2014 ROCKSTAR ENERGY UPROAR FESTIVAL
WILL FEATURE HEADLINERS GODSMACK,
ALONG WITH SEETHER, SKILLET, BUCKCHERRY,
POP EVIL, ESCAPE THE FATE, REDLIGHT KING,
3 YEARS HOLLOW, WITHIN REASON, NEW MEDICINE,
SONS OF REVELRY, SUICIDEGIRLS AND MORE
FESTIVAL KICKS OFF AUGUST 15 IN DETROIT, MI
The Rockstar Energy UPROAR Festival kicks off year five on August 15 in Detroit with a powerful lineup that includes multiplatinum mainstage bands Godsmack and Seether,along with Skillet, Buckcherry, Pop Evil, Escape The Fate, Redlight King, 3 Years Hollow, Within Reason, New Medicine, Sons of Revelry (2013 UPROAR Battle Of The Bands Winner), SuicideGirls burlesque show,These Raven Skies, and Tattered. As part of the 2013 UPROAR Battle Of The Bands grand prize package, winners Sons Of Revelry will perform on the UPROAR Festival Stage for the entire five week trek.
Initial tour dates are listed below, and additional tour dates for the August 15-September 21 trek will be announced soon. Visit www.RockstarUPROAR.com for the most current festival information.
21st century hard rock titans Godsmack have sold over 20 million records worldwide. The band’s new smash single “1000hp” recently debuted at #1 on the iTunes Rock chart and it’s already Top 10 on the Active Rock radio chart in its first week. Godsmack will release their sixth full length album 1000hp on August 5. Frontman and founder Sully Erna says, “UPROAR Festival has been a long part of Godsmack’s history; we can’t wait to get out with some of our longtime friends and play our new music for our fans.”
Multi-platinum alternative rock trio Seether will release their highly anticipated, sixth studio album Isolate And Medicate on July 1 via The Bicycle Music Company/Concord Music Group. The album features the ferocious first single “Words As Weapons.” Seether says, “We’re looking forward to heading back out and rocking some faces off on this year’s Rockstar Energy UPROAR Festival!”
“We’re excited to welcome UPROAR veterans Godsmack, Seether, Escape The Fate and Redlight King back for another year and also can’t wait to hit the road with all the other amazing rock bands joining us for the first time. We look forward to creating an incredible UPROAR experience for rock fans in every city we visit,” say festival producers John Oakes and John Reese.
Check out a promo video for the Rockstar Energy UPROAR Festival which includes an appearance from Sully Erna from Godsmack here: http://youtu.be/G3h3Guru50Q.
Tickets for most Rockstar Energy UPROAR Festival shows listed below go on sale this Friday, June 20. Go to www.RockstarUPROAR.com for full details and to purchase tickets.
For the first 72 hours after tickets go on sale for each show, Godsmack and the Rockstar Energy UPROAR Festival are offering a ticket upgrade option exclusively through Ticketmaster. During this time period, those who buy a ticket for the festival via www.RockstarUPROAR.com can also pre-order the new Godsmack digital album 1000hp (out August 5) for only $7.99, and will receive Godsmack’s brand new “1000hp” single as an early track.
TheRockstar Energy UPROAR Festival will entertain fans for a full afternoon and evening, with performances from the hottest rock bands on the UPROAR Main Stage and Festival Stage, along with a concourse midway featuring band autograph signings, vendors and other activities.
Since its inception in 2010, the Rockstar Energy UPROAR Festival continues to receive widespread praise from the media. Here’s a sample of what the press have said:
“one of the most anticipated tours of the summer for rock fans”
–Mary Ouellette, Loudwire.com, August 13, 2013
“A juggernaut of a summer tour illuminating that rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well”
–Rick Florino, ARTISTdirect.com, September 19, 2013
“the best tour of the year”
–Brandon Veal, Examiner.com, September 19, 2012
“a dream lineup for hard rock fans”
–Paige Montgomery, Denver Post, October 6, 2011
“one of the most electric tours of the year”
–Revolver, September/October 2010
The current Rockstar Energy UPROAR Festival tour dates are as follows:
Date Market Venue
Friday 8/15 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre #
Saturday 8/16 Peru, IL Illinois Valley Regional Airport + =
Sunday 8/17 Cincinnati, OH PNC Pavilion at Riverbend *
Friday 8/22 Syracuse, NY New York State Fairgrounds * #
Sunday 8/24 Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center
Tuesday 8/26 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
Wednesday 8/27 Gilford, NH Meadowbrook Pavilion
Friday 8/29 Simpsonville, SC Charter Amphitheater
Saturday 8/30 Tampa, FL MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre +
Tuesday 9/2 Grand Prairie, TX Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
Wednesday 9/3 Corpus Christi, TX Concrete Street Amphitheater
Friday 9/5 Bonner Springs, KS Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
Sunday 9/7 Oklahoma City, OK Zoo Amphitheatre
Tuesday 9/9 Denver, CO 1STBANK Center $ @ ^ % &
Thursday 9/11 Post Falls, ID Greyhound Park *
(KHTQ’s presents Rock Hard At The Park Powered By Rockstar Energy Drink
Friday 9/12 Auburn, WA White River Amphitheatre * + ? @ &
(KISW’s Pain In The Grass)
# Buckcherry will not be performing at this show
$ Escape The Fate will not be performing at this show
= Pop Evil will not be performing at this show
^ Redlight King will not be performing at this show
* Seether will not be performing at this show
+ Skillet will not be performing at this show
% Sons Of Revelry will not be performing at this show
? SuicideGirls will not be performing at this show
& Tattered will not be performing at this show
@ These Raven Skies will not be performing at this show
3 Years Hollow will be performing on dates from August 15-26
Within Reason will be performing on dates from August 27-September 9
New Medicine will be performing on dates from September 11-21
The Rockstar Energy UPROAR Festival is made possible through the support of sponsors including
Rockstar Energy Drink, Blackstream Records, Yamaha Motorcycles,
COLDCOCK Herbal Whiskey, Rockford Fosgate, MATADOR Beef Jerky,
F*ck Cancer, and UNKNOWN Industries.
Grand Rapids, Michigan’s sons POP EVIL have landed their THIRD #1 SINGLE with their heartfelt mega-hit “Torn to Pieces,” from their most recent LP ONYX. The band saw two previous singles peak at #1 on the Active Rock charts last year, first with “Trenches” followed by “Deal with the Devil.” “Words can’t explain the feelings I have after finding out and realizing we’ve just accomplished such a rare feat,” says frontman Leigh Kakaty. This marks one of the few times in chart history that an artist on an independent record label has landed three number one singles off the same LP.
The song is one that hits close to home. “Torn to Pieces” is a heartfelt tribute to Kakaty’s late father, who passed away around the time the album was being made. He concludes, “It’s been a roller coaster ride of emotions for me. Through all the outpouring of support from our fan base, we’ve realized that our music can share common ground and help others during rough times.” The band also saw success around an Instagram campaign where they encouraged fans to tag their own stories of loved ones lost with #petorntopieces, using the song. The response was overwhelming.
Pop Evil would like to thank their management team, radio promotion team, record label, rock radio itself, and all the fan support for making this song their 3rd #1 single off Onyx.
The band recently performed in front of 40,000 fans at ROCK ON THE RANGE FESTIVAL held in Columbus, OH. There the band performed “Trenches” with the legendary rapper Darryl D.M.C. McDaniels, who remixed the single for a bonus track on a deluxe edition of ONYX. During the song, the band was honored to have 13 Marines showcasing the Lima Company Eyes of Freedom Memorial standing behind them during its performance.
POP EVIL released Onyx, their third studio LP this time last year and has taken the band on their wildest ride yet. The LP debuted at #39 on the Billboard Top 200 and #9 on the Independent Chart and has since gone on to sell over 85,000 copies in the U.S. alone. The band attributes their success to non-stop hard work, constant touring and writing great songs. The Aquarian weekly put it best when they said, “This group is the average American heavy rock fan’s dream.”
Catch Pop Evil on the road right now with label-mates AVATAR, tour dates can be found here.
There were a bunch of great releases in 2013 and each year it seems harder and harder to pick the 10 best. Ryo Vie and I have listed our 10 best hard rock and metal albums of 2013. Agree or Disagree? Let us know what your picks are in the comments below!!
Rob Rockitt’s Top Hard Rock & Metal Albums of 2013
I am glad 2013 is now in our rear view mirror. 2013 has hung heavily over my family on the injury and overall health and wellness. Not only has it affected my family members, I laid to rest two of my furry family members, Jake & Mia. On the music front, 2013 was pretty good. maybe not as strong as some of the recent past years. That doesn’t mean we were without quality music. There was a lot of great music that was released, and 2014 looks to be another great year for hard rock & metal music.
10. Death Angel – The Dream Calls for Blood
It had to happen sooner or later…. a band has out-thrashed the Big 4. Death Angel’s The Dream Calls For Blood is the best thrash metal album of 2013. When I first heard the title track “The Dream Calls For Blood” I was immediately hooked. This album is heavy, dark and sometimes brutal. It is Bay Area metal at its finest. This album also has a killer cover of Black Sabbath’s Heaven & Hell”.
9. Motörhead – Aftershock
You have heard one Motörhead, you have heard them all right? WRONG! Lemmy Kilmister and company prove they have plenty of fire left in them, and have crafted one of their best albums to date. I have all of 21 of their albums, and I have found Aftershock to be completely satisfying. Lemmy pulls out a bunch of new riffs for Aftershock, making this one of the most surprising albums of 2013. Fair warning, you may want to set your cruise control if playing this album while driving. It may be hazardous to your driving record.
8. Michael Monroe – Horns & Halos
Michael Monroe has done it again with his latest effort Horns & Halos. Monroe has crafted another great album. Horns & Halos is a little more punky and a little less glammy than 2011’s Sensory Overdrive, but it is a solid album all the way through.
07. Alter Bridge – Fortress
Man oh man, Alter Bridge quietly released their new album Fortress in October.With their album Blackbird being so great, I thought ABIII (2010) was a step backward for Alter Bridge. The band righted any wrongs with their new album Fortress. Fortress is Alter Bridge’s heaviest album to date. Myles Kennedy dishes out some powerful vocals, and Mark Tremonti’s riffs are drifting ever so closer to his metal roots.(Check out the video for Addicted to Pain below) Fortress is another one of 2013’s great surprises.
06. Stryper – No More Hell To Pay
If someone would have told me Stryper would release one of their best albums in 2013, I wouldn’t have believed it, but that is exactly what happened. No More Hell To Pay is packed with heavy riffs,and the fantastic vocals of Michael Sweet. No More Hell To Pay is one of Stryper’s heaviest albums, and packed with great songs. I am hopeful to see Stryper perform some of these in 2014. That would be a real treat!
05. Black Sabbath – 13
While the drama between Bill Ward and Black Sabbath continues, one thing is for certain, 13 is the strongest albums that Sabbath has ever released, and definitely one of the strongest with Ozzy Osbourne singing. If you didn’t pick up the bonus edition CD of 13 (available at Best Buy), you missed out one not one, but three killer Sabbath songs “Methademic”, “Peace of Mind” and “Pariah”. “Methademic” was a staple in Sabbath’s concert list this summer.
04. Tom Keifer – The Way Life Goes
Tom Keifer worked on his solo album for many years before finally releasing The Way Life Goes in 2013. The wait was well worth it, as the Cinderella front man has turned in one of 2013’s best rock albums. Getting to see Tom perform with his solo band was one of my favorite concert moments of 2013 too.
03. Airbourne – Black Dog Barking
Sooner or later, Airbourne is going to get the respect they deserve. The band released their third and arguably best album in 2013. This album has gotten countless plays from me in 2013, and will continue to be played for many years to come.
02. Winery Dogs – S/T
Billy Sheehan, Mike Portnoy, Richie Kotzen are some of the best hard rock musicians to ever grace the stage. With this in mind, I knew the Winery Dogs album would have to be awesome, and it is. Great songs, vocals and musicianship. The Winery Dogs are a dream band for any hard rock fan and should not be missed.
01. Brand New Machine- The Devil Made Me Do It
Sometimes simple is better…. Ever since I stumbled upon this album by complete accident in August of this year while music shopping with my buddy Ryo Vie, I have not been able to stop listening to The Devil Made Me Do It. Former Beautiful Creatures guitarist Michael Thomas has breathed some serious life into Brand New Machine. I am a sucker for good old 80’s style sleaze rock and The Devil Made Me Do It delivers from beginning to end. Check out the clips below and buy the album here!!
There were so many great albums in 2013, it wouldn’t be fair to not mention those albums that nearly made my top list. All of the albums below are very worthy of your hard earned dollars.
Age of Days – Radioactivity
Avenged Sevenfold – Hail To The King
Buckcherry – Confessions
Deep Purple – Now What?
Krokus – Dirty Dynamite
Megadeth – Super Collider
Pop Evil – Onyx
Sammy Hagar – Sammy Hagar & Friends
Sideburn – Electricity
Skillet – Rise
Suicidal Tendencies – 13
Voodoo Circle – More Than One Way Home
Ryo Vie’s 10 Favorite Hard Rock Albums For 2013
Another year is over. A new one has just begun. 2013 was a solid year for hard rock music lovers. Some exceptional albums were released by new comers, young stars, and the royal guard of the past. We were blessed with new music from Pearl Jam, Black Sabbath, and the return of Suicidal Tendencies.
