Lit (band)

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Lit band.jpg
Lit performing at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut in 2005
Background information
Origin Orange County, California[1]
Years active 1995–present
Members A. Jay Popoff
Jeremy Popoff
Kevin Baldes
Terry Stirling Jr.
Past members Allen Shellenberger
Nathan Walker
Ryan Gillmor

Lit is an American rock band, formed in 1995 in Fullerton, California. They are best known for their hit song "My Own Worst Enemy".[2]


Pre-Lit (1986–1995)[edit]

In 1986, guitarist Jeremy Popoff and bassist Kevin Baldes met, and soon after, began playing music together. Later on, Baldes (16 at the time) and Popoff's brother, A. Jay (14 at the time), formed the pop metal band Razzle in 1988 with Sean Holland. The lineup included Kevin Baldes (bass, lead vocals), Sean Holland (guitar), and A. Jay Popoff (drums, percussion). They performed their first show on June 26, 1988, at The Troubadour. In 1989, A. Jay switched from drums to lead vocals, and the band added guitarist Jeremy Popoff and drummer Allen Shellenberger. Things began to come together in 1990, when the group released a demo tape and an EP entitled New Vibe Revolution in 1993. Razzle dissolved in 1993 and became Stain in 1994, which had a much harder and heavier sound. They released a demo tape in 1995 and eventually signed with Malicious Vinyl in 1995. After finding out the name "Stain" was already owned, the band changed their name to Lit.

Tripping the Light Fantastic (1997)[edit]

On April 1, 1997 the group released Tripping the Light Fantastic on the Malicious Vinyl record label.[1] Malicious Vinyl went out of business shortly after Tripping the Light Fantastic was released, which left the band unsigned once again. They spent their time writing a new batch of songs and showcasing for various record labels until they signed with RCA Records in 1998.[1]

The RCA years (1998–2002)[edit]

The group shot to stardom started with their second album titled A Place in the Sun, released in February 1999. A Place in the Sun yielded the hit single, "My Own Worst Enemy," which reached mainstream popularity by peaking at number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100, topping the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart for a total of 12 weeks, and receiving a Billboard Music Award for the biggest modern rock song of 1999. It was followed by "Zip-Lock" (which featured Blink-182 in the video) and "Miserable", the latter of which was among the top ten most played songs of 2000 and featured Pamela Anderson in the video. Shortly after the album went platinum in the USA and gold in Canada becoming the band's best selling album of all time. The band performed over 286 shows and toured worldwide in support of A Place in the Sun. In addition to the Vans Warped Tour and a slot on Woodstock 1999, the band toured with The Offspring, Garbage, and No Doubt. The band's tracks also appeared in soundtracks of Ready to Rumble and The Replacements.

Lit followed up A Place in the Sun with the 2001 release of Atomic. The new album steered away from the sound of their last pop punk album, resulting in a more mature yet ultimately less successful format. The band's highest charting single was "Lipstick and Bruises" which reached Top 10 on the Billboard's Hot Modern Rock Tracks. Lit toured to support Atomic with Kid Rock and Butch Walker. The group was released from their contract with RCA Records in late 2002.

Lit and Shellenberger's death (2003–2009)[edit]

Lit went on a small, intimate club tour in the fall of 2003 before releasing the self-titled Lit on the DRT Entertainment label on June 24, 2004. The single "Looks Like They Were Right" made it on the Top 40 charts. That year the group also put out its first long-form DVD, All Access, on November 16, 2004.

On May 5, 2008 it was announced that drummer Allen Shellenberger was diagnosed with a brain tumor. On July 26, 2008, Lit held a benefit for Allen at House Of Blues in Anaheim, California. A number of bands performed including Sugar Ray and Handsome Devil. No Doubt drummer Adrian Young filled in for Shellenberger for a couple songs. Both drummers also played at the same time for a few songs. The concert was Allen's last show with Lit. He died on August 13, 2009, at the age of 39.[3]

The View from the Bottom (2009–2015)[edit]

On November 23, 2009, Lit played their first concert since Allen's death. Drum tech Nathan Walker, who had filled in for Allen earlier that year, was now his successor on drums. They later announced that they had begun to work on a new album.[4]

In April 2010 during an interview with OC Talk Radio, Lit hinted that they would return to a major label for their next release. They also revealed their work on a new management deal, as well as performing new material live.

In September 2010, Kevin Baldes confirmed that Lit were in the studio, writing and recording their sixth studio album. The band worked with producer Marti Frederiksen (Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Foreigner, Sheryl Crow, Faith Hill).[5]

The band reported that they were still in the studio recording in July 2011, and released a demo video titled "You Tonight".[6] Lit announced in December 2011 that they were back in the studio with producer Butch Walker to finish their new album. It was also announced that the band had signed with Megaforce Records and would release their new album The View from the Bottom on June 19, 2012.[7]

The first single, "You Tonight," was released on iTunes on May 1, 2012, and a video for "The Broken" was released in August 2012.

On January 7, 2013, frontman A. Jay Popoff told Loudwire that after Lit finished touring in support of The View from the Bottom, they would begin writing their next album.[8] A video for "Miss You Gone" was released on June 13, 2013.

On December 9, 2013, the band announced via its Facebook page that it would perform a special 15th anniversary show for A Place in the Sun, where the band played the entire album from front to back on February 28, 2014, at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California.[9]

Sixth studio album (2016–present)[edit]

On October 1, 2015 the band announced that they had been working on new music at SoundStage in Nashville, TN.[10]

In early 2016, drummer Nathan Walker left the band to pursue other projects. The band brought in new drummer Terry Stirling Jr. for the 2016 Summerland Tour.

On October 26th, 2016, Lit's music video for their new song "Fast" debuted on CMT. The band announced a PledgeMusic campaign for their new album on December 6, 2016. They also released another new song "Back With You." These two songs show a shift in sound for the band to a more country-influenced sound.[11]

Musical style[edit]

On the band's first album "Tripping the Light Fantastic", Lit incorporated elements of punk rock, grunge and heavy metal.[12] The band moved away from the style on that album and moved to[13] a pop punk[14] and power pop[13] style on their album "A Place in the Sun". Lit has been mostly described as alternative rock[15][16][12] and pop punk.[17] Lit also has been as described as post-grunge.[17] Lit's newest single, "Fast," features a prominent alt-country influence.

Band members[edit]


Main article: Lit discography
Studio albums


  1. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 575. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  2. ^ Jason Ankeny. "Lit - Biography - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Lit drummer Allen Shellenberger dead at 39". Retrieved August 14, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Lit Update - 11/27/09 van Lit op Myspace". November 27, 2009. Retrieved April 14, 2012. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Featured Content on Myspace". Retrieved April 19, 2014. [dead link]
  6. ^ w "Melodic Net - Lit Working On New Album; Listen To New Demo" Check |url= value (help). July 6, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Lit Teams Up With Butch Walker: This is How Awesome is Made | ChinaShop". January 2, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Singer AJay Popoff on Lit: 'This Band Has Always Been a Brotherhood'". January 7, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Lit". Facebook. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Lit Working On New Music". Retrieved November 18, 2015. 
  11. ^ Lit: New Album! on PledgeMusic
  12. ^ a b "Tripping the Light Fantastic - Lit". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  13. ^ a b "A Place in the Sun - Lit". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  14. ^ "20 Pop Punk Albums Which Will Make You Nostalgic". June 9, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2015. 
  15. ^ "The Ryder Cup Of Rock". Classic Rock. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Lit to perform at Taste of Ladera". The Orange County Register. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b Jason Ankeny. "Lit - Biography". Retrieved May 12, 2016. 

External links[edit]