We Chat With Ron Pope About New Album and World Tour
Pop-rock singer-songwriter Ron Pope has spent the past year on a crazy adventure, creating a new album with a full band, and starting his 2016 world tour, Hell or High Water.
Pope explained that he started writing songs for his latest album, Ron Pope & The Nighthawks in 2014. The band had a difficult time trying to schedule a rehearsal together, so they moved into a house on a lake in northern Georgia, where they collaborated, wrote songs and recorded music together. Aside from the lake house, the band recorded new songs on the road and live in front of audiences, before anyone had the opportunity to hear them.
“Usually when you make a record, you make it in a vaccuum,” Pope said. “No fans are around to hear it so you don’t know how people will react. This is exciting because we were able to see if people really liked it.”
The album includes songs that were recorded in the house, in the studio, on tour and even outside. Pope explained how nice it was to have the opportunity to do something completely new, and be in a position where he could share this music with people and see how they react.
“It’s really been a fun and exciting journey to make a record in an ‘outside of the box’ kind of way, and being able to experiment and test songs,” Pope said. “It felt very alive.”
Over the course of the year, the band wrote 150 songs and recorded 40. Pope said that he doesn’t like sharing the stories behind his songs, because he wants to give the listener the opportunity to interpret the song for themselves.
“When you create art, it’s for you,” Pope said. “When you release it into the world, it’s everyone elses. I think art is subjective. If you look at a painting and you think it’s a frog, what does it matter if the guy who painted it thinks it’s a house?”
Pope said that he wants the audience to create their own story with the song, which he finds is the most interesting concept about music. Although one person might think a song is about something, it’s actually about something else. He said that most of the songs are first person narratives, and the ideas stemmed either from his own experiences or from stories he’s told over the years.
Although Pope had played with various bands over the years, including a band in college with five of his best friends, he has a group now that he can share a lot of creative capabilities with. All of the members are songwriters, and Pope said he is delighted to have people who can help elevate his writing and performances. He said that he wouldn’t trade a thing he’s learned throughout his life for anything.
In terms of success, Pope explained that every artist believes that they’re great, but at the same time, can feel very vulnerable. He said that some days, he thinks people want to hear his music, but others, he’s terrified.
“You have to learn to balance those two elements of your personality-the one that’s afraid and the one that’s bold,” Pope said. “Together, they make up a human being.”
Pope is set to tour across the country, making stops in Boston, Massachusetts, Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California. He said that his primary goal is for people to come out to his shows and continue to be receptive towards his new music.
In March, Pope will play at the annual South by Southwest Music Conference. He is set to play in Dallas, Texas on March 11, and Houston, Texas on March 12. Catch the full tour dates here and Pope’s music here.