Young bands like Pop Evil and Five Finger Death Punch released their best material to date. And a new band put out one incredible record. All in all 2013 was a fantastic year for music. We can only hope that 2014 will be just as great. And as we look forward to the new releases of 2014, let’s take a moment to reflect on the best releases of the past year. Here’s Ryo’s picks for the 10 best hard rock albums of 2013.
“Suicidal’s back, Suicidal’s back!” So sang Cyko Miko on the latest Suicidal Tendencies record, 13. This was a fantastic record that heralded the return of one of the best hard rocking bands around. 13 was a solid release that made me glad Suicidal Tendencies were back in action. Layered with multiple infectious grooves, powerful hooks, heavy guitars, and lots of funk and fun, 13 is a powerful album that takes the listener on a journey of musical styles with thrash always remaining as the main focus. Suicidal is back indeed— and we couldn’t be happier.
2013 was a very good year for Five Finger Death Punch. They released two terrific albums in the span of 10 weeks and both charted high on the Billboard charts, deservedly so. Both albums are exceptional works of art, and worthy of multiple listens. Volume One was an enjoyable, unexpected delight that really caught my ear and got my attention. And it was only the beginning of what was to come for this band in 2013. However, if this was the only record the band put out, it would have been good enough. Thankfully for hard rockers everywhere, Five Finger Death Punch wasn’t stopping at just one.
Atreyu drummer/vocalist Brandon Saller’s side project released one hell of a record this year. Begin Again is a stellar modern rock album packed with gems. The album had plenty of staying power and longevity and I found myself returning to it again and again as the year went on. That’s always the sign of an amazing record, which is just what Begin Again is. If this album somehow passed you by, I still recommend that you seek it out.
It was nice to see Buckcherry back with a new record in 2013. Most people may have forgotten about this album since it came out so early in the year (early January) and that’s a real shame, because Confessions is a strong record filled with enjoyable songs that rock eardrums hard. It was interesting to see Buckcherry put together a themed album, and they pulled it off, delivering a grand collection of songs on Confessions. I still listen to “Wrath” on a regular basis and it has become one of my favorite Buckcherry songs, up there with “Lit Up.” Yes, I did just state that.
No Cinderella? No problem. Tom Keifer went solo and released the biggest surprise of 2013 with The Way Life Goes. I had no expectations when this record was released, and it absolutely blew my mind. After all that he has been through, it was amazing to see Tom Keifer can still make meaningful music, and that his voice still sounds as terrific as ever. It may be the best he’s ever sounded. The Way Life Goes has me hopeful to see Mr. Keifer at some of the festivals this year, particularly M3. With or without Cinderella, Tom Keifer is a force, and The Way Life Goes proves it.
The godfathers of heavy metal reunited (sans Bill Ward) and released a record. 13 is bound to be on everyone’s top 10 list this year, simply because it’s Black Sabbath and that creates a lot of exposure. However, the record deserves to be on most top 10 lists because it’s a spectacular album. Returning to the early sound of Black Sabbath (from their debut release), 13 is a mind trip of amazing music performed by real heavy metal pioneers. Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Ozzy Osbourne worked hard to create a sound that was true Black Sabbath—and they succeeded marvelously. 13 is a magnificent release and one that any hard rock fan should own.
04. Avenged Sevenfold – Hail To The King
Avenged Sevenfold just keeps getting better and better with every record they release. If there is any successor to the great Iron Maiden, Avenged Sevenfold are it. Their music is complex, layered in multiple guitar riffs, complicated drum beats, and heavy bass lines that pull every note together into a harmony of joyful sound. Hail To The King is certainly Avenged Sevenfold’s best album yet and catapults the band to the next level of greatness. If you haven’t spent much time with Avenged, or if you don’t own any of their albums, Hail To The King is a great place to start.
2013 was a good year for Pop Evil fans. The band continued their endless touring opening for any band that would have them, their live act became better than it ever has been, and they released their hardest album to date, Onyx. I admit, it took me a few spins to get into Onyx, but once I did, I couldn’t get out. I still listen to this album on a weekly basis and continue to find new parts to fall in love with. Pop Evil worked hard to get away from the acoustic ballads they were becoming known for and went to a much darker place. The result was magnificent and Onyx was a serious contender for best album of 2013.
02. Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt
As is usually the case when Pearl Jam releases a new record, expectations were high. It had been four years since their last release, which was scattered at best. Many fans were wondering if Pearl Jam still had the goods and if they did, could they still deliver. And then the band released the first single, “Mind Your Manners.” Most doubts were squashed right there. Then the band released their next single, “Sirens.” Even critics jaws dropped at that point. “Sirens” is one of the best Pearl Jam songs ever recorded, and Lightning Bolt is one of the band’s best records ever released. In 2013, only one band could make a record better than Lightning Bolt.
01. Five Finger Death Punch – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume 2
When a band has two albums in a top 10 list for one year, it’s obvious that the band has had one magnificent year. Such is the case for Five Finger Death Punch. After the release of Volume 1, I was curious to see what Volume 2 would bring, but felt there was no way it would be better. I have never been more wrong about an album in my life. Volume 2 is one of the greatest records I have ever heard. It blends the perfect mix of hard, heavy, angry, introspective, and soft at just the right times. Volume 2 contains power, emotion, and a level of magnificence that is hard to find on a record. Without question, if you only purchase one release from 2013, The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume 2 has to be it. It will be a long time before you hear a better record.
Experimental rock group STOLEN BABIES are pleased to announce their upcoming U.S. tour with headlining hard rock giants Stone Sour and fellow supporters Pop Evil. The tour begins on January 14th in Orlando, FL and stops in several major American cities through February 15th. See below for all current tour dates and make sure to get tickets now before there are none left! Additional dates are scheduled for announcement.
Drummer Gil Sharone says, “We’re really excited about being on the Stone Sour tour and coming back to so many of our favorite cities. It’s a big deal to us and we’re grateful for the opportunity.”
ON TOUR W/ STONE SOUR, POP EVIL
14-Jan Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
15-Jan Charlotte, NC @ Fillmore
17-Jan Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
18-Jan New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
19-Jan Philadelphia, PA @ TLA
21-Jan Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
22-Jan Boston, MA @ House of Blues
24-Jan Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
25-Jan Ft. Wayne, IN @ Piere’s
26-Jan Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
28-Jan Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
31-Jan Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theatre
1-Feb Sioux Falls, SD @ The District
3-Feb Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
5-Feb West Hollywood, CA @ House of Blues
6-Feb Anaheim, CA @ House Of Blues
8-Feb Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
9-Feb Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee
11-Feb El Paso, TX @ Tricky Falls
13-Feb Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
14-Feb Houston, TX @ House of Blues
15-Feb San Antonio, TX @ Backstage Live
STOLEN BABIES drummer Gil Sharone is an official nominee in the Modern Drummer 2014 Readers Poll! Gil is nominated in the Best Clinician category. Support STOLEN BABIES and cast your vote for Gil HERE.
While you are surfing the web, check out the band’s latest music video for the track ‘Second Sleep’. The video was directed by Ilan Sharone, well-known video director and brother of Rani and Gil, with visual FX and animation by Meats Meier. The track is cut from the band’s most recent full-length release, entitled Naught. The album is available at your local music retailer and through iTunes, Amazon and all other standard digital retailers.
For more information on STOLEN BABIES, please visit these websites:
STOLEN BABIES is:
Dominique Lenore Persi – Lead Vocals/Accordion
Rani Sharone – Bass/Guitar/Vocals
Gil Sharone – Drums
Eve To Adam (ETA) announced a November tour with fellow rockers POP Evil. The tour starts in Michigan and travels through the East Coast, returning home to New York for their finale. Fans can see an updated list of dates here.
“From beat one, Eve To Adam’s ‘Locked and Loaded’ commands attention. If raw talent, good songs, and dogged determination is what is needed to save rock n roll, then these guys are leading from the front! I’m proud to have worked on this record.” – Eric Bass (Shinedown)
The album was produced by multiple notable producers including Dave Bassett (Shinedown, Halestorm), Eric Bass (Shinedown), and Elvis Baskette (Puddle of Mudd, Alter Bridge, Chevelle) and features ETA’s smashing hit, “Immortal.”
“ETA are on a mission to reclaim real rock and roll. The grit, the power, the danger…it’s all there with these guys and it was an amazing experience collaborating with them to bring the energy of their live show into the studio. To put it simply, they are poised to explode.” – Dave Bassett (Halestorm)
Tour Dates w/ POP Evil:
11/08 – Traverse City, MI @ Ground Zero
11/09 – Libertyville, IL @ Austin’s Saloon
11/10 – Wausau, WI @ The Fillmore
11/12 – Battle Creek, MI @ Planet Rock
11/14 – Johnson City, TN @ Capone’s
11/15 – Greenville, SC @ The Handlebar
11/16 – Greensboro, NC @ Mirage
11/17 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
11/18 – Fayetteville, NC @ The Drunk Horse Pup
11/20 – Jacksonville, NC @ Hooligans
11/22 – Clifton Park, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall
11/23 – Quincy, MA @ South Shore Music Hall
11/24 – Syracuse, NY @ Westcott Theater
pdated Tour Dates: http://www.facebook.com/evetoadam/app_123966167614127
Locked & Loaded on iTunes: http://bit.ly/LockedLoadediTunes
Locked & Loaded on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1edYEeu
“Immortal” Lyric Video: http://youtu.be/ewU-bVAbyRI
It’s not often a Independent band gets the distinction to be on the top of the charts, but Michigan powerhouse POP EVIL has done it, landing their first career #1 Active Rock single with the highly successful single “Trenches.”
The band is humbled by the reaction to their new album and are ecstatic to be in the top spot at Active Rock. Achieving this while signed to an independent label makes it even more of a major milestone for the band.
To celebrate, POP EVIL is offering the single for $0.69 on iTunes here starting tomorrow, July 2nd. Vocalist Leigh Kakaty weighs in on the good news:
“‘Trenches’ was written about the constant grind to survive in the music business. Earning our first #1 means more than you could imagine! Thanks to our supporters and believers at rock radio, management and record label. Most of all we Thank the Pop Evil die hard fans for making this happen!“
POP EVIL released “Onyx,” their third studio LP earlier this year. Accolades continue to pile up as the band releases their most comprehensive material to date.
“Onyx” debuted at #39 on the Billboard Top 200 and #9 on the Independent Chart.
With over 10,000 copies sold in the first week of release, this makes “Onyx” the most successful first week in the band’s history.
This milestone is the latest in the band’s hard working radio career. POP EVIL has landed a total of 4 Top 10 Active Rock singles and 3 Top 5 Rock Singles on their last album, “War Of Angels.”
Adjectives that can be used to describe Onyx: heavy, different, solid, fantastic, amazing. After a few spins it is easy to state that Onyx is the best Pop Evil album to date. And while that may seem like a bold statement, it is a true statement. Fans expecting to hear “Monster You Made,” or “100 In A 55,” will not find that here. That doesn’t mean those fans will be disappointed, because Pop Evil has still delivered greatness. Acoustic guitars may be absent, and ballads may be few and far between (technically only one ballad appears on Onyx), but phenomenal music is definitely present and accounted for. Here now is Hard Rock Hideout’s track by track breakdown of the latest LP from Pop Evil.
Goodbye My Friend
Opening track, “Goodbye My Friend,” is a solid, hard rocking, modern blast. The addition of Nick Fueling (lead guitar) and Chaci Riot (drums) are felt immediately. And while the absence of Tony Greve and Dylan Allison is noticeable, the new players are taking Pop Evil in a whole different direction. “Goodbye My Friend” sets the tone for what the rest of Onyx is going to sound like: a fast, hard hitting masterpiece. The solos in this song are outstanding and vocalist Leigh Kakaty reaches down and pushes out a growling, gravelly voice that has not been heard previously.
Deal With The Devil
“Deal With The Devil” is a fast song with a hard and heavy beat. This song hit hard right out of the gate and quickly became an instant favorite. I didn’t think that there was a song that I would enjoy more than “Trenches” on this record, but I was wrong. There are multiple songs that are better than “Trenches” and “Deal With The Devil” is one of them. Crunching guitars from Nick Fueling and Dave Grahs dominate this song and turn it into a gem. Add to that Kakaty’s voice in peak form, and there’s high chance for “Deal With The Devil” to become a huge hit.
“Trenches” was the first single released for Onyx and for a while I really thought it was the best song on the record. That is no longer the case (as you will see). Yet, “Trenches” is one of the best Pop Evil songs to date. Crunching, heavy guitars open the track and are immediately followed by the pounding drums of Riot. The powerful vocals that Kakaty nails throughout along with the urgency that the song is sung in makes this one of the most powerful anthems to come out of the Pop Evil camp.
