Lit Up - California Band All The Buzz On Warped Tour

Ever had one of those nights where you drank a little too much, said some things you shouldn't have and basically woke up the next morning wrapped in a whole enchilada of embarrassment?

If so, Lit's cheerfully boozy My Own Worst Enemy is something you'll be able to relate to. Apparently, a lot of people connect with the joyously ragged song, which just spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on the modern-rock charts:

Please tell me why my car is in the front yard?

And I'm sleeping with my clothes on . . .

"Actually, that's what I'm feeling like today," says a woozy-sounding Jeremy Popoff, the band's guitarist and songwriter. "It was just the usual rock-and-roll shenanigans: Drinking, hanging out too late, getting silly and forgetting you have a bunch of (expletive) to do the next day."

The (expletive) included a bunch of interviews to hype A Place in the Sun, the fast-moving album from the group out of Orange County, Calif. The band, which also includes singer A. Jay Popoff (Jeremy's brother), bassist Kevin Baldes and drummer Allen Shellenberger, has been on the road constantly since the disc's release in February.

Lit has headlined in clubs and opened for other acts. Now, it has hooked up with the Vans Warped Tour, where it will share the stage with such acts as the Vandals, Molotov, Less Than Jake and Black Eyed Peas.

"As the shows have progressed, our crowds get bigger and better," Popoff says, lying in his bunk in the band's tour bus. "In the beginning, it was people that generally just heard the song on the radio. Now we've got fans coming back that are really getting into it, wearing the gambling shirts and everything."

Oh yeah. That's another part of the whole Lit mystique. The guys are totally into the Vegas retro-lounge aesthetic - check out their bowling-style tour shirts or cheesy CD cover - even if their grungy pop sound has little connection to Dino and Darin.

"When we were kids, our grandfather had a house near Laughlin," Popoff remembers. "We'd go there and our parents would drag us to the casinos at night. Just the whole mystique of the casino, the whole forbidden-zone thing. As soon as we turned 21, we'd go cruise the casinos."

When the guys hit Vegas or Laughlin, they usually get a room and raise a little hell. It's not quite Very Bad Things, Popoff swears.

"It hasn't gotten that bad," says Popoff, who just caught the darkly funny Cameron Diaz flick on video. "We do have a good time. We've gotten out of control, but we've never been tossed out of a hotel. We're not like punks. You'll see us all wearing suits and (expletive), so we get into that whole vibe."

It sounds like one of the verses from their song:

Can we forget about the things I said when I was drunk?

I didn't mean to call you that, I can't remember what was said.

Other songs on A Place in the Sun - the name refers to the Sands hotel, Sinatra's old stomping ground - share the frat-boy atmosphere and endless-party vibe. That's the way it should be, Popoff says.

"We're pretty much normal guys in our mid-20s. We don't come from a screwed-up childhood. We don't come from bad neighborhoods. Our songs are pretty much about normal (expletive) that people can relate to."


- by Randy Cordova
The Arizona Republic, 06-24-1999


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