Mayday Parade’s Alex Garcia talks to MXDWN about their unique process of making records and his crazy days on the road making their fan’s dreams come alive during an interview at the Pomona Warped Tour.
Alex, you are playing the entire Warped Tour with Mayday Parade, correct?
Sounds exhausting. What do you do to keep busy?
On Warped Tour it’s pretty easy to keep busy. You are running around constantly. You have press, your set, signings, and bands to see.
Who are some of your favorite bands at Warped?
One of my all time favorites is Every Time I Die. They are always incredible to watch. I’ve been lucky enough to see them a couple of times on Warped Tour. Taking Back Sunday is another one of my favorites. The Used is incredible. We’re friends with Four Years Strong, Pierce The Veil, and all those guys.
Was there anyone you were surprised you liked?
A lot of the metal bands I caught in passing took me by surprise. I am lazy with new music, though. That’s my fault.
What new projects are you guys working on?
Right now we are closing down our current album cycle and at the infant stages of the next one. Everyone is writing on their own. There isn’t much collaboration going on yet, but that will come late winter or early 2013.
What do the infant stages entail?
Us individually writing melodies or chord structure. Rough ideas. From there it progresses into trying to demo something we, as a group, will go on to play and then writing a full on song.
Is that your usual natural progression?
Yeah. Although we had talked about it, it’s hard for us to get together and have someone play something and go, “Okay, that’s cool.” We need a skeleton of something to guide us. It’s best with vocal melodies. The vocals will really guide the song. You can come up with a nice chord progression or cool drum beat or whatever, but if the vocals aren’t there it’s a flawed song.
How many Warped Tours have you played?
This is our 3rd time headlining, our fourth time playing, and our 5th time if you include us selling CDs and shirts.
I’m not sure I’d call that playing.
Yeah, we just followed the tour and sold CDs.
You never hopped on stage and did an impromptu set?
Actually, we did Battle of the Bands in Jacksonville in 2006. That was probably the worst time of my entire life.
Oh, wow. Why is that?
It’s already taxing on you to sell CDs. Then you add pushing gear on stage and playing a 30 minute set, then loading it back and selling more CDs… it’s a bitch! That is a long day, although there are bands doing that here. When we’re just selling CDs that is easier since we have one goal.
What is the craziest thing that you guys have done at a show?
At one show in Dallas, Texas, there was a guy holding a sign that said, “Let me play guitar for Alex.” We were like… alright, let’s do it. It was completely unplanned. None of us had seen or spoken to the guy before, but it was one of those “fuck it” moments on stage. Unfortunately, and I don’t even know if the guy knows this, but it didn’t work out. It is by no means his fault. We play in a different tuning than you might be used to. We didn’t have any time to talk about this or go over this. Also, our other guitarist plays different parts. I don’t know what part the guy was planning on playing, but when the song started… it was bad. It was really, really bad. I got to the point where the guitar tech was like, “We’ve got to make a move.” So when the time was right we muted the guitar pack on stage and I played my guitar behind stage. I guess there is no harm, no foul. I don’t even think the guy knew what was up. He seemed to enjoy it anyway.
You made that man’s dreams come true.
Man, I hope so.
Could he even play guitar?
Seemed like it.
Anything else you want to tell your fans?
Thank you and we’ll see you on tour.