Through email I played an accidental game of 21 questions with Mayday Parade’s bassist, Jeremy Lenzo. One of the questions got over looked, but everything still worked out. Some of the questions were intended to be for the entire band, but since plans for an in person interview fell through, Jeremy did his best to answer them himself. Here is what he had to say.
How did you come up with the band name (Mayday Parade)?
“We had recorded our EP Tales Told By Dead Friends, and wanted to started passing them out at shows, but we didn’t have a band name. So we started throwing around different words until we came up with a combination that we liked. I wish the story had more to it, but that’s it.”
Each album has had a man with an umbrella on it, is there any real significance to that?
“The umbrella man is sort of like our band mascot. He never really had a story, but we’re giving him one with our new, self titled album. Our music video for “Oh Well, Oh Well” features the umbrella man, and throws you into the middle of the story. We are hoping to do two more videos which stem off of the first one.”
What was the inspiration for the “Oh Well, Oh Well” video? Are you into comic books, and that’s why you went with that style for the video? (If yes, what’s your favorite one?)
“Yes, I do love comic books, and my favorite comic is Dead Pool. As for the video we originally wanted to do it live action, but couldn’t afford the budget. So we thought, ‘Hey if we can’t do it with real people, then we will make it like a comic.’”
Can you explain the inspiration behind every track off of Mayday Parade?
“The lyrics for all the sons deal with real things that have happened to us. The up’s and down’s of relationships, the death of friends, the frustration of labels. I feel this album deals with a lot more personal situations than our previous albums.”
Is Derek the main songwriter or is it more of a collective thing?
“I would say Derek comes up with the most ideas. We as a band turn those ideas into full songs. Usually it is Derek that deals with the lyrics though.”
Why does the “Miserable At Best” video not have the full song?
“That’s a good question. When we were doing the video for that song, the label thought we could rotationally use that song on the radio, but in order for that song to go to radio it had to be forty-five seconds shorter. So what they did was just cut out the middle section and caked it a day.”
Brooks, why do they call you “Cabbage”?
“Actually, they call Jeremy ‘Cabbage’, but he doesn’t tell anyone why. He likes the mystery more than the story.”
What would your dream tour be? (Both to be on, and see)
“We would love to be on tour with Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance -those were some of our favorites when we were getting into this scene. I think it would also be a great tour to watch.”
Who’s been your favorite to tour with so far?
“We love everyone we tour with, we have become really good friends with The Maine, We The Kings, A Rocket To The Moon, Every Avenue. Those are some of the bands we’ve been friends with since the beginning.”
Does Derek really hate being tickled?
“Derek does hate being tickled. He gets super pissed if you try and tickle him.”
Out of all of you, who is the biggest nerd?
“Musically Alex is the biggest nerd, if we’re talking about modding amps and pedals. If we are talking about technology nerds, I’d have to say Cabby (Cabbage, or Jeremy). If we can’t get something to work right, he can figure it out.”
Were you asked to do the covers you’ve done, or did you pick them. I heard Derek was a fan of Queen and started wondering since you covered “We Are The Champions” for Punk Goes Classic Rock.
“Yes, we picked all the covers we’ve done, and Derek is a big Queen fan. We always like doing those covers for Fearless.”
Name one fact about each other nobody outside of the band (or close friends/ family) knows.
“Jake used to be a kicker in football, Brooks and Derek have been playing together since middle school, Alex’s favorite band is Oasis, and Jeremy has laser eye surgery.
Who’s the bigger ladies man of the group?
“Well, obviously the girls like Derek because he’s the singer, but second to that I would say Brooks.”
What bands made an impression on you as musicians and songwriters?
“Emery and the Plain White T’s -the impression they left on us was more of teaching us how a band should act, how we should treat other bands smaller than us. They really made and effort to hang out with us and always invited us onto their bus when we were in a van, and that really stuck with us, and we try to do that for other bands we tour with now.”
If you weren’t musicians, what else would you do as a career?
“I’m not sure. Probably something still related to music somehow.”
Is there anything you do while you’re not touring that you miss doing while on tour?
“Just being with my friends and family, that’s the only thing.”
I heard you wrote the album in a beach house here in Florida. Why’d you choose to do it here and now somewhere else?
“Honestly, we could have been in a cabin in the Appalachian Mountains. The place really didn’t matter so much, we just needed to be secluded. Whenever we write when we are at home we always get distracted with our friends and family who are there. So we decided it would be better to get away from everything and write. The beach house was just the closest place. We only went on the actual beach a couple times.”
Do you have any pre-show rituals? (If yes, what are they?)
“We get in a circle, put our hands in, and say a little something to pump us up and then at the end we count to three and yell, ‘bang-a-rang’. We have been doing that since the beginning of the band. It comes from the movie Hook.”
You have a song called “Amber Lynn”, is she a real person or is that a pseudonym?
“It’s a pseudonym.”
Weirdest or scariest fan experience?
“We have a couple of crazy fans, but we can’t really talk bad about anyone in particular. As long as they are coming to the shows we can’t complain.”
So there’s what all Jeremy had to say, it was good time. Thank you once again to Jaime Rosenberg, their press manager, for helping me get this, and to Jeremy for taking time to answer all my questions. Check out their self-titled album, Mayday Parade, which is now in stores.
These are interview that I myself have done. They have not been found anywhere, they have not been done for me. They are my work.