The Modern Age

A. Jay Popoff is glad that radio programmers started paying attention to the hardcore pop he was making with Lit in an Anaheim, Calif., warehouse, because, frankly, he had no backup plan.

"None of us had other plans. We didn't go to college . . . All we wanted to do was play music," vocalist Popoff says of himself and his fellow band members: his brother, guitarist Jeremy Popoff; bassist Kevin Baldes; and drummer Allen Shellenberger. "We just thank our lucky stars that we are getting a shot. Hearing us on the radio has helped our families sleep easier at night. My grandma listens to KROQ [Los Angeles] now to assure herself that she can be proud of us."

Hearing "My Own Worst Enemy," this issue's No. 17 on Modern Rock Tracks, might not be the best thing for older nerves; Popoff admits it's a somewhat autobiographical tale of foot-in-mouth syndrome.

"It isn't based on one particular person or experience, as we've all done things we aren't proud of on more than one occasion. Everyone has gone out, drank too much, said things they shouldn't, and done things they shouldn't. The worst part is you never forget them. You wake up the next morning and realize how bad you fucked up. I don't like to dwell in the past, but there are definitely times when I wish I could suck it back up."

Although the band's deal with RCA, its radio hit, and its upcoming tours with Silverchair and Eve 6 don't fall into that category, Popoff is aware that without hard work, Lit could easily step off the path to success. " 'My Own' is only the first song. Hopefully, we'll get past that. We won't really feel validated until the album hits stores and sells well and our tours go well. We are a total live band, so packing clubs and meeting the kids are important to us. It is only good music if it affects someone."

- by Carrie Bell
Billboard, 02/27/99, Vol. 111 Issue 9

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