by Jeff Brinn / Schwegweb.com
Schwegweb had a chance to sit down with Tony Greve of the band Pop Evil. Here is what came from it.
Schwegweb: I’m sure its been pretty busy in the world of Pop Evil. Can you bring us up to speed on what you guys have been up to since the last record was released?
Tony Greve: “Since the release of our previous record “Lipstick on the Mirror”, we have been touring nonstop. We spent a good few years out on the road, jumping from one tour to the next, just touring the country. These days it’s the only way to build a name for yourself. You have to put in the face time, you have to play the shows, and you have to give your fans the time that they deserve. It’s a never ending journey. We can’t determine the future, but we can put in the work now. After we got off the road from the constant touring of that album we went straight into the studio to work with producer Johnny K on our second album “War of Angels, that is looking like it will be out this January. You can actually go to ITunes and check out our current single that is out “Last Man Standing.” We spent this entire past summer and more at Groove Master Studios in Chicago with Johnny just cranking out this new album. It was a lot of grueling and fun work, and I think the fans are going to be extremely happy with the results. I’m ecstatic about it I can tell you that. It’s an amazing album. The album took altogether about five months to complete. And then it’s back to the road!”
Has having opening slots for such artists as Judas Priest, Tesla, Shinedown, Godsmack and others been as rewarding and all it was cracked up to be?
“Yes. Completely. Not only are those heavy weight/legendary names that put us in front of large amounts of people every night, but we also learned a lot from these guys. Touring that much and with all of these bands taught us to become better writers, to grow together, and just how to live the road life period. We’ve made some connections and great friends along the way. If it weren’t for the experiences that we shared with touring with each and every one of those bands, we would not be as a band who, and where we are now. It’s made all the difference in the world. It’s just a whole other way of life.”
With the up-coming new release “Last Man Standing”did you enjoy working with heavy weight producer Jonny K and was he instrumental in bringing anything to the table that pushed POP EVIL to the next level?
“I loved working with Johnny. He’s a perfectionist. He really pushed me and brought me to a whole other level. If I couldn’t nail something then it wasn’t going to make the cut. So I would go and I would work on it until I got it right. I’m a better player today because of him. I’ve worked with some great producers but I’ve never learned as much as I did as working with Johnny. He really pulled the best out of me. He was definitely instrumental in bringing his input to the table. It was awesome to have that because it was like a sixth member input. We all know how the other works, so it was cool having a new head in the mix and a new way of thinking. Johnny is a different player then I am and has his own views on things and that’s what made it such a great collaboration. There was a new element of things I probably wouldn’t have thought to try on my own. Johnny really made an enormous difference in the growth of the band, these new songs, and the direction that we have taken.”
Can you share a little bit on some of the new material? Where does this new album take you guys as far as direction?
“This new album goes much further in depth with the writing. All the way from the lyrical aspects of it, right down to the music. It’s still Pop Evil and it’s still the Pop Evil sound, but now it’s got a ten pound punch behind it. The rock is more rock, and the aggressiveness is at a whole other level. Even the ballads are just much more strongly written and more relatable as to what’s going on now. To me this album is the story of where we were, to where we are now. The growth is visible.”
What’s your favorite new tracks so far?
“My favorite track so far is “The Bosses Daughter”. It’s a song about hooking up with the boss’s daughter, and it doesn’t get much more rock n roll then that lol. Not only that but this is a song that I got to collaborate on with Mick Mars from Motely Crue. I spent the day with Mick knocking out guitar parts and Leigh just came out of nowhere with the lyrics and blew the song away. Just took it to the next level.”
What’s the feedback been so far on the first single “Last Man Standing”?
“The feedback so far on Last Man Standing has been amazing. From the fans to the radio stations, we’ve got nothing but stellar feedback. Everyone seems to be going crazy over this track. It’s a big song for us. It’s just such a heavy hitter.”
You guys were part of a cruise ship venture with Kid Rock, how did that come about and any good stories you could share?
“Man, that cruise was off the chain! I’m amazed no one died of alcohol poisoning. Actually Matt and I were out to dinner with Kid Rock and we were chatting about what we had been up to and what was going on with him and he stopped us and asked us we had planned around that time and that he had a cruise he was doing. He picked up his phone, called his management on the spot, and said put Pop Evil the boat and that was it man. All I can say about Kid Rock are great things. From one Michigan boy to the next, he’s a stand up guy. Great guy. And we thank him for that opportunity. I remember the first night on the boat our guitar tech was so hammered he decided he’d had to much and was going to call it a night. Apparently he found the hallway of the floor he was on to be comfortable and laid down in front of some rooms and past out. One of the waiters got him up and said sir you can’t be here we’ve gotta get you to your room. He persisted he was fine. After finally getting him up, and trying his room key out, not only was he not at his room, but he wasn’t even on the right floor. Shane says it was the captain that walked him back to his room, but I still say it was a waiter; ) Lol. From that point on it didn’t end. It was a constant party on that boat. It was just a lot of good people having a really great time, and we made some great friends who we still keep in touch with.”
You now have an sponsorship with DEAN guitars, how’s that been and how’s it feel to be working with a company that was in so close relationships with the late Dime Bag Darrell?
“Being a part of the Dean guitar company is just crazy to me. It’s really a dream come true. I honestly can’t think of any other guitars I’d want to play or company I’d want to be a part of. Well Dimebag is my guitar Hero man!: ) I tattooed him on my left forearm so every night when I go on stage to play, Dime is right there with me. He’s been a lifelong inspiration to me and it’s an honor to be a part of the Dean family and playing a Dime guitar. Life doesn’t get better than that.”
Pop Evil has been on the road or deep in studio mode for some time now. What’s been the up and downs of the last year and with the new release almost out is all the excitement bowling up again inside?
“I’ll tell you there have been a lot of ups and downs for us as a band and for me personally. I’ve had some great times but I’ve also gone through some really rough patches in my personal life. I’ve really had to take a step back, reflect, and figure out what I’m doing and what road I’m taking. But yeah we are so excited. It’s like having a new addition to your family! A new album means more to look forward to that wasn’t a part of our lives before. And we are looking forward to seeing what’s in store for us as a band.”
What advice would you give kids out there hoping to make it in the world of music entertainment?
“Do it because you love it first and foremost. Don’t do it because you’re looking for a higher status, or it feeds your ego, do it for the love and nothing more. It’s a lot of hard work and it takes a lot of your time. Put the time into it that it deserves. As Leigh told me years ago, if you put into it and put into it, it’ll give back to you. The more that you give to it, the more it will give to you. Always stay positive, focused on your goals, and just keep pushing forward.”
Thanks for your time and is there anything else you would like to say to all the Pop Evil fans out there?
“Thanks to the fans for being a part of our lives. I can’t think of anything better, then to be able to share our music, together. We are where we are because you of you guys, and for that I thank you. And All I can say is get ready for War of Angels, because it’s coming.”