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Michigan's Pop Evil is playing for keeps

for Journal Register Newspapers

Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2011

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As far as Pop Evil frontman Leigh Kakaty is concerned, “War of Angels,” which the western Michigan-based rock band releases on Tuesday, July 5, “is really our debut album,” even though the group sold more than 80,000 copies of 2008’s “Lipstick on the Mirror.”

But “Lipstick,” Kakaty points out, was made as a part-time endeavor.

“We were driving to Detroit from Grand Rapids pretty much every other week for three or four days, then coming back home and doing the day job,” he recalls. “It took three or four years to get it to a place where we could shop it around to” record companies.

“War of Angels,” on the other hand, “lets people hear the real Pop Evil as far as we’re concerned,” Kakaty explains. “Nobody’s working. There’s no part-time jobs or anything. It’s where we’re at now, and hopefully it’s the start of more opportunities to make more music and put more albums out.”

“War of Angels” — which the group spent the better part of a year getting into shape with Chicago-based producer Johnny K — certainly has momentum already. The album’s first single, “Last Man Standing,” is a Top 5 rock track. It was used as a theme song by the UFC’s Frank Mir and subsequently was picked up by the NFL, the NHL — and individually by the Detroit Red Wings and the Anaheim Ducks — and NASCAR. The quintet also recently filmed a video for the second single, “Monster You Made.”

“It’s kind of new to Pop Evil; we haven’t had that kind of exposure before,” Kakaty says. “It’s very humbling to hear it. We know exactly how long it took and how hard it was to write the song. Then to hear people going crazy for it at (sporting) events is really cool.”

Kakaty says Pop Evil plans “nonstop touring” to promote “War of Angels,” including appearances at the annual Sturgis Rally in South Dakota and at the Dirt Fest on Aug. 13 in Birch Run and dates supporting Black Stone Cherry, Five Finger Death Punch and Hinder.

Pop Evil and Rotation perform a free show prior to the Detroit Tigers game on Saturday, July 2, at Hockeytown Cafe, 2301 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Call 313-965-9500 or visit www.hockeytowncafe.com. Pop Evil also will lead the singing during the seventh inning stretch at the game.

Web Site: www.hockeytowncafe.com

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