The Artist Spotlight sat down with the guys of Pop Evil as they traveled through Kansas City. Before they played live at the Midland Theatre, they played exclusively for the AS cameras.
Watch AS exclusive songs from the band above, and hear the guys talk about what makes them unique on stage.
The Artist Spotlight knows good music, and we're glad to know Pop Evil. Check out the band online at popevil.com for tour dates and ticket information. And don't forget to follow The Artist Spotlight on Facebook for the latest exclusive music from great bands big and small.
Band Bio from PopEvil.com
About the Band
POPEVIL is the Best Thing to Come Out of Michigan Since The Automobile (ok, the automobile and Kid Rock)
Named as one of iTunes “Top New Artists of ’08,” Pop Evil continues their march across America and the airwaves.As their fan base grows, a history lesson on how they got to “here” might help.
Lead singer Leigh Kakaty whose background includes rap along with rock finds drummer Dylan Allison through Leigh’s best friend’s room mate.Guitarist Dave Grahs is playing in another band when Leigh and Dylan invite him to join them.If you’re a Grand Rapids local, you know them as TenFive. The time: November, 2001.
The Beginnings play the nightclub circuit, find fans, write, perform, fans, write, perform, fans — you get the idea. Band cuts a deal with nightclubs: three sets a night — two sets of covers in exchange for one set of originals.
Leigh makes a promise to himself, for the band and its future. “To take pride in the work we’re doing now and the work we’ll do in the future …and don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for what might be considered a small thing.”
Roll Tape Write and record a three–song EP as the band now has earned enough money from their shows to finance the recording. Producer Al Sutton (Kid Rock) gets demo from Leigh’s bro, an entertainment attorney. Al loves what he hears. Records the band. Result: Ready or Not EP containing the title track, along with “Somebody Like You” and “Hard Highway.”
Hometown Boys Make Good 97.9 WGRD in Grand Rapids supports the band, spinning “Somebody Like You.” Guitarist Dave Grahs shares this thought. “From the beginning it meant a lot to see our friends embrace what we were doing, but it didn’t really set in just how much our local market stood behind us until I was driving down the road and heard, ‘Somebody Like You’ on the radio.”
2005. On The Road Again Now with Ready or Not EP to help spread the gospel. Two years, countless dates throughout the Midwest and Florida and 12,000 EPs sold out of the trunk of their car. Play, write, drive, sell.
Winter, 2006. Right Place at the Right Time Major label radio promo rep visits WGRD in Grand Rapids to talk about label’s upcoming releases. DJ gives rep a tape of Pop Evil. Leigh gets a call to meet the rep, hand delivers a five–song demo to the rep and continues to keep in contact. Rep sends Pop Evil demo to his father, who co–owns independent label, Pazzo Music. In the winter of 2007, one year following the fateful hand off at WGRD, Pop Evil signs with Pazzo Music.
2007. Roll Tape, Full Length CD. Guitarist Tony Greve and bassist Matt DiRito, both from Muskegon, MI join Pop Evil. The sound is a divine collision of “crispy, crunchy, mainstream rock with a little bit of evil,” thanks to the musical and cross–cultural diversity (Eastern Indian, Hispanic, Turkish, American Indian and Polish roots) of the band.
Production for CD begins with Al Sutton and Marlon Young (Kid Rock guitarist) at Rust Belt Studio in Royal Oak, Michigan. 12 songs recorded.
Band heads to spring break in Panama City for more gigs and gets word that Pazzo wants more. In Florida, in–between shows, band does pre–production at Destin Recording with Dave Cox.
Band heads back to Michigan (Canton) with producer Chuck Alkazian at Pearl Sound to complete the three final songs for the CD.
2008 May: Pop Evil complete recording their first, full–length CD, Lipstick on the Mirror.
August 12, 2008 Street date for Pop Evil’s Lipstick on the Mirror.
After eight years of funky bars, sleeping in cars and miles of highway leading to another strange city, nothing has changed. Well, perhaps a bit.
Pop Evil has toured consistently since (and prior to) the release of Lipstick on the Mirror with a combination of headline dates and “Special Guest” support with Puddle of Mudd, Tesla, Theory of a Deadman, P.O.D., and Saliva.
“We watch the bands opening for us,” states bassist Matt DiRito, “and we not only remember what it was like for us in that slot. We know that band is warming up the crowd for us and in turn, there will always be something for us to learn from them.”
Lead vocalist Leigh Kakaty carries a video recorder with him at all times as the ideas for melodies or lyrics happen constantly.
“There is no separation from my life and my music,” states Leigh. “Pop Evil is lifestyle; leading instead of following and having your opinions matter. It is about being heard when no one wants to listen to you. It is about trying to fit in when no one has room for you. It is about overcoming obstacle after obstacle and knowing how to reward yourself for the little things when there are no rewards from your peers. Pop Evil is about making the world BELIEVE.”