Torn To Pieces
This is easily the weakest song on the album. That’s not to say it’s a horrendous song, it’s just not as strong as the other tracks. The subject matter is very touching (Leigh Kakaty wrote it as a tribute after his father passed away), and the song is heartfelt, but “Torn To Pieces” lacks the power that all other Pop Evil ballads have contained. And considering this is the only true ballad on Onyx, it was quite surprising. Heading into the disc, I thought “Torn To Pieces” was going to be a song that I constantly played. However, it looks like it will be just the opposite. I seem to hit skip a lot to get to the next track.
“Divide” is another strong, hard hitting, modern rock gem that only Pop Evil can deliver. This is also another song that defines the new direction Pop Evil is heading in. There would never be a song like “Divide” on the band’s previous two albums because they hadn’t emerged to that state in their career yet. With “Divide” the band has embraced the modern rock sound that they seemed to be keeping at bay on previous records. Here, they embrace the sound and turned in a strong, enjoyable song.
“Beautiful” is a mid-tempo piece that is quite enjoyable. The subject matter is exceptional, as the message in the music is we are all beautiful to someone in our own way. Regardless of sexual orientation, the color of our skin, personal interests, or anything else, we are all beautiful today and everyday for the rest of our lives. “Beautiful” is a very uplifting song and one that I believe has the potential to be absolutely astonishing in concert. Personally, I can’t wait to hear this song performed live.
Silence & Scars
Another ballad is delivered in the form of “Silence & Scars.” The song emerges with a strange, yet cool, attention grabbing guitar riff. It sets the stage for the rest of the song. Once again, Kakaty’s voice is strong and smooth and while it’s not a true ballad, “Silence & Scars” is up there with “Monster You Made” for one of the best ballads in the Pop Evil catalog. I expect that this will be a chart topping hit in the very near future.
This is the heaviest song that Pop Evil has ever done. It sounds like a mash up of Marilyn Manson, Rage Against The Machine, and some darker modern rock bands. After the first couple of listens, I didn’t think that I was going to like this song at all. Then, after a few more spins, it started to grow on me. Now, “Sick Sense” is one of my favorite tracks on the record. It clearly shows the evolution of Pop Evil and the deep influence that Fueling and Riot had on the band for the recording of this record. Three years ago, I wouldn’t even consider “Sick Sense” a Pop Evil song. Now, part of me is hoping this is the direction the band heads in over the next couple of albums.
“Fly Away” is a return to the Pop Evil sound that fans have come to know over the years. Hard rocking, clean, and a whole lot of fun, “Fly Away” is one of the strongest Pop Evil songs recorded. This is destined to be a sing along classic in almost no time. “Fly Away” is another song that I am anxious to see the band perform in concert. There is so much raw power and potential for this song to be a climactic moment during their concert. And while the song structure is very simple, the delivery is impeccable, and it is what pushes “Fly Away” over the top.
Behind Closed Doors
This is another song that took a few listens to grow on me. At first, I wasn’t quite sure that I liked this song, but after a few plays, I realized how grand of a song “Behind Closed Doors” is. Starting off slow and then building into a hurried frenzy, “Behind Closed Doors” is a song that has a lot to offer. The song is rich, layered, and deep, which may be why it took so long to grow on me. There is a lot happening within “Behind Closed Doors” and it takes several listens to truly appreciate all of the great music that is being played back at the listener.
Welcome To Reality
Another quick, simple, and highly enjoyable song, “Welcome To Reality” is standard Pop Evil flair. Filled with high energy and strong vocals from Kakaty, “Welcome To Reality” is a song that delivers. If “Trenches” has a sibling, it would be “welcome To Reality.” This is a strong song that serves as a great reminder that music can sometimes just be straight out fun.
“Flawed” is an odd song that I haven’t quite decided how I feel about. I love the opening guitar riff from Nick Fueling and I love how the drums come crashing in behind the riff. Yet, there is something about the song that keeps it from standing out as all of the other tracks have. I am unable to identify exactly what is holding this song back, but the simple fact remains that “Flawed” isn’t as grand as 10 of the other Onyx tracks. Maybe it’s due to the fact that it is the last song on the record? I have no idea. What I do know is that it will take several more listens to determine if “Flawed” is one of the better Pop Evil catalog songs.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Goodbye My Friend
02. Deal With The Devil
04. Torn To Pieces
07. Silence & Scars
08. Sick Sense
09. Fly Away
10. Behind Closed Doors
11. Welcome To Reality
Pop Evil Is:
Leigh Kakaty – Vocals
Matt DiRito – Bass
Dave Grahs – Rhythm Guitar
Nick Fueling – Lead Guitar
Chachi Riot – Drums
Tour Dates with Drowning Pool Announced
“Onyx” Out Now!
Michigan favorites POP EVIL have revealed their first week sales and chart positions for their newest LP “Onyx.” The new alum debuts in the top 40 at #39 on the Billboard Top 200 and #9 on the Independent charts. “Onyx” also moves up to #6 on the Active Rock Radio Chart and #4 on the Mainstream Rock Radio Chart.
With just over 10,000 copies sold in the first week of release, this makes “Onyx” the most successful first week in the band’s history.
After successful stints at Carolina Rebellion, Welcome To Rockville and Rock on the Range, the band will continue to stay on the road all summer long. POP EVIL will be headed out with DROWNING POOL later this summer, dates can be seen below.
POP EVIL released “Onyx,” their fourth studio LP on Tuesday, May 14th. Accolades continue to pile up as the band releases their most comprehensive material of their career.
“Onyx rocks. It’s shinier than a new set of Tyfun chrome rims, if that vehicle needed twelve of them, and every lug nut is perfectly torqued.” – About.com
“The quintet has elevated its game on every level with this 12-track album” – The Oakland Press
“Between catchy lyrics and great overall music composition, Pop Evil show that they have what it takes to take the rock world by storm.” – HEAR Magazine
5/23/13 Columbus, OH
Front Porch of the South
5/24/13 Jacksonville, FL
The Roc Bar
5/25/13 Niceville, FL
Mullett Festival Grounds
5/26/13 St. Petersburg, FL
5/29/13 Johnson City, TN
5/30/13 Baltimore, MD
Rams Head Live!
5/31/13 Philadelphia, PA
6/1/13 Uncasville, CT
Mohigan Sun Casino Wolf Den
6/14/13 Rothbury, MI
Double JJ Ranch & Resort
6/15/13 Kent, CT
6/19/13 Bowling Green, KY
The Rustic Room
6/20/13 Bloomington, IL
The Castle Theater
6/22/13 Earlville, IA
6/23/13 Sioux Falls, SD
6/26/13 Minot, ND
The ‘O’riginal Bar/Nightclub
6/26/13 Seattle, WA
Showbox at the Market
6/27/13 Missoula, MT
7/1/13 Aberdeen, SD
Dakota Events Center
7/2/13 Minneapolis, MN
7/3/13 Chicago, IL
House of Blues
7/10/13 Warsaw, IN
Kosciusko County Fair
7/19/13 Eau Clair, WI
Chippewa Valley Rock Fest
7/21/13 Sauget, IL*
7/23/13 Marshalltown, IA*
7/24/13 Lincoln, NE*
7/27/13 Clarkston, WA
Gateway Golf Way
7/30/13 Salt Lake City, UT*
In The Venue
7/31/13 Cheyenne, WY*
8/1/13 CO Springs, CO*
The Black Sheep
8/2/13 Denver, CO*
Summit Music Hall
8/6/13 Sturgis, SD
Full Throttle Saloon
* – w/ Drowning Pool
Pop Evil has released a new video for their recently released single “Trenches”.
The band has created a three part video series, directed by veteran Swedish director Johan Carlén Mask (AVATAR). The video for “Trenches” is the last in the series, and the first to be released, as each of the three parts will be released in reverse. The band comments:
“We wanted to portray a realistic view on the issues of addiction and abuse. We hope it makes the viewer take a positive approach on looking at themselves for strength and hope that tomorrow is another day closer to absolution.”
“Trenches” is from the new Pop Evil CD Onyx, which is in stores and on iTunes today!!
Pop Evil fans are set to rejoice on May 14th as the band’s latest album, Onyx, will hit the stores and the internet. During a recent tour stop, Hard Rock Hideout had the opportunity to sit down with drummer Chachi Riot and discuss the new album, Pop Evil’s grueling tour schedule, where the nickname Chachi came from, paying a lot to see Lady Gaga, and what the best shot to drink is. Read on to learn all this and more…
Hard Rock Hideout: The new album, Onyx, is due for release on May 14th and I think everyone is holding their breath to make sure there are no last minute changes to the scheduled release date. Can you confirm that fans will be happy and there are no delays come May 14 th?
Chachi Riot: No delays. Finally everything is lining up. Promotion, release dates, artwork. We already had the final copies sent to us. Everything is clicking on all eight cylinders. We’re ready to go.
HRH: So it’s not going to be like when War Of Angels was ready to come out?
CR: No. No. And that was right at the time when I first joined the band. There was a lot of turmoil and chaos. I had known the guys for like five years prior, but it was a really difficult time for the band, for the label, and we’re really glad that we are not dealing with that this time. E-one has been really great, really supportive and there are pretty high hopes and expectations for this album.
HRH: Lead single “Trenches” is already charting, it’s 11 on the charts, moving up. Are we going to expect to hear more songs like “Trenches” on this album, or songs that are more like “Purple?” What
type of music are we looking at?
CR: We were kind of nervous going into the writing process, just because we have a group of five guys that as a group of five had never written together. We didn’t know what to expect as far as recording, writing, tracking…however we wanted to go over it.
We finished the album instrumentally in almost two weeks. Everything clicked and we kind of, unintentionally…I don’t want to use the word concept album because that’s wrong. But, you know, the whole album has a certain vibe to it. Remorse is probably too strong. “Trenches” is a great lead-off single to describe the album. We’ve been fighting, we’re digging, we’re ready to get out of this…I don’t want to give away too much.
I think anybody would be crazy to say it’s not our greatest album hands down. It’s probably a little bit heavier than the last albums collectively. Songwriting didn’t suffer. We didn’t go in there and just try to write heavy stuff and throw away the songwriting, because we’re known for songwriting. I think the band in this album…one little tease…there’s no acoustic guitar on the whole album.
HRH: Wow. Really?
CR: Yeah, and our two biggest hits, Monster and 100, we just decided that we’re not leaning on that. There are still some mid-tempos, but we were aware of what we wanted to achieve as a band and the message we wanted to portray. We wanted to be respected as musicians and show that we can play.
HRH: Onyx is the first album that you were in the studio for. Were you worried about your contributions and not being able to give as much as you would have liked?
CR: Not really. My goal coming in was to do whatever it took to make the band better. I was prepared for any and all responsibilities. Whether that be lyric writing, song writing, just drumming, even if I was just there to cheer on the band… mentally I was there to be a team player.
Leigh (lead singer Leigh Kakaty) likes to use a lot of athletic metaphors for the band and everyone can’t be Lebron James. To be successful you have to have other players. So I was prepared to be whatever the band needed me to be. I’m one of the youngest guys in the band. I’m pretty energetic, and I try to be a positive influence on the band. When you’re in the studio, the vibe is very important, and so keeping the moral up, the work ethic, it’s all important.
HRH: Now would you say that the rest of the band feels the same way as far as team effort? Everyone shares that same vision? There are no egos?
CR: You’re in a band with five guys, there’s going to be some egos. But the band is a collective writing entity. Not one sole person does the writing. Just because Leigh’s the singer doesn’t mean that he doesn’t listen to our lyrics. Just because Matt (DiRito) is the bass player doesn’t mean that I don’t listen to him as a drummer. Everyone is a musician and everyone is respected. So, the best songs win. We are all here to make the band the best it can be.
HRH: Given the huge success of War Of Angels, were you tempted to go into the studio and just try to make a record that followed the same exact format?
CR: I don’t think so. I don’t think any of us were satisfied with War Of Angels. I think we’re very proud and humbled and appreciative and…thankful is an understatement for the success of that album.
HRH: Wow. Four huge chart topping singles. We rated it best album of that year. A lot of rock websites and magazines did.
CR: We got a lot love. But when we got in the studio and reflected back it was still very much a learning curve for everyone. Everyone went in and no one wanted to match War Of Angels. It was
unquestionable that we needed to destroy that album and blow it out of the water. We’re very competitive with ourselves and mediocrity and good is not going to be good enough.
HRH: Are you nervous about the release of this album?
CR: Nervous excitement. We have very high goals for ourselves internally. Things we want to see done. Fans we want to reach. And I hate to make it a numbers game, but of course you want to see good numbers. You want to prove people wrong and you want to prove yourselves wrong. Sometimes you get down when you think that maybe album sales are dead, and it’s kind of a scary thought. I think we can prove that to be wrong. I mean rock is not dead. There’s great bands out there…new bands like Volbeat and they’re still selling a lot of records. In terms of album sales success, Justin Timberlake’s new album went platinum in its debut week of release. So people still do buy CDs. People are buying albums. If you make good music, they will buy it. And I’m excited to see the response.
HRH: As usual, the Pop Evil touring schedule is grueling and vigorous. Currently you’re out on the road with Three Days Grace and then there is a run of dates with Sevendust, followed by the Shiprocked summer camp in June (14 – 16). Are there any additional tour plans after that?
