"We want to make sure that lyrically the topics are fresh, natural and real," singer Leigh Kakaty of Pop Evil tells Noisecreep. The Michigan-based rock band is back in the studio. And this time they are making a record on their terms.

"We're more skilled at who we are as people and more skilled and focused on where we are as a band. We know our audience. We know our fans. We're going to make a record for them this time," Kakaty explains.

For Pop Evil, life pretty much begins and ends on the road. In all, the band played 250 shows in 2012. Instead of taking an extended break, the band rushed right back into the studio to begin work on a follow-up to War of Angels.

In just two weeks studio time, the band created the foundation for eight new songs. Kakaty admits the band is "cruising," and that the collaborative process of songwriting is going better than expected.

"Everyone kind of tells their story individually. Then we come together and try to demo out the best songs the band has. It's really exciting to see so many ideas coming from different directions. At the end of the day, it's not a solo project; it is a band and it's exciting to have everyone inspire you. I just got off the phone with Matt (DiRito, bass). One of Matt's songs just really gave me goose bumps. If it wasn't for his idea, I wouldn't have been able to write the lyrics on that. And the guys take songs I've written and expanded on the ideas. It's the way an album, in our opinion, should be."

Pop Evil

Ever Midwestern, Pop Evil is recording in Chicago. Johnny K is producing.

"We always go with Johnny," admits Kakaty. "He took the band to the next level with War of Angels and he's going to help us exceed that on this album as well. We're all super excited with Johnny. He's not even a producer; he's become a big brother. It's not even like we're making a record, we're just having fun. If you listen to the best records of all time, those were made in kind of the same process. For War of Angels, we were very tense in the studio. [It was our] first time with a big-time producer and a lot of 'You tell us what to do.' Now, it's the other way around. We tell him, 'We know our fans, our audience, our format. We want to make a record for them.'"

Pop Evil

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While it is still amazingly early in the writing and recording process, Kakaty says the goal is to have the new Pop Evil album out by spring. The band plans to hit to the road in spring and summer in support of their new effort.