Since releasing their debut album Hold on Tight
two years ago, they've sold nearly 500,000 songs, toured around the world non-stop, graced the cover of several magazines in the U.S. and overseas, and have received more than 28 million plays on MySpace. Who am I taking about? Why none other than Florida natives Hey Monday
of course! As one of the few female-fronted bands on Warped Tour this year, I was lucky enough to speak with rhythm guitarist Alex Lipshaw.
Could you you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your musical background?
Yeah, my names Alex Lipshaw and I play guitar in the band Hey Monday. I started playing music when I was about 8 or 9 years old and like I started with a piano, well a little keyboard, and then I got my first guitar maybe a year later. I've been playing guitar for about 10 years now, maybe 11?
What genre do you consider your music to be?
Like my favorite? When it comes to playing guitar I think I'm best at playing a kind of pop punk, its kind of easy, but I also like making music on piano, on my computer, and it usually comes out pretty hip hop-ish. It's funny. But probably pop punk or like pop rock is my forte.
How did the band get started?
Well I went to high school with Cassadee [Pope, vocals/guitar] and then one day she called me and she was like, Hey I wanna put together a band, my band was breaking up at the time so it was like perfect. And she knew Mike [Gentile, guitar] from middle school like way back. Then we met Jersey [Moriarty, bass] our bass player through our label, the people at our label like knew him and we needed a bass player that could sing so he was perfect so...we also just got a new drummer named Pat [McKenzie], he played in my old band before this band.
Where do you get your inspiration from and who are your biggest influences?
Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy. Yeah, everything about him, I dont know if you've ever, I'm sure you have seen him, he's just a pro. He goes out there, he plays, he sings, he doesnt mess with, you know, anything that...I dont know. We toured with them so I got to like really meet him and he's...you know he keeps himself simple. You know he just focuses on music because he understands that's what he does, he's a musician so you know he respects his voice, he doesn't smoke, he's just, you know, perfect.
How do you think youve grown as individuals and as musicians since being in the band?
Um, well we immediately started touring, uh we've been touring for probably about two years now, and traveling is one thing that...like you cant even, you can't even pay for that experience. You know, you learn so much especially traveling in this world because we will go to like a different country and meet, you know, people that put on huge concerts and stuff like that so these people are smart, it's not like were traveling to Japan and meeting idiots you know. So it's, it's amazing. We learn so much from the people that are always around us and seeing people in like different places. Some people say that travelings like really the only way to become wise, I don't know if that's necessarily true but I've noticed that it's definitely made me a lot more wise.
What's your writing process and how do you think it shows through the music?
Well Cassadee will...what she...well she asked me to be in the band because I play guitar, thats what I forte in, so she'll write a song with an acoustic guitar and then we'll write our own parts to it so I'll write my guitar and if she...let's say she wants like decent guitar parts she'll look to me and I guess that's just how it works. Jersey writes the bass lines, Mike our other guitarist writes the lead and she writes all the melodies and harmonies.
What's your favorite thing about playing a tour like Warped?
Probably meeting all these people. I've never met so many people on one tour, it's insane. I mean there's so many buses, theres so many bands on this tour that it's unbelievable like I probably won't meet everybody. I know I won't meet everybody but definitely the social aspect of it.
Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?
Yeah we have a new album coming out August 17th so definitely go check it out.
Beneath It All
is out August 17th via Decaydance. The single "I Don't Wanna Dance" is available now on iTunes, and the music video
premiered on MTV earlier this week. -hanna kasper
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MP3: "I Don't Wanna Dance"
Hey Monday on Myspace