Pop Evil Interview

On Saturday February 8th, 2014, we traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada to catch Pop Evil on tour with Stone Sour and Stolen Babies. Before their show, Alex Lucero caught up with drummer, Chachi Riot and talked Los Angeles metal crowds, their European tour with Five Finger Death Punch, the band’s latest album, and Lady Gaga. Put on your best poker face and get ready for this exclusive Pop Evil interview from Soundcheck411.com!


Alex: First of all, thanks for taking the time to talk to us today.

Hey, thank you for having me and making the trip and coming out and saying hi, man.

Alex: No problem. Actually, I saw you guys on Wednesday in L.A., and again on Thursday in Anaheim…

You’re getting your Pop Evil in!

Alex: Yeah, you guys don’t come around to the West Coast very often.

We don’t We don’t get to the West nearly enough, so we are thankful when we get the opportunity, you know, obviously There’s a lot of fans out here that we are trying to grow and people who appreciate us and what we do, and also, we enjoy the beautiful sunshine.

IMG_8549Alex: You guys have a lot of fans out here in the West Coast; so hopefully, we will see you a lot more. So, you’re tour is almost done with Stone Sour, is there anything you guys have accomplished on this tour?

Definitely! A lot! It’s been a great tour and every night has been sold-out, I think, except for literally one show. Those guys, on a professional level, we can all watch and learn from, and as far as fans, we’ve had a great response every night, and then a great response also on Social Media. It’s hard to judge exactly what Facebook and twitter means, exactly, but it’s always encouraging to come off a show and when you look at the tweets or the Facebook comments, people are saying “never really cared for Pop Evil, saw ‘em live and loved their show,” and I love winning people over more than anything else. And I think that  a lot of our first songs are ballads and we didn’t have some of the rock respect that we personally deserved and people were coming out to the show coming to see Stone Sour and happen to be catching us and I think we are winning some people over  and that’s exciting.

Alex: You guys are heading over to Europe, soon, right?

We are. We are heading out there with Five Finger Death Punch and Upon A Burning Body. We leave the 1st or second week of March and we’ll have just a second to catch our breaths with family and then head out there again.

Alex: And this is your first tour in Europe, right?

It is. We’ve been to Sweden, a couple of times, but this is our first actual tour hitting mutilpe countries and spending more than a couple of days over there. We are anxious, excited, nervous… I don’t know, but I’m very eager to get over there.

Alex: I bet! Do you guys feel any pressure on being on that bill with Five Finger Death Punch and Upon A Burning Body? Because, like you were saying before, you guys are kind of a softer band, and Five Finger [Death Punch] is a really hard band, and Upon A Burning Body, I don’t know if you’ve seen them…IMG_8665

Super Heavy!

Alex: …Yeah, Super heavy! You guys are kind of mellow [compared to them], but those kinds of festivals out in Europe always happen, and I think It’ll go perfect [for you guys].

I know, and I’m excited, man. Pressure? I don’t think any negative pressure.  We’ve been with Five Finger before, we did Trespass, and the Trespass America Festival tour we were one of the lighter – us and probably Five Finger, were the lightest on that bill. Our stage show and live performance goes a little heavier than the actual album does, and most importantly, we do love the very few European fans we do have over there who are eager to get us over there. We love the guys in Five Finger, and we are eager to be touring with the guys in Upon A Burning Body, and we just want to get over there and show people what Pop Evil are about. We aren’t going to chance who we are to “fake” anyone into liking us and we are going to do what we do, and hopefully, people can love and respect that.

Alex: Are you guys going to do kind of a more mellow set over there? You guys have been doing more of your harder stuff over here [on this tour].

Yeah, I think we’ll keep the energy turned up and I don’t think we’ll be breaking out the ballads of ours. We’ll probably go over there and support the new album pretty heavily, which is our heaviest record to date and the newer stuff we’ve been writing is pretty heavy, also, so we’ll probably keep it in that vein, and I’m sure we’ll probably break out one mellow, mid-tempo [song]. Torn into Pieces is our new single, and we might support that over there, but otherwise, we are going over there and do what we’ve been doing, you know. The Stone Sour tour has been great for us and we want to keep that energy going.