CR: We have dates coming up after that. The Three Days Grace tour is going great, and the Sevendust tour, we can’t wait for that. I can’t say enough about those guys as friends and congratulations on their new single and album. I think a lot of people were just writing them off to just come back and play their old stuff. We have some dates coming up after that. Some festivals. We do have some dates with some other bands…
CR: We do have some headlining, but I don’t think we’re doing a full headline run in the summertime. But definitely teaming up with some bands that are worthwhile. We’re still new and we’re still young and we did some shows where there was just us on the bill and I don’t think there is any of that for the foreseeable future.
HRH: Did you know how intense Pop Evil’s touring schedule was prior to joining the band?
CR: Yeah. I mean it’s one thing to know and then another thing to experience it. The band I was in prior, which is how I met Pop Evil, we were completely independent, and we did about 170 shows the one year, and then our singer decided he was no longer interested in playing that many shows. So that set us back a bit. And we played about 70 shows the next year. And then Pop Evil called and we did about 265, 275 shows. And that’s what I’m here for. I signed up for a band to play music and live is my favorite part.
Everyone has different favorites, I love traveling. If I wasn’t doing this I would still be traveling, now I get to do what and I love and play drums. I’m very thankful for what I get to do.
HRH: How is the band getting along with Three Days Grace on this tour?
CR: It’s still been pretty new. We’ve spoke a few times. I stayed the other night and watched their performance. Everybody did a great job. (New lead singer) Matt (Walst) did a great job, their drummer (Neil Sanderson) did a great job. Obviously I’m a drummer, so I watched that. Everyone’s been extremely nice, their crew included, and that’s not something you can always expect.
HRH: Do you think when you get on a bill like this that you help push the ticket sales up?
CR: Obviously I would like to think that. One of the biggest compliments I’ve ever had from a band that I look up to was last year on the Theory of a Deadman tour. And Tyler (Connolly) came on our bus and was like “I want to let you guys know that this tour would not have been as good without you. We know what we draw and we know what we’ve drawn since you’ve been on the bill, so we want to thank you
for your contribution.” And to have a band tell you that is one thing, but to have the lead singer come on your bus and tell you that is a pretty awesome feeling. And we hope that we can do whatever it is to make everyone successful. I mean if nobody is coming to the show then nobody wins. We want to entertain their fans and if for some crazy reason nobody has seen or heard Three Days Grace and is a Pop Evil fan hopefully we are introducing them to new bands as well.
Now, a lot of bands argue over what songs to include in sets and how often to play them. Who makes the set lists for Pop Evil shows?
CR: We all get to contribute to what songs are going to be played every night, but a lot of it depends on the what the fans want to hear and what’s working. I mean, there are songs that I don’t want to play that the fans want to hear and really get into, so we have to play those, and then there’s songs that I really want to play, that fans may not be that into, so we don’t play it. For example, we’ve played four shows in a row and we’ve changed the set list every single night.
HRH: Are there audible calls in the middle of the set?
CR: It’s definitely not the regular, but it’s happened. You know, things happen, or set times will cut things. Sometimes Leigh will just pop up and be like “we’re gonna play ‘Stepping Stone’ acoustic tonight” because it’s an intimate show and he wants to just throw down on guitar. And that’s cool, I think there should be some sort of mystery to it all. I mean, the White Stripes do that, they don’t make a set list. I think there’s something really cool about that.
HRH: Where have you not yet performed that you would love to play?
CR: Probably Portland, Oregon. San Francisco is up there. The northwest is an area that I really love and we haven’t gotten to play there a whole lot. Spokane has been great to us. It’s a beautiful city, I love it. Those are cities, as far as venues, I’m from Grand Rapids (Michigan), so I want to play Van Andel arena really bad. And that’s a pretty high goal to set.
HRH: What about the Big House?
CR: Oh man. Playing at the Big House? I mean that’s 120,000 people. I don’t even know if they ever had a show there. I’d be happy to just go and watch a game there for now.
HRH: So you’re favorite Pop Evil song is…?
CR: To play, or to listen to? Because I think they’re different.
HRH: Let’s go with to play first.
CR: I think my favorite song to play live is “Hero.” But it can depend on the night. I’m pretty notorious for playing songs different every night. I think that an album exists for a reason and if you want to hear the song played the “right” way you can go buy the album.
HRH: And you’re favorite song to listen to?
CR: I can tell you it’s one of the ones from the new album.
HRH: But you can’t say which one?
CR: I can tell you that it’s not “Trenches.”
HRH: Okay, when the album is released, I’ll come back and due a follow up. See if I can guess which one it is. Now the band recently traveled to Sweden to film a music video trilogy. What can you tell us about that?
CR: They are very different, but they are all connected. It’s a really cool cinematic experience where they are all tied together. Other than that we are leaving it pretty mysterious.
HRH: No chance you will reveal the songs that are in that trilogy?
CR: “Trenches” is one. I will tell you that. And the other two, I can say, weren’t done specifically because of thoughts of them being a single. We just picked three songs that tied together really well and sent a message and were what we wanted to portray. They may be singles, they may not be, it’s not something
that we have really considered yet. And “Trenches” should be out around the album release date.
HRH: The new press photos have the band all dressed up in black, which obviously ties in with the new album title. Who came up with this concept?
CR: It was kind of a collective thing. I try to be pretty in touch with fashion and our manager and Leigh get involved. And branding is very important and sometimes gets overlooked in any business, not just bands, and we were branding the band with the message that this is a mature album, it’s dark, we are taking it seriously and we need to reflect that. And it begins with photos. So many bands, you just look at a picture of them and you immediately know if you do or do not want to listen to them. And that’s unfortunate. Before I was in this band, I looked at their last press photo and I told management, I don’t really like this picture, looks like you guys are in Motley Crue. It looks like you’re stuck in the eighties. So if you don’t like Motley Crue, even though our music sounds nothing like that, you won’t even get the chance. It’s a shame, but people judge books by their cover.
HRH: In 2004, Pop Evil released an independent album, War Of The Roses. Will any of that material ever be covered live, re-released, or in any way revisited by the band?
CR: It was basically a collection of demos that the band put together. When you play around the bars, you need to have a collection of demos, so the guys put it together to submit to the bars and then it leaked, and released, and now it exists. And I don’t think that it will be revisited again. I would hate to be proven wrong somewhere down the line, but not in the near future, no.
HRH: What’s the story behind your nickname, Chachi Riot?
CR: Chachi… a guy gave it to me in Freshman year of high school. I come from a very small village, and so… I worked for the dad of this girl I was dating. I started out doing some odd jobs, physical labor. And people would ask him, “Hey who’s the new guy you got in the back?” And he would be like, “Oh that’s Chachi, we hired him, he works for lunch every day, we got him over here illegally…” and it was like this big joke telling everyone that I was this illegal immigrant. And he was close to my wrestling coach. So my coach picked it up. And once a team picks it up you arepretty much done. I’ve had the nickname between ten and fifteen years now. I tried to lose it when I lefthigh school, but I had my four best friends go to the same college as me. So even if I introduced myself as Josh, it’s inevitable that someone is going to say Chachi. And a lot of people think it’s a made up stage name. The Riot thing was an add-on because on stage I’m always out of control, but Chachi is pre-music and has been around for a long time. I wish I could have gotten rid of it, but I can’t.
HRH: You joined the band after Dylan Allison had to undergo neck surgery. As far as we know there are no plans for him to come back. We hope that his health is okay, but we don’t know.
CR: I don’t know if he’ll ever be one hundred percent. I’ve known Dylan probably the second longest out of anyone in the band. He was experiencing mild paralysis which is better now, but as far as what his physical limitations are, I don’t think he was ever released for one hundred percent, and I don’t think he’ll ever be returning.
HRH: And did he introduce you to the band?
CR: I was hooked up with the band just from my old band playing with them (Pop Evil). I was the drummer in my old band, I was our booking agent, our manager, I was everything business related…a networker. And so…I networked myself to the next hottest band in Grand Rapids, which was Pop Evil. And we did some local shows and some regional shows with them.
I got to know the guys pretty well, we were hanging out together when they were off tour and they were home and I was home and when they needed a drummer I got kind of pushed in by the personal connection. And it wasn’t the first choice by the label or the management. I don’t know if they will tell you that now that I’m in (laughs), but everyone was like oh this is some local kid we don’t know about this. And I was pretty green as far as national touring and the whole scheme of being with a signed artist, and a couple of the guys in the band stood up for me and gave me a chance.
HRH: I heard that you were the one to bring Nick Fueling into the band.
CR: Yeah, Nick has been a best friend of mine for ten years, we’re very close.
HRH: And what made you think of him as Tony’s (Greve) replacement?
CR: It didn’t even start as that. It started as we had some internal issues and there was potentially somebody in the band was going to be stepping out for what we thought would be temporary…could be longer…and we were looking at what we thought would be needing a guitar player as a fill in for internal reasons. And so I called Nick, and I was like we might need a guitar player, so you need to learn some Pop Evil songs. And he’s a big fan of the band so he went and learned the songs. And then it turned out that we didn’t need Nick.
And then Tony started hinting around that he was going to leave the band, and I was like, Nick, you need to learn those guitar parts again. Obviously, just being his friend… I mean, he’s a phenomenal guitar player. It wasn’t about being his friend. I mean, if he’s not good enough, then the band’s not good enough. And so, I was like, I want to give you a shot, at least…and Tony left and gave us about 36 hours notice before the Theory of a Deadman tour. We left Monday night, the show was Tuesday, and he e-mailed us on Sunday. And he told us that he was leaving the band. And everyone was flipping out. No one knows the songs. We can’t afford to hire anybody…what are we going to do? And I was like, I have a guy.
I got Nick a foot in the door and I did what I could for him. And I’ll be honest…it wasn’t a right away thing that the guys wanted to keep him. Nick’s not me on stage. Which is not a good or bad thing, it’s just different. And so, Nick’s playing, immediately everyone loved, without question. But people were like, well Nick doesn’t dress like a rock star, or he doesn’t look like a rock star… and I was like, look, Nick was working at Best Buy, he has to look presentable…give him a chance to grow into the position. So I kept fighting for him and then slowly people were joining his team. And nobody wasn’t on his team, but you want what’s best for the band. And then we had guys from Theory of a Deadman step in during the tour and say “Hey, you’re new guitar player is really great. Congratulations.” And when you have guys like that going to bat for you, it’s kind of a no brainer. And then I started working with him on his wardrobe, I got him this slick little haircut (laughs).
HRH: A lot of fans feel that they don’t have closure, because they didn’t get a pure answer as to why Tony left.
CR: I don’t know that we as a band do. I mean, I’m not here to say anything good or bad about anybody, or to slander anyone’s name, but Tony is a very unique individual and character and Tony felt like there were some things that he needed to do in his life and he went to do those.
HRH: And if he were to come back a year from now and say hey, I’d like to play a few shows with you guys, do you think the band would be open to that?
CR: I don’t think they would. I mean, I don’t think there are any negative feelings, but some of us felt a little let down the way things were handled. I mean it’s a tough situation. It’s not fun, ever, when you lose someone from the band. And I think that this is a really special group of five guys that we have now and I’m really excited.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Tony has since dedicated his life to serving the Lord. For a full update on what he has been up to since leaving Pop Evil, you can see check out his Facebook pages Guitar Slinger Tony Greve, or Anthony Greve.
HRH: What did you listen to growing up?
CR: I mean, I listen to everything. I know everyone says they listen to everything, but my IPhone is right here so just for fun… my mom raised me on everything from Top 40 to country. I got into metal… I’m in the K’s right now and I got Kansas, Kanye West, Karnival, Katy Perry, KC & JoJo, Keith Urban, Kelly Pickler, Kid Rock, Kings of Leon, the band King… I have anything and everything. Some of the last artists I went and saw…Nora Jones, I’m a huge Nora Jones fan, I saw Michael Buble, I paid pretty good money to see Lady Gaga…
HRH: I’ve heard she’s good in concert.
CR: It’s a great show. I really try hard to be an appreciator of all music. I don’t really put any boxes or genres around anything, there’s really not a genre that I don’t like. I played saxophone for eight years, I love jazz, swing, big band…
HRH: Any chance that a sax solo will show up on a future song?
CR: I don’t think so…not for Pop Evil (laughs).
HRH: So, Who inspired you to become a drummer?
CR: A lot of people have this really cool story like they saw some video or something, and I don’t know that I did. I started playing drums because I got into a band with my best friends, and I was singing. And we wanted to make a cover band in college to make extra money and get drunk on the weekends…I’m being honest.
And I figured I can sing well enough to cover some songs. Let’s just play some songs. We were looking for a drummer and this kid tried out and I thought he was okay, and he was like, “well I’ve always wanted to try singing.”
And I was like, yeah, everyone always wants to be the singer, whatever…we let him try singing and the kid was a great singer. So it was never even discussed that we need to find a drummer they were like let’s switch, Chachi can play drums. And I was like, I don’t know how to play drums. And they said, well you can learn. And I just learned.
I think looking back now, I was influenced by one of the first drummers I ever watched in a music video…Blas Elias of Slaughter. One of my favorites! “Up All Night” video, the “Fly To The Angels” video…I’m a huge Dave Grohl fan…I just kind of draw influence from everybody. Even if they’re not drummers, I think everybody has something to offer that you can learn.
