Lit wants to
"It's cool that it still gets airplay," said lead singer A. Jay Popoff earlier this week from a hotel room in Rochester, N.Y., where the guys had a day off before playing a charity event for a local cancer center, in regards to the track. "I guess every band that has any sort of commercial success has that one song that stands out.
"It's a blessing and a curse, I guess."
With the release of Lit's self-titled fourth album, the band has changed the way they do business within the music industry, while continuing to strive towards producing the best material they can.
"A lot's gone on since then ... a lot of growing up has happened," Popoff said of the differences between the rock quartet that last played on Oahu at 2000's "Poi Fest" at the Turtle Bay Resort and the one in town this weekend for a show at Volcanoes Nightclub. "I'm anxious for people to sort of move on ... and check out our other stuff, especially now that I think our material's gotten so much better."
CURRENTLY IN their 15th year of playing together, Lit got their start in Fullerton, Calif., where A. Jay, his brother Jeremy Popoff, drummer Allen Shellenberger and bass player Kevin Baldes went to high school.
After years of endless gigging and marginal success in the Southern California region, the band's release of "A Place in the Sun" put them on the map as a crew of high-energy party animals who weren't afraid to poke a little fun at themselves while trying to make it as rockstars.
But over the course of the next three years, Lit saw the relationship with their old label, RCA Records, deteriorate as the employees that originally helped sign the band began to leave the company. In their place were new faces that Popoff and his bandmates felt weren't giving them enough support to keep turning out hit records.
"I think RCA was a great label, and they still are," said Popoff. "I just think we kind of grew apart, and we weren't very happy there anymore."
Following the release of "Atomic" in 2001, Lit decided to part ways with the major label, opting instead to sign with Nitrus Records, a smaller outfit comprised of industry veterans.
"It's much more like a partnership," Popoff said of the relationship between the band and their new label. "We definitely have a lot more involvement."
PART OF being more involved in their affairs meant taking the reigns when it came to producing a new album. Although Lit shared production credits with others on "A Place in the Sun" and "Atomic," the band took it upon themselves to produce "Lit" without any outside help.
Instead of working in a Los Angeles recording studio with rented instruments, the band set up closer to home in Orange County, where they spent the better part of last year working on new material at their own pace.
"We originally started thinking we were just going to do some demo work with the new material that we had written," Popoff said. "(But) it ended up sounding so killer, we decided ... we'll just do the whole record this way."
With the help of an engineer, "Lit" was the result of the band's do-it-yourself approach.
"Looking back, it's hard to believe it turned out the way it did," said Popoff. "It just felt painless ... we just rolled with our touring gear."
SELF-PRODUCING their latest album and working with a new record label have also kick-started Lit's efforts to get back out on tour and release their first full-length DVD.
Following their show here and a handful of concerts over the next few months, the band aims to be back on the road for a full-length North American tour by fall. When that happens, Popoff anticipates the DVD will be ready for fans as well.
"It shows every side of us," he said of the footage being used to produce the DVD. "We've had a video camera out with us since we've first started."
Expect to see not only live performances on the DVD, but also what the band is like backstage, on the road and at home in Orange County.
"This is probably what would normally be like three home videos, (all) thrown into one," Popoff said.
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