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:: Spotlight :: Interview with Hey Monday

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

American pop-rockers Hey Monday were recently in Australia supporting Fall Out Boy and All American Rejects on a national tour. Hey Monday‘s debut album 'Hold On Tight’ was released earlier this year, with a terrific first single ‘Homecoming’ grabbing much attention on Myspace and Youtube especially. The band's debut album is a joint venture between Columbia Records and Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz's Decaydance Records, and is a dream come true for the band who are barely out of high school. The band formed in West Palm Beach, Florida and is led by powerhouse vocalist Cassadee Pope. Hey Monday lace their infectious pop/rock with punchy guitars and slick studio production. I had a chat to Cassadee whilst they were in Australia.

Q. How has the Australian tour gone for you?

A. We’ve had an amazing tour of Australia – a real learning experience. We didn’t do much sightseeing but we will try and do more next time.

Q. When did the breakthrough come for the band?

A. Mike and I went to a music conference in Atlanta last September. Our A & R rep from Columbia Records liked our music and kept in contact. Pete Wentz heard our demo also. We started negotiations. Pete wanted to sign us but Columbia had already expressed an interest. Then Pete’s label Decaydance did a joint venture with Columbia to sign us.

Q. Has it met your expectations so far?

A. It’s pretty insane how things have developed – playing huge arenas. It still feels like a blur. Being out of the country at various times makes it unreal but it’s pretty amazing.

Q. Has there been a highlight from your touring experiences?

A. Japan was a culture shock – very different to what we’d ever experienced. It was the first time playing at arenas and with Pete’s band Fall Out Boy. We learned a lot about the Japanese way of life. Being in Australia has been a great experience as the weather is like Florida, and the people are really nice.

Q. Who writes the songs?

A. Mike and I write all the songs. Our single ‘Homecoming’ was co-written by the lead singer of The Academy Is, while Butch Walker co-wrote ‘High Let Me Now’.

Q. Where do you get your inspiration from?

A. I get my inspiration from life experiences. It’s easier for me to pour my heart out like that.

Q.There is good soft finish on the album…

A.We do a lot of acoustic shows for radio. We actually just finished an acoustic tour for Hot Topic – across the United States at various stores - for three weeks.

Q. Have any particular bands been of great influence?

A. Blink 182 has been the most influential for us. They got us interested in playing in a band ourselves. I also really like Michelle Branch. She’s a great inspiration in her singing and songwriting.

Q. The single ‘Homecoming’ has been a great crowd favourite already…Have any other songs stood out on the live scene?

A. ‘Homecoming’ gets a great crowd reaction. We’ve added ‘Should Have Tried Harder’ to our set list now, and I love playing it live. The verses are really punchy and people can hear what I’m saying, as everything virtually comes to a stop.

Q. Tell us about the impact of the Internet on Hey Monday's rise?

A. The Internet has been insane. I can’t imagine being in a band without Myspace or Pure Volume. It’s a great and easy way to get your name out there. A lot of bands make a good impression there, especially when on tour. It’s fun for the kids when we put on blogs. They can see us being us. We’ll be doing video blogs too.

Q. What's your fashion sense?

A. I tend to be girly when I’m off stage. On stage I usually wear t-shirts or tank tops with a vest over them. I really like that. It spices up the look from being too plain. I like flannel shirts as well as vests off stage, but I’m usually pretty casual – jeans and t-shirts.

Q. You have a huge tour this year - the “Believers Never Die” tour - with Fall Out Boy, Metro Station & Cobra Starship…

A. The second biggest tour we’ve done was the one in October/November with The Academy Is. We played big venues like the House of Blues. This one coming up, though, will be the biggest one ever. I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. What have you learned from the past twelve months?

A. I’ve learned about various countries. We’ve had lots of great touring tips from Pete Wentz. We’re still wide-eyes in many ways.

'Hold On Tight' album is out through Sony Music.


Upcoming tour dates

April 3-Phoenix, AZ@ Mesa
April 5- Las Vegas, NV@ Pearl
April 7-San Jose, CA @ SJSU Event Center
April 8-Sacramento, CA @ Memorial Auditorium
April 9- Portland, OR @ Expo Center
April 10- Seattle, WA @ Wamu
April 11- Vancouver @ Thunderbird
April 13- Salt Lake City, UT @ Salt Air
April 14- Denver, CO @ Fillmore
April 17- Dallas, TX @ Nokia- Metro Station not performing
April 18- Houston, TX @ Sam Houston- Metro Station not performing
April 19- New Orleans, LA @ Lakefront Arena
April 21- Miami, FL @ Mizner
April 22- Orlando, FL @ UCF Convocation-Metro Station not performing
April 23- Atlanta, GA @ Gwinnett
April 24- Charlotte, NC @ Bojangles- Metro Station not performing
April 25- D.C. @ Merriweather- Metro Station not performing
April 26- Troy, NY @ RPI
April 28- Boston, MA @ Tsongos Arena
April 29- Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun
May 1- Philadelphia, PA @ Pier
May 5- Toronto @ Ricoh
May 6- Montreal @ CEPSUM
May 8- Detroit, MI @ EM Convo
May 9- Chicago, IL @ Allstate
May 12- Cleveland, OH @ Time Warner
May 13- Columbus, OH @ Promowest
May 15- Indianapolis, IN @ The Lawn
May 16- Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
May 17- Minneapolis, MN @ Roy Wilkins