Alex: What are the plans after Europe to support the new album?

Touring, so much touring! I know after we come back from Europe we are going to have at least one more tour before the festival season begins. We are doing Rock on the Rang, again, which has an UNBELIEVABLE line-up, and I’m thrilled for that, and there’s some other [festivals] that we haven’t official released yet, but people should keep their eye out for that, and it’s going to be exciting. Hopefully after that we have a couple weeks off here and there and see the family. Obviously it’s hard being on tour, and the success of the band is great, but it keeps you on the road even longer. At this point, I’ll be looking forward to some time off, and after that, I am eager for Europe, and again I’m again excited for a little time off. I try to take it one step at a time; you can’t take too much at once.

IMG_8607Alex: Speaking of the new album, is there any songs on there that you haven’t played that you would like to play [live]?

I would like to play them all live, eventually. [The song] “Fly Away-” we haven’t even dabbled with. We have done Welcome to Reality, at a couple of shows, we have done Beautiful, at a couple of shows, and Silence and Scars we’ve played at a headline set. I think that’s just about all the ones that most people may have no seen, yet.

Alex: Is that something you would play at your headline show at the Machine Shop that’s coming up?

I don’t know if we’ll do anything of the heavier stuff that’s new. I don’t know- we’ve very mildly discussed that show, we should get to work on that. We might do kind of a flashback for some diehards. We’ll definitely play the new singles and support the new record, but we may do an acoustic breakdown. We get burned out sometimes playing old songs, like “Somebody Like You,” and we love that, and we have many supporters of that, and one away to keep the fans happy and kind of entertain ourselves is to break it down and make it acoustic. Something like that is what we’ll look forward to at the Machine Shop- it’s a small venue, it’s very intimate. I love that place and it’s one of my favorite venue. The owners there, Kevin, and his brothers, the Ink brothers, are just great and we love out Flint fans and the Banana, it’s great.

Alex: Like I was telling you before, I saw you guys a couple of times in the past week, and I gotta say, you guys put in so much energy in your live shows, and I thank you for that, I see you on the drum set and you are just an animal. Who are your influences, because I’ve never really seen anyone play like that?

 You know what? I don’t know man. I grew up not really planning to be a “rock star,” you know, I think a lot of kids had that dream at a really young age, and I didn’t even start playing the drums seriously until I was like 20 years old. I’ve watched guys like Tommy Lee, and Blas [Elias] from Slaughter, and I love Dave Grohl, but a lot of those are things are I picked up after becoming a drummer. I’m a huge fan of Morgan Rose [Sevendust], and obviously Roy [Mayorga] is a legend, but a lot of this stuff I’m doing, I’ve really never seen anyone else doing, but I just enjoy what I’m doing, I’m very passionate about it, and it’s a good time.

Alex: Yeah, I see you guys moving and jumping around, and then I see you standing up and doing all these hand motions and get really into it. What drives you guys to be doing this type of show every night, because I see a lot of bands like, “oh we’re playing this date, so it’s whatever,” but you guys just slaughter is every time I see the band.IMG_8608

Thank you! The fans and the people drive us. Number one: We’re out here every night doing what we love, and if you’re not having fun, I don’t know what you’re doing out here. Secondly: Ticket prices aren’t getting any cheaper, and people want to see a good show and they deserve a good show, so that’s out job. If my only job is to play drums, than I should be able to kickass at playing drums, everyday. You shouldn’t get taking days off, you know? Doctors can’t take days off, someone will die, so why should we get days off. I’m pretty competitive, so even in the middle of a set if I feel like I’m getting tired and I look over and see Dave and Matt, or Nick, or Leigh and they’re jumping around, I don’t want to be the lazy guy on stage.

Alex: Usually, drummers are the ones who can get away with that, like “hey, yeah, cool, I’m banging the drums, whatever,” but you’re just like “I’m gonna go all out, and if I can walk around with the drum kit, I would.”

