Has Rock Band Lit Really Gone Country? ‘We’re Not Doing That Much Different’
Good-time rock band Lit — best known for their 1999 platinum album A Place in the Sun — have gone country. Or is it that country music has really gone rock?
Whatever the case, Lit's new album, These Are The Days, drops July 13, and it's a country-infused version of the band that fans haven't heard — at least not on a full studio album.
As country music evolves and continues to splinter into sub-genres, it's no longer hard to believe that a band whose biggest hit is the rock-spirited "My Own Worst Enemy" could cross over into modern country. Darius Rucker, Sheryl Crow and Steven Tyler all jumped into the genre within the last decade, and fans aren't as genre-based as they used to be. In fact, "My Own Worst Enemy" can be heard almost nightly on Nashville's popular Broadway strip as loads of cover bands sandwich the song between country jams like "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" from the Charlies Daniels Band and Zac Brown Band's "Chicken Fried" — is that weird?
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Lit guitarist Jeremy Popoff doesn't seem to think that mash of live music is odd at all, and in a way, Lit are also doing it in their own set.
"I think country has gone a lot of different directions," Popoff tells Taste of Country. "I don't think it's weird if you see Lit at a country festival and you hear a blend of the old songs and the new songs. There isn't a look on people's faces like, 'What are they doing?' It fits and it's been working ... We're not doing that much different. I think we've become better songwriters and there are more dynamics in our songs now. It's not just full-blast, pedal-to-the-metal, wall-of-guitars anymore. We bring other textures in now."
The country infusion didn't happen overnight for Popoff, as he's been writing songs in Nashville since 2005 with songwriters including Jamey Johnson and Jeffrey Steele. He's been gradually bringing other members of Lit to Music City ever since.
"We got to a point where we're like, if we're going to make another Lit record and continue to put out new songs, this is how we write them now," Popoff says. "Let's record these songs that we've been writing and let's play 'em live and see what it feels like. They've been going over great live, so the decision wasn't to make a country record, the decision was to record these songs that we love. ... Is it a country record? It's a definitely a country record. It's a rock and roll record. It's a Lit record the way Lit sounds in 2018."