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Artist of the Month - Aug 1998
Lit - Tripping the Light Fantastic
by Keavin Wiggins

Take one part Punk add in equal doses of alternative, and pop, then mix in two parts Hard rock. What you come up with is the explosive sound of Lit. If you ask the band to describe their music, the most likely answer is “mutt rock”. They have made a career of mixing the best elements of music together into a hard grooving style that can only be called Lit. 

The origins of Lit began in early high school, when the brothers’ Popoff started playing together. It was shortly after that they recruited their two buddies Kevin Blades, and Allen Shellenberger to join the band. From there they began the process of writing the powerful music that landed them a recording deal with Malicious Vinyl, and the professional management services of Ruta Sepetys. (Sepetys also manages guitar legend Steve Vie and Rockers Hair of the Dog). 

Lit commands a fierce following on their home turf of southern California. It is not unusual to show up late to a Lit show, and find the Club overflowing at the seems. As one indication of the just how popular these guys are, they managed to do what Gig Magazine calls the impossible: get covered in the Orange County Register, and Los Angeles Times. All one has to do is drive around Northern Orange County and with in 10 minutes you will find a car displaying a Lit Bumper sticker. The consummate party band the guys also landed a sponsorship from Jägermeister. 

The bands Debut effort released in 1997 “Tripping the Light fantastic” has received critical acclaim, and solidified there position as the next big band to come out of Orange County. Rock n World Music Editor Brian Aguilar put it this way and hearing the disc, “Lit has the potential to do for Rock in the late 90’s what Metallica did for Metal in the 80’s, and Nirvana in the Early 90’s. “ By that, he means that their explosive original sound has what it takes to launch a whole new tide of artist who will copy that sound, and knock the industry off its complacent ass. 

Not to be out done by their studio work, the bands live shows have an intensity that has to be seen to be believed. Its not hard to imagine these guys headlining arena’s instead of medium size clubs. With the added bonus of Gold and Platinum albums hanging from their walls. 

Will Lit land in the big times? They have the talent, drive, energy, and most importantly the music. The rumor going around is that they are in negotiations with several major labels. If these labels have any brains they will give Lit what ever they want, and sign the deal.(written before Lit got signed to RCA) One this for sure these guys will always be superstars here at Rock n World. Nevertheless, I have a hunch that before long you will see them sign to a major label, and yes become a house hold name. For now why not go over their web site and order the CD, you won’t be sorry. 

Here's to the four guys from Orange County, lets hope they keep Tripping the Light Fantastic and keep us Lit with their powerful sound in the years to come. 

Press Article: Plenty of pop bands are capable of delivering melodic choruses, and just as many punk bands can churn out cuts filled with angst and the spirit of rebellion. Lit follows in the footsteps of Nirvana, able to carve out distinctive songs filled with equal parts of melody and power, tunes that would be good even without the excellent production.Pop, punk and progressive metal influences are fused in a balanced sound that makes many of the tracks on “Tripping the Light Fantastic” irresistible. 

Lit is made up of four high school friends from Orange County. The combination of brothers Jeremy and A.Jay Popoff with Kevin Baldes and Allen Shellenberger delivers a tightness that is nothing short of phenomenal. Based on the strength of their debut EP entitled “Five Smokin’ Tracks From Lit” released in 1996, it’s no surprise that the first full-length disc from the Anaheim-based quartet is excellent. “Tripping the Light Fantastic” has been hailed as one of the best albums of the year by the Orange County Register and the first single, “Bitter”, was the #1 most added at college and metal radio within the first few weeks of its release. 

Lit is not a band that’s about preaching or trying to be politically correct. They say what they feel and leave their music open for interpretation. Those who have seen Lit live will never forget them. While other acts often construct their music behind closed doors or in the recording studio, the stage is the birthing place for many of Lit’s incredible ideas. Fans are often able to actually witness the songwriting process with the band as they improvise during a live show. Recent tours have included shows with Reel Big Fish, Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, Drain, Lifter, Orbit and Radish. 

Lit’s musical influences run the gamut, from Iron Maiden to Frank Sinatra. For Jeremy and A.Jay, music is in their blood. Their father is a legendary disc jockey who’s been spinning records on major LA stations since they were born. “We never played with your average toys,” says A.Jay. “Our Dad would bring records home from work and we’d play DJ and singalong, s*** like that.” That “s***” apparently paid off, as years later, the foursome are now visiting the station stomping grounds themselves nationwide. 

CMJ summed it up succinctly with their description of Lit and review of the record which read simply......”This band is destined to be huge.” 

(Excerpts taken from Robert Kinsler’s article in the Orange County Register entitled, “Lit’s Disc is Quite the Contender”)

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Back to the Sophomore Special for Lit's "Atomic"

Read the CD review for "A Place in the Sun".

Keavin Wiggins is the Founder and Managing editor of the iconoFAN Network. 
Live Photos by Keavin Wiggins - Copyright 2001 Iconoclast Entertainment Group - All Rights Reserved. 


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