HRH: If you had 24 hours to spend with any drummer, living or dead, to seek advice from, who would you choose?
CR: Only because he’s dead, I mean, if I could bring him back to life, I’d have to say Bonham. Dave Grohl would probably be my next choice.
HRH: Neil Peart’s not up there, huh?
CR: I think Neil Peart’s a phenomenal drummer, but not my flavor. There’s a definite appreciation I have for him…
HRH: He doesn’t give interviews anyway, so the hell with him.
CR: (Laughs). Yeah, and he plays Pearl drums, so what do you want?
HRH: So that leads to another good question. What drums do you play and what cymbals?
CD: Ludwig always man. I mean Ludwig’s offices are about thirty miles from my hometown, I mean it’s Midwest, it’s Bonham, it’s blue collar, and they’re phenomenal drums. They’re everything I could ever imagine in a drum company. I am so honored to play Ludwig drums, I can’t say enough about them.
Cymbals is a cool story. I played Zildjian my whole life and then I was approached by Meinl about three years ago. Chris Brewer’s a great guy and I’ll never forget him calling me and saying so what do you like? How about Meinl cymbals, and I was like absolutely not. I’ve seen your name all over and I’m sure you make quality stuff, but I’ve never played your cymbal in my life. And he’s like would you be interested in trying them? And I was like, sure.
And I have never been happier with a personal relationship with a rep I’ve ever had. And they are phenomenal cymbals, I play the MB20 series if anybody’s curious…they are brilliant, and Meinl is really groundbreaking. They try a lot of new stuff. They have your classic cymbals, your vintage, your brilliant, your thin, your heavy… music changes, genres change, sounds change, and I think Meinl is on the front end of staying with that…they are a great, great company with great people.
It’s one thing to have a company discount you gear, or send you gear, but Chris goes above and beyond and I have a lot of respect and love for that guy. He comes to the shows, he hangs out after the shows, he spoils me rotten…and Menl and Ludwig are just both great companies.
HRH: All right, let’s have some fun now. You would most like to have: A Grammy, a multi-platinum album, or a sold out world tour headlining arenas?
CR: (long pause)… That’ s tough. Definitely not the Grammy. I think that’s the least favorite. The sold out world tour is pretty tempting because I like live shows so much, but a platinum album is kind of a timeless thing. But I’ll go with the live tour.
HRH: Best shot is Jagermeister, Jack Daniels, Crown Royal, or Other?
CR: I’m not a huge shot guy, but Crown’s pretty high up there, that’s a nice shot. I can drink that. I’m not a Jager dude, if I really wanted to get wild, which doesn’t happen very often, but the girlfriend and I definitely indulge in Fireball occasionally.
HRH: That’s the cinnamon whiskey, right? That’s good stuff.
CR: Yes. And she’s from the south so whiskey is her flavor. She can be a bad influence on me (laughs). Everyone thinks they are all southern belles down there and I know the truth. And Crown’s pretty great. I mean the maple Crown is phenomenal.
HRH: I haven’t tried that yet.
CR: It’s worth a shot. Bud-dum-dump!
HRH: So, you mentioned your girlfriend…how do you balance life on the road, with a girl that you obviously love…how do you balance that with this?
CR: She is phenomenal. I can’t say enough about her or her strength. I guess the only way to really explain it is that if you want something bad enough you will do whatever it takes to make it work.
HRH: And she’s obviously understanding and very supportive?
CR: Yeah. I mean, it’s not easy always, it’s definitely not. I’m in the public eye constantly. I’m gone all the time. There are individuals out there that don’t make it easy. Whether it be overly excited fans…but they’re supporters. And I hate to be the guy that’s like hey… I mean a girl got mad because I wouldn’t sign her bra. There’s just this line. I’ll gladly sign your poster, your T-shirt, I’ll take a photo with you…and they were like, “Well, this isn’t rock and roll.” And I’m just like, look I’m not here to sleep with chicks, I’m here to drum and play music.
HRH: Your guilty music pleasure is…?
CR: Oh man, my guiltiest music pleasure? I can probably sing every lyric off an NSync album to you. I’m also a huge Bruno Mars fan…I have been since the first record. I think he’s a phenomenal musician and I don’ think he’s as respected as he should be. I think people like him, but I don’t think they appreciate how talented he is.
HRH: You are a fan of all Detroit sports teams as well, or do you have other allegiances?
CR: The only one that I think would waver is… I was forever a Braves fan in baseball. Ted Turner owned TNT and as a kid they were always on TV and they were on fire. They had Smoltz and Glavin and Chipper Jones, who was my favorite player until he retired, and now they have the Upton Brothers who are on fire, shout out to the Braves, but other than baseball I am die hard Red Wings, Lions, and Michigan Wolverines. I’m not really a basketball fan. I’ll watch it, but I wouldn’t call myself a Pistons fan, I’d be ahuge poser to say that.
HRH: Your Facebook friends are real friends, fans, music journalists, of a mix of everything?
CR: All of the above, definitely. I had Facebook for two years before I joined the band so I already had a collection of colleagues, associates, and close friends and family. And I made Nick aware of this since I joined the band so much earlier than him. I was like, listen, if you’re gonna have a Facebook page, you need to decide right now if it’s going to be public or private. Don’t do half of it. You have to commit. And I committed to making mine completely public. And it’s stressful at times. I really try hard to answer every message, and I get backed up. And I do my best to get on comments. My only regret is that I don’t get to see what my family is up to as much because my feed has become so overrun. It’s almost like a Twitter to me. I love Twitter. But you can control that. I’m glad that fans can indulge in that and kind of experience my day to day.
HRH: So if a fan sends a friend request…?
CR: I will add them right away. I do daily video updates on my Facebook for fans to watch. It goes from anything from what I’m doing that day, or a shout out to the fan of the day or maybe just a backstage look at the venue or the green room. There’s definitely days when you don’t want to do that, I’m not going to lie, but that’s part of the gig. If you’re going to do that, then you definitely have to do it.
HRH: Chachi, thank you so much. I really appreciate your time and thanks for agreeing to the
CR: Absolutely. Thank you for having me.
One year ago I witnessed Pop Evil as the opening act for Theory of a Deadman while touring behind their smash album, War Of Angels. At the time, I saw a band that was hungry, on the rise, and giving a performance that destroyed the one from the band they opened for. This past Friday I saw Pop Evil as a very special guest act for Three Days Grace while touring in anticipation of their forthcoming release, Onyx. This time I got to see a band that was tighter, hungrier, and even more dedicated to their live performance than ever before. What a difference a year makes.
The Sherman Theater, where Pop Evil and Three Days Grace performed, holds 2,000 people at maximum capacity. 1,800 tickets were sold for that Friday night show. Just before Pop Evil took the stage, 1,600 fans stood waiting for the special guests to open the night. There were no other bands scheduled to perform. Minutes before Pop Evil promptly took the stage at 8:00 PM, the crowd filled in tight on the floor from the front of the stage all the way to the exit doors. When the lights went down the crowd erupted.
Pop Evil performed a mind blowing ten song set. Knowing only 45 minutes were allotted for their performance, the band avoided gimmicks and let the music do the talking. The music spoke volumes. Opening with their debut single “Hero” (from Lipstick On The Mirror) Pop Evil exploded onto the stage with a deafening roar from the crowd supporting them. Their night only got better from there. Playing their best known hits (“Monster You Made,” “Purple”) along with some new gems (“Trenches,” “Goodbye My Friend”), Pop Evil made the most of their short time. Once again, during the performance of “Purple” I heard fans proclaim that they had to buy that album or that song. It happens every time I see the band in concert. It is how they win their fans over—one song at a time, one performance at a time.
And while they had a couple of months off to record their new album (Onyx, due out May 14th), the band never really left the road after War Of Angels was released. The band has played anywhere and everywhere, opening for whoever would have them, and headlining their own shows when they couldn’t open. All of the constant touring has matured the band in ways that were visibly and audibly noticeable. Their set was much tighter, with a higher level of confidence in the music. And with five singles in a row breaking the top 15 on the music charts, why shouldn’t they be confident of their music? On stage, the crowd saw five men very proud of what they have accomplished, while yearning to achieve much more.
Drummer Chachi Riot (aka Josh Marunde) should have been nicknamed Animal after the mad drumming puppet from The Muppet Show. He has the similar wild mane of hair, beard, wicked grin, and drumming style. Chachi is insane behind the drum kit, standing for most of the show while pounding the skins and slamming the cymbals. Bassist Matt DiRito is akin to an angry pirate, whipping his long tangled hair around and around while holding the rhythm section steady. Dave Grahs quietly provides perfect rhythm guitar, playing concise chords that burst the music to a higher level. And while long time fans may miss the presence of Tony Greve, current lead guitarist Nick Fueling has come into his own, creating blistering solos in addition to his exceptional leads. Then, at the center of it all, is front man Leigh Kakaty. Still singing like an angel, still looking like he is having the time of his life onstage, still whipping the crowd into a frenzy. Pop Evil has gotten much stronger in the live setting since the last time I saw them.
And while the fan favorites (and biggest hits) “100 In A 55” and “Monster You Made” drew a nice reaction from the crowd, it was the new single, “Trenches” that produced the loudest roar of the night. It was interesting to see that fans already knew the song. Judging from their reaction to the live performance, they loved it a lot.
If you haven’t had the chance to see Pop Evil in concert, now is definitely the time. They are still performing in clubs where you can get up close and personal with the band, but that is not going to last much longer. This band has positioned themselves for superstardom and it is only a matter of time before they are headlining arenas and we are complaining that we could only score tickets in the nosebleed section. Do yourself a favor and go see the band now, so you can say, “I saw them when…” They are worth every penny you spend on them.
Broken And Betrayed
100 In A 55
Goodbye My Friend
Last Man Standing
Monster You Made
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POP EVIL REVEAL MORE STUDIO FOOTAGE ITUNES PRE ORDER LIVE NOW!
Pre-Order Bundles Available “Trenches” Climbing The Charts
POP EVIL have released new behind the scenes studio footage today previewing three new tracks. Check out sneak peeks of the tracks “Deal with the Devil” and “Beautiful” by clicking HERE.
The band recently released the album cover, track listing and pre-order bundle info this morning in preparation for the release of their forthcoming LP “Onyx” due out May 14, 2013.
The bands newest single “Trenches” has seen a quick rise up the active rock radio charts since its debut only 6 weeks ago. The track is quickly closing in on Top Ten and is currently sitting at #11.
POP EVIL will be in usual form this spring and hitting the road harder than ever. Dates are confirmed across the US with THREE DAYS GRACE in April and SEVENDUST in May with highlighted stops at Rock on the Range Festival, Carolina Rebellion Festival, Fort Rock Festival and Monster Energy’s Welcome To Rockville.
Michigan rock radio champions POP EVIL have revealed a new studio update surrounding their new single “Trenches.”
POP EVIL will be in usual form this spring and hitting the road harder than ever. Dates are confirmed across the US with THREE DAYS GRACE in April and SEVENDUST in may with highlighted stops at Rock on the Range Festival, Carolina Rebellion Festival, Fort Rock Festival and Monster Energy’s Welcome To Rockville.
The band has been hard at work on their upcoming full length freshly titled “Onyx” due out on May 14, 2013. The message of “Trenches” applies to the world of art as well as the world of sports, the military or anyone struggling with the economic downturn, like Pop Evil’s home state of Michigan.
“It’s about our battles,” says frontman Leigh Kakaty. “Not focusing on the things we can’t control, if we really want to be a band that stands the test of time we have to write the music that connects. We have to dig our way out of the trenches.”
During a slump in the music industry, Pop Evil is living proof that you can still make a living following your dreams. “It’s a matter of time before rock and roll is in the forefront again and we want to be part of that.”
After three Top 5 songs at Rock Radio, a fourth in the Top 10, a half million digital singles sold and over 1,000 shows a few short years into their impressive career, Pop Evil’s return with “Onyx” is a swaggering, fistpumping, ballbusting ride through American rock. The grandiose melody of the ‘70s, the danger of the ‘80s, the emotion of the ‘90s and the loudest of modern riffs all have a home in Pop Evil, who fashion a fresh sound that looks to the future through the prism of rock’s past. “Onyx” will be available Tuesday, May 14, 2013.
The band has been hard at work on their upcoming full length freshly titled “Onyx” due out on May 14, 2013. The message of “Trenches” applies to the world of art as well as the world of sports, the military, or anyone struggling with the economic downturn, like Pop Evil’s home state of Michigan.
“It’s about our battles,” Kakaty says. “Not focusing on the things we can’t control, if we really want to be a band that stands the test of time we have to write the music that connects. We have to dig our way out of the trenches.”
During a slump in the music industry, Pop Evil is living proof that you can still make a living following your dreams. “It’s a matter of time before rock and roll is in the forefront again and we want to be part of that.”
