Movin’ On UP with Pop Evil

Mainstream music may be more interested in pop and “that red lip classic thing that you like” these days, but if you look for it – really look for it – you’ll find that rock and roll is very much alive and expands far beyond a Dave and a Grohl. Take Pop Evil, for example, who just dropped their latest hard rocker UP, which find the Michigan band is fine form. The LP, by the way, isn’t a concept album about the Disney classic. Egads!

Leigh Kakaty recently chatted with A-Sides about the band’s fourth studio album, the experimentation and evolution of the band, and the state of rock. Read on…

How does UP differ than previous albums? There’s been a natural progression for the band album to album.
UP is very different from our previous albums. First, due to the success of our last album Onyx, we finally had the opportunity to be creative together in a studio without being rushed. The band had a chance to experiment more.

We wanted to challenge ourselves and do something that wasn’t expected from us. We’ve always wanted to be able to challenge ourselves to push our musical boundaries. We feel like we did on this album. It definitely feels like a step “UP” in our identity as a band.

I see what you did there. Dead in the Water is a beautifully ironic title considering you guys are everything but that. Was the title meant to be ironic?
Actually there have been a lot of times in our career where we felt like we were “Dead in the Water.” Whether it was feeling the weight of this industry’s perception of “ROCK” or feeling like our world was caving in with our personal relationships back home. There are many highs and lows in this journey. Sometimes it’s a struggle to keep your head above water.

Music videos have been integral in your musical process. Can you explain their importance?

Music videos are so important in my eyes. They are one of the rare opportunities to give your fan base a visual representation of your art. We spend a lot of time developing the music and lyrics. It only makes sense that we would do the same with our music videos. There are all kinds of ways to promote your band in the digital area. Video streaming outlets allow fans to discover new music, but also help the fan dig deeper into their favorite songs. We’ve noticed that our fans overseas have discovered us through our music videos which is very cool to see. It shows you how relevant music videos still are. So, we’re always excited about making new music videos!

If you were to put together the cast for a hard-rock-themed Expendables film – who do you cast first, second, and last?

Wow…a Hard-Rock-Themed Expendables …Let’s try to make a band out of it too. How about Jim Morrison, Flea, and Dave Grohl. Voodoo, Pure Energy, and Ballz. Put these three on a team and they will be very hard to stop.

The pop-heavy music industry is an ever-evolving thing. Where do you think it’ll be in five or ten years?
Honesty, I don’t even worry about that. Hopefully it involves a lot more Rock Music. We have a voice and we’re all just trying to be heard. All we can do is keep playing hard and proving it on stage night after night. We believe good music is good music, we just gotta keep pushing the envelope, and write the best songs we can create. Long Live ROCK N ROLL!

A-Sides “Delve Into Twelve” Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its top 12 tracks of the week AKA the “Delve Into Twelve” based on the following contributing factors: songs I’m playing out that particular week (no matter when they were released — think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and dug a bunch, song posts and trends I’ve noticed on my friends’ Facebook walls and, most importantly: what my toddler is currently enjoying thoroughly with an assist from my newborn.

About A-Sides with Jon Chattman: Jon Chattman’s music series features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists featured on the series include Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Air Supply, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, fun, Bleachers, Charli XCX, Marina and the Diamonds and Bastille.

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