This is a classic rock ‘n roll band story… with a twist. A story about Pop Evil, a rock band from western Michigan with a self-proclaimed “Michigan chip on their shoulders”. And they mean that in a good way.
Having been a fan of the band for several years now, I knew I liked their music. However, after talking with Leigh Kakaty, their lead vocalist, I had a new-found respect for the band and the love they have for the mitten.
The name Pop Evil not just a name for the band; it is more of a lifestyle for them, according to Leigh. Just like any aspiring band, the guys of Pop Evil wanted to find success and become a hit band, but they didn’t think that required them to fit the cookie-cutter New York and L.A. molds.
As Leigh puts it, they “don’t need to be from L.A. or New York to write great tunes. We’re from Michigan and we are proud of it”.
That Michigan love is what makes Pop Evil so special. The band is Michigan through and through. Though the band is thrilled with their success outside of Michigan, Leigh remarks on the fact that now he can live anywhere in the country and all he wants to do is go home.
The guys have continued to express their allegiance to our great state through their music. Known for being avid fans of Michigan Wolverines football, in 2011 Pop Evil, in conjunction with The University of Michigan, released their single “In the Big House” as the new theme song for the team.
When I asked Leigh what inspired him to pen the song, he had a lot to say. Growing up, Leigh says, he was raised with Michigan football and Michigan State basketball. And it’s not that he doesn’t like State, for him “it’s just always been the Wolverines”. Every time he would watch a football game there was always pop music playing. Being that Michigan is a rock ‘n roll state, Leigh decided to try and make a change by writing “In the Big House”.
“In the Big House” was also about more than just the band’s love for the Wolverines; it all goes back to their Michigan pride. Leigh lost his dad last year and wanted to write something that would remind him of the times spent driving by the Big House and how “it symbolized iconic Michigan football, it just symbolized Michigan pride”.
The song was an instant success and although the band gets requests to play the tune all over the country, they will only play it in the great state of Michigan. The guys of Pop Evil hope to continue working with the university, and there have been talks to do so, said Leigh, but “until then we are just going to continue to play when we’re in Michigan”.
Pop Evil is coming back to Michigan on their summer tour so make sure you check out their shows and return the Michigan love.
For more information about Pop Evil and their upcoming summer tour go to www.popevil.com.
Photo credit: Steve Ziegelmeyer