Don’t take Skeletons as something macabre or negative. For Pop Evil, the title of their seventh album simply serves as a mission statement.
“First, it’s about our musical identity,” says frontman Leigh Kakaty, who co-founded Pop Evil in 2001 in North Muskegon, Michigan. “This is about us as a band stripping everything down to the bones. It’s more uptempo, it’s got bigger riffs, and we’re trying to capture the energy of our live show.”
“But it’s also a positive message,” he adds. “I know it’s a morbid visual, but behind every skeleton, there’s a story and something worth talking about. Overall, it’s about looking at something in a positive way. And I’m excited for everyone to hear that.”
For the band’s seventh album, Kakaty and his bandmates (lead guitarist Nick Fuelling, rhythm guitarist Dave Grahs, bassist Joey "Chicago" Walser, and drummer Hayley Cramer) certainly channel some pent-up energy stemming from the last two years of general world chaos. It’s an intense album — both sonically and lyrically — that still finds ways to bring in melodic and uplifting moments.
Which shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s followed the band’s ascension. Pop Evil first rose to international prominence with Lipstick on the Mirror, initially released on a small indie in 2008 and reissued by Universal Republic the following year. After Kakaty famously tore up the band’s major label contract onstage, Pop Evil signed with MNRK Heavy (formerly eOne Music). 2011’s War of Angels debuted in the Top 10 of the Rock Albums chart and produced the Top 10 singles “Last Man Standing,” “Monster You Made” and “Boss’s Daughter.”
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