Lit (band)

Lit is an American rock band, formed in 1988 in Fullerton, California. They are best known for their song "My Own Worst Enemy".[2]

Lit performing at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut in 2005.
Background information
Also known asRazzle (1988–1994) Stain (1994–1996)
OriginFullerton, Orange County, California[1]
Years active1988–present
MembersKevin Baldes
A. Jay Popoff
Jeremy Popoff
Ryan Gillmor
Evan Kilbourne
Past membersSean Holland
Allen Shellenberger
Chadd Anthony (Chad Benekos)
Nathan Walker
Terry Stirling Jr.


Pre-Lit (1986–1995)

Ajay Popoff and Kevin Baldes high school friends (14 & 15 years old at the time) started a band called Razzle. The lineup included Kevin Baldes (bass), Sean Holland (guitar), and A.Jay Popoff (drums, percussion). Charles Ward (vocals) 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 (1996–1997)

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)

The group gained popularity with their second album A Place in the Sun, released in February 1999. A Place in the Sun yielded the hit single, "My Own Worst Enemy," which peaked 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, as a giantess who lets the band walk on different parts her body before eventually betraying and devouring them all. Shortly after, the album went platinum in the US and gold in Canada, becoming the band's best selling album. 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.

Self-titled album (2003–2007)

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.

Death of Allen Shellenberger

On May 5, 2008, Lit announced that their drummer Allen Shellenberger was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Shellenberger immediately underwent clinical trials, chemotherapy and radiation at the Cedars-Sinai Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute. It was discovered that the tumor was malignant glioma and was incurable. His treatments were documented in a piece on ABC World News Tonight that aired in the same month. Lit cancelled their scheduled tour dates with Kiss due to Shellenberger's diagnosis. On July 26, 2008, Lit held a benefit concert for Allen at the 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 of songs. Both drummers also played at the same time for a few songs. The concert was Allen's last show with Lit, as he died at the age of 39 from his tumor on August 13, 2009.[3]

The View from the Bottom (2009–2015)

On November 23, 2009, Lit played their first concert since Allen Shellenberger's death. Drum tech Nathan Walker, who had filled in for Shellenberger 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". 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.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8]

These Are the Days (2016–present)

On October 1, 2015 the band announced that they had been working on new music at SoundStage in Nashville, TN.[9]

In early 2016, Nathan Walker left the band to pursue other projects. The band brought in drummer Terry Stirling Jr. for the 2016 Summerland Tour. Evan Kilbourne replaced him the following year.

On October 26, 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.

The band released their sixth album, These Are the Days, on December 15, 2017.[10]

Musical style and influences

On the band's first album Tripping the Light Fantastic, Lit incorporated elements of punk rock, grunge and heavy metal.[11] The band moved away from the style featured on that album and moved to[12] a pop punk[13] and power pop[12] style on their album A Place in the Sun. Lit has been mainly described as alternative rock[14][15][11] and pop punk.[16][17][18] Lit also has been described as post-grunge.[17] Lit moved to country sound with the band's 2017 album These Are the Days.[19] Lit's influences include Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Jimi Hendrix, The Cars, Nirvana, Weezer, Metallica, Elvis Costello, George Lynch, Ozzy Osbourne, and Boston.[20][21][22]

Band members



Studio albums


  1. Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 575. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  2. Ankeny, Jason. "Lit - Biography". 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. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
  5. "Featured Content on Myspace". Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  6. "Lit Teams Up With Butch Walker: This is How Awesome is Made | ChinaShop". January 2, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
  7. "Singer AJay Popoff on Lit: 'This Band Has Always Been a Brotherhood'". January 7, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  8. "Lit". Facebook. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  9. "Lit Working On New Music". Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  10. Lit: New Album! on PledgeMusic
  11. "Tripping the Light Fantastic - Lit". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  12. "A Place in the Sun - Lit". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  13. "20 Pop Punk Albums Which Will Make You Nostalgic". June 9, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  14. "The Ryder Cup Of Rock". Classic Rock. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  15. "Lit to perform at Taste of Ladera". The Orange County Register. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  16. Boller, Jay (May 18, 2017). "Late '90s & early '00s pop-punk/emo bands, ranked". City Pages. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  17. Ankeny, Jason. "Lit - Biography". Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  18. Garland, Emma (April 27, 2016). "This Video of Lit Performing in 1999 Is an Important Cultural Artifact of a Forgotten Time". Noisey. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  20. King, Kat; Sharken, Lisa (March 9, 2007). "Jeremy Popoff of Lit". Seymour Duncan. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  21. Pearlman, Jeff (January 6, 2017). "Jeremy Popoff". Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  22. Iwasaki, Scott (February 21, 2002). "Cultural corner: Band Lit to perform at the 'metals' plaza". Deseret News. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  23. Rich Redmond recorded drums on unreleased demos from The View from the Bottom.
  24. Nathan Walker was the drum tech of Lit from around 2004 until around 2009, and filled-in for Allen while he was ill in 2008 and in 2009.
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