After three Top 5 songs at Rock Radio, a fourth in the Top 10, a half million digital singles sold and over 1,000 shows a few short years into their impressive career, Pop Evil’s return with Onyx is a swaggering, fistpumping, ballbusting ride through American rock. The grandiose melody of the ‘70s, the danger of the ‘80s, the emotion of the ‘90s and the loudest of modern riffs all have a home in Pop Evil, who fashion a fresh sound that looks to the future through the prism of rock’s past. “Onyx” will be available Tuesday, May 14, 2013.
POP EVIL IS: Leigh Kakaty (Lead Vocals) , Nick Fuelling (Lead Guitar), Dave Grahs (Rhythm Guitar), Matt DiRito (Bass), Chachi Riot (Drums)
POP EVIL has debuted a brand new music video today for their single, “Purple.” A montage of tour footage put together by director Andrew Johnson during the band’s massive touring done over the past year shows the band has a lot in store for their fans in 2013.
POP EVIL have been touring since early 2011 in support of their latest record, “War Of Angels.” They recently finished a highly successful run on the TRESSPASS AMERICA TOUR supporting FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH & KILLSWITCH ENGAGE.
The band is currently on the road in Canada supporting label-mates BLACK LABEL SOCIETY.
POP EVIL has debuted a new music video for their latest hit single, “Boss’s Daughter” exclusively on VEVO today. Featuring the likes of Playboy Playmate Jessa Hinton and co-writer Mick Mars of Motley Crue, the video leaves you wanting more. “This video is the best depiction of the energy we bring during our live performance. Mick & Jessa were terrific to work with! Nathan and his crew made a killer all american rock & roll video,” says front man Leigh Kakaty.
Directed by Nathan “Karma” Cox, the video comes on the heels of the band announcing their participation in this summer’s Tresspass Across America Tour. Click here to view the video!
Fast cars, hot women and good ol’ American Rock and Roll are three main ingredients that make up POP EVIL, and all of the above hits you square in the jaw in this new video.
The band released “War Of Angels” last summer to much critical praise.
“Pop Evil’s latest effort, War of Angels, sees the band beefing up their sound and displaying a good deal of growth and maturity that’s a paramount example of why it’s a shame the big labels don’t give bands time to develop anymore” – Guitar World
“War Of Angels is a heavier and more mature departure from their debut album.” – Billboard
The band will embark on the TRESSPASS ACROSS AMERICA TOUR supporting KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH.
Kicking off July 13th in Broomfield, CO the tour stretches coast to coast. Additional support will come from EMURE, TRIVIUM, GOD FORBID and BATTLECROSS. Click Here for Tour Dates!
POP EVIL is Leigh Kakaty (lead vocals) Chachi Riot (drums) Davey Grahs (guitar) and Matt DiRito (bass).
Sitting in the back of the Pop Evil tour bus with lead singer Leigh Kakaty, two things immediately engage my attention. The first is the TV screen paused on a Playstation 3 game of hockey showing the Bruins leading the Capitals 1 – 0. I noticed this only due to the fact that Leigh has mentioned his love of hockey video games to me before.
“Still getting your ass kicked?” I ask with a nod toward the television screen.
He laughs in response. “Nah, no one beats me!”
“What about Theory? They are Canadian, you know.”
He smiles in response, committing to nothing. “Yeah, those guys are good.”
The second thing that I notice is how soft spoken and humble Leigh Kakaty is. This is the powerful front man for a rock band that is rising faster than the Phoenix. It is about 45 minutes until Pop Evil will take the stage, opening for Theory of a Deadman, and perform to a sold out Starland Ballroom crowd in Sayreville, Ne w Jersey. Seeing Leigh Kakaty in action on stage, and knowing what a wild and intense performer he is, I’m slightly taken aback by his soft spoken approach when being interviewed in person.
We talk about Pop Evil’s recent announcement first, which brings a huge grin to Leigh’s face. Pop Evil will be touring the United States this summer with several bands including Trivium, Killswitch Engage, and Five Finger Death Punch. I’m curious to know how Pop Evil got on the bill and even more curious to know how they think they will fair on such a tour. Pop Evil seems like the odd band out for the Trespass America tour.
“Five Finger Death Punch gave us this great opportunity,” Leigh states. “And now we have a chance to mix rock with metal and we’re trying to put on more of a festival type atmosphere. And the more we come together as metal and rock the more the fans can embrace that. And Five Finger Death Punch giving us an opportunity to do that is very humbling, because we are very much influenced by (them). We’re a lot heavier than people realize.”
Any band trying to make a name for themselves knows the rigors of constant touring, and Pop Evil is no exception. Over the last 2 years, they have played more than 400 shows and counting. I ask Leigh if he, or the band, ever get road weary and tired of the constant touring.
“What are you going to do with downtime? Play more Playstation video games? We’d rather be touring. We’re here to work. We’re here to play. When we start to work on the new record, then we’ll take some time with the family. Sometimes you miss the family and when your friends back at home are out on their boats and we’re in the middle of Texas where it is 140 degrees and you can’t go outside because it’s too hot. It has its moments, but at the end of the day we have the best job in the world and, you know, we’re pretty blessed.
“It’s very tough to maintain a band this day and age, and we just pride ourselves with touring and we just got to keep it going. It’s great to see the Pop Evil fans just growing at an alarming speed. It’s great. (You) just gotta keep playing,” Leigh says. “Keep writing the good jams, keep touring and staying out on the road, making a living.”
Speaking with fans in the parking lot prior to the show words like spectacular, amazing, and intense are thrown around when discussing Pop Evil’s live performance. While there are several fans that have not seen the band live and many others who have never heard of Pop Evil, there are still a plethora of fans that have seen Pop Evil live and give them high praise.
“I don’t see a band with this much intensity very often,” one fan tells me.
Back on the tour bus, Leigh confirms that sentiment. “It’s our live show that really makes people fans of Pop Evil.”
It is easy to understand why. On stage, Leigh Kakaty and the rest of Pop Evil are akin to un-caged animals set loose on a hostile crowd, ready to take over the world of hard rock. At the center of all the stage antics, is the band’s leader. Between rock screams of rage and passionately sung lyrics during power ballads, Leigh Kakaty is a Bruce Dickinson in the making. The way that he can command a crowd and mold them into his own image is awe inspiring. Leigh and his band mates have an uncanny ability to take a crowd that may not be into Pop Evil, or may not know who they are, and convert them into lifelong fans after just one performance.
Later in the evening, during Pop Evil’s performance of “Purple” a guy in the crowd turns to me and asks what album the song was on.
“It’s from their latest record, War of Angels,” I tell him.
Immediately, he logs into iTunes on his smart phone and downloads the record. He shows it to me proudly, like someone who has just caught a guitar pick in the front row. This is the power of Pop Evil’s live show. This is what the band can do with just one performance.
The previous week, Pop Evil and Theory of a Deadman performed at the Crocodile Rock Café in Allentown, Pennsylvania. It was there that Leigh Kakaty walked on the crowd to the delight of the fans. And although Leigh has done this before, it was the first time I was made aware of it (thanks to You Tube). It was an amazing moment in their set where Leigh literally walked on top of a sea of hands. The crowd loved it. I ask Leigh about this and how it came about.
“Walk on the crowd, man. You know, it’s just always been my thing. You know, Jesus walked on water, why can’t a rock star walk on some hands? I think it’s just something that’s always been a fun thing for Pop Evil and our fans. It’s something that you don’t see every day. You know, you’ll fall off and take your lumps if it’s not crazy packed, but it’s cool, it lets the fans get a little more hands on…literally. I’ve been doing it for a long time, but I swear it gets harder to do the older I get. The bruises are definitely a little more painful.”
Later that night, Leigh would re-enact the walk on the crowd for New Jersey. “All right,” he screams into the microphone. “We’re going to try something that I don’t think has ever been done at the Starland Ballroom before.” Leigh instructs the fans at the front of the stage to band together and put their hands up, palms out. “We’re gonna try to walk on the crowd! Are you ready?”
The loud roar in response indicates that they are. Leigh leans forward from the stage, putting one foot on the first hand he can step on. He then hoists himself up to where he is standing high atop a sea of hands. Leigh breaks into song and sings from his position on the hands, walking out just a little bit further. The crowd is amazed and several people whip out their camera phones to make a video for the internet.
At the end of their set, Leigh careens around the stage demanding of the crowd, “When I say Pop! You say Evil!” to which the crowd gloriously responds. “Pop!” “Evil!” “Pop!” “Evil!” This may be a Theory of a Deadman concert, but by the end of Pop Evil’s performance, it has become a double bill, with fans screaming just as loud for Pop Evil as they would for Theory.
I ask Leigh if the band has any plans for a live DVD in the near future.
“No plans right now, because we’re still new, in the scheme of things. It would be nice to do a DVD when we reach some level of touring success—when we do something more monumental, like selling out arenas. We do film everything and have all the footage, but I don’t think that I’m emotionally ready to dive into a DVD just yet, and I don’t think the demand is there. We’d like to do it down the road at some point, but a lot of variables have to come into it. Maybe after the next record, but I don’t think it will be anytime before that. Right now, the Pop Evil focus is solely on new music and developing our identity.”
As we continue our interview, the band’s manager looks into the back room asking if everything was all right. It was his way of saying that we had to wrap up, Pop Evil was due on stage in a few minutes. Leigh politely nods and after the door is closed again he looks at me. “That’s the boss,” he says with both pride and respect uncommon in most rock stars. His humbled statement only confirms how appreciative he is of all the blessings his life has been given.
I transition to the topic of cover songs and Leigh practically shudders.
“(There is) absolutely not one song that I want to cover. We’ve played covers for the first eight years of our existence. And we played all the covers from Afro Man to Sweet Home Up In Michigan, the Michigan version of Sweet Home Alabama. Covers were such a big part of how we paid for our beginnings and we just want to do Pop Evil originals for as long as we can.”
I had heard rumors that the Leigh Kakaty Facebook page was a fake, so I decide to ask Leigh about this. He laughs, loudly, somewhat caught off guard. “I’ve never been asked that question before.”
“There have been some fakes. I do have one, but I just kept it with people that I knew from high school. I use it to look at what everyone else I grew up with does, but as far as me posting, it just seems weird. If you want to know what I’m up to, check out the Pop Evil page.”
Leigh talks of enjoying his privacy right now. He likes where the band is at, because fans know the band, but they don’t necessarily know him. He can go out to dinner without being recognized and he likes that. There seems to be a slight fear of getting too big, because he could lose his anonymity. He hopes the band gets huge, but he worries about the price of becoming too famous. Leigh then tells me a funny story of how Wes Scantlin from Puddle of Mudd would wear a wig so that he wouldn’t be recognized when he went out in public. “That’s just something that I don’t want to do,” Leigh says. “I like dressing the way I dress now.”
“What advice can you offer to bands that are just starting out?”
“You gotta give it up. If you really want it, you gotta be out on the road 365 days a year. If you really want it, you have to sacrifice. Set realistic goals, and if you’re goal is a record deal, start with the little wins. How many people are you bringing to a show? If it’s nobody, make it 10. If it’s 10 make it 500. And if you’re bringing 500 call your local radio station. Do your research.
“And then when you make it big, you have to decide, can you juggle everything? You’re going to want a family, you’re going to want kids, but can you handle everything?
“At the end of the day, you gotta write good songs. You gotta create something that’s going to make someone want to go to ITunes and pay a dollar for something that you created.”
When I tell Leigh that I am going to put him on the spot and want a prediction from him, he immediately stops me with a laugh and says: “Detroit Lions win the Super Bowl next year.” His love for all things Detroit is evidently unwavering, and perhaps he is not far off with his Lions prediction, but it is his band that I am more interested in.
“I want a prediction. How long until Pop Evil sells out Madison Square Garden as headliners?” I ask.
Leigh pauses, not sure how to approach this question. I’m thinking that his humbleness may be preventing him from making too bold of a prediction. “Ahhh, OK, opening act doesn’t count? No, you said headliner. So Pop Evil with Lady GaGa, that should sell out the Garden!”
We share a laugh and Leigh continues, “I’m going to say… 2017… and a half.”
Watch out Madison Square Garden. By the summer of 2017, Pop Evil is going to take over your arena with one of the most spectacular live shows that New York City has ever seen. I just hope Leigh remembers me and offers up front row tickets. I also hope that Madison Square Garden security is ready for when Leigh Kakaty walks on the crowd.
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The latest edition of the Hard Rock Hideout Podcast is now available for streaming or download. Our latest podcast features interviews with Charm City Devil’s front man, John Allen, and Leigh Kakaty from Pop Evil. Check it out!
The Hard Rock Hideout podcast is available for streaming (below) and for download here (click and save).
Introducing TRESPASS AMERICA, a newly-minted music festival set on revitalizing the metal scene with some of the most current and credible bands in hard rock/metal. A co-production with Trespass America and Metal Hammer, the biggest metal magazine in the U.K., the tour kicks off July 13 at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado, and will cover 31 cities in two months between July and August with stops across the United States. Ticket on-sales begin this Friday, April 27; log onto www.trespassamerica.com for complete details.
Opening the show will be newcomers BATTLECROSS, the most-played new band on the SiriusXM channel, “Liquid Metal.” New Jersey monsters GOD FORBID, who just released a brand new album Equilibrium, will stir up the circle pits with new songs and hits spanning their long career. Deathcore masters EMMURE are coming out swinging in support of their new album, Slave to the Game. Michigan’s POP EVIL will carry the torch of grassroots hard rock to the crowd, while the melodic guitar thrash of TRIVIUM and the reunited lineup of metalcore legends KILLSWITCH ENGAGE will bring a crushing intensity to Trespass America.
