Rockers Pop Evil may be some of the most veteran rookies on radio.

The five-member band based in Grand Rapids, Mich., recently released its first national single, "Hero," and has been getting steady play on satellite radio. But just because they 're new to most people outside the Midwest, that doesn't mean they haven't already been around awhile.

Pop Evil has been slowly making a name for itself by constant touring since 2001. At first it was four-day weekend tours around Michigan, playing three sets a night, mixing original material in with covers, lead singer Leigh Kakaty recently told the Deseret News while on the road in Atlanta.

The band later saved enough money to finance a three-song EP, "Ready or Not." It was perfect for the band, Kakaty said, because when people are looking for new music, "People don't have the patience to listen to 10 brand new songs. We just did the songs and let whatever was going to happen, happen."

The three-song EP landed in the hands of Al Sutton, the producer for Kid Rock.

By 2005 and 2007, Pop Evil had the top two songs on the radio in Grand Rapids, including "Somebody Like You."

Today, the band has its first major album, "Lipstick on the Mirror," just finished its first mini-national tour opening for Puddle of Mudd and is about to go on tour as openers for Tesla.

From a constant touring standpoint, Pop Evil isn't new to the music world.

"It's about hard work. You gotta prove it every single night to fans. People aren't stupid. Money is hard to get. Going to a show, you're going to spend at least $30, you want to be entertained," Kakaty said.

Being from Michigan, he said if fans don't get a good performance, they'll follow that person all the way home to mock them.

The members of Pop Evil have learned to do just about everything in the music business themselves, and challenge both themselves and their fans to think outside the box. That's the veteran side of Pop Evil. But there's also the fan side who can't wait to hit the road with the musicians they listened to while they were growing up.

"It's the coolest feeling in the world to have these idols before you," he said. "I couldn't be happier. I grew up a Tesla fan. Now the band's around ... .I know they're going to be cool as heck. I'm just a fan, too."


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