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Bittersweet Ending: Mayday Parade Frontman on Final Tour Performance

ARL: So this is the last stop on the tour. How does that feel?
DS: It’s bitter sweet, you know? I mean, it’s going to be really good to be home. We’ve been out for a little bit, so it’s always good to go home and see family and everything. But, it’s also just been so much fun, you know? Getting to know all of these bands. We didn’t know any of these bands before this, but we’ve become such good of friends with everybody. So, it’s always tough at the end of a tour to say goodbye. You don’t really know when you’re going to see them again. It’s good. It’s been a really successful tour and just a good time all around, for sure.

ARL: That’s awesome. Last night, you guys were back in Tallahassee, right? So that’s got to be kind of a weird feeling, after 10 years you’ve got this fame and experience and you go back home and then perform. What is that like?
DS: It’s, yeah, I guess it is kind of weirder than the average show, just because you’ve got a lot more people there that you know and it’s a little bit more pressure I guess. It was a smaller place, a smaller venue, very intimate vibe. It’s where we played our first show ever, and where I grew up going to shows there and everything. So, it’s really cool to be back in that room where you have so many memories. It is fun, you know? For a while we’ve done Tallahassee once every two years, and we don’t do it very often. This is the first time in a while that we did it. We did it last fall, and we did it this year, so maybe we’ll start, you know, doing it once a year. It was a good time, for sure.

ARL: So, new album, hopefully coming out 2015. Last I heard, it’s probably going to be a full length album, not an EP, and it’s set for 2015. Any new developments, new news that you want to get out there?
DS: Well, there’s not too much yet. This tour has been when we started kind of talking about everything for the first time, starting to dive into that a little more. But that’s kind of what…You know, once we wrap up this tour, today, it’s the end of the album cycle for “Monsters in the Closet.” So, it’s just, you know, the next 6-8 months or whatever is just new record time. So we will start getting to that soon. Everyone has been writing, kind of individually. There’s a lot of stuff that I have that I’m really excited about. Then, we’ll get together early 2015 and start kind of bringing all of those ideas together, pretty much write the album at that point, and then we go and record it and see how it goes. We’ve started talking a lot about direction and whatnot. We want to keep it a little more raw and rough around the edges than what we’ve done before. At this point, that’s about all, really, there is. It’s very exciting to see how the next few months go.

ARL: “Monsters in the Closet,” you’ve played it for a full tour now. It’s been out for a while. At this point, what is your favorite song on the album? Has it changed?
DS: It’s always tough to pick a favorite, but I think that “Ghosts,” the first song on the album is my favorite. That was the case from the beginning. I think that one still holds the number one spot for me. It’s a lot of fun to play live and everything. It is tough, sometimes, to pick the one favorite, but I’d say that one’s close enough.

ARL: I kind of want to shift gears a little bit, and talk about the “Punk Goes…” series. My friends and I are big fans, and it’s actually how I first heard you guys. What was that like? Did you get a call? Did you reach out? And how has the whole process been because you’ve been on four or five right?
DS: Yeah, we’ve done a bunch of them. The first one we ever did was “Punk Goes Acoustic: Volume 2,” which was pretty soon after we signed to Fearless Records. You know, Fearless Records puts together those compilations. So, it was shortly after we had signed with them, when we were recording our first album “A Lesson in Romantics” and they hit us up about that, to see if we were interested in doing “Punk Goes Acoustic.” We thought, yeah, that would be sweet. We just did it while we there, at the studio with Zach and Kenneth in Atlanta, while we recording “A Lesson in Romantics” we just tracked “Three Cheers for Five Years” the piano version. It turned out really cool. Then, I forget how long it was later, but we were offered “Punk Goes Pop,” we’ve done a bunch of those. We’ve done “Punk Goes Classic Rock,” we’ve kind of, like, done a lot of different variations of it. Pretty much anytime they ask if we are interested in doing it, and if the timing and everything works out, and makes sense, we try and do it. It’s always fun to go do something different in the studio, like that. The covers are a little more…We don’t plan it out that much ahead, necessarily. We just kind of go in and build it however it comes together in the studio. Whereas, when you’re recording an album, everything is every pre-planned and thought out and we have to know exactly how it’s all going to go, and there is less experimentation sometimes, I guess. It’s a lot of fun, and I liked the way that a lot of them turned out. We just enjoy doing that, having that extra content stuff, when we get the chance.

ARL: Is there a song out there know that you’re like, “Yeah! I would love to cover this if there is a ‘Punk Goes Pop’ right now.” Or something?
DS: Well, gosh, I don’t know. I’m not sure. There are a bunch of songs that we all talk about covering, but a lot of them are more like 90’s rock or classic rock or whatever kind of stuff. I’m not even too in touch with the current pop and top 40’s stuff or whatever. If we had the opportunity to do the next one, I’m sure we would find something.

ARL: What if it was flipped? If there was a pop-star out there who had to cover one of your songs, who would it be and what song?
DS: Oh, gosh. I don’t know. That is tough. I would say, I would want…I’m so out of the loop with that stuff. I would want Usher, I don’t know if he’s still relevant.

ARL: He’s still relevant, you’re good. He’s there.
DS: Uhh, to do the song, “Black Cat.” I don’t really know why. That’s what I would go with, and see how that turns out. It would be interesting.

ARL: That would be cool. Sweet. This one is a little bit deeper, I guess. If you couldn’t be a musician or in a band, what do you think you’d be doing with your life right now?
DS: I don’t really know. You know? I mean, this has kind of just always been what I’ve focuses my time and effort into, since middle school, really. Started touring when I was seventeen, straight out of high school. Just kind of always been doing this. I have no idea, really. The only other thing, if I couldn’t do anything with music whatsoever, I would probably do something with video games. Because video games are something else that I feel like I just really…I’ve always loved. It’s something else I’m kind of good at, besides music. That’s about it.

ARL: The last question, is just how do you handle the stress? I mean, being on the road and everything has got to be stressful. Anything special you do to cope with that?
DS: Not necessarily. I mean, it’s really a lot of fun, you know? The lives we live are really awesome, especially at this point. We’ve toured several years where you’re just roughin’ it, and playing shows for hardly anybody and sleeping in the van and you know we’ve kind of gone through all of that and built it up to where it is now, where we’re touring and it’s a bus and it’s really comfortable and nice and you’re able to appreciate it and just have fun every night. You’re with good people, you’re seeing the world, you know? It’s pretty easy. It is tough, when you have people at home whom you love that you don’t get to see. But, we don’t stay quite as constant on the road as we used to back in the early days. It’s just kind of a balance, you know? Spending enough time at home, and on tour.

ARL: That’s everything that I had to get out there. So anything that you want to get out that you think people need to know?
DS: I don’t know. We’re stoked to still be doing this, you know? It’s been nine years, which is crazy. It’s crazy to think that we’re about to work on our fifth album, but we love doing it. Thanks for the opportunity for us to keep doing it.

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