Headlining the power-packed Trespass America Festival is FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH,the new heavy weight champs of the metal scene, with nine consecutive top ten radio hits, four Golden God awards, two certified Gold records (and a third in the making). Monstrous light shows and sold-out arenas have marked the path of 5FDP’s meteoric rise. In a few short years, the band knocked down the tightly shut gates of mainstream media and turned the non-believers into believers as they marched to bring a message from the underground.
As Five Finger Death Punch’s Zoltan Bathory, who helped spearhead the festival concept put it, “We will carry the flag into mainstream territory; we will trespass on their turf all across America. The combined power of Metal Hammer and all these bands enable us to make a statement, a really loud one. Heavy music wants its place back in the limelight, so get ready, because we are coming, and we are coming in numbers.”
“By bringing the Trespass Festival to North America,” said Metal Hammer’s editor Alexander Milas, “we’re not only promoting the music we believe in, we’re investing in it. We’re now doing in America what we’ve done for years in Europe and the UK.” Indeed, Metal Hammer has a long history of flying the flag for the bands it believes in, and over the course of 25 years, has been involved with a number of events, most recently the Defenders Of The Faith tour that covered the spectrum of metal and helped support the music U.K. scene. Metal Hammer is partners with Bloodstock Open Air and Download Festival and has its very own Hammerfest festivals in the U.K. “It has become increasingly apparent to us that supporters of Metal Hammer stretch well beyond the U.K. Thanks to the iPad, American metal fans can now get the magazine at the same time U.K. fans do, but by taking on this tour, we’re moving beyond our physical borders.”
The idea for Trespass America came about as a way to bring heavy music to big venues across the country. Bathory explained, “When you walk through the Trespass America gate, you will be in a different territory, a new environment. You’re not just coming to see a band. It’s going to be a traveling circus that has all the attraction and excitement that creates an experience. We wanted to build the biggest stage we could and make this festival as visually unforgettable as possible, really give fans their money’s worth, give them an experience where they will want to say, ‘I was there.’ We also wanted to play as many indoor venues as possible so all bands on the bill, no matter how early they play, would have a full light show with full production. We want to make Trespass America a theme-park-thrill-ride for metalheads.”
With Five Finger Death Punch leading the charge, up-and-comers Battlecross, Pop Evil, and Emmure, metal vets God Forbid, and heavyweights like Trivium and Killswitch Engage, all united under the Metal Hammer banner, the Trespass America Festival is definitely bound to set foot on the forbidden lawn of mainstream Rock-Culture.
With more to be announced, confirmed dates for the Metal Hammer Trespass America Festival are as follows:
13 Broomfield, CO – 1st Bank Center
15 Billings, MT – MetraPark Arena
16 Bismarck, ND – Bismarck Civic Center
17 Sioux Falls, SD – Sioux Falls Arena
19 Milwaukee, WI – Eagles Ballroom
21 Fort Wayne, IN – Allen County Expo Center
24 Lubbock, TX – Lonestar Amphitheatre
25 Belton, TX – Bell County Expo Center
27 San Antonio, TX – Freeman Coliseum
28 Beaumont, TX – Ford Pavilion
30 Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
31 Evansville, IN – Ford Center
3 Battle Creek, MI – Kellogg Arena
7 Syracuse, NY – SRC Arena and Events Center/Onondaga Community Center
8 Glens Falls, NY – Glens Falls Civic Center
10 Scarborough, ME – Scarborough Downs
14 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
15 Hartford, CT – Comcast Theatre
17 Worchester, MA – DCU Center
18 Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
19 Philadelphia, PA – Penn’s Landing – Festival Pier
22 Knoxville, TN – Knoxville Civic Coliseum
25 Rio Rancho, NM – Santa Ana Star Center
26 Phoenix, AZ – Comercia Theatre
28 Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
Michigan rock powerhouse, POP EVIL hit the road next week supporting THEORY OF A DEADMAN in continued support of their release, “War Of Angels.” The tour comes on the heels of landing their THIRD single on the active rock top ten chart. “Having three hit singles off our album is a dream come true. It’s been a long journey and we credit our fans for all the support. We look forward to reuniting with our good friends in Theory of a Deadman on what looks to be one of the best tours this Spring. Can’t wait to get out there and ROCK with everyone!” says frontman Leigh Kakaty.
The band starts their tour supporting THEORY OF A DEADMAN on Monday in Tallahassee, FL. Dates run coast to coast through the end of May. Tickets are available HERE.
The band released “War Of Angels” last summer to much critical praise.
“Pop Evil’s latest effort, War of Angels, sees the band beefing up their sound and displaying a good deal of growth and maturity that’s a paramount example of why it’s a shame the big labels don’t give bands time to develop anymore” – Guitar World
“War Of Angels is a heavier and more mature departure from their debut album.” – Billboard
OTHERWISE recorded their debut album with Jay Baumgardner [Bush, Linkin Park, Papa Roach, Incubus] at NRG Studios in Los Angeles, CA. The album will be released this spring via Century Media Records, full details coming soon.
03/15 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
03/16 – Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
03/17 – Hagerstown, MD @ Breakaways II”Dark Legacy” Tour with LACUNA COIL:
04/07 – San Diego, CA @ Soma
04/08 – Anaheim, CA @ House Of Blues
04/10 – West Hollywood, CA @ Key Club
04/13 – Portland, OR @ Aladdin Club
04/14 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
04/16 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House
04/18 – Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
04/21 – El Paso, TX @ Tricky Falls
04/22 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
04/27 – Summerville, SC @ Exchange Park – 98 Rock Fest
04/28 – Tampa, FL @ St. Petersburg Times Forum – 98 Rock Fest
04/29 – Jacksonville, FL @ Metropolitan Park – Welcome To Rockville
05/05 – Rockingham, NC @ Rockingham Speedway – Carolina Rebellion
05/20 – Columbus, OH @ Crew Stadium – Rock On The Range Festival
Appearance on Rock On The Range Festival;
“Soldiers” Goes for Terrestrial Radio Adds on February 14th
“Soldiers,” the band’s lead single, continues its growing radio success and shows no signs of slowing down. It became the first song by an unsigned artist to ever occupy the No. 1 spot on the Sirius Radio’s Octane channel, and will be going for terrestrial radio adds Feb 14th. The track has already sold more than 13,000 singles and is now featured on this month’s iTunes .69 Wemix Sale Compilation, available today through March 5th. “Soldiers” will be sale priced at .69 cents in the promotion, and can also be purchased as part of a 23-track package for only $15.87. The compilation includes songs from DISTURBED, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, NICKELBACK, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE and others, and is available for purchase here.
On Feb 4th, OTHERWISE were the featured performer at the inaugural Nevadan by Choice Awards, held at The Venetian Las Vegas Casino, Hotel & Resort. They performed “Soldiers” at the event and donated $5,000 of the single’s proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project.
OTHERWISE is currently recording their debut album with Jay Baumgardner [Bush, Linkin Park, Papa Roach, Incubus] at NRG Studios in Los Angeles, CA. The album will be released this Spring via Century Media Records.
This week at Hard Rock Hideout, we have our Best of 2011 picks by HRH Staff Writers Ryo Vie, Stone and Rob Rockitt. Check out Ryo Vie’s Top 10 Best Hard Rock Albums of 2011 below!
Another year has passed us by, which means we’ve gone through another year of some great music releases. While I still think that 2010 was a stronger year overall, 2011 did have its share of fantastic releases and magnificent surprises. From an unexpected release by Vain to a mind blowing album from Megadeth, 2011 delivered some real gems. Here now are my picks for the ten best of 2011.
10. Hurtsmile – Hurtsmile
Early in the year, Gary Cherone and his brother Mark released the debut album from their newly formed band, Hurtsmile. The result was spectacular. Taking the funked up, jazz infused hard rock sound of Extreme, and blending it with snippets of modern era music made for an incredible experience. Hurtsmile is unto a class themselves. The disc combined elements of Extreme, Gary’s days in Van Halen, and his more recent solo albums, and combined all the ingredients into an identity that was unique and fun. Hard rocking and filled with gems, Hurtsmile is an album that Gary Cherone fans are bound to love.
9. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
I’m almost positive that it was the last song, “Walk,” that hooked me on the new Foo Fighters record. I’ve never been a huge fan of the band. I’ve enjoyed their music over the years, and the heavier singles, but I would never call myself a “fan.” However, when the movie THOR came out this past spring, it featured the song “Walk” from Wasting Light. As a huge fan of the movie Thor this song resonated with me the first time I heard it. It was the perfect song for the ending sequence. Sometimes songs can leave lasting images in the brain when associated with something that produced great feelings. That song compelled me to check out their latest record. I must admit that I am very glad I did. Wasting Light is chock full of enjoyable gems, hard rockers, and even a ballad or two. The Foo Fighters may be a band that I have to pay more attention to in 2012.
8. Vain – Enough Rope
Once, they were close to being the next darlings of hair metal. Unfortunately, bad timing cost them their chance at superstardom. Now, many years later, Vain has returned with a disc full of spectacular new songs that shows why they could have conquered the metal world more than 20 years ago. Enough Rope is a magnificent album that fans of hard rocking hair metal are going to love. Being able to hear such great guitar licks and the amazing vocals of Davy Vain after all the time that has passed is a real treat. It’s sad that Vain was a victim of bad timing. If you love 80s metal, or any metal, you should definitely pick up a copy of Vain’s Enough Rope. It is one of the greatest records released this year.
7. Bullet – Highway Pirates
Swedish metal act, Bullet, released their sophomore effort, Highway Pirates, this year to the delight of many hard rock fans. Highway Pirates is hard rocking, head banging, guitar shredding, heavy metal mayhem at its finest. The one thing I’ve always liked most about Bullet is lead singer’s Dag Hofer’s voice. He has power and range and can really unleash a metal scream as he does often on Highway Pirates. Packed with exceptional guitar solos and all the metal madness you can handle, Highway Pirates was a phenomenal album and certainly one of 2011’s best.
6. Mr. Big – What If…
One of the best hard rock treats of 2011 was a fully reunited Mr. Big releasing an album of brand new material. The last time the four original members of Mr. Big recorded a new record was in 1996. It was quite a wait for fans to hear new music from this astonishing quartet. Thankfully, 2011 finally saw the wait come to an end, and Mr. Big delivered a rock solid record in What If… From the funk/slap/sensational bass antics of Billy Sheehan to the incredible vocals of Eric Martin, this disc really had it all. Why the album would have sold on nostalgia alone, it was the band’s commitment to deliver something worthy of the Mr. Big moniker that pushed it over the top. You’d be hard pressed to find another record that is so much fun to listen to.
5. Sebastian Bach – Kicking And Screaming
With a brilliant young axe wizard in the mix, Sebastian Bach released a solo album worthy of your hard earned dollars. Before hearing this record, I had no expectations of what it would be. I thought that it might be a decent record, but I didn’t have high hopes. The past couple of years Bach has not shown much, so I figured his new album would be watered down rock. Boy was I wrong! Wrong in a HUGE way! Kicking and Screaming is one of the most superb albums of 2011. Not only does young guitar wizard, Nick Sterling, light up the songs with his astounding fret work, but Bach’s voice has never sounded stronger. Kicking and Screaming is a collection of greatness that blew me away. This is truly Sebastian Bach at his best.
4. Whitesnake – Forevermore
Even after rocking the world for over 30 years, David Coverdale can still put together music with meaning that fans will care about. This year’s Forevermore was a treat for the ears that was highly unexpected. Sure, I figured that Whitesnake was going to release a solid album in Forevermore, I just didn’t realize how amazing it was going to be. From the moment I played the record for the first time this past March, I knew this was going to be included on my top 10 albums of the year. The beauty of Forevermore is how the songs hit the listener immediately and with such definition. It’s like the band never went away.
3. Megadeth – Th1rte3n
Megadeth unleashed an absolutely astounding album earlier this year in the form of Th1rte3n. A whirlwind of fun, heavy metal, thunderous tunes, Dave Mustaine and company have put together a truly grand record that shines as bright as albums from the bands early days. Th1rte3n is one of Megadeth’s strongest albums to date and serves as a reminder to all metal fans what great hard rock sounds like. The glory of the album is the return of the guitar solo. While other bands are forgetting what guitar solos are and how they make a song grow into something much stronger, Megadeth is taking solos to the next level. The blazing speed and intensity of the guitars is featured mightily on this record and it’s all for the better. Simply stated, Th1rte3n is metal done right.
2. Anthrax – Worship Music
Prior to the release of Worship Music, Anthrax claimed that this was the best album the band had ever recorded. While that was a bold statement, after listening to the album just once, I realized that they may be right. After multiple listens, I am sure of it. Worship Music is not only an incredible Anthrax record it is an incredible rock record. It’s been 20 years since the band recorded with Joey Belladonna and after hearing Worship Music all I could think was “what the hell took them so long?” It’s not that Anthrax released bad albums with their other singers, it’s just that they never released an album this great. From the intense, heart pounding, hard rocking “The Devil You Know” to the Maiden-esque “In The End,” Anthrax has served up a serious record. There are very few metal records that could even come close to being this grand. Not just for 2011, but for all time. If Anthrax continues to create music in this capacity, they will spend the next 20 years of their career celebrating with a lot of gold and platinum.
