The sound of Nashvile-based pop-rockers Hot Chelle Rae is the result of a penchant for fun and a good musical pedigree. Vocalist Ryan Keith "RK" Follese made that point clear during a phone interview with SoundSpike.
The quartet is preparing for the July 10 launch of a summerlong jaunt with We the Kings, The Summer Set, The Downtown Fiction and Action Item on the "Friday Is Forever Tour." Follese promises "one heck of a party."
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I'm just looking forward to touring in general, but that tour's going to be amazing. We haven't toured that much this year. The last full-blown tour we were on was with Parachute last fall. We've been writing and recording and preparing for what's going to be our second record."
Follese called the as-yet untitled new album "a lot more fun" than Hot Chelle Rae's 2009 debut effort "Lovesick Electric." The band wrote about 20 songs for the upbeat collection.
"They're definitely songs that we really love to play," he said about the final tally. "They're songs that we lived. The last couple years of our lives, we've been living on this rollercoaster of fun. We really wanted to write songs that were centered around the way that we felt. That's exactly how it is. It's just a blast."
The group's current single, "Tonight, Tonight," will appear on the forthcoming album, and the video features a cameo by "Glee's" Chord Overstreet -- the brother of Hot Chelle Rae's guitarist Nash Overstreet. It can also be found on the "Tonight, Tonight" EP.
"I think it's really, really catchy," Follese said of "Tonight, Tonight." "Aside from it being infectious, it has a simple message to the song. Everybody has bad weeks and everybody has bad days. It's a great song to just turn that around. It kind of describes just how we are."
Follese is also having a good time writing songs, a chore that he has accomplished with a variety of folks, ranging from people he has met over Twitter to Martin Johnson of Girls Like Boys.
Hot Chelle Rae found its massive sound in Nashville in 2005, each of its members boasting a music pedigree, in addition to serious chops. Overstreet, along with frontman Follese and drummer Jamie Follese, are all sons of A-list Nashville songsmiths. Bassist Ian Keaggy is the son of Grammy-Award winning guitarist Phil Keaggy. The songwriting abilities didn't fall far from the tree, either, Follese said.
"We grew up around songwriting in the music industry," Follese said. "It's weird to meet a few guys and form a group together that has such a similar view of the music industry. It makes the working process a lot easier.
"In this band, it's more centered around the fact that, before we were a band, everybody was a songwriter. As the songwriting process goes, there are not really any rules. Everyone can write. Nash can write with Ian. I can write with Ian. If Ian writes an outside song and brings it in and it's saying something we all connect to or really like, [we'll go with it]. It kind of comes down to the best song."
The band is deciding which songs to include in the set list for the "Friday is Forever Tour."
"Our set's not going to be very long every night," Follese said. "We'll decide what we're going to play from the first record and what we're going to play from the new stuff. We're very excited about the future."