside, we've found it again.

Some may describe the feeling as magical or effortless. I assure you there were no spells or rituals (of the magical nature anyway), and it certainly was not effortless. This painstaking and self reflecting effort yielded something that we are incredibly proud of and that we stand by 100%. Collider is the culmination of 3 years worth of life, love, and reflection. We can't wait for all of you to experience it with us and enjoy it like we do. Expect us on the road in the US and international destinations playing heart-filled shows that display our passion for the energy and essence put forth in the making of these songs - this album. This is Cartel in all its forms. This is Collider.

$20-$25

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Mayday Parade with Man Overboard, Cartel, Stages And Stereos

Sunday, October 13 · Doors 6:00 PM at Rocketown