1. Pop Evil – War of Angels
Between magnificent power ballads, hard rocking openers, and good old fashioned fun rock and roll, Pop Evil’s War of Angels is a record that should be added to any hard rock fans collection. I have waxed poetic about this band for a while now, and their latest release only proves that I should continue to sing the band’s high praises. Yes, perhaps I have a man-crush on lead singer Leigh Kakaty, but that’s all right. Beyond my envy, the man is a talented singer and a hell of a front man. Packed with memorable ballads such as “Purple” and “”Open Your Eyes,” in addition to hard core rockers like “Last Man Standing,” War of Angels contains nothing but songs you will be singing for years to come. Give them a few more years, and Pop Evil will be the darlings of hard rock radio. They are a cut above most of the new breed of rockers that are out there. Nickleback, Theory, even Hinder, can’t hold a candle to what Pop Evil is doing. War of Angels is the best rock record I’ve heard this year… the others don’t even come close.
And there they are…my choices for the best in rock, 2011.
Nelson – Lightning Strikes Twice
Sinner – One Bullet Left
Michigan rock band POP EVIL have released a brand new song today called “Unstoppable.” ESPN has debuted the track HERE. “We are very excited to announce the addition of two new songs to our iTunes Deluxe Version of ‘War of Angels‘: ‘Unstoppable’ and a new acoustic version of ‘Monster You Made,'” says front man Leigh Kakaty.
Kakaty continues, “We recently had a break from the road to go into the studio with Johnny K. We knew we wanted to release these tracks soon so our fans would have something to kick off the new year! They deserve it, they’ve been there for us through the thick and thin!”
“Unstoppable” is about the obstacles we dealt with as a band during the past year. Going through a six month battle with our former record label and the loss of our drummer were both stressful for us as a band. Despite these obstacles, we still managed to overcome them all while playing over 200 shows this year!”
POP EVIL released “War Of Angels” over the summer to much critical praise:
- “War Of Angels is a heavier and more mature departure from their debut album,” – Billboard Sep 2011
- “Pop Evil just seems like one of those bands that as more and more people hear them, they are going to tell their friends,” – Connections Dec 2011
Other accolades include being named Revolver Magazine’s “Band To Watch” in their Nov/Dec issue.
POP EVIL is Leigh Kakaty (lead vocals) Chachi Riot (drums) Davey Grahs (guitar) Tony Greve (guitar) and Matt DiRito (bass).
POP EVIL and LAST.FM have released footage of an intimate acoustic performance of the bands hit single, “Monster You Made.” Currently sitting at #6 on the active rock charts. Check out the hard-rockers in this ultra-cool stripped down version of their current hit.
WATCH THE ACOUSTIC PERFORMANCE HERE
POP EVIL will be on tour through the rest of the year with 3 DOORS DOWN and then another run with PUDDLE OF MUDD. The band released their most recent album, “WAR OF ANGELS” last month which debuted at #42 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. The band also enjoyed an entire week of having the #1 record on the iTunes Rock Chart with “MONSTER YOU MADE” being the #4 selling current rock single during release week to boot.
Purchase “WAR OF ANGELS” on iTunes here.
The band shot a video for “MONSTER YOU MADE” with critically acclaimed director Robby Starbuck, which can be seen here.
POP EVIL is Leigh Kakaty (lead vocals) Dylan Allison (drums) Davey Grahs (guitar) Tony Greve (guitar) and Matt DiRito (bass).
Pop Evil has released their follow up effort to their 2008 debut Lipstick in a Mirror. While I thought Lipstick in a Mirror was good, the band has improved, and War of Angels is definitely a step above the debut. Luckily, I have been able to hear the band perform a few of the songs from War of Angels live prior to purchasing the CD, and I already knew that I liked the tunes I have heard.
War of Angels seems like a more balanced effort. Some songs like “Last Man Standing” and “Boss’s Daughter” are heavy, while the song “Let It Go” is more of a pop/power ballad, that has huge radio potential.
Leigh Kakaty’s voice surprised me on this CD, as I thought his voice sounded higher than it did when I have seen him live. He sounds great, as does the rest of Pop Evil.
I have to admit that I am not a fan of too many modern rock bands, however, Pop Evil has won me over with their energetic live shows. Judging from the tunes on War of Angels, Pop Evil is clearly one of the better new bands out there. I would compare their sound to Shinedown’s at this stage in their career, and that is not a bad place to be in my opinion.
I have enjoyed War of Angels much more than I expected to, and definitely believe it is worth picking up.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Last Man Standing
3. Broken and Betrayed
4. Monster You Made
5. Let it Go
6. Boss’s Daughter
7. Daisy Chain
9. Black & Blue
10. Next Life
11. Save the World
Pop Evil is:
Leigh Kakaty – lead vocals
Tony Greve – lead guitar
Dave Grahs – rhythm guitar
Matt DiRito – bass
Dylan Allison – drums
POP EVIL have announced dates opening for 3 DOORS DOWN on the “Time Of My Life Tour” this fall. Dates will span through out the east coast and south west.
“We couldn’t be more excited for the upcoming tour. This is the biggest tour of the band’s career and it couldn’t come at a better time. The fans are going to get their money’s worth, that is for sure! We can’t wait to get started on 9/29 in Chattanooga! We would like to thank the entire 3 Doors Down camp for giving us this opportunity.” says front man Leigh Kakaty.
The band will be doing a series of contests surrounding the tour as well. Fans will have the chance to win everything from a phone call from Leigh and Matt to dinner with the band. For more contest details visit the band’s facebook page.
POP EVIL released their most recent album, “WAR OF ANGELS” last month which debuted at #42 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. The band also enjoyed an entire week of having the #1 record on the iTunes Rock Chart with “MONSTER YOU MADE” being the #4 selling current rock single during release week to boot. Preview / purchase “WAR OF ANGELS” on iTunes here.
The band shot a video for “MONSTER YOU MADE” with critically acclaimed director Robby Starbuck, which can be seen here.
POP EVIL is Leigh Kakaty (lead vocals) Dylan Allison (drums) Davey Grahs (guitar) Tony Greve (guitar) and Matt DiRito (bass).
8/9 – Casper,WY – The Venue
8/12 – Kenosha, WI – The Brat Shop
8/13 – Birch Run, MI – Birch Run Expo Center
8/15 – New York, NY – Grammercy Theater
8/16 – Hampton Beach, NH – Wally’s Pub
8/18 – Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club
8/19 – Allentown, PA – Crocodile Rock
8/27 – Waterloo, IA – Rockstock Festival
Opening for 3 Doors Down:
9/29- Chattanooga, TN @ Memorial Auditorium
10/1- Lexington, KY @ Rupp Arena
10/2- Nashville, TN @ The Woods at Fontanel
10/4- Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
10/5- St. Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Amphitheater
10/7- Bossier City, LA @ Century Link Center
10/11- Knoxville, TN @ The Knoxville Civic Coliseum
10/12- Roanoke, VA @ Roanoke Civic Center
10/14- Tuscaloosa, AL @ Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
10/15- Jackson, MS @ Mississippi Coliseum
10/28- Beaumont, TX @ Ford Arena
10/29- Corpus Christi, TX @ Concrete Street Amphitheater
11/4- Grand Rapids, MI @ DeltaPlex
11/5- Toledo, OH @ Huntington Center
Scour the internet for any music related blog or website and you’ll undoubtedly stumble across a few posts with a similar theme – the slow death of rock and roll music. It seems to be a popular idea to write about these days. And the authors all utilize similar arguments: radio stations don’t carry all rock formats anymore, rock music isn’t as popular as it was in the 70s and 80s, there is no new and innovative music coming out.
Personally, I laugh at all of that. While the articles are interesting, they are about as valid as the gentleman who claimed the world was going to end this past May. Rock music is not dying, not going to die, and certainly not dead. No, folks, rock music is here to stay. Below are five of the best reasons why I feel that rock is going to be around for a long time. These are five of the best new bands to come around in the last 5 years. With their music gracing our ears, the future of rock music is safe.
Brand new to the rock music scene is New Medicine. Their first single “Laid” is a power trip of brilliance that I can’t get enough of. Packed with power chords, delicious shredding guitar solos by ax man Dan Garland, and incredibly powerful vocals by lead singer Jake Scherer, New Medicine is a force to be reckoned with. Their brand of modern age hard rock is rock music that the masses will love. The band just hit the scene this year, but as far as new bands go, New Medicine is a band that understands how to do rock and roll. With just a little bit of promotion, this band is going to go far. New Medicine is one reason that the future of rock and roll is safe.
Fronted by the gorgeous Lzzy Hale is the exceptional rock band, Halestorm. This is a band that has the sound of rock music down cold. Halestorm not only records fantastic hard rock music, but their live show is a unique, enjoyable, entertaining experience as well. Bursting onto the scene in 2009 with their major label debut, Halestorm has been receiving recognition in the rock world as one of the hottest new bands to come out in a while. Producing exceptional sound of rock music the way it’s meant to be played, Halestorm has a lot of longevity. Should their live show continue to grow in its current direction, Halestorm could take over the entire rock world in no time. Currently the band is working on the sophomore follow up to their self-titled debut. If their next studio album is as grand as their debut was, the future of Halestorm is very strong indeed.
Doing their best impersonation of AC/DC but adding their own flair, Airbourne has released two albums and both of them have been phenomenal. Airbourne combines the old school style of short, simple rock and roll rhythm with the fast beat of thrash, and a touch of the blues. The O’Keefe brothers are the backbone of the band and drummer Ryan’s fast and furious beats combined with singer/guitarist Joel’s magnificent ax work and unique voice push the band over the top. Airbourne capture the old school sleaze of Hollywood 80s rock and combine it with the blues infused sound of AC/DC on steroids. When it comes to rocking, these bad boys from Australia know how to do it best. If they continue to make albums as strong as their first two (Runnin’ Wild and No Guts, No Glory) they will continue to wield the torch for the future of rock music.
Sleaze rock at its finest—that is the pure definition of the sound of Hinder. When they released their debut album, Extreme Behavior, I was excited for the future of rock. Hinder dialed it back to old school, Hollywood Sunset Strip era of rock and added a modern flair to it. The end result was spectacular and Hinder has been getting better and better ever since. With the precise combination of hard rock anthems and power ballads, Hinder is one of the next big things. I have a feeling they will be around for a long time, and I look forward to seeing them head out on their own headlining tour in the near future. The band is poised to take over the world; it’s only a matter of time.
Pop Evil has just released their sophomore album, War Of Angels, and it is every bit as good as their debut. If you are looking for the new future of rock and roll, Pop Evil is it. Their live show is absolutely incredible, their music full of power, and their presence needs to be recognized. They are one of the best, if not the best, hard rock bands to come out in a long time. Pop Evil is exactly what rock music should sound like. Built on power and hope, Pop Evil has all the elements of an exceptional rock band. Led by frontman Leigh Kakaty, whose style emulates the great Bruce Dickinson, Pop Evil is poised to be the next great hard rock band. Within five years, Pop Evil should be headlining their own festivals. Their debut album, Lipstick On The Mirror, is one of the greatest rock records I’ve heard in ages. The recently released follow up, War Of Angels is just as strong, and Pop Evil can go as far as they want to in rock and roll. I have heard the new future of rock and roll and their name is Pop Evil.
Rock and roll is dying? I don’t think so, and these are 5 bands that will continue to dominate the rock scene for a long time to come.
POP EVIL are streaming their new record “War Of Angels” in its entirety as an AOL Music Listening Party feature today.
Their new long awaited album “War Of Angels” is out TODAY. The record has debuted at #1 on the iTunes rock chart with no signs of slowing down. Click HERE to preview.
The band recently released behind the scenes footage from their “Monster You Made” video which was shot earlier this month.
WATCH IT HERE.
The video for their brand new track “Monster You Made” was shot in Chicago with critically acclaimed director Robby Starbuck. “We are very excited to release “Monster You Made” as the follow up single to ‘Last Man Standing.’ This song depicts what ‘War of Angels’ is all about! Nothing puts a bigger smile on our face then getting the chance to say July 5th marks ‘War of Angels’ release day!” says front man Leigh Kakaty.
LISTEN TO MONSTER YOU MADE HERE.
The band even went as far as to tear up their old record contract on stage during their performance at Rock On The Range festival last month before announcing their new home. Watch the video of front man Leigh Kakaty doing so HERE.
SPIN.com hailed it one of the “10 Best Moments of Rock on the Range.”
The band has enjoyed early success with their hit single “Last Man Standing” which peaked at #5 on the active rock charts. That single can be heard HERE. War Of Angles is the follow up to Lipstick on the Mirror which was released in 2008.
POP EVIL is Leigh Kakaty (lead vocals) Dylan Allison (drums) Davey Grahs (guitar) Tony Greve (guitar) and Matt DiRito (bass).