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Mayday Parade at The Van Buren with Guests

October 11, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 11:30 pm

The sixth studio album from Tallahassee-based rock band Mayday Parade, Sunnyland gets its title from an abandoned hospital where the band members used to sneak in to explore as teenagers. “The hospital shut down sometime in the mid-’80s but then it just stayed there for decades,” says lead vocalist Derek Sanders. “It was a super-creepy place—it was overgrown with vines, and still had some of the hospital beds and IV stands—but we have all these good memories of hanging out there when we were younger.”

The follow-up to their acclaimed 2015 album Black LinesSunnyland finds Mayday Parade both reflecting on the past and pushing toward the future. The band recorded the album with  longtime producers Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount, and also teamed up with Grammy nominated producer John Feldmann (blink-182, Panic! At the Disco) and Howard Benson (Of Mice & Men, My Chemical Romance) for the very first time. The result is an album built on impassioned vocals, sing-along choruses, and deeply heartfelt lyrics.

From the album-opening “Never Sure”—a tortured love song driven by blistering riffs and pummeling drumbeats—Mayday Parade instill all of Sunnyland with unbridled energy. Whether they’re taking on a folk-infused ballad like “Always Leaving” or channeling brutal punk fury into tracks like “If I Were You,” the band sustains an undeniable intensity. While much of the album explores personal matters like loss and love (as on the stirringly romantic, piano-laced “Piece Of Your Heart”), songs such as “It’s Hard to Be Religious When Certain People Are Never Incinerated By Bolts Of Lightning” emerge as an outward-looking burst of anger. “That song was written within months of Donald Trump being elected and came from feeling upset that something as horrible as that could happen,” says Sanders. “But even though there’s a lot of negativity on the song, there’s still a hopeful chorus, because I think we need to try to stay hopeful.” And to close out Sunnyland, Mayday Parade deliver the album’s stripped-back title track, a melancholy midtempo number that unfolds with graceful acoustic guitar work, delicate harmonies, and subtly detailed storytelling.

Since making their debut with 2007’s A Lesson in Romantics, the band has sold over 1.1 million albums, steadily amassing a worldwide following. Through the years, their chemistry has only gotten more potent, with all five members now contributing to the songwriting process (and coming up with upwards of 80 songs in the writing sessions for Sunnyland). “When we started this band most of us were still teenagers,” notes Sanders. “We’ve obviously grown up and changed a whole lot since then, but through all that we’ve grown closer as friends and tighter as musicians. It’s amazing and incredible that we’re able to still do this, and we all definitely realize how lucky we are.”

Having gotten their start selling their CDs in the parking lot of Vans Warped Tour, Mayday Parade have now headlined the tour five times, and will play the main stage again this summer for the tour’s final run. For the band, each live show offers the chance to personally connect with the dedicated following they consider more like a family than a fanbase. And with the release of Sunnyland, Mayday Parade’s mission is to continue strengthening that connection through their uncompromising honesty and boundless emotion. “There’s a lot of sadness in these songs, but it’s always a good thing to get those feelings out,” says Sanders of Sunnyland. “So if there are people out there dealing with hard times, we hope our music can help them work through that, and come away feeling a little better about everything.”

Hi, this is Kevin from This Wild Life and I’m going to hack out our own bio.

This Wild Life is a two piece acoustic band comprised of two drummers, what the hell right? We met in our early 20’s and realized that although we were raised on opposite ends of the country, our musical journeys were strikingly similar. Older brother played the drums, so we followed suit. Acoustic guitar showed up at the house, we fucked around with it. Like many teenagers, we listened to a wide variety of music ranging from Blink 182 and Dashboard Confessional, to Earth Wind & Fire, and Snoop Dogg. Some of those influenced us more than others, but Mom ruled the stereo while cleaning up the house Sunday mornings.

Fast forward about a decade and I met Anthony working at a Guitar Store. He was my manager and I had already been fired from the place once, but I’m relentless. We started a band together, and at first it was loud with drums and electric guitars. For about six months we tried out singers to no avail until one day Anthony told me to suck it up and just sing for the damn band already. From the shower to the stage, I started singing in front of more people than I should’ve been for someone with so little experience, not to mention confidence.

We grinded as a local band for years and although we managed to pack out our local venue, the music industry never caught onto us. After our last show, Anthony sold his drum set and told me he wanted to just play acoustic stuff from now on. So we charged our credit cards and flew across the country to make a full length acoustic record with my musical hero Aaron Marsh. While making it we got a Facebook Message from the owner of Epitaph Records saying he loved our band. I told Aaron and Anth I felt like crying. Aaron said “You’ve worked hard for this, do it man!” and I did.

That record was called Clouded and it changed our lives. We spent the following two years in the van traveling the world. The scene we loved that always seemed so far was somehow where we existed now. Back to back Warped Tours, opening for giants like Pierce the Veil, and heroes like Dashboard Confessional and New Found Glory. What a fuckin whirl.

2016 comes around and we’ve lived a whole lot of life and listened to a whole lot of music since our 2014 debut. We get back into the studio with a batch of songs totally unlike our first record. We explored brooding tempos, electric guitar effects, and some ambitious full band tracks. Lyrically the record was self reflective and self deprecating. It reached to the darkest corners of my mind and just fucking stayed there. It was exhausting. Creative departures can be that way, and I’m glad that we explored our sound to find what we truly love about creating music. That record was called Low Tides.

