Lit

Lit is, from left, bassist Kevin Baldes, singer Ajay Popoff, guitarist/vocalist Jeremy Popoff, and drummer Taylor Carroll. (Nick Fancher/Contributor)

Lit singer Ajay Popoff and his brother, Jeremy, had a firm goal in mind for their new album. 

“We wanted to get back to the old-school Lit sound with a modern-day approach to the production,” Jeremy said during a recent Zoom call. 

“It took a minute to get our heads in the right place, especially with all of the craziness going on in the world.”

The brothers began by writing and making demos with Carlo Colasacco and YOUTHYEAR, whom, guitarist/vocalist Jeremy said, understood their mission.

Produced by Colasacco, YOUTHYEAR and Lit, “Tastes Like Gold” also features No Doubt’s Adrian Young, Butch Walker and American Authors. The seventh studio album is due to hit platforms on Friday, June 17, via Round Hill Records. 

They will celebrate with a hometown performance at the House of Blues Anaheim the same day with Blame My Youth, Nights Like Thieves and Chad Tepper.

“We’re bringing a big rock show back,” Jeremy said. 

Ajay added, “With this new music and going back to that energy and mindset we had in the early 2000s, I feel like the show’s going to represent how we feel creatively. 

“The fire is lit again and we’re all super excited.”

That energy is captured on singles like “Do It Again,” a story of a dysfunctional relationship, and “Mouth Shut.”

“The right time to make a record has always been when the inspiration has been there and the juices are flowing to make the music we’re proud of,” said Ajay, whose wife, Ande Jo, is a Pasadena native.

“You just know if the timing isn’t right—you have writer’s block or things going on in your life. We ride the wave at the same time. Adding Eric (Paquette, YOUTHYEAR) and Carlo, we were constantly bringing them out over the course of the last year.” 

Lit — which also includes bassist Kevin Baldes and drummer Taylor Carroll — is best known for its hits “My Own Worst Enemy” and the relentlessly clever “Miserable.” 

The effect Lit has had on music is notable. Post Malone covered “My Own Worst Enemy” on Instagram Live, as did Kelly Clarkson and Jimmy Fallon on his light-night show. 

Dubbed one of the 100 Best Pop Punk Bands, Lit averages more than 2.2 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Lit’s four-part documentary-style podcast about its song “My Own Worst Enemy” is available. 

Ajay said the key to their success and longevity has been their penchant for eschewing trends. 

“We try not to follow too closely with what’s hip or the flavor of the month,” Ajay said. “When we write songs, we’re not trying to emulate anything or chase any certain trend. 

“We know loud, distorted pop melodies and great lyrics will never go out of style. Otherwise, something can sound dated or stale.”

Jeremy concurred, saying Lit’s sound was derived from and born from those big drums and Marshall stacks. 

“It’s come in and out of style so many times,” Jeremy said. “Not to compare us to Boston, but when you hear Boston’s first record, it sounds really fresh, too. 

“It’s stripped down, pretty pure rock ‘n’ roll tones. So many bands stepped away from that for so