Pop Evil channels Michigan roots into latest number-one single

Credit: Tammy Vega

Of Pop Evil‘s many number-one hits, their latest might be the most fitting.

“Survivor,” the current single off the group’s new album, Versatile, hit the top spot on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Airplay chart last week, giving Pop Evil their seventh leader on the ranking. The song feels like the ultimate representation of perhaps Pop Evil’s most common themes of persistence, resilience and overcoming adversity.

As for why those themes keep popping up, frontman Leigh Kakaty credits the “Michigan man in me.”

“It’s just always being kind of written off,” Kakaty tells ABC Aduio. “If you’re from Michigan or the Midwest you understand. You’re not New York or L.A., and sometimes not even Detroit.”

As much as Kakaty loves his home state, he admits that growing up and living in a place where it’s “cold here seven months of the year” can get “real depressing.”

“All of our family and friends are still…in Michigan, so there’s mentality of you always started writing for them,” Kakaty explains. “Writing to, ‘Hey man, it’s all good. Things can get better.'”

Kakaty hopes that songs like “Survivor” can help others who feel the same way.

“There’s a lot of people out there that feel like the odds are against them, and the music helps get through,” he says. “Music helps pave that way, and…give [people] some kind of a light in all the darkness.”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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