Cassadee Pope won over the heart of millions through her victorious run on The Voice Season 3 back in 2012 and her following solo albums Frame by Frame (2013) and Stages (2019). Since the coronavirus pandemic began, she's been hard at work, recording 2020's acoustic release Rise and Shine and her upcoming album THRIVE (out Oct. 15). However, before all this, she was the lead singer for Hey Monday, a successful pop-punk act with singles like "Homecoming" and "How You Love Me Now." On THRIVE, she's combined her pop-punk roots with the country sound she's worked hard to perfect since launching her solo career, with great results.
The perfect emphasis of this is "Tomorrow Night," Pope's new single that just dropped on Friday. It's an upbeat, Weezer-inspired cut that combines rock sounds with a country-radio-ready hook. PopCulture.com talked with Pope, 32, all about how the track came together with the help of co-writers Devin Guisande and Aaron Chafin and producers Nick Wheeler (guitarist for The All American Rejects) and Karen Fairchild (of Little Big Town). The singer-songwriter also dished on some more of the tracks to come on THRIVE. Scroll through to read our Q-and-A with Cassadee Pope, which can be also watched in video form above.
PC: I'm really interested in the songwriting process for this new song. I know you did a lot of your new album over Zoom. What was the process of putting 'Tomorrow Night' together?
Cassadee: Yeah, man. I don't know what I would have done without Zoom last year because I wrote the whole album on Zoom. This session for "Tomorrow Night" was with my friends, Devin Guisande and Aaron Chafin. And I always went into a Zoom session prepared because I was a little nervous about, maybe the vibe would be off, or I just wasn't that experienced writing online. And so I always came in with an idea.
And this session I came in with the "Tomorrow Night" chorus, actually. So we had a great launching pad. The guys were into it. I had a pretty clear vision for it. I wanted it to head into kind of a Weezer direction as far as the production goes, and just keeping it pretty down the middle, very kind of easy to digest as far as the lyrics go. And just really leaning into the anticipation of first starting to date someone and how you just want to see them all the time and you don't want to wait.
So the song kind of came together really quickly after that. And we went in the studio, got the session band in there. We really didn't veer off far from the demo because Aaron did the demo amazing. And I just loved the way it sounded. It was very kind of raw and rough around the edges. So I wanted to keep the finished product that way. And yeah, it came out exactly what I had hoped it would sound like. My producer, Nick Wheeler and co-producer Karen Fairchild were just awesome copilots on this. And yeah, it just came out to be one of my favorite songs on the record. So I'm excited it's a single.prevnext
What was the creative process with Nick like, being as you both came from similar music backgrounds?
I FINALLY GET TO TELL YOU GUYS! My new album #THRIVE will be out Oct. 15. Pre-order it and listen to #TomorrowNight now!— Cassadee Pope (@CassadeePope) September 17, 2021
Listen to Tomorrow Night: https://t.co/j0LvSt3bKW
Pre-order Thrive: https://t.co/v5Wiwp3sh3 pic.twitter.com/yXlUh7FLsV
It was so cool. I mean, we toured together briefly in 2010 with Fall Out Boy in Australia and New Zealand, I think. And I didn't really get to hang with him very much because it was kind of a big tour, and I was just doing press every day because it was Hey Monday's first time over there. So I didn't really get to see him very much. So fast forward to last year... Actually before then, end of 2019, Hey Monday did a reunion show and someone had mentioned to me, Nick lived here, and I was like, "Oh, he has to come up and play some, All- American Rejects songs." So he did. We just got along so well, and he was so sweet. And then the pandemic hit. I told my publisher the kind of album I wanted to write. I wanted to go more of the pop punk route with my country influence. And she mentioned Nick. And I was like, "Oh yeah, that guy lives here now. That's so cool."
