Stemming from wanting to stick by “no rules”, Mayday Parade drummer Jake Bundrick has stepped out on his own, turning out a stunning debut EP, In Good We Trust, under the name Via Fiori.
Back in 2019, Mayday Parade’s own dazzling drummer Jake Bundrick decided to embark on a new journey, turning a craving to go-with-the-flow into a new project named Via Fiori.
What started as a simple name he picked up in California while at a friends wedding, turned into an incredible band with Bundrick at the helm of every angle. Now, one year on, the first EP has come to life, with In Good We Trust releasing only last week.
On the emergence of the solo project, Bundrick isn’t exactly sure when he decided to go about starting Via Fiori, but simply states that he just kept accumulating more and more music and I just wanted another place to do something fun,” rather than continue solely in Mayday Parade.
“A lot of the reason this project started was b/c I was producing my own demos for Mayday and I kept getting encouraged by my friends and family to try and produce my own music. I had the songs written, so why not try to produce it all myself?”
Check out Via Fiori’s ‘Call To Arms’:
For those Mayday Parade fans who have drifted from listening to the collective as a whole, and have become fans of frontman Derek Sander’s solo work, Via Fiori doesn’t stray too far off the beaten path, creating almost an extension of music that’s fresh while remaining familiar, and will completely draw you in.
While dipping into that classic Mayday Parade sound, while also embodying the classic sounds of Green Day, The Offspring, and Blink-182 – all bands that Bundrick remarks he “grew up on” – Via Fiori also takes inspiration from a few new artists like “Lauv, LANY, Jeremy Zucker, and Julia Michaels,” which Bundrick hopes to “continue to pull inspiration from.”
Striving to hold this project to be limitless, and without boundaries, Bundrick comments that he doesn’t “want there to be rules in this,” stating that he “watched Panic At The Disco’s style tastefully change while keeping some of the musical structure,” and he hopes to “achieve that tastefully” with Via Fiori.
“Honestly, I just try and have fun writing whatever comes out. No rules. I do tend to write a lot of things that have a Mayday vibe but I also wanted to experiment with some new sounds and production styles that I’ve never had the chance to use with Mayday,” he continues.
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“I’m a big fan of soft pop music like Lauv and LANY and I just love all the pop elements they use in their music. So I wanted to try and incorporate some of those production styles into Via. I recorded the all the songs at different times so as I learned more production tricks, I slowly introduce them into some of the later tracks on the EP.”
Check out ‘May I Have This Dance‘ by Via Fiori:
One big difference for Bundrick being in Via Fiori versus Mayday Parade is the fact that it’s only him at the helm for every single instrument, as well as vocals, although he admits that at some point he’d “love to assemble a band.”
Keeping his focus on the recently released EP, Bundrick notes that he’s been “lucky enough to be in a lot of writing sessions and work with a bunch of A list music producers,” which helped him to “learn and absorb” a lot of the knowledge he used while producing this EP himself.
“As for the magic [laughs], I guess that’s all done in my head. I’ve replayed these ideas that eventually turn into full songs over and over and over until I get them in a spot where I can start tracking them at home.”
Although he’s known for his drumming skills, Bundrick actually played guitar years prior to learning how to drum, meaning he was able to track all the instrumentation himself – he did reveal, however, that Mayday Parade’s own guitarist Alex Garcia took control of the riveting guitar solo in ‘It’s So Hard To Let Go (I Miss You)’.
“He’s unreal and I was so stoked to have him on the track,” Bundrick remarked. “Writing this way is a little tougher in some ways and easier in some ways. The hardest part was not having the other guys to feed off of.
“So if I came up with an idea, I was the sole decider if it sounded good or not. That can be tough on anyone. Sometimes I would just have to stop for the day and take some time to figure out if it was the right move or not.”
Noting that in Mayday Parade, all the band members typically contribute to the songs, the process can sometimes be “really stressful” and that it takes “time and patience” to make the end result “rewarding.”
Check out Via Fiori’s ‘It’s So Hard To Let Go (I Miss You)’:
As many Mayday Parade fans will attest to, the majority of the pop-punk collectives tunes seem to follow the same theme – focusing on a relationship that didn’t work, leaving the subject hopeless, angry, and just sad.
However, for Via Fiori, this theme doesn’t remain. Rather, Bundrick’s works seem to resonate with those of us who grew up listening to Mayday Parade, and can no longer relate to those lyrics of lost love. Additionally, it finally gives us a bit more of a “grown up” sense of Mayday Parade.
“I’m happily married with the cutest little pup so I don’t have many relationship issues currently. So I started to write about others things in my life that I struggle with…life things. Moving, health, distance,” Bundrick details.
“I wasn’t necessarily trying to [create a more mature Mayday Parade] when writing the songs for Via but I guess I was just writing from the heart. It’s more of where I’m at currently.”
Check out ‘Rain In L.A.’ by Via Fiori:
One song that fully embraces the story line of In Good We Trust is ‘Rain In L.A.’ which Bundrick wrote after struggling to cope with change while moving out to Los Angeles after “living on the East coast” for most of his life.
“I didn’t have any friends at the time and except my girlfriend and I struggled with it quite a bit mentally. That was a tough thing for me but I’m MUCHHHH happier now,” he expresses.
“Honestly, I just wrote the music for myself. I like to think of it as my diary. My therapy in a way,” he divulges, before noting that the current global pandemic has also inspired him to release this music so that others can be helped as people need music “more than ever” right now.
As Bundrick notes that Via Fiori is akin to a diary, he admits that one of the hardest lyrics to get through comes from ‘Don’t Bother’, which he speaks of his dog, Poe.
“I really love the lines ‘And I won’t forget specifically how we sat for hours there patiently, we held you close and watched you grow and you helped us repair this love.’ That whole section is about my dog Poe. Probably the hardest lyrics I had to write on the EP. Definitely cried a lot. That song’s basically about moving from one house to another. It was the only house she knew of and there were a lot of memories there.”
Check out Via Fiori’s ‘Don’t Bother’:
Even though touring is off of the cards right now, there’s hope yet for us to catch a glimpse of Via Fiori in the future, as Bundrick hopes that things will return back to normal eventually.
“I’m sure all musicians are hoping the music industry will come back to life sooner than later,” he states, before pondering how he’d go about his one-man show.
In response to the query of if he’d trial playing as Via Fiori opening for a Mayday Parade show (every fan’s dream!), he notes that he’d be down for it: “I’d be keen on doing some Via shows with Mayday. That would be crazy for me. Definitely tough on my voice and body but maybe. I’m definitely open to the idea.”
For the time being, however, in a world where coronavirus still takes charge, us fans will just have to wait in anticipation, and enjoy the beautiful tunes that Bundrick has gifted us through Via Fiori.