Derek Sanders, the frontman of beloved Tallahassee emo/alternative band, Mayday Parade, has announced the release of his first solo EP, My Rock and Roll Heart, out on Friday, February 14 via Rise Records. Comprised of five stripped-back covers of tracks from Jimmy Eat World, Something Corporate, Saves The Day, The Juliana Theory, and local Tallahassee band Goodbye Love, the acoustic EP acts as a snapshot of songs that inspired Sanders to become a musician. The first single, Sanders’ stunning version of Jimmy Eat World’s “A Praise Chorus,” debuted today and includes a guest feature from fellow Tallahassee native, Daniel Lancaster (Stages and Stereos). The official lyric video can be viewed HERE, and the link to stream the track and digitally pre-order the EP can be found here HERE.
“When I started getting into music, I got an acoustic guitar when I was ten years old. I spent all of my time with that guitar, just learning to play and writing my first songs. I’ve been in so many bands since then, and it’s cool to go back to playing acoustic and singing the way it all started,” Sanders says of the EP.
The track listing of My Rock and Roll Heart is all music that Sanders loved as a teenager, anchored by the “But Lauren” cover, which he gifted to his wife for Valentine’s Day in 2017. The song was originally recorded by Sanders’ favorite local band, Goodbye Love. The group was the brainchild of Mike Hanson, who had been in several Tallahassee bands throughout the years, and whose music served as a major source of inspiration to Sanders. For Sanders, the EP is not only a chance to cover a song by one of his heroes, but also to expose people to the track for the first time. “This was before the internet, and Mike never really broke out of Tallahassee,” he says. “It’s such a shame his music never had a chance to do more than it did, and it’s cool that people will be able to hear it through me.”
Considering that “But Lauren” was an impactful song for him in high school, Sanders looked for other songs from that time in his life to round out the record. “All of the songs on the EP are ones I was listening to at 15 or 16 years old,” he says. “I was like, ‘I gotta do a Saves The Day song, I have to do a Jimmy Eat World song.’ It was very nostalgic.”
Despite already having a successful career in the music industry, Sanders isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In support of My Rock and Roll Heart, he will play a limited run of headline shows in the U.S. next month in Orlando, Atlanta, and Nashville. A full list of dates is included below, and tickets go on sale today at 10am local time HERE.