Mayday Parade

On a roll from last night, next up is my most recent interview with long time favorites in Mayday Parade! The band took the stage last night to a sold out crowd who clicked with the band from the first few notes which is to be expected. The band has been a touring favorite for the seven years that the band has been together and it won't be stopping any time soon. As one of the bands I heard faintly mentioned when first opening up my eyes to this insane world of music, I never thought that they would become a four time interview for me. From interviewing lead vocalist Derek Sanders over the past few years, we have been with them through the album cycles and were happy to catch up with them with the fourth album on the horizon!

Maybe a soft one to start, you guys have played a ton in the US. Touring what seems like always. You've played in Massachussetts a lot with being a lot bigger scale of a venue tonight. How has the tour been going so far?
Well, it's incredible. It's hard to ask for anything more. Like you said, it's a step up room wise. It's the biggest tour that we've done in the US or anywhere considering the whole tour. So we're just happy to be a part of it. We're out with All Time Low, Pierce The Veil and You Me At Six. We've known all those guys for a long time. Each of them for several years. It's good to be with friends because we're just having a great time on the road.

And I did want to ask you, it has been a little bit since the last Mayday Parade record, the self titled being in 2011. I know you're working on the next album. Is that one finished yet? Still a work in progress?
We're still working on it! It's been about a month and a half of work right before we started this tour in the studio and then when this tour ends, we have about a month and a half left. So we're about half way done. Everything is coming out great. We're excited about it. I can't really divulge much of what's on it but we're stoked for it. We're playing a new song from it. It's kind of crazy. It's the fourth album. That seems like so many. It's been a long time and crazy to think that it's our fourth album but it's very cool. It's been exciting.

Considering the band has been the same line up for the most part, how do you think the writing has changed? Has it changed or is it still pretty similar?
I don't think it's like drastically different but we kind of do different things to just kind of evolve along the way and the bulk of the band has been in this band for seven and a half years. So things will change over time. It's still the same idea! It's just us writing songs about what we like and hopefully we're making a CD of what we love. That's it!

Then maybe as a band that has consistently toured over those several years, what advice would you give to bands going maybe out on their first tour? Like just starting?
There's a lot but the main thing is to stick with what you want to do. There's a whole lot of craziness with labels and management. There are a lot of people that will tell you what you should do but I feel like first and foremost, you should be dealing with your music and what you do. Hopefully if it's something special, then other people will realize that as well but just to work hard, stay positive and be yourself.

Then considering the album is still in progress, are you going to be continuing to tour like you have been this year? Taking some time off?
Yeah, we've been focusing on this record but I don't know for sure exactly what the plan is for the rest of the year. We'll be back on tour in the fall. I'm thinking a US tour. There's a few things we have lined up that haven't been announced yet so we can't talk about them yet. We'll stay busy for the rest of the year and we'll probably have just a little time off when we're done recording the album. Finish off the year and who knows? 2014, we'll see!
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Allison Weiss

The belle of the punk rock ball Allison Weiss is making a name for herself with her just dropped 'Say What You Mean' album and I was able to grab a few minutes with her pre-show on one of the last dates of her Spring tour that happened two weeks before the album dropped. Seemingly loved and admired by people I've interviewed genre-wide, I knew I should jump on the opportunity to pick her brain for a bit when I could.
While bonding over our love for Hanson may have come up, we mainly focused on the new record and how she really got started in knowing playing music for a living is what she wanted to do. We also talk Joe Marro and Soupy Campbell who work as her manager and booking agent respectively but people who you may also know as music veterans in The Early November and The Wonder Years. Read on for our exclusive with the lady before she hits the road for the Acoustic Basement this summer!

