By Rick Coates 6/15/09
Pop Evil lead singer Leigh Kakaty likes to joke that at first glance the members of Pop Evil dont look like a group of guys who would hang out together.
We are made up of all different ethnic backgrounds and maybe we dont look like we belong together, said Kakaty. But put us on stage together and we become one. Pop Evil is more than a band -- it is a lifestyle.
The Grand Rapids based rockers are riding high (and fast as the video for their hit song 100 in 55 was filmed as they performed on a flatbed truck as it traveled 100 miles an hour). They will perform at The Terminal in Traverse City this Friday.
Exactly what does Kakaty mean by Pop Evil being a lifestyle?
I grew up in conservative, white, Dutch-based Grand Rapids. I am brown skinned by way of an Indian father and white mother, said Kakaty. So I am a rapper, but I am too white to be a rapper, and I was a big pop music guy growing up, but I was evil to that as I am too brown to be a pop star; so Pop Evil was created as a lifestyle by a group of guys committed to our music.
But arent all bands committed to their music?
No, I see a lot bands basically masturbate on their instruments, said Kataky. Look, anyone can play an instrument, but what I want out of a band, and I think what people investing into a band want, is a band to prove that they believe in their music. So we live our music.
Explain that point further, this idea about living your music.
There is no separation from my life and my music, states Leigh. Pop Evils music is about 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.
After eight years of banging around the Midwest and playing as an opening act, Pop Evil is finally starting to get people to believe in your music.
We still are not there yet, but we feel good about where we are heading, said Kakaty. I get asked all the time about why we invest so much time responding to our fans via MySpace. Well, it has been the comments that they have posted that have kept us going over the years. So all of us check out our page everyday to see what people have to say.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
The fans and the critics have a lot of positive things to say of late about Pop Evil. Their current release Lipstick On The Mirror (released last year and picked up and re-released by Universal Records three weeks ago) has been climbing the charts. Their hit song 100 in a 55 has over 6.5 million plays on MySpace.
So how did the band keep it together? Eight years is a long time for a band to keep at it.
I played team sports and even had a basketball scholarship until I blew my knee out, so I look at our band from a team mindset, said Kataky. We are a team, we write all the songs together. When we started this band we made a commitment to take pride and ownership in our music then and for the future.
So sum it all up, at the end of the day what is Pop Evil all about?
When I go to a concert I want a band to rock the shit out of me, so that is the approach we take, said Kataky. Musically we are focused on bringing back mainstream rock but machining it evil, pop evil. Look, our slogan is Pop Evil, the best thing to come out of Michigan since the automobile; okay, maybe the best thing since the automobile and Kid Rock.
Pop Evil will perform this Friday at The Terminal (formally Streeters Ground Zero Night Club) for a special Low Dough show with tickets only $10 with Critical Bill and Ashes of Soma opening. After their Traverse City appearance Pop Evil will take to the road as the opening act for British Steel 30th Anniversary Tour 2009 featuring Judas Priest and Whitesnake. We are exctied about having Pop Evil joining us, said Rob Halford, lead singer of Judas Priest. These guys are going places and we are glad it will be with us this summer. For advance tickets call the Terminal at 231-932-1300. To listen to a sampling of Pop Evils songs check out myspace.com/popevil.