Formed in West Palm Beach in the fallout of high school graduation, Hey Monday are led by Cassadee Pope, a firecracker of a front woman with spunk to spare and an enthusiasm as disarming as it is endearing. Her vocals pierce Hey Monday’s guitar-driven underbelly like sugar-tipped melodic daggers, her lush, vibrant voice spiraling like an aerobic workout amidst Hold On Tight, their debut album released as a joint venture between Columbia Records and Fallout Boy bassist Pete Wentz’s Decaydance Records in October 2008.
In the short time since the album’s launch, Hey Monday have played in front of hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide, crisscrossing America and visiting the far east, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom while touring with Fall Out Boy, Metro Station, Cobra Starship, All Time Low, There For Tomorrow, The Academy Is…, We The Kings, The Cab, This Providence and A Rocket To The Moon.
No matter where they played, the dynamic results were the same, both MTV and RollingStone.com naming Hey Monday a breakout band to watch, Kerrang calling them a “daily dose of happy pop-rock,” and Pope gracing the covers of magazines dotting newsstands from the United States to Singapore. On the television front, both “Run Don’t Walk” and new single “How You Love Me Now” – the band’s first song to go to Top 40 radio – have been featured in episodes of MTV’s “The Hills,” and Hey Monday have been hailed as one of 2009’s Pop Punk Rookies by the network, which has featured the band across their various channels – MTV, MTV2, mtvU and MTV Hits. The band also appeared as themselves in an episode of “The Real World,” and Pope and Pete Wentz make a cameo together on The N’s “Degrassi” film.
What’s even more remarkable? All this notoriety has come before the band even made their first headlining run, atop the MySpace “Let’s Make A Mess Tour” in the summer of 2009.
“We have a variety of styles, but they’re all pretty-much fast and upbeat, because we wanted a fast, upbeat and happy kind of record that makes you tap your feet and puts you in a good mood,” explains Cassadee of Hey Monday’s debut. “There are heartbroken songs, being in love songs, a song about someone who parties too much… If it’s not all about me, then it’s about someone very close to me who I can feel for. I just wanted to tell a story, to make it like a movie where you can really get to know someone. I wanted people to really get to know me through the lyrics.”
She shares songwriting duties on Hold On Tight with lead guitarist Mike Gentile, who is accompanied musically by rhythm guitarist Alex Lipshaw, the pair riffing with an infectious sense of urgency and a propensity for hyperactive pop-rock, while bassist Jersey Moriarty and drummer Elliot James elevate the bottom end with a heave-ho so dynamic, it shakes the album at its very foundation.
From the racing guitars that run rampant through the hot summer sun of “Arizona,” to the more anxious styling of “Homecoming” and the empowering ballad “Candles,” Hey Monday deliver an album that embraces the youthful energy of the musicians that created it. Spiteful breakup songs and bitter observations that an ex has moved on mingle with muffled expressions of independence and a quest for one’s self in the world around us.
“I don’t care what anybody says, no break-up is easy,” says Cassadee. “Sure, you’ll be fine after some time, but you can never forget that first break-up, or even just the after effects, like them getting another boyfriend or girlfriend so soon, right in front of your face, and you having no control over it. ‘Candles’ is about that. It’s a sad song, but it’s also in your face and moody, and goes from ‘pity me’ to ‘screw you.’ It has to do with Florida, too, because we’re from West Palm Beach and we get a lot of hurricanes and the power goes out… It’s about sitting there when the candle goes out, but beginning to see the light.”
Hey Monday not only see the light, they’re watching it grow brighter and brighter all around them.