TRAVERSE CITY — Pop Evil had six top-40 mainstream rock hits prior to the release of 2013’s Onyx album.
But it’s been Onyx’s performance which lead singer Leigh Kakaty thinks has really propelled the band into the limelight.
The album has already spawned two No. 1 singles — “Trenches” and “Deal With The Devil” — and a new single for “Torn to Pieces” is about to be released.
The Michigan-based band plays Saturday at Streeters Ground Zero as part of a short headlining tour before taking off two weeks to a shoot a video in Canada for “Torn to Pieces.”
“We just got done with the tour with Stone Sour,” Kakaty said. “That was amazing. Every show sold out. It was the biggest exposure for us of any tour in our career. The timing of that and the success of the recent album, everything is just coming to a point.
“It definitely feels like it’s the start of it. People are starting to say, ‘Oh, Pop Evil, I’ve heard of them.’ There’s still a ton of people who haven’t seen us yet live or who really know who we are truly, but I think we’ve definitely opened up some eyes where people are starting to take notice.”
After a handful of headlining shows — two of which are in the band’s home state of Michigan — Pop Evil heads off to open up for Five Finger Death Punch for a 17-stop European tour starting March 10.
“To be more a world-wide brand is something we’ve always dreamed of,” Kakaty said. “To finally have it come to fruition is another success story from this record.”
The four-piece outfit plays a sold-out show tonight at The Machine Shop in Flint before Saturday’s show in Traverse City. Other acts on the bill include Crackjaw, Coldville, 5th Way and Scarkasm.
Kakaty said he’s hoping “Torn to Pieces” — a lighter, more ballad-like song — will continue their recent success.
“Two in a row,” Kakaty said of No. 1 hits. “It’s been overwhelming to achieve that success. It’s been exciting, and definitely new turf for us.”
The band’s new lineup — which features Chachi Riot on drums after Mancelona native Dylan Allison had to leave the band due to a neck injury sustained during a concert on tour and new guitarist Nick Fuelling — has settled in, Kakaty said.
“Better than we’ve ever been,” Kakaty said. “The brotherhood, number one. Especially being out on the road as long as we have. Everyone is starting to digest this lifestyle and who we are, giving everybody respect to find your own space when you live on a bus with 12 people. The stage energy has been the best it’s ever been. Everybody has come into their own at their position.”
The band expanded its repertoire on Onyx, further developing its own unique sound while also keeping in touch with its core fans by holding question-and-answer sessions via Twitter on off days during tours.
“We definitely worked hard this last record to make sure we developed our identity,” Kakaty said. “I think there’s just a natural progression as you get more comfortable in the studio. We’re just excited to keep exploring. And the good thing is, Chachi and Nick were still very new when we did that record, so we feel like this new record we’re going to start working on hopefully by next year is going to be even bigger and better and some of our best work yet.”