Often the relationship between a band and their label can be contentious. But rarely is it made public - or at least as public as Pop Evil made it.
On the second day of the 2011 Rock on the Range Festival in Columbus, OH, Pop Evil, apparently frustrated with their distributor (Universal Music), tore up their contract on stage. Spin.com later called it one of the "10 Best Moments of Rock on the Range." The group subsequently signed with eOne Music where they released "War Of Angels," a month and a half later.
Pop Evil began a decade earlier in Muskegon, MI. Leigh Kakaty, Dave Grahs, and Dylan Allison were the founding members with Tony Greve, originally a temporary studio musician on the band's sessions, becoming a full member in '07. At that point, Jamie Nummer left for personal reasons and was replaced by Matt DiRito.
Following a series of EPs, Pop Evil's '08 debut full-length studio album, "Lipstick On The Mirror," with "Hero", "Somebody Like You" and "100 In A 55" was released on an independent label distributed by a Universal Music Group subsidiary.
Less than six months after the release, Pop Evil signed with Universal Records. "Lipstick On The Mirror" was re-mixed and re-mastered and had a new song, "Stepping Stone," for the reissue.
"100 In A 55" cracked the Top 10 (#8) on the Active Rock survey where it charted for thirty weeks as Pop Evil supported Judas Priest on their British Steel (album) 30th Anniversary North American tour.
Pop Evil's sophomore full-length set was delayed due to "conflicts out of the band's control." Apparently though, things were within the band's control after the outburst at Rock on the Range.
Shortly after filming the video for the "War Of Angels" track, "Monster You Made," Allison had emergency surgery for a fractured neck vertebra in his neck and was not able to continue. Josh Marunde (nicknamed "Chachi Riot") filled in on drums.
As fans of the Michigan Wolverines, Pop Evil released "In The Big House," which lifted lyrics from the University of Michigan fight song. The "Big House" is the nickname of Michigan stadium (the largest in the U.S.).
"In The Big House" was even used as a pump-up song for the team and fans during home football games.
In '12, the band announced on its Facebook page that guitarist Tony Greve had left. The band toured with fill-in guitarist Nick Fuelling, who eventually was named Greve's permanent replacement.
Months later, "Boss's Daughter" reached #8 on Active Radio charts. Perhaps the music video helped. It featured appearances by Motley Crue's Mick Mars and Playboy Playmate Jessa Hinton.
"Onyx," a '13 release, featured the song "Trenches" which became Pop Evil's first national #1 single on Rock Radio.
"Up," the group's fourth album, was produced by Adam Kasper (Soundgarden, Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam). Months later, Marunde announced his decision to leave after a five year run.
2008 Lipstick On The Mirror
2011 War Of Angels