Lit's Jeremy Popoff Talks Tragedy Turned Triumph, Country Music, and Doing It Live | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Lit's Jeremy Popoff Talks Tragedy Turned Triumph, Country Music, and Doing It Live

Lit is a band that's experienced its share of tragedies. The death of drummer Allen Shellenberger in 2008 definitely put making new music on hold for a minute, but the band took up where it left off, adding drummer Nathan Walker. "We've all come to accept that out of tragedy can come triumph," Jeremy Popoff says. They took their pain and made music.

Lit's been together for 23 years and includes brothers A. Jay and Jeremy Popoff. Lit is more like a family than a band. "We've always been a very tight unit of guys," Jeremy says.

The passing of their old friend, though, Jeremy notes, "directly and indirectly... affected a lot of aspects of the [upcoming] album." Lit added a fifth member, Ryan Gillmor, to the band, which Jeremy believes enhances their live sound. He plays keyboard and guitar, which frees up Jeremy a little. "It made us sound a lot bigger and dynamic," and including him in the songwriting process changes things up a bit too, but not too much. 

Jeremy writes country music as well as rock 'n' roll. He records

and lives part-time in Nashville. Though it's actually his second home,

it's like a second home of the rest of the band. He's

made music with Jimmie Johnson and Colt Ford. Jeremy says of country as

opposed to the California rock scene as, "Kind of keeps me on my toes,

keeps my mind inspired.

"At the end of the day,

I still write songs about girls and drinking and having a good time.

Country tends to be more descriptive; there's a little more of a story

being told." Working with country music has changed the band's approach slightly. "As songwriters, we just grew," he observes. "Lit songs just grew.

They're better-crafted."

Though he says

everyone always calls their newest album their best yet, Jeremy says the one set for a June release actually is. "At the end of the day, this record is a

Lit record," he says. "Everyone who liked the old Lit will be stoked on the new Lit,

to be sure." 

They may be grownups with kids

and outside businesses, he says, but when "we get out there on the road, and

it's like no time has passed. We're just as crazy as we were ten years


"I still think when you come see Lit live, there's a

chance one of us is going to be too drunk, is going to break something,

or someone is going to get hurt. We have a dynamic onstage; it's not

rehearsed, it's not controlled or contained. It's very much five guys

rocking out like it's our last show on Earth." He jokes about aging, "The only

difference now is that we're a lot more sore." 


show is different -- you're not going to experience an album-perfect

performance. "I want it to be a little bit on the verge of falling

apart. I think that's sometimes the magic of rock 'n' roll. Especially

the magic of seeing that live. This is where the real human element of

the industry comes out." 

Lit at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-449-1025, or visit

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Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.
Contact: Liz Tracy

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