Interview: Cassadee Pope Before The Voice

As you might have heard, Cassadee Pope won season three of The Voice last night. While many people were introduced to her via the show, the lithe singer has actually been working in music for years now. In March 2010, I interviewed Pope–then the lead singer of pop-punk act Hey Monday, and a burgeoning star of the Warped Tour set–for Alternative Press. At the time, she was heading into the studio to record a full-length (which later became 2010’s Beneath It All EP). It’s interesting now to hear what she has to say. Read on:

“It’ll be interesting for kids to hear some of the things that are going to come out of my mouth,” says vocalist/songwriter Cassadee Pope about Hey Monday’s sophomore album, which is due in mid-June on Decaydance/Columbia. “It’s a brutally honest record.” The still-untitled release came together quickly, mainly because Pope was writing songs “nonstop” while on tour last year. She fleshed out her ideas with co-writing help from über-producers Sam & Dave (who produced 2008’s Hold On Tight), Butch Walker and Vertical Horizon singer Matt Scannell. “A lot of people are expecting us to go a little darker, a little more rock,” Pope says. “It’s the complete opposite. It still has that Hey Monday sound to it, pop-rock, but it’s a lot more raw this time, less polished. The songs have more dynamics – it’s not just go-go-go the whole time. It’s sounding like a ‘90s record, which I’m really excited about.” (Not just ‘90s rock, either: Pope says that “a super mid-tempo power-pop ballad” co-written with members of ‘80s band the Hooters “reminds me of the Titanic song, the Celine Dion song, but with a Hey Monday spin on it.”) Hey Monday’s constant touring (including a stint on the most recent AP Tour) has affected Pope’s mostly relationship-driven lyrics – but only to a point. “I’m not a different person by any means, but I do have a different outlook on life, a different outlook on humans in general,” she says. “I’ve definitely had a lot of different experiences with crushes and stuff like that. There’s been some positive outcomes — and some negative ones. Even if I wasn’t on tour, I’d go through stuff like that. It’s multiplied by a thousand because of the [touring] lifestyle.”
(This piece originally appeared in Alternative Press issue #263)

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