So tell us a little bit about what's going on now. You've recently decided to go solo .. and all that … what was the reasoning behind that?
When things started slowing down for Hey Monday, I decided to go solo. I'm growing and wanting different things in life. I'm always trying to get to the next level in my career, and I felt this was the way to do it.
Was going solo something you had ever thought about before?
I haven't thought about going solo until August of 2010, right before our tour to South America. Before then, the thought never crossed my mind.
How do you think the Hey Monday fans will react to the new material? Are any of the songs things that could have been Hey Monday songs?
I released a little clip of a song I wrote with my friend Justin Young called 'Lunatic', and the reaction has been awesome. I'm not expecting all of the HM fans to be into my solo stuff, but it's not that big of a departure from that sound. I do think some of the songs I've written could be HM songs. But that's just because it's me writing them. The same person who wrote the HM stuff. With the right production though, it'll be different.
Are you working with anyone on the new album? Co-writers? Or are you doing it yourself?
I've been doing both. I've written stuff on my own, and have done co-writes.
What's the biggest difference between a solo album/career and with the band?
There are a few. With the band, there are more people who need to be on the same page musically and mentally. Being solo, it's just me. I also haven't known this band I'll be taking out before this tour. I went to high school with Alex, Pat, and Mike. It's still so early on that I haven't really experienced much as a solo artist. So I'm sure I'll have many more differences later on.
Still working with Decaydance/FBR at all on the release, or what label will it be on?
We weren't on FBR. Just Decaydance. And as of right now, I'm not on a label. My best case scenario would be to release my album within the next year. If it's on a major or indie, cool. If not, I'll just do it on my own. I know you have to patient with these things, but if things are taking too long, and I have the ability to record an album with a friend who's willing to throw me a bone, I'll do it.
What's going to make your album stand out from the rest of the pack? What are you trying to do differently, if you will.
I do want to be on pop radio and tour with big pop artists. But my stuff is still edgy and leaning towards the rock side of things. So it'll be a cool mixture of the HM sound and the mainstream sound. I don't know what's going to "set me apart" from the rest. I've always found that question to be a bit awkward. I feel like that's the listeners question to answer. I'm just going to be myself and hope that it will catch on.
When Hey Monday started, there was a lot of drama around the contract signed with Drive-Thru Records, the old band members, and all of that … have you felt like drama has kind of followed your career? And do you think about how certain actions will be perceived by fans?
I don't believe there is such thing as a drama-free career in this industry. Whether it be an old manager thinking they're responsible for your singing ability, or old bitter band members, there's always something. Even though some blogs and sites completely twist my words around to mean something they don't, I try not to let it affect me. My fans know me. I've always been very aware of the things I do and say. I never want to let the fans down, or set a bad example.
Some of the comments on AP.net have been that there's no real difference between Hey Monday and this project … that they were always a backing band to begin with. What would your response be to that?
I'd say it's not true. I did write some of the songs myself, and with co-writers. But the band and I wrote together as well. I think whenever a singer in a band steps out into the spot light, and doesn't try to push it away, it's perceived as a one man show. Especially for female singers. I never would've gotten here without Mike and Alex. I say their names only because they've been in it with me since the beginning. Chris and Pat really completed the puzzle. I feel like the people who have always thought the guys were just backing musicians have their minds made up. So there's really nothing else I can say.
What would you say your biggest influences are on the new music you're writing?
I can't seem to ever shake the Michelle Branch and Avril influences. I also think the first Katy Perry album is pretty comparable to my new stuff.
If you could change anything about your time in Hey Monday, what would it be?
I'd change a few outfits I wore. But other than that, nothing at all.
Were there any Hey Monday songs that were recorded and never saw the light of day? Any chance they will?
There was one song called 'Shove Me' that was recorded. It was supposed to be on 'Beneath It All' before it got cut down to an EP. I'd love to release that at some point for the HM fans.
What's the first song released going to be … ?
I haven't decided on my first single yet. There are a few options that I am really stoked about. It's all a matter of getting the production to the right place. I won't feel comfortable releasing anything until the recordings are solid.