The singer returns to her pop-punk roots and has fun doing it at the When We Were Young Festival.
Opening for Something Corporate was in her past and joining Simple Plan on stage at When We Were Young was in her future, but Cassadee Pope was presently sitting in the press lounge chatting about her career in the scene. With her pink hair shining brightly, Pope was eager to discuss her legacy in the scene and being at the festival.
Starting her career as the frontwoman for the pop-punk band Hey Monday, Pope has built a multifaceted career over the last 15 years. Outside of being the leader of the seminal pop-punk band Hey Monday, Pope is the season 3 winner of The Voice, a platinum-selling, GRAMMY-nominated country singer/songwriter, and an ally and activist pushing for social change and a brighter future in a backward world. But through it all, she’s always remained fearlessly, unapologetically herself.
The songstress sat down with Substream to discuss her career, reinventing “Wasting All These Tears” and what comes next.
You performed at Strange 80s the night before the festival. What made you want to get involved with the concert?
“ Kevin Lyman is a good friend of mine and the founder of Warped Tour. He puts on this event every year which benefits Charity Bomb and Music Cares. I love the concept of playing a show and having fun but also supporting a good cause. I was honored that he asked me. I also love 80’s classic rock. I grew up listening to it with my family. My mom and dad love that stuff, so it was easy to pick a song. It was a good way to kick off this whole weekend.”
What made you want to reinvent the hit single ‘Wasting All These Tears” and turn it into a rock song?
“ I play the song in every set because it’s one of my bigger songs. Now that I’ve gone back to pop-punk music it felt a bit disjointed with everything I was playing in my set and I just thought ‘Why don’t I re-record it, make it pop-punk, and make it make sense with everything else I’m playing in my set?’ So I used my guitar player from Hey Monday to produce it. He played everything on the track and we did it in Nashville. It took a month to make and then it came out. It was a fun thing that I wanted to do. It wasn’t as prolific as l now own it, which is a perk, but it feels good to have an old song from 10 years ago feel new again. It was really fun for me.”
Tell me about your journey with returning to pop-punk.
“ I started in pop-punk with my band Hey Monday when I was 17 and we toured with bands like Fall Out Boy, All-American Rejects, and All Time Low. I had a whole career in pop-punk. Once that band ended and I went to The Voice and auditioned, that’s when I started to go back to country music because I sang that as a kid. It was a natural progression. I won, which was crazy, and went to Nashville and did country music there. I always had a pop-punk, rock, and country twist.
Then in 2020, when the world ended, it was a very reflective year for me. I was writing with people that I wrote with back in the day for my rock stuff and I gradually started getting back to the genre. Now that it’s back in full swing in a more mainstream way, it feels like the timing was written in the stars. It feels like it was meant to be, to come back to this genre.”
How does it feel to be here at the When We Were Young Festival and play alongside such a great lineup of bands?
” It feels really special. All of these bands that are on this bill, I have toured with a lot of them. For example, Yellowcard, I knew I was going to be here this weekend anyway so I texted Ryan Key and he was like ‘Come up for ‘Only One’ ‘ so I did that today. We toured back in the day and I got to sing that a couple of times with them. But to sing that on this stage with that many people is just surreal. I’m hopping on with Simple Plan tomorrow so it’s a big weekend.”