A major player throughout the post-grunge boom of the late ’90s, Lit featured the combined talents of frontman A. Jay Popoff, his guitar-playing brother Jeremy, bassist Kevin Baldes, and drummer Allen Shellenberger. The group formed in 1990 in Orange County, California, where it initially performed metal-influenced music under the name Razzle. After changing their name, Lit began embracing a spunky brand of punk-pop that helped attract a local following in California. The group sold out local venues (including Club 369 in Fullerton) and issued two recordings: an EP, Five Smokin’ Tracks from Lit; and the full-length Tripping the Light Fantastic, which arrived during the spring of 1997 and became a college radio hit.
Lit then landed a contract with RCA Records, which released the follow-up effort A Place in the Sun two years later. This proved to be Lit’s breakthrough record, as the catchy rock riffs of “My Own Worst Enemy,” “Zip-Lock,” and “Miserable” all paved the way for platinum sales. With “My Own Worst Enemy” topping the U.S. Modern Rock Tracks chart, Lit toured the country alongside groups like the Offspring, No Doubt, and Garbage. Furthermore, they performed a set at Woodstock 1999 and earned a spot on the 2000 Vans Warped Tour.
A third album, Atomic, was released in fall 2001, spawning several singles including “Lipstick and Bruises.” A self-titled album arrived in 2004, marking Lit’s fourth full-length effort (as well as their first release on the Nitrus label). In 2008, drummer Shellenberger was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He died on August 13, 2009 at the age of 39. Nathan Walker was added as the band’s drummer and Lit began work on new material. In 2012, Lit released their fifth studio album, the Butch Walker-produced The View from the Bottom. They dedicated the album to Shellenberger.
Lit has been actively touring, writing, and recording. They’ve immersed themselves in Nashville’s country music world with frequent writing trips, continuing to further their friendships with some of the biggest names in Country and Rock. The new sound of Lit shows a natural progression into a genre they’ve always been connected to. It’s one of the many examples of artists taking risks, as the lines that used to define them get blurrier by the day.
Lit just wrapped a 30+ city North American Summer Tour, a chunk of which is part of Summerland Tour with Sugar Ray, Everclear, and Sponge. The tours showcased a new and buzz-worthy sonic direction for Lit into the Country realm. As Nashville SONY/ATV writers, Jeremy Popoff and his frontman brother A. Jay have immersed themselves in the Country music world with constant songwriting trips, continuing to further their friendships – both on and off the stage – with some of the biggest names in Country music. Lit recently joined Dustin Lynch at Stagecoach Festival to deliver “My Own Worst Enemy” to over 50,000 of Country’s most dedicated fans. The new sound of Lit shows a natural progression into a genre they’ve long been connected to. Their brand new music video for the song “Fast” will be debuted by CMT on Oct 26th.