TEN YEARS ON: Mayday Parade – A Lesson In Romantics

Floridian pop-punks Mayday Parade emerged back in 2005 with their debut EP, ‘Tales Told By Dead Friends’, which captured the hearts of Fearless Records who picked them up for their debut fell-length, ‘A Lesson In Romantics’. The band have continued to grow in popularity and followed it up with four records through the label, but have always nodded back to their seminal album that created excitement and love for Mayday Parade worldwide.

‘A Lesson In Romantics’ had the charm, relatability, and ridiculously brilliant and layered choruses to lead the way in the late noughties, and, despite the departure of dual lead vocalist Jason Lancaster almost immediately after the record had been finished, the likes of ‘Jamie All Over’ and ‘When I Get Home, You’re So Dead’ still became essential listening for the pop-punk world.

The record turns ten years old in 2017, and the emo-pop rockers have put out an anniversary edition of the album with six demo tracks included, and have made it available on vinyl to celebrate the milestone.

So, we spoke to guitarist Alex Garcia to get the lowdown on how the record has stood the test of time, what are his favourite parts, how the celebrations have been going on in the USA, and the upcoming September tour on our turf in the UK.

DP!: So ‘A Lesson In Romantics’ is 10 years old! How does it feel to hit this massive milestone?
Alex: It’s a little surreal!. I definitely couldn’t have imagined what it was going to be like having an album turn 10 like this.

DP!: Would you consider it to be your seminal/most popular album?
Alex: Definitely our most popular. But also by this point I think our self-titled helped keep our career going as well.

DP!: What has surprised you most about the record in the last decade? Perhaps certain album tracks became more popular than the singles?
Alex: I guess it surprises me when younger kids are big fans of the album. I always wonder what it was like for them to get into an album that they weren’t around for. I think that it’s super flattering because that means the album has some sort of staying power.

DP!: You put out two videos/singles from the release, ‘When I Get Home, You’re So Dead’ and ‘Jamie All Over’. Did you feel back then, and even now that they accurately represented the record?
Alex: Back then yes, I’m not sure about now. I’d say ‘Jamie All Over’ and ‘Miserable At Best’ kind of sum up the album in my mind.

DP!: What made you decide to release a video for ‘Black Cat’ this year?
Alex: It’s a very popular song of ours that never had a real music video so we thought it’d be special to do that for the 10 year anniversary.

DP!: Obviously, you must have a lot of pride and devotion for the record to celebrate it as you are ten years later. But, listening back, do you feel that any part of the release is at all dated or that you’re not overly fond of?
Alex: In ‘When I get Home…’ there’s like a breakdown and I think that is a little indicative of the time that it was released if not the specific scene.

DP!: If you could make any changes to the album now, what would you do?
Alex: I really wouldn’t change anything. Not that I think it’s perfect but I think that albums should remain static and not changing.

DP!: Do you feel that the title ‘A Lesson In Romantics’ accurately portrays the mood, message, and intent of the record? Were there many other titles floating around for the release?
Alex: Yeah, I really do. I honestly can’t remember other titles that were floating around. I think while we were recording it Jason actually wanted to name it ‘Go Radio’ which is what he named the band he was in after he left Mayday.

DP!: Would you say that the cover art also manages to do the same for the record?
Alex: I’m not sure about that. I think so. If anything it has become a symbol that the band has been able to use which is just as important if not more so.

DP!: The anniversary artwork has a greater focus on the figure and the umbrella on the artwork, what’s the reasoning behind this?
Alex: I think we just wanted to do something a little different to make it special.

DP!: How do you feel when ‘A Lesson In Romantics’ appears in ‘Best Ever Pop-Punk Records’ lists?
Alex: I love it! It’s incredibly flattering.

DP!: How do you think it would have been received if it was released in 2017 for the first time?
Alex: I’m not too sure really. I think timing and context are as important if not more so than the music to some extent.

DP!: What does ‘A Lesson In Romantics’ mean to you?
Alex: It helped give me and my best friends a career.

DP!: How did Jason’s departure after the record affect the direction you took as a band?
Alex: I think it disrupted our writing and, to some extent, our identity, but I think we were able to pull together during our self-titled and refine who we are.

DP!: You’ve been touring the record in the States – what’s the reaction been like?
Alex: Great! Fans young and old have been coming out and supporting our first album.

DP!: Do you think you might want to do something similar for the tenth anniversary of ‘Anywhere But Here’ come 2019?
Alex: I’m not too sure. We’ve floated the idea a little. Maybe include a couple more songs from that record in a set of ours but I’m not sure.

DP!: The UK leg kicks off this September – Which songs from the record are you most looking forward to playing?
Alex: I love playing some of the lesser known songs because it’s always great to play songs we don’t normally play.

DP!: What memories do you have from the first time you played over here at Give It A Name Festival in 2008?
Alex: I just remember loving Four Year Strong, Meg and Dia and The Color Fred. It was an honour meeting and hanging out with Fred because I grew up as a huge Taking Back Sunday fan. I also remember watching Paramore and being blown away.

The band’s tenth anniversary edition of ‘A Lesson In Romantics’, is out now through Fearless Records.

You can order it online now in CD and vinyl form via Fearless Records‘ webstore (here).

The band are on the road in the UK at the following dates, with support from With Confidence and All Get Out:

SEPTEMBER 18 – NOTTINGHAM, Rock City
SEPTEMBER 19 – LEEDS, Stylus
SEPTEMBER 20 – NEWCASTLE, O2 Academy
SEPTEMBER 21 – GLASGOW, O2 ABC
SEPTEMBER 22 – MANCHESTER, Academy
SEPTEMBER 23 – BIRMINGHAM, O2 Institute
SEPTEMBER 25 – OXFORD, O2 Academy
SEPTEMBER 26 – CAMBRIDGE, Junction
SEPTEMBER 27 – BRIGHTON, Concorde 2
SEPTEMBER 28 – SOUTHAMPTON, Engine Rooms
SEPTEMBER 29 – BRISTOL, O2 Academy
SEPTEMBER 30 – LONDON, O2 Forum

You can keep up-to-date with the band online by following them on Facebook (here), Twitter (here), and Instagram (here).

Interview by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)

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