Fireworks Magazine Online 64 - Interview with Pop Evil


Pop Evil are a five-piece Modern Rock band who have just come to the attention of audiences in the UK for the first time, whilst touring with Five Finger Death Punch. With a European release of their third album, 'Onyx', imminent, Dave Bott managed to track down bass player Matt DiRito, between gigs in the US, to find out if the band were just a well-kept secret or maybe the next big thing.

Pop Evil

The recent tour with Five Finger Death Punch was your first visit to the UK. How did the opportunity to tour with FFDP come about?

"We go back a ways with the FFDP guys. They were kind enough to take us out on their "Trespass America" tour back in 2012. We quickly became friends and have been looking for a chance to do another tour ever since. When they heard we were available for the European run, they locked it up! Coming to the UK was amazing. Back to back nights in London was like something out of a childhood dream and it gave us enough time in one spot to really go explore and be tourists. I can't wait to come back and see more."

Why did it take you so long to make it over to the UK?

"We never really explored the opportunity before. Pop Evil has had a very slow and steady response in the States and we didn't really have the means to consider a European tour in the past. We got picked up by a major label after we had released our first album and then parted ways before our second album was even finished. There have been a lot of struggles along the way being an independent band and I guess we were lucky to still be landing tours in the USA. The new found success we have had with our third album 'Onyx' has taken us to a place where we can stand on our own two feet. Our first and second singles have both gone #1 on the US charts and our third single is on its way too. This has gotten us enough nods from our peers in the music industry to push us to the next step... Europe! Now that we have signed a European deal you can expect to start seeing a lot more of us!"

The latest album, 'Onyx', has been available in the US for around twelve months now and it will finally be getting a European release, with bonus tracks, some time in May. Are you hoping that the time you spent on the road recently will have raised your profile enough to make people want to go out and buy the CD?

"We tried to spread the Pop Evil word as much as possible while we were there, so I hope that encourages people to follow through and get the album. We even offered up free download cards, where you could enter a code and get a song for free before the album drops. Some people at the shows said that they were able to find our CD online somewhere and ship it over, and that's not all bad either. The bottom line is that we want people to have our music in their hands. The bonus tracks will be some of the highlights from our first two albums. We want everyone in Europe to be able to get a well-rounded sense of what Pop Evil is all about, without having to buy the first two albums. It's sort of a catch up "gift basket" packed with goodies."

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You've signed a deal with Eleven Seven for distribution of 'Onyx' throughout Europe. They have a number of high profile bands on their roster so would you be hoping to head out on the road again soon in Europe?

"Oh wow, Eleven Seven has some really great bands on their roster and that is exactly why we went with them. We couldn't think of anyone better to take our success in the States and help deliver that to Europe. We had a great time in Europe and the UK and the fans were great, so we will be trying to get back as soon as possible! We have wanted to come to Europe for a long time, but as I said before we never had the means. I think it's been a dream of all of ours to someday see the world, one stage at a time. We are at the perfect point in our careers now to start building new relationships with the crowds in Europe and we want to spread our music as far as it can possibly go."

I know the debut album, 'Lipstick On The Mirror', met with critical acclaim and it's a personal favourite of mine but then you parted ways with you record label just before the release of sophomore record 'War Of Angels'. Was that a big disappointment or something that just made you want to work harder?

"It was both. At that point we thought that being with a major label was the only way to make something of ourselves in the music business. What we realised is that at the end of the day nobody was going to work harder for us than ourselves. With the help of our management, G&G, we have accomplished some things that many would have thought was impossible without a major label. The times are changing!"

The debut record also contained a number of 'hidden' tracks right at the end... acoustic versions of some of the songs. I thought they worked really well and the stripped back arrangements proved to be a medium you seemed very comfortable with.

"Pop Evil has always taken pride in being able to go from one extreme to the other, hence the name "Pop Evil". We like to show our fans that we can sit down and perform just as well in a softer acoustic setting as we do when we are on stage with our amps turned to eleven. I feel like people watch us put on a high-energy show and don't always realise that we have such a musical side, and we wanted that to be represented on our album. We have even tossed around the idea of doing an all-acoustic album in the future."

Bearing in mind 'Onyx' is now twelve months old have thoughts turned towards writing for the next record yet or is touring your main consideration right now?

"Our main focus is always the present. We want to give as much attention to whatever is in front of us at the moment, but we are always tucking away little ideas for songs.... We probably have two albums worth of ideas just stock piled and are always coming up with more."

What is the Pop Evil touring ethic?

"Between all of us we enjoy working out, grilling out, video games, cranking tunes, but a lot of our time is spent doing interviews or arranging our live show and trying to stay one step ahead."

Please visit:
Twitter:: @PopEvil @MattDiRito.

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