This tour is coming to an end. I know you just have four more dates but you do tour alot. What are the three things you must have with you while on the road?
On tour? Oh, man! Well, my labtop because I'm like always working basically. I feel like these are sort of boring. My iPhone is crucial because I always tweet and instagram and all that sort of stuff and then I think everyone in my band would agree that we all need our sea bags which is like army green duffle bags. I could show you in the back (climbs over the back bench of van). A couple tours ago, I got one and I put all of my sleeping stuff in one of these bags. Of course, I picked a really heavy one. Everybody in the band loved them so much that for Christmas, I got everybody their own and put each of the band member's nicknames on them.
Oh, that's so cute!
So we all have these little sea bags that we come out with now. They're actually really amazing because they fit a ton of stuff. Like mine carries two sleeping bags and a floor mat. Pajamas and then boots and work out gear and all this stuff. I also have a suit case. There you go, my sea bag! Two things that are technology and my sea bag. All I need!
Maybe how has the tour been going considering your new album is out in less then two weeks?
It's been going great! It's really awesome. It seems like as the tour progresses, the hype is getting more and more. So I'm really stoked for the record to come out. It's weird to go on tour right before your record comes out because like half of my set is all new stuff but I feel like it makes people really excited too because people will come up to the merch table. 'What is this one song? What record is that on?' and I'm like 'Euh, that one doesn't come out for two weeks'. So people sign up on my mailing list and then hopefully the show is fresh in their mind so I can just let them know that the album came out.
Then 'Say What You Mean' drops on April 16th. How long has this one been in the making?
This record has been done for like a year and I started recording it a year before that. It's been a little while but everything still feels like brand new to me basically because I've just been siting on it for so long. So I'm ready for it to see the light of day.
And are you even like thinking for the next one considering it is something that has been written for so long?
I'm absolutely excited to start writing more. I've just been so busy. 'Say What You Mean' started out as a record that I was going to release and then sort of as it was finishing up, everyone around me was like you can't put this out yet. You have to get some help because it's got to like see more people. So that's sort of why it took forever to get it out because I decided I didn't want to do it alone. I wanted to team up and so I've just been working 24/7 and getting a team of people. I finally have management and an agent. I've recently signed with No Sleep Records so I've sort of in the past year went from being so incredibly DIY to having a whole team. Doing what ever I can to make sure I'm surrounding myself with a group of people to help this record go as far as possible.
Perfect! Then speaking of management, because I have interviewed Joe in the past and I know he manages you as well. Obviously he's a veteran in the music scene doing Hellogoodbye and Early November, how is it to kind of have a artist who knows what it's like from hands on experience to be your manager?
It's amazing! I love working with Joe because I know that he gets it. He started in his band I feel like when he was late teens.
He was super young.
Yeah, like really young. He's done the whole touring in a van and coming home like negative money. Pouring everything into making your band work and his band got to that amazing level. When I was in high school, I remember The Early November was like one of the bands that I knew was like a big band. They were like all over the place. Still are! So it's cool to work with someone who's done the whole thing. Who isn't just like a guy at the top who thinks he knows what he's talking about. Joe Marro has lived it, the whole thing! So it's cool to have him on the team.
Then maybe how did you first get interested in doing music? Knowing this is what you wanted to do.
