5 Questions With Pop Evil Singer Leigh Kakaty and Bassist Matt DiRito
It’s been another big year for rock act Pop Evil, who are soaring with their new album Up and its hit single "Footsteps." Along with numerous festival dates, the band has also hit the road with Three Days Grace and Theory of a Deadman. On top of that, Pop Evil are also playing headlining dates throughout the end of the year. We caught up with Pop Evil singer Leigh Kakaty and bassist Matt DiRito, who spoke about the new album, as well as touring aspirations for next year. They also share their passions that go beyond music. Check out our interview with Leigh Kakaty and Matt DiRito of Pop Evil below:
There are more positive themes on this album as opposed to past efforts, starting with its title Up. How did you get past that dark place that you were in on the last album, Onyx?
Leigh Kakaty: Onyx was dark, where my headspace was after I lost my father and just where rock is. I had to take some time to reflect and be more appreciative about where my life is. We’re still blessed, whether we had all of the money or fame in the world, we’re still doing what we love. I wanted to take a different approach and just be more appreciative of that and more open about embracing the thought of having more fun this record. Normal people can do great things, I just feel like a normal guy with a normal band shooting for the moon.
Matt DiRito: I think we found a lot of therapy in creating this record through our past experiences since we made Onyx. It wasn’t necessarily the recording process that brought that out of us. It just got to the point in our lives where we were looking at things differently. We were really struggling to keep our heads above water and a lot of the turmoil that we had before we came to some sort or resolution and healing from that. It was after making Onyx and the process of touring on that album for a couple of years and seeing how it affected other people’s lives, it helped us heal, too. Then when it came time to record the new album Up we found that the material that was coming out was very different.
LK: I think it started with “Footsteps” for me. When I thought about making another dark record and living my life offstage in a dark place and have to push it for the next two years, I didn’t have the desire to do that anymore. I didn’t get into rock to be angry, we’re a group of guys that use music as our outlet to have fun. When you live paycheck to paycheck in a city where the economy is in a struggle as it is, music was our fun, it was our happiness and when that becomes dark to you then it loses that element of fun. What are we doing? We’re not angry guys -- sure some topics are more aggressive than others but for the most part we try to be happy and appreciative. I think “Footsteps” changed the game and we realized that we could have fun evolving our sound and our identity.
It just seemed like the natural progression of this band and for me personally it felt like a big weight lifted off my shoulders, I can accept the fact that my dad’s not going to be around anymore. On this album was a big process to know that I have four guys that can help me out and I think what people don’t see is how your bandmates can help you off the stage.
What does the rest of 2015 have in store for you?
LK: Nonstop touring. We’ll be doing some headlining stuff and get into Canada maybe. Anytime we can get into the other countries is a bonus. Hopefully, in the new year we get back to Europe and maybe even tap into Australia and Japan.
With all of this touring, what is one non-electronic item you must have on the road with you and why?
LK: That’s easy for me, golf clubs. Nonstop golf, that’s all I do, I’m going to go in the morning. I’m like Alice Cooper with golf, I’m diehard. I’m not the greatest but I’m good though. Have to keep active, when you’re touring the world you’re in a bus. It’s important to get out there and see the world and smell the air, maybe not the air in the back of the bus though. [Laughs]
How long have you been into golf?
LK: For a long time but now that Up is out and we’re coming of age as a band, the success has allowed us to have more opportunity to golf. Back in the day we would do the press and play the shows and party and drink, then you’re sleeping in longer. Now that we’re healthier and we understand that touring is a big part of our life, we’re learning how to live outside the lines now.
Your turn Matt, what’s one non-electronic item you must have on tour with you?
MD: I got to have a good blanket and I’ve always got cigars on me, a pocket full. It’s not a physical item that I bring on the road with me but some work that I do day to day – I started a not for profit organization called Star Treatments last November. We help families who don’t have a lot of income, kids that are sick with cancer we provide transportation back and forth to the hospital. We pick them up on tour buses and we give them the star treatment on the way to get their treatments done.
Our thanks to Pop Evil’s Leigh Kakaty and Matt DiRito for the interview. To purchase the band’s new album 'Up,' visit iTunes. To find out more about the non-profit organization Star Treatments, go here.
Watch Pop Evil's Music Video for "Footsteps"