If I can find a way to Travel around, it will happen,. I’ve been talking about how we can do that, but yeah, it’s just a good time to just throw down and totally get into it and watch people’s reactions, you know? I can feed off those people who are loving what I’m doing, and it’s just motivating and it just drives me.

Alex: So, you’re in Vegas. Did you do any gambling?

I’m not a big gambler, but I did play little slots with the girlfriend last night. I walked about 100 miles, I think; I’m a big sightseer. Honestly, I like to take it all in, and I’m not a big gambler or anything specific, and if anything, I’m a big wine-o and I had some drinks last night. I’m just enjoying the sunshine, and getting out. We’ve been in these sub-zero temperatures for the past two weeks.

Alex: You must feel relieved to come out here and enjoy this weather.

Oh, my god. To be able to walk out of this bus and walk around and not dying has been amazing. Vegas is beautiful and the whole south west is a cool place, and it’s far away from us, and like you said, we don’t make it out here a lot, so we just try to take it in and enjoy it.

IMG_8668Alex: Are there any stories that you would love to share since you are sharing the road with Corey Taylor? I know he’s a legend and I’ve heard he’s known to be a prankster.

He is a jokester, but he’s such a nice guy and he’s amazingly down to earth and he’s just a really normal guy from the mid-west, Iowa, and I very much see that. He’s one of those guys that when you see that he’s really famous, you’re almost scared to meet him, because there’s no way he can be as cool as you think they are, and Corey is really as cool as you would expect him to be. He’s a really great guy and I have nothing but respect for that whole crew and the whole band.

Alex: Are there any albums you are looking forward to this year?

:woos: There’s going to be a lot, man. I heard a rumor that Queens of the Stone Age is coming out with another record, and I’m a big ‘Queens’ fan. I’m really looking forward to the new Black Stone Cherry album. The new Billy Joel Armstrong and Norah Jones new Everly Brothers tribute record is already out, but I have not gotten it, yet. I’m all over the map, man; I listen to so much different Music.

Alex: Is there anything surprising? Like Lady Gaga?

Oh, yeah! I’ve seen Gaga twice, and I’ve paid big money to see her twice. I listen to everything, from Gaga, to Bruno Mars, to Abba, to Zeppelin, who are one of my favorites, to Aerosmith. I love country from Waylon, to Outlaw Country, Willie to Jason Aldean and Garth Brooks. I’m really all over.

Alex: Those are really diverse, I would say.

My phone has a mix of embarrassing and some respectable artists.  

Alex: I’ve talked to a lot of metal musicians are they usually like to stick to metal.

I rarely listen to rock music. I’m just always surrounded by it. My brother’s a rock head, and he’s like “what’s the new rock albums?” and I’m like, “dude, I don’t know.” Honestly, I’m not saying this because I’m touring with them, but the new Stone Sour albums are killer. I think, probably, the best record they’ve ever made. Absolute Zero and Tired were monsters and well deserved high-charting singles. There’s good music out there, you just gotta look for it.

Alex: Since I saw you guys at the last two [California] shows, which show did you like better, the Anaheim show, or the L.A. show?

That’s tough, man. I think the crowd was a little wilder in Anaheim. L.A. is kind of like a New York City, it’s a tough crowd, you know, and there’s so much competition and people really expect a show, but to go a little bit against that, that show was so much better than the last time we played L.A.

Alex: You mean at Trespass?

Yeah, at the Palladium. Our response there was “Pop Evil” and there was no clapping or cheering, and no one knew who we were. This time, people were actually excited to see us, and that was cool, but Anaheim was pretty awesome, too, but I don’t really have any complaints at all. California’s been great, I’m sure tonight will be great and I’m just going to go out there with the guys and we are going to do what we do and have a blast.

Alex: Is there anything else you would like to add before we go?

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone this year and it’s a year of touring. After Europe, we’ll be back in the States, so hit us up on twitter, on Facebook and stay in touch and we’ll do our best to keep you guys in the loop.