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Success = Growing out of your set list

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Derek Sanders is having a dilemma – but it’s a good problem to have.

“We’re at the point of our career where we are beginning to have problems with putting together a set list,” he says during a phone interview from Louisville, Ky. “But we should be thankful we have been able to be around this long.”

Sanders, who is the vocalist for rock band Mayday Parade, says with three full-length albums and two EPs, the band is in good shape when it comes to putting together those set lists. It is just kicking off its current co-headlining tour with We Are Kings.

Mayday Parade
With We the Kings, The Downtown Fiction, Anarbor
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16
WHERE: Sunshine Theater, 120 W. Central
HOW MUCH: $17 at or 886-1251

“Since we are headliners, we have a little more time to perform, so we can fit in a bunch more songs,” he says. “What we really have to focus on are the shows later this year, when we only play 30 minutes. Those will be tough to put together.”


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Mayday Parade formed in 2005 in Tallahassee, Fla., when two bands came together. The band’s current lineup consists of Sanders, Jeremy Lenzo, Alex Garcia, Brooks Betts and Jake Bundrick.

The band’s third full-length album, which is self titled, came out in October. Sanders says the band retreated to a beach house in Florida and just wrote the entire album at the house. Each member of the band had ideas that had amassed over the course of two years and brought them to the session.

“Some were mostly finished while others were skeletons of ideas,” he explains. “When we got into the writing sessions, the songs seemed to take form without much work from us.”

Sanders says on the band’s 2009 album, “Anywhere But Here,” it looked to collaborate with other writers, which was a successful endeavor. Despite having strong songs, he admits the system was a little flawed.

“We had really great songs, but we never performed them live,” he says. “So when we would get on stage, a lot of the songs didn’t translate as well to a live version. We were constantly tweaking the songs to get them right. We soon realized all of this prep work should have been done before we went out on tour.”

Sanders says that over the past six years, the band has grown more comfortable as musicians and writers.

“We always knew the direction in which we were going,” he says. “But we’ve honed in on the sound we want to have and are comfortable with it.”

Mayday Parade is a band that is constantly on tour, and Sanders says that’s why it has been successful. He admits it’s tough being away from home, but each member wants to be successful in music.

“We try not to have boring moments at all,” he says. “It’s very humbling to see that fans show up night after night to see us perform. A lot of fans look up to us as musicians and we love that. We make the time to stay after the shows and meet the fans because without them, we wouldn’t be able to make a living doing what we love.”