I've been writing songs since I was in my early teens. Sort of in high school and it was mostly just because I was a teenager with a lot of feelings that I wanted to write songs about. You know what I mean? When you're in high school, you want to be cool and I thought what's cooler then being in a band? So I was like, let's do this! Let's learn guitar. Clearly answer to life. My dad played guitar. He taught me some chords and there were always guitars around. I was able to just sort of pick it up and then sort of towards the end of high school, I was doing a lot of open mics and it seemed like people were really liking it. I was having a total blast so I kept playing music through college. Sort of around that same time, I was promoting myself on the internet. I had the myspace and the tumblr and all of that. By the end of college, I had a little bit of a fan base and it made sense to do it like for real. There wasn't a certain point where it was like 'Okay, I'm going to do this!' It was sort of I started doing it and I just haven't stopped.
Then I know you're doing the Acoustic Basement on Warped, doing a few weeks with that. Maybe how did that come about? I know it's pretty picky just from working with Marquis (the coordinator) a bunch.
Yeah, I don't know! I think he wrote me through Joe or my booking agent Soupy from The Wonder Years.
That also helps! That you have a lot of people looking out for you.
Of course! My people know a lot of people. Well, Soupy in general forces people to listen to my music which is really amazing. It's not often that you come across people who are like actively making it happen. Everyone's like 'Oh, let me help you do this thing' but then there are like a few people who are like 'No way! I have to force people to listen to this'. Soupy's one of those types. I think it's just because those guys know Brian and he was really into my stuff. I started as an acoustic act so as far as doing shows completely solo, I've got that down pat. So Acoustic Basement just seemed like a really awesome opportunity and a fun way to spend a couple weeks in the summer. Sort of promote the record in a different kind of way.
Then maybe considering the line up. People like Ace Enders, Vinnie Caruana with the Movie Life, William Beckett from The Academy Is. All acts that kind of have had really long lasting careers. Is there anyone you're looking forward to seeing while you're playing it?
All of those people you just mentioned I'm super stoked on. I did a song with Ace for this Teenagers project that I did all last year and so I'm sort of excited to hang out with him a lot and all that stuff.
Then do you remember the first CD or cassette you ever bought as a kid?
The first cassette. I bought two at once. Hanson, like whatever their first record was called, 'Middle of Nowhere' and TLC's 'CrazySexyCool'. Those are my two first cassettes. Maybe TLC was the first one and then Hanson.
That was the exact same as Mike from Pentimento.
Wait, both of those? 'CrazySexyCool'? Maybe you should put 'CrazySexyCool' as my first. No, I think it was two at once. I like went for it! I was like I'm getting some cassettes, two at once!
Those were pretty epic cassettes. Do you remember the first concert?
Hanson definitely! Age ten. Huge fan. I was like the farthest back you could be and I wept. Like cried so hard because halfway through the set, I realized that I wasn't going to meet Hanson and I just broke down. I had a literal breakdown.
Because you weren't going to meet them?
I met one because they were headlining the show where I interviewed Joe and Forrest.
Yeah, right? Maybe one day I'll convince him to fulfill my ten year old dream.
Joe can help you out!
Yeah, totally!
I didn't recognize him. It was Zac but he had his hair up. It wasn't like long and flowing.
He's my favorite one.
It will work out, you'll meet him!
Yeah, I'm sure it will! Now it's only a matter of time because I'm like one degree away.
Perfect then to end it off, like we said, this tour ends in a few days but what is coming up?
I have a few like short runs. I'm going to Bled fest in Michigan and then after that, there's another fest called I Got Brains in Virginia and I'm doing that. Then as far as everything else, all my guys are just sort of working on tours in the future. Just more touring. Just nothing announced yet.
I'm sure you have plenty coming up. Well, thank you so much!
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The Maine