So we started writing on Zoom. We wrote a couple of songs that ended up on the record. And I was getting his demos back and they just sounded so insane. I was like, I could put these out tomorrow and be happy. So I just thought, I think this is the producer. And so I asked him to do it and he said, yes, but I also wanted to make sure that I still kept my country foot in the door, because I've worked so hard to kind of carve my way in this town, and in this industry, and I love country music. That's always been a part of me. So I asked Karen Fairchild to co-produce. So it just feels like my two worlds that make me who I am, the pop punk world and the country world, are coming together to make the sound. And everybody's just been awesome to collaborate with. But yeah, it's cool to get back with Nick. And so much has happened to both of us since 2010, obviously. So we just had a great time catching up, and kind of reminiscing on the old days.prevnext
What's it been like for you as an artist to be able to combine these two passions, pop punk and country? Was it freeing at all?
It is. I mean, I feel the most like myself than I've ever felt. And it's really one of the first projects, and it kind of was like this for my album last year, Rise and Shine, where it's just acoustic, and I just put it out because it just felt like the right time for something like that. But this is the first project where I'm really going into it without trying to... I have goals in mind. I would love to continue to grow my touring crowd and play bigger venues, but other than that, I'm not going for country radio. I'm not going for awards recognition. I'm just doing a project that I think is totally and completely me. If anything, I learned last year it was that I needed to just be myself.
And yeah, in any industry you get people who try and make you be something you're not. And for me coming to this town a few years ago, I had really solidified myself in the rock world. So I was trying to prove to everybody that I am a country artist. I went full that direction, and sometimes was told to really hide the rock edgy side of myself to prove that. So I've really had to unlearn that over the years. It kind of sticks on you even after you get off the label, or break up with a team that you were with for a long time. But I think I've landed in a spot where I realized it doesn't matter if I'm in Nashville, LA, New York, I still have to just do what's authentic to me. And so far it seems to be speaking to people. My fans are digging it because they know this is who I am, and I can't fool them. I never have. And so it feels good. It feels like I'm stepping into a lane that I can really sell and not have to try so hard. It's cool.
Can you tell us about any other tracks you're excited about on 'THRIVE'?
Oh God. Yeah. There's so many. I mean, I'm saying a lot that I feel like I've said on social media, but I've never said in a song. So I'm definitely solidifying my stance on some things as far as my views, and my fundamental values, and what I believe in. So there's a song called "Mind Your Own" on the record that I wrote with Nick, that's just about people who judge people's lifestyles when they just should, if they were happy, they would mind their own business. That's the hook of the song. But I think I'm most excited for... Well, I'm excited about all of it, but the last song is a song I wrote 100% myself, and it's acoustic.
And I wanted to end the album on a song I wrote by myself that had a lot of meaning to it, because I ended our first record with, Hey Monday with the song I wrote by myself that had a lot of meaning to it. Acoustic. So I'm sort of tipping the hat to those days. And also just, I wanted to kind of show people my growth as a songwriter. I love co-writing, and I think I tend to write with people who are way better than I am so that I can learn and grow, but I wanted to show people how far I've come just by myself writing. So I'm excited for people to hear the last track, especially.prevnext
That all sounds amazing. I'm super excited for it. 'THRIVE' is coming soon, and "Tomorrow Night" is out now. Thank you so much for talking with us, Cassadee. Is there anything else you want to tell the fans and the PopCulture readers?0comments
Oh my God, you guys have been so supportive over the years, and I just appreciate it. I appreciate you embracing this new direction, and just being there. I think as an artist, it's super nerve-wracking releasing a new project. And when you have people coming forward who want to talk about it, and want to promote it, and who wants to read, or watch, or whatever, the PopCulture fans have always been super supportive. So it means a lot, and it lets me know there's an audience out there, and that people are listening. So thank you.
You can listen to "Tomorrow Night" here. Pre-orders for THRIVE are also live, which can be found here. Our full interview with Cassadee Pope is available for viewing at the top of this article. This Q-and-A was reformatted and edited for clarity.prev