Over the coming days and weeks, Already Heard will be previewing this years Slam Dunk Festival in detail through a range of interviews and features.
With their latest album, ‘Black Lines,’ Florida’s Mayday Parade showed a thicker skin as they embraced an anthemic alternative rock approach. For a band whose evolution, at times, has been frustrating to watch, their fifth album brought about a welcomed sense of growth with promising results.
Having toured the UK this past January, the five-piece will be returning to the UK once again this weekend for the Slam Dunk Festival. This will be their second time and having last appeared five years ago, they’re set to make the jump to the main stage.
Guitarist Alex Garcia spoke to Already Heard about their Slam Dunk return, his expectations and Vans Warped Tour advice.
AH: Although you were only hear in Janaury, you’re coming back for the Slam Dunk Festival later this month. Are you looking forward to returning to the UK?
Alex: I am! I really love visiting the UK, especially in the spring. I also love playing Slam Dunk, it’s such a fun festival.
AH: This is going to be your second time at Slam Dunk. What are your memories of the last time you played in 2011?
Alex: I think it’s our third time playing actually (Ed: Nope definitely second, we checked) which is crazy because it feels like we’ve played it so many more times. I just remember the shows being really great. The vibe there is really fun. I remember the after parties being a lot of fun too! So many great people.
AH: You’re going to be on the main stage. Does that add any pressure on you or is it something you thrive off?
Alex: I think it’s something that we will all thrive off of. It’s a step up from playing a side stage so I think everyone in the band will try and bring their A game.
In terms of setlist, what will be your approach?
Alex: I’m not too sure yet. We just released our 5th album so I’m sure there will be a lot of jams coming off of that, but we will probably play a lot of the classics too. Our drummer Jake will unfortunately not be there with us also. He just had hip surgery and is recovering. Our drum tech Dylan will be filling in and he’s amazing!
AH: The line-up is stacked with impressive names. Who will you be watching over the weekend?
Alex: Every Time I Die, Panic, The Story So Far, Real Friends, Four Year Strong. So many great bands!
AH: You’re one of several bands who are set to play Warped Tour shortly after Slam Dunk. Having played Warped several times, what advice would you give to new bands on the tour?
Alex: Stay hydrated and be sure to find time to rest. It can be an exhausting tour for sure. Try not to step on peoples toes, be respectful and open to learning and have fun!
AH: Lastly what festival survival tips would you give to our readers?
Alex: Stay hydrated and make a plan. It’s hard to see all the bands you want to see so you really need to have a plan.
‘Black Lines’ by Mayday Parade is out now Fearless Records.
The Word Alive will be playing on the main stage:
Slam Dunk North (Leeds) – 3:40 – 4:30pm
Slam Dunk Midlands (Birmingham) – 3:40 – 4:30pm
Slam Dunk South (Hertfordshire) – 3:40 – 4:30pm
View more of Already Heard’s coverage from Slam Dunk Festival 2016 here.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)