POP EVIL Frontman: 'There's No Excess In Rock Anymore'

August 10, 2016

Yell! magazine conducted an interview with vocalist Leigh Kakaty of Michigan rockers POP EVIL at this year's Heavy Montreal festival, which was held August 6-7 at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. You can now watch the chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the importance of putting on a strong live show:

Leigh: "It's so important to get out there and prove it where it matters the most — onstage. I mean, that's where fans are won and lost. So many times, you can hear a song on the radio, 'Ah, it's not my style.' But you see the band live and you'll be, like, 'Holy cow! That's what I'm into. I'm into that. I'm feeling that.' Or vice versa. So it's so important that you're constantly taking it serious.

"We're all about our live show. Again, from Michigan, you look at Kid Rock, you look at Eminem, two of the biggest [artists] to come from our state, those guys have some of the best live shows in the business; they really entertain. And everyone, when you come from a bad economical state, it's so important to bring it live.

"People don't have… not just the money; they don't have the time to waste on boredom. They wanna be entertained. They don't wanna just get up there and watch you play your song. They wanna watch you show them that you believe in the music that you write. So it's so important that we spend as much time as we can thinking about how to better this live show. We just don't wanna sell out to our fans and give them the same song over and over. We wanna try to challenge ourselves to give them an experience, [to] take them through the emotions. Are you happy this song, sad this one? Or do you wanna punch each other in the face the next one? It's so important that we really try to strive to bring the best live show we can."

On making albums in 2016:

Leigh: "I think what fans don't always realize is it's not like the labels anymore give you all these chunks of money where you can go play in the studio for seven months; you just can't do it. We don't get to do what the big boys do. The reality is, [the label tells you], 'Here's your small budget. Here's your two-month window. Make the biggest record of your career.' It's just not easy to do. So, basically, when you spend the money and you do twelve songs, all twelve of those songs are going on the record. So you don't really have the leverage to just kind of pick and choose on what the songs [are going to be on the album]. Now as we've gotten bigger and we've had the success, we're able to do those things; we're able to kind of stand back."

On the most rock and roll thing he has done or seen since POP EVIL began:

Leigh: "Oh, man. There's so many. Again, the party stuff is just… it's so far from my mind right now. The reality of the situation is… People always ask the 'party' questions. When people partied in rock back in the day, people had excess. There's no excess in rock anymore. So you're lucky to get a Red Bull on your rider. You know what I mean? 'I drank two Red Bulls.' It's not as glamorous as it once was for new bands. There's no crazy story, [like] we party we celebrities; it's just different. We are the toilet bowl cleaners of the music world. When you look at the Grammys and you look at these places and there's not even a genre… Especially when the U.S. prides itself in freedom of speech, somewhere along the line someone decided that a rock and roll/metal voice matters less. Really? Seriously? You want me to talk to you about a party. It's just fucking bullshit, dude. There's no party. When my kids look at me and they miss daddy and they wanna know, when is he coming home? When I've gotta be out here and play two hundred and eighty [days] a year, when back in the day I only had to play for three months. When Adele don't gotta play any show because she already made enough to… That's fucked up, man. That's bullshit."

POP EVIL recently recruited U.K.-based drummer Hayley Cramer (formerly of MCQUEEN) to replace Josh "Chachi" Marunde, who exited the group in April.

POP EVIL's latest album, "Up", was released in August 2015 via eOne Music.

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