The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
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Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

South By So What?! rocks on with The Maine and Mayday Parade

Three stages. 120 bands. One awesome weekend. Despite the unrelenting rain, the 6th Annual South By So What?! Music Festival brought their game this year.

Spanning this past Friday through Sunday, the festival featured around 40 bands each day on 3 different stages. From screamo bands to acoustics, the Quiktrip Park pit was packed with all sorts of characters.

Photo credit: Annalee Walton

With the best set of the weekend, Friday featured Mayday Parade, Cartel, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and The Maine. It was no coincidence that these bands were scheduled on the same day. Mayday Parade, Cartel, and The Maine have been traveling and touring along the same roads together since 2007.

Lead singer of Mayday Parade, Derek Sanders, has nothing but kind words to say about The Maine. “They’re some of my favorite people on this planet. This is one of the coolest things about this [festival], is that there’s people you know you’re going to see that you’re excited to see, and when there’s dozens of people here, you’re like ‘Oh s***! You guys are here too?!’ and you get to catch up and what not,” said Sanders.

Lead singer of The Maine, John O’Callaghan echoes Derek in a separate interview. “It’s always good to see familiar faces, especially in a setting like this where there’s so many bands, at least to have a rapport with some,” said O’Callaghan.

John O'Callaghan from The Maine Photo credit: Annalee Walton

Although they have yet to collaborate on a cover song or EP together, these bands have been with each other every step of the way since the beginning and will be continuing their tour together on March 22 at the House of Blues in Houston.

SMU’s Daily Campus got an exclusive interview with both Mayday Parade and The Maine before their sets on Friday. Coming straight off the bus from Austin’s South By Southwest and the set of Fox News, The Maine lightened the weather and the press room with their refreshing personalities and playful banter.

“Is this going to be an audio interview? Ok sarcasmwe are really cool–end sarcasm,” joked lead singer John O’Callaghan. He then went on to talk about the band’s new album: “It’s really good–end sarcasm.”

Their album American Candy is set to come out on March 31, and it features a new style the guys say is “a bit more optimistic than the last one. Upbeat. And just as loud.” Guitarist Jared Monaco quickly chimed in with a smile, “It might be louder.” Ready to support it on the road, The Maine is headed for their next tour starting April 3 and running through May 16.

Ironically, Mayday Parade’s Derek Sanders had a mirrored response in terms of their band’s next steps and new albums. Sporting a sick beard and a full head of hair, Derek Sanders represents the face of Mayday Parade.

Derek Sanders from Mayday Parade Photo credit: Annalee Walton

He says their style has “morphed and changed throughout the years. But I think it’s funny that the overall mindset has gone back to what it was in the beginning. In the beginning it was we love music and writing music so let’s just do it…We don’t mess with jumping through the [label’s] hoops and doing cowrites and radio stuff. We just want to do what we want to do instead of forcing what’s hot.”

Like The Maine, he says Mayday is always changing and growing in terms of style and always pushing themselves to create something fresh. After SxSW?! Mayday Parade will head to Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii to promote their new album in October, and hopefully will play at the Vans Warped Tour in 2016.

These bands brought the stadium down not only with their killer music, but also with their rocking personalities. South By So What?! is still fairly new to the festival scene, but with bands like these it is making a name for itself as a rock of the ages show.

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