And so here we are today. We lived in our records for the last four years and decided what we love and what we don’t about them. Early on in the writing process we made a mutual decision to make a record that felt brighter, more uptempo, and something we’d personally want to listen to every single damn day. We limited the arrangements to only instruments that can physically be played (Synths are cool, but Twenty One Pilots we are not). You would think these limits in place would’ve confined us, but the opposite occurred. It opened the door to some of our most honest and explorative songwriting to date.

While sonically these songs have a sunny continuity to them, the lyrical content between songs is some of our most diverse. This was clear while writing our quirky ukulele laden love song “Catie Rae” during the same span that our song “Westside” was written about a loved one being sexually abused. Along with the lyrical diversity, our producer Ryan Hadlock (Lumineers, Vance Joy) helped us explore unique instrumentation. Although a couple city kids have no business playing folk music, we incorporated sounds of mandolins into the backing of our pounding sing along track “Headfirst” and beautiful string arrangements supporting our fingerpicking ballad “Hold You Here”. Weaving these instruments in and out of our acoustic arrangements allowed a breath of fresh air and an individual voice to each track while maintaining the organic sound we were chasing. Hell yeah.

I hate it when bands tell you their new record is their “best shit yet” or “more mature”. That’s not for them to decide, it’s for the listener. And so I leave you with our new record Petaluma. These songs are yours as much as they are ours. Listen to it loud with the windows down, on Sunday mornings when you’re cleaning up around the apartment, or throw on some headphones and find some comfort in it’s escape.

It’s our best shit yet.

Best, Kevin (Approved by Anthony)

Sometimes a step sideways is the best progression forward. After the breakup of Yellowcard in Spring 2017, vocalist/guitarist William Ryan Key did just that with his solo debut EP, THIRTEEN which will be released on May 25, 2018 via The Lone Tree Recordings.

Both a sonic redirection and a rediscovering of his muse, THIRTEEN finds Ryan in a brand new headspace with a sound that moves away from the pop punk genre that Yellowcard helped create and into new uncharted territory that’s equally introspective but not as anchored in convention.

“It took a long time to find my own focus and direction after 17 years in a band,” Ryan explains. “However, once I found it, the music felt like coming home. There was new freedom and creativity that I channeled into each of the songs.”

Acoustic and emotionally raw with a spacious and pristine hi-fi sound, Thirteen kicks off with the haunting “Old Friends”, with its un-nostalgic look at past mistakes (“I’m sitting on a mountain of guilt that I finally started chipping away”) and realizing that he’s ready to move forward.  The epic soar of “Form and Figure” combines the tender introspection of Elliott Smith with the atmospherics of Hammock as filtered through the knowing eyes of Ryan Key.  The first single “Vultures” retains a hint of his past sound in Yellowcard but decidedly switches up the chorus in a way that he could never accomplished in the  pop punk paradigm.  “‘Vultures’ was the first song written and recorded for ‘Thirteen’,” he explains. “I feel like it is the right song to help fans across the bridge from old to new, as well as introduce people who are new to my music to the sound.”

Coproduced with Arun Bali of Saves the Day (who also mixed the EP) at his own studio TheLone Tree RecordingsTHIRTEEN is a pivotal mark in Ryan’s life. “2013 was a really difficult year for both me and the people I love,” he says. “When writing, I was looking back on the journey from then until now.”  Another noticeable change was re-adding “William” back into his full name. Followers on Twitter are already accustomed to it (his handle is @williamryankey), but for many who know him simply as “Ryan Key,” an additional two syllables will need to be added when referring to him and his solo career. “William is my first name that I carry from my maternal grandfather,” he explains fondly. “He was always a huge inspiration to me so it’s an honor to use his name.”

With a new direction in life and a whole new sort of independence as a solo artist, Ryan is feeling the freedom of expanding his personal songbook. Still appreciative of his fans now as he was with Yellowcard, Ryan is always thankful to his fans who have supported him through his musical journey.  As much as this EP is a new beginning for him, he sees it also as the beginning of a new relationship with his fans.  He concludes, “I can only hope that this release is the beginning of a new chapter both for myself, and for the fans that have supported me for so very long.”

Oh, Weatherly is an Alternative/Rock band from Dallas, Texas. The band began in February, 2015 when Vocalist Blake Roses decided to pursue music at all costs. Blake and two former members recorded their first EP Long Nights and Heavy Hearts in July, 2015 with multi-platinum producers Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount. After returning home, the band welcomed members, Beau Harris (bass) and Angel Bedoy (guitar). Their debut EP Long Nights and Heavy Hearts was released in December, 2015. The EP was later rereleased in July, 2016 after signing with We Are Triumphant. Following the rerelease, they went on to play So What?! Music Festival in October, 2016 and March, 2017.
Oh, Weatherly released their Sophomore EP Make You Bright in October, 2017 with Hopeless Records. The band’s new EP was featured on many news outlets in the US and UK including Rock Sound, Alternative Press, and Sound Fiction.


The Van Buren
401 W. Van Buren St
Phoenix, 85003 United States
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(480) 659-1641