With hundreds of new bands popping up every year, it's hard to decipher who truly to cover when you are faced with endless concerts every week. We do make it a point to stick with bands that are truly inspiring and hard working and one of those bands happens to be the Arizona gentleman in The Maine! These days, bands come and go but they have the staying power to be one of the biggest names in the scene.
We learned quickly that this band isn't just about the cute haircuts and neon that may have been matched up with them several years ago now. Through our interviews, we've interviewed all five of the guys and have been given a look into everything from their recording process to their connection with their music. Learning that Pioneer was the first record where John actually wrote from personal experiences to Pat telling us back in late 2011 that they were officially "invisible" to Warner. To Jared telling us that they self record and write on their own everything produced from the band these days. It's been a long and windy journey with the band but we're proud to say we've worked with the band through the past three albums as well as hoping to catch up again with them for "Forever Halloween". Read on for our exclusive with Garrett Nickelsen and Pat Kirch this time around!

Our last interview was with Garrett and Jared in May and now clearly after Pioneer, you guys told us that you were in a "invisible" status to Warner. Are you still in that mode?
Pat: Yes, we are.
Maybe how has that been having that release out independantly and going back to how it used to be?
Pat: Um, it's awesome! You know it's been a long time now so I think at this point, it just feels just kind of normal. It feels just kind of like this is how things are for our band now. It feels good! It doesn't feel like we're kind of missing anything. It just feels good.
Garrett: I agree!
I agree! Now that Pioneer is almost a year old, are you working on the new record? I know you guys pretty steadily release new music?
Garrett: Actually, right after this tour, this is kind of the last thing for Pioneer. Then in December, we're going to start writing and being in the studio.
I know while it changes from record to record, it has grown and keeps on being something kids aren't expecting. Is it going to be more like Pioneer or do you still think you're going to go in a even more different direction?
Garrett: I mean any time we go into make an album, it isn't like we talked about the fact that we needed to make something completely different from the past. It just kind of happens so I imagine we're not going to make anything very extreme again. I think it's too early to tell exactly what it's going to sound like.
Pat: Yeah, I mean I think the biggest thing so far that I've noticed in the new demos' is that a lot of piano is there.
Garrett: Yeah! I mean once we get into a room, it might turn into all guitar parts or whatever. So it's just kind of a different way of writing at this point.
Pat: Once we get in there, we'll kind of figure it out.
Garrett: I mean, I imagine like everything we've done it's going to be kind of a continuation of what the last album was but hopefully go the next step forward.
Then in December, you did do the small room tour and you guys have been going back to these bigger rooms again as of late. Is there a chance that you may try that again?
Garrett: Maybe. We're always trying to make a new atmosphere in the concerts so we're kind of looking into going back and forth between the two. That's what will continue to happen.
Kind of see how it goes?
Garrett: Yeah. Definitely! We're just kind of winging it right now. We're going to kind of let the new record, once we get it done, then we'll actually start to think of that kind of thing.
Then I wanted to ask you! I've interviewed the Postelles a bunch as well but this may be their like break through tour into this different age group. Maybe how did that come about having them open this tour?
Garrett: Yeah, we were just trying to find a band that worked really well but isn't maybe the same tour as a lot of people would expect. Maybe bands that we are grouped with alot.
Pat: We wanted to do something new. At the end of the day, it all kind of came down to the music. We had heard some songs and we liked it.
Well, we do do interviews a lot. I was counting today and it's a large number over the past few years. Since November '09, it's been six.
Pat: Wow.
Garrett: Really?
Stuff's getting serious guys.
Garrett: We're pretty much going steady.
Pretty much!
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Joe Brooks

When you think of a perfect spot for an interview, it doesn't tend to be in a green room bathroom but we take what we can when we have an interview to do! I grabbed a few minutes with this next artist Joe Brooks during his just completed tour with The Rocket Summer here in the states. Joe is a well established singer/songwriter from the UK on the cusp of releasing his brand new album. Considering the last one dropped in 2011, I was ready to pick his brain all about the new album as well as his US touring experiences. Read on for our exclusive with Joe!

