Mayday Parade and Jeremy Lenzo photos by Tom
By Blake Garris
Prior to the release of their self-titled third full length on Warner Music Group and a fall headlining tour sponsored by Journey’s, we got the opportunity to speak with bass player Jeremy Lenzo of the band Mayday Parade. He talks about all this, the band’s new comic-inspired video currently being played all over MTV2, and most importantly his love for Deadpool and video games.
Marvel.com: You have a new record out. Can you tell me how it's different than your previous stuff?
Jeremy Lenzo: With the last record, it had a lot of label influence, which we weren't quite happy about. And so that kind of pushed us into a particular direction—not that we weren't going in that direction already, but they forced us to do a lot of things that we really didn't want to. So with this album, we had the freedom to do what we wanted and had the time to do what we wanted. So it came out a lot smoother and you can really hear our personality in the music and it doesn't just sound like the generic stuff that major labels normally put out.
But I think it's different in the ways that it's a lot more guitar riffs in it as far as lead guitar, some blues inspired stuff. We also kind of went outside the box as far as structure of the songs. We didn't want to stick to the same verse, three chord chorus, verse, three chord chorus. So we just did whatever we felt like, so if the bridge needed to be three minutes long, we made the bridge three minutes long.
Marvel.com: I heard about a comic inspired video, and also your cover art is comic art as well. Can you talk a little bit about that?
|Mayday Parade album art|
Jeremy Lenzo: We have sort of this mascot for the band and he's a faceless guy with an umbrella and wears a suit and you never see his face and you don't know who he is. We've had that for about the past five years and he's been on the past two album covers as well, just different versions of him. The animated video that we're doing is sort of a storyline based around these faceless people so the Umbrella Man and his faceless army are in the videos. And for some reason they're after [lead singer] Derek [Sanders]; Derek fakes his death trying to elude these faceless people. And then we dig him back up; they happen to find us so we're running from them, smashing them with baseball bats, Molotov cocktails, the whole bit. There's really no prelude to the story; you don't really know exactly how everything came to be. You're kind of thrown into the middle of it. But it's got a cool story, it's got a cool ending which I'll leave for a surprise if people haven't seen it. There maybe will be a follow-up video to this. We're hoping we can do a little trilogy with these videos. I think it would be cool to have a sequel to this video so you see more where this story is going.
Marvel.com: What made you initially want to go the route of having an animated mascot?
Jeremy Lenzo: We just thought it was sort of different. You know, everybody has the girl on the cover or the band on the cover and we just wanted to do something different with something unique and based outside of the music scene. And we came up with [Umbrella Man] and that’s who we've been using ever since.
Marvel.com: I found out in my research that you're a fan of Deadpool. Why do you like Deadpool so much?
Jeremy Lenzo: I am a fan of Deadpool. I mean, he's not really a super hero. He's a super hero but he's sort of [not] super. He tells a lot of funny jokes. He's really corny, tells horrible jokes and he goes around and fights crime. And he's sort of the anti-hero at the same time. But he's just different and that's why I connect with him.
Marvel.com: Do you have any other favorite characters?
Jeremy Lenzo: I got into Thor by my uncle. My uncle gave me some comics when I was in middle school, gave me a whole box of comics. And his favorite comic was Thor so there [are] tons of Thor comics I read through. I haven't watched the movie yet but I really want to. And Captain America I think is awesome as well.
Marvel.com: Do you have any particular storylines you like from that era?
Jeremy Lenzo: I remember one of the first comics I ever got was an X-Men comic and it was introducing the character of Jubilee and it was her first appearance in the comic and that was one of the first comics I ever got. They were at the mall and she shot stuff out of her hands and wasn't sure what was going on. So that's my first memory of comics I have.
Marvel.com: Speaking of Jubilee, did you watch the X-Men animated series on the 90's?
|ULTIMATE IRON MAN|
Jeremy Lenzo: Yeah, I watched that. When I was getting ready for school in the morning they would always play these cartoons before they started the news and stuff and surprisingly X-Men was one of them. So that was sort of my morning wake up routine back when I was in middle school.
Marvel.com: So do you have any favorite writers or illustrators?
Jeremy Lenzo: Orson Scott Card, he's my favorite writer as far as books. I know he did a little bit with [Ultimate
Marvel.com: Going back to Marvel films for a second, are there any other movies or video games or anything that you like?
Jeremy Lenzo: Yeah, I love all the Marvel films. All the X-Men films are pretty great. Spider-Man is great. I loved the Iron Man movies; that was awesome. I haven't watched the Captain America one and I haven't watched the Thor one, but I'm interested to see what happens in those movies.
As far as action figures, I had a bunch of Gambit action figures. I really liked Gambit a lot. And I have a couple Iron Man action figures as well that I used to play with a ton when I was a child. So Gambit was always my favorite X-Men character.
Marvel.com: What other stuff are you into?
Jeremy Lenzo: Well I really wanted to go to [San Diego Comic-Con] for a long time. But being in the band and always on tour when that's happening, it's never a possibility. But I think being there would be awesome cause it's not just comic related anymore. It's like a whole entertainment thing in itself and I think it’d be awesome to go there and see all that.
But I also love video games. I have a problem where I pick up a video game and I'll play it for a week and then just lose interest in that game completely and go and get something else. So I'm never satisfied long enough to continue playing it to the end. I don't think I've ever beat a video game in my life.
Marvel.com: Have you played any Marvel games?
Jeremy Lenzo: I played the old arcade [games], X-Men and Captain America. I used to love [those games]. And I played Marvel Vs. Capcom for a little bit; I was into that. You know, just take a character and fight another character game. But I haven't really picked up too many other comic book related games.
Marvel.com: Anything else you'd like to talk about?
Jeremy Lenzo: Can I talk about how much I love Marvel?
Marvel.com: Yeah, please.
Jeremy Lenzo: I love Marvel because they have been an influential comic distribution company for as long as I can remember that's been putting out amazing comics, always stepping up their game and releasing new and original material every time something comes out. And it's great because I can talk to my uncle about Thor from when he was a child and that comic [still exists]; it's still putting out new comics today. So it's great seeing the evolution and how things come back around. That's why I love Marvel.
For more information on Mayday Parade, their tour schedule, and how to pick up their new self-titled record visit www.maydayparade.com. You can also follow Jeremy on Twitter @jeremylenzo and the band @Mayday_Parade.