Pop Evil singer Leigh Kakaty takes offense to the phrase “rock is dead.”
“Rock bands have been toward the bottom as far as other genres are concerned,” Kakaty says.
“We all need to remind each other more than ever that we make great music and do great things. We do our part to be rock crusaders with education and interviews. We’re taking it one day at a time, so to speak.”
As part of the crusade, Pop Evil has released a twin assault of singles—“Let the Chaos Reign” and “Work”—from its forthcoming, untitled sixth record. “Let the Chaos Reign” is Pop Evil’s heaviest single and encourages the listener to meet any challenge with courage and strength.
“Work,” on the other hand, takes flashes of EDM and layers it with heavy guitars and a grooving rhythm. Kakaty says the two songs explore the duality between the “way left and way right” that Pop Evil explores musically.
“That’s what we wanted to double down on on this album,” Kakaty says. “We’re the only band that can give you that yin and yang. I always think about what we can do to better our live sound. We don’t want to play the same song over and over. We want peaks and valleys, ebb and flows.”
With the new music, the COVID-19 pandemic played a hand in the music, but the fans did as well.
“The fans inspired this new music,” Kakaty says. “When we were out there trying to put this record together, we wanted to put it out with a mission statement. We started to demo the infectious riff of ‘Chaos,’ and it snowballed into this anthem—this ‘me vs. you’ type of persona—that’s so fitting now. It’s been an ‘us against the virus’ all around the world.”
Collectively, the band’s previous five albums account for over a million copies in worldwide sales and more than 600 million streams. Like its previous records, Pop Evil is excited to show its growth on the new album.
“There’s a maturation process when you’re on to the sixth, seventh, eighth album,” he says. “After the fifth album, we were motivated to do different things and do different sounds sonically.
“If you listen to most Pop Evil albums, it’s like a greatest hits record. The songs sound a lot different, but there’s a melodic chorus and a key in my voice that brings it all together.”
Kakaty isn’t tired of carrying the rock torch, but he is frustrated with his fellow rockers who don’t help support the cause. Bands should do their part to inspire fans to listen to rock and encourage those from other genres to come on by.
“New bands, they have to understand it’s not like the heyday,” Kakaty says. “Rock ‘n’ roll isn’t dead. We’re not all rich and famous and on TV. We’re the janitors of the music business. We work weekends, holidays and all night. We don’t get a break as a rock or metal band. We’re not one-hit wonders. We didn’t get that one song that made you famous. We’re going to keep putting it out and you’re only as good as your last song.”