You tour here in the US a lot, you tour back home quite often. What are the three things you must have with you while on the road?
Um, labtop. Phone. You know I threw my phone the other day into the ocean and I was without it for like probably about a week. It was impossible. At first, I was like this is great and then I realized it's actually impossible to do business in music without your phone on the road. So, those two things and probably my band! We got a new van, we've called her 'The Silver Bullet'. So yeah, just all the ingredients of making a great tour. My Lucky brand boxers. I wear Lucky brand boxers with the four leaf clovers. I have like eight pairs. You take a week's worth of boxers and then you just clean them each week and I have eight pairs. They're all different colors but they're all Lucky brand.
Then I know you played this room last year with Tyrone. Maybe how has it been opening for Rocket considering you have toured the US before?
This would be probably my fourth tour in the US and my fourth time playing in Boston. Second time in this venue and it's great. I have a lot more experience at it now. Things are a little easier. When I'm faced with it, I don't get so tired, so exhausted because of how it is. It's a long journey where you know you're going to be in the car for a certain amount of time. Then you mentally prepare for it so it goes quicker. So that's kind of how this is. I'm much more prepared. I can enjoy the moments.
Then while some British bands have really toured here a lot, like Bombay Bicycle Club, Irish like Two Door Cinema Club, a lot of British bands do it once and then don't come back. What advice would you give to bands to keep on trying?
Yeah, it's very difficult if you have success somewhere else and then come to try to break the states. If you don't break the states the first time, it's very difficult because you just want to be in the place where you're already successful. You go back there because that's where you make money and sell tickets. Those bands I'm sure will come back but I am sticking it out to break it in the US and I know that takes a lot longer here then it does in a lot of other countries. A lot more options. There's a lot more bands. There's a lot more venues. Just because it's such a big country. So it is tiring to tour this country. You have to do all the states in order to really break it. Unless you get like a huge radio hit. So, I'm in it for the long haul.
Then I know it's been a while since you've released the last album. Want to say it was 2011. Are you working on the new one?
Yeah, well the new single came out 'Til My Heart Stops Beating' the other day. We ran out of time to play it tonight because we had some sound issues, in case you didn't notice. I tried to keep it together. The album is scheduled to come out May 1st.
So it's coming soon?
It is, it is! It could have been out already but I'm trying to make it as strong as it can be.
Then considering it has been a while for new music from you, for you personally, do you think it sonically differs alot or is it pretty similiar?
It is a bit more mature. It is still quite Joe Brooks. It's still quite diverse. I like that so many genres all play a influence and so yeah I guess it's a bit different. It's kind of hard to pin it all down in one sentence. It's just kind of an extension of my last records really. It's a little bit more mature lyrically. A bit crazier.
Then I wanted to ask you about the covers that you play in your set. They are obviously a bit different. The Beatles to Young the Giant. Maybe thinking of influences, do you remember the first CD or cassette you ever bought?
Yes, that's a great question. The first cassette I ever bought, I can remember it distinctly. I bought Boyzone. I can't remember what the album's called but I think maybe it was their first album and I bought it on cassette. I was so excited. Thirteen pounds which was like bonkers but I loved it. I took it into school and I would play it. It's so embarassing but at the time I was like eleven.
Do you remember your first concert?
Yeah, my first concert was a blues guitarist and I saw him at a venue called Brooks which is actually where I got Brooks from in my stage name. Because it's not my real last name. Not many people know that but that's where I got my name from. That venue. I actually always dreamed of headlining there. I did that a few years ago for a Christmas show. It's a fantastic venue in my hometown and it was a great show. We had fake snow and a Christmas tree on stage. It was really cool.
Great! Then maybe to end it off, what is coming up after this tour? I know you said the album comes out pretty soon.
The album comes out! I'm opening for Jason Mraz in Seoul in Korea. It's going to be fantastic. Then we play in Malaysia and Singapore and after that, I'm going to go to the UK. I'm 25 now. I kind of just enjoy life. Like I don't like to stress too much. I've put a lot of pressure on myself. I like to also just go with the flow. I'm sure if I had a manager right now he'd be like screaming at me, 'Do this! Do that!' but I just want to enjoy life. Play music and enjoy life. Good things are coming my way anyways so of course I work hard but that's as far as I'm looking right now. It's really nice!
I'm also working on doing a live piece at the end of this year. That shouldn't be too difficult.
Well, thank you so much Joe!
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I'm not exactly that stereotypical girl you see at rap shows. Let's be honest! Once in a while though, I'm drawn to a crowd I'm not so comfortable in for quality acts. One of those acts is Outasight from Yonkers, New York. His break out single for his new album 'Tonight is The Night' is blowing up everyone's airwaves right now so I knew I should take the opportunity when I could to sit down with him for a few minutes and pick his brain!

Outasight aka Richard Andrew is quite possibly one of the most real musicians I've met over the past three years of steadily being out at shows. His set blew me away and so did his finally acheived full length record 'Nights Like These'. While on a bill where he may not exactly seem to fit in, co headlining a run with The Ready Set, he took the stage with ease and had the crowd grooving along to every note. With a full summer planned of Warped Tour craziness, 2013 is sure to be his year. Read on for our exclusive!

The tour started last night in New York City where I believe you are from.
Yeah, I live in NYC.
Being in NYC, how did that first show go?
It went really well actually. A lot of energy and it just seems like everybody who was on the bill got an amazing reaction so I think we would call it a total success!

