Cassadee Pope will be releasing her debut solo EP tomorrow, but PropertyOfZack had a chance to catch up with her while she was in the middle of the recording process. In the interview, Cassadee and I discussed her first touring experience as a solo artist, the transition into relying on herself instead of bandmates, the material for her solo EP, the recording process, the future, and much more. Check it all out below!
So you’re in the studio now. Before this you did your first solo tour to kick off your career. How was the experience as a whole?
It was amazing. Definitely some that were better than the others. But the really good ones were… It’s one of those things where I always had a really great connection with the fans. It’s always been a different kind of connection. Especially right now because I kind of wasn’t expecting a lot of support in my decision with going solo. There’s a lot of support out there. I wasn’t expecting some of the shows to do as well as they did. So it was just a whole different level and I got to, since they were smaller shows, pretty much meat every single person that came out. It was really fun. Even the ones that didn’t do so well, like San Diego and Arizona, the kids that came out were diehard fans and that was still fun. So the overall experience was amazing. I had a lot of fun.
Was it nice to connect with fans on a level that you haven’t been able to do with Hey Monday in a while? As you guys got pretty big?
Yeah. We never really did a super small tour where we had to pay our dues as a band. We kind of just got stuck on these amazing tours. We were always the opener and we got to gain all these fans from these huge tours. It was really my first time doing a smaller tour like that and it was great. I would do it again in a heartbeat, for sure. And the other bands were really cool as well. Darling Parade, Stephen Jerzak and Justin Young were all awesome to tour with too.
You played a bunch of new songs on that tour that I assume you are recording. Were fans pretty open to the new stuff as well as the Hey Monday Stuff?
Yeah they were. Sometimes at the beginning, before I’d play, I’d do a meet and greet. Sometimes kids were like, “Oh we’re really bummed out about Hey Monday. Are you guys going to do anything any time soon?” I’d be honest and have to say “Probably not. I just went solo so don’t expect anything any time soon.” Then I would play. After the set I would see the same people and they’d say, “You know what? This is exactly what you should be doing. This is great, we love it. We love the new songs.” That was another thing that I gained from that tour. I felt like I got everyone’s approval for my decision. The people that heard the new songs loved them. Two of the songs that I played on the tour, I’m putting on the EP. Then there’s two other ones… Actually, I did play three of them but one of them I only played in New York. So not a lot of people got to hear it. But there’s one that no one has heard before. So I’m excited to get them something that they haven’t heard yet.
So you’ve been in the studio a couple of days now. Can you talk about the process so far?
Yeah. So I wrote one of the songs that no one has heard before with these producers James, Gavi, and Andrew Dixon and I co-wrote with them I’d say a month ago. It went really well. The demo that they produced sounded crazy. It sounded better than some finished products that I’ve heard. They had the best gear and they were really quick with making demos. When I decided to do an EP, at first I wanted someone who could do it super fast because I feel like if I don’t get it out soon, everyone is going to kind of lose interest. I already said I feel like I have waited too long to release music. I wanted to get in there fast. Also people that would be cool with me bringing songs that I had already written, that they didn’t have anything to do with, and just record them. A lot of producers want to take writing credit for something that they didn’t have anything to do with. I kind of developed a friendship with these guys. So we met up and talked about it. They’re totally doing me a favor and they started building the tracks around the songs two or three days ago. Just started out with and saw the basic stuff. I can’t record vocals yet because I’m sick, but probably by Monday and Tuesday I will be able to do it. Then the last thing we are going to do is drums on Wednesday. My boyfriend, Ryan, is actually doing them. So that will be fun. We’re going to mix by the second week of May and hopefully release that in the third week of May. So it’s a pretty quick process.
Break Blossom have officially released their debut LP, Last Night Of Your Life. PropertyOfZack is now happy to be teaming up with the band to give fans a look into the meaning behind the songs with a new Track-By-Track with Skyler Mondell from the band. Check out the feature in full below!
All the songs tend to have a sense of urgency that stems from a sort of ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ type thing. It starts with the idea of being in your comfort zone. Next thing you know, something happens, and one finds him/herself out of their comfort zone trying to regain control of the situation. This tends to pop up a lot because it’s how my life goes. I know it’s kind of broad, but in the songs I tend to bring up real life experiences that I’ve had and try to give some sort of insight as to what would have been a better outcome, or an outcome that I would have preferred.
In our song, “Heartbreak,” the speaker of the song isn’t heartbroken, but is breaking the heart of the cliche girl who is usually the one doing the heartbreaking, which I would have definitely preferred. So the broad idea I described above is modified slightly in “Heartbreak.” I don’t want to give it away too much though. I would like the listener to walk away with his or her own interpretation of the song meanings. There’s some inside things in the writing, but if any of the fans are super curious just hit me up on facebook or twitter—I’d be happy to answer any gnawing suspicions. - Skyler Mondell
Make Your Move
The first time Sky and I played together, we hadn’t seen each other in years. Probably hadn’t shared more than a few words either. We were both in town and simply got together just to jam for the sake of playing. He came over and we barely said hi. Plugged in, I picked up sticks and that was that. The first guitar riff on the CD is the first thing he played. Those notes started the entire band.
My favorite song on the whole CD. We’re going to be shoot a video for it next month. I won’t give too much away but it’s going to be based on The Warriors, that old 70’s flick. We demo’d the song on Merrick’s iPhone one day at practice and every time we set out to record it we could never get it to sound as raw and gritty as the iPhone haha. But eventually we got there, and I couldn’t be happier with this song.
I was in the keys with Josh woodard, our TM and crew, my brother and some friends making a rap album and trying to stay out of trouble (we didn’t). Skyler called me from the studio, the boys were all in there at 4 in the morning and they were doing harmonies and horns on this one. My mind was blown. I didn’t even care if it became a single or not, the only thing on my mind was making a video for it. I knew it would become something that truly defined us. The best thing about this song is every time we play it live it tastes a bit better. Like a fine wine.