Then obviously you and The Ready Set are pretty different from each other. Maybe how did this tour come together?
It really started as an idea that was being thrown around by our record label since we're both on Warner Brothers. Then we all got a chance to meet at a radio show that we did for a radio station. We all hit it off, both crews hit it off and we thought it was a great idea. We're definitely different in one way but at the same time, we both make catchy pop songs. So we thought it was going to be a good idea and so far, so good.
So far, so good! I mean sold out show tonight.
Yeah! Sold out last night. Two for two!
Good little start! Then maybe what are you most looking forward to considering you have the two more electronic based acts like Goldhouse and The Ready Set then you and Master Shortie.
I'm just looking forward to it all! For me, I think the number one thing I'm looking forward to is actually getting a chance to play some shows in cities that maybe I've been to but I haven't necessarily gotten a tour stop in or some cities I haven't been to at all. I basically haven't been in Seattle, haven't been to Portland, Oregon and we're going to both places so really excited for that. I've been to Chicago and San Francisco and LA but I've actually not really done like legit tour stops there but I've been doing so much radio promotion over the past year. So I've been there on promotional stuff but I'm really hyped to get out there and just meet some of the kids who always hit me up on twitter to 'Come to Chicago! Come to San Fran!' so that's probably the best thing I'm looking forward to.
Ready Set said you're headlinging Chicago. Playing last?
To me, it doesn't really matter. I honestly said to Ready Set he could close every night if he wants. I would assume that he is bringing more kids I would really think. So, I'm humbled and I'm just glad to be here.
Then maybe before we get on to the record, the three things you must have with you on tour?
Always need my labtop. It's a great way to kind of waste time. Especially in the van when we're driving and driving. On these winter tours, it's always really important to have my big old boots. My big wolverine boots. They're great! Look at them! They look so destroyed but they're awesome. Finally, this is a really random one but a toothbrush. The little cases for your toothbrush. You got to keep your toothbrush as clean as possible. You're in a different place every night.
Then 'Nights Like These' has been out for a few months now. I know it's something that you've been working on for a really long time. You've been releasing EP's but this is the first full length. How excited are you to finally have that record out?
I mean, it was really kind of a dream come true because I was on Warner for a couple years. Just to finally have that opportunity to put out a record was like a goal fulfilled. I'm really proud of the record but I feel like I want a lot more people to be able to hear it. So I have a lot of work ahead of me. I'm excited that I got it out but I didn't know there was so much more work to do in terms of getting better as an artist and also getting more people to hear it.
Then even though it's only been out for a while like you said, are you even working on the new one?
I've began to map it out in my head a little bit. I've just been like swimming in music. Just locked up in listening to all kinds of different stuff. Just to get inspired. Feel out a direction and just go from there.
Then maybe how did you first get interested in doing music?
I just grew up loving music. I was just around it always in my house. I mean I just thought it was completely normal to have billions of records and CD's. Know every band member's name. Be pop culture and music obsessed. I thought that was completely normal. Just this was how it was while I was growing up. So it kind of took me over too.
Then speaking of this, do you remember the first CD or cassette you ever got as a kid? And the first concert you ever went to?
First CD I ever bought was Tribe Called Quest's 'Lowman Theory' . That was awesome. My mom had Columbia House when I was a kid. The Scenario video had me hooked and the first concert I ever went to? Now, I've had this question a few times and I've tried to figure it out because I've been to so many. I think it was in fourth grade and I saw Pearl Jam at the Madison Square Garden Theater.
Pearl Jam? You were into Pearl Jam when you were nine?
Uh, yeah. I was listening to a lot of stuff. I also saw Sponge at a club called Tramps when I was around twelve, maybe thirteen.
Tramps? You went to-?
A club called Tramps. We used to go to rock shows at a venue called Seven Willows Street. I was young. It's hard for me to remember. I've been to so many shows.
Do you think that influenced you then maybe? Just going to shows all the time?
Oh yeah. I mean I used to watch shows and see everything from big bands to like small punk bands and be like 'This is what I want to do'.
Then I wanted to ask you, considering this is a very different tour. I've interviewed Vonnegutt in the past-
Yeah, Kyle's my homie!
Yeah I know you guys did a song together pretty recently which was one of their bigger songs over these past few years. Maybe if you could collaborate with any one this tour, who do you think it would be?
Well, me and Jordan were definitely talking about doing a collaboration before the tour and I think just time wise, we were both too busy to get it done but I would love to work with him in the future.
Perfect then to end it off, what is coming up? I know this tour just started yesterday and you are still on it for a while. What's coming up after this?
I'm actually doing the whole Warped Tour. So after this tour, I have a little bit of time and then all I'm doing is more touring.
Maybe what are you most looking forward to on Warped Tour considering it's been a steady pattern of having a few rappers on the tour every year. Like last year with G-Eazy, T. Mills, Modsun. What are you most looking forward to being a little bit different?
Yeah, I'm looking forward to those crowds and that energy because growing up, I've been to a few Warped tours in my time so I know how awesome all the energy is. So just looking forward to getting in front of those crowds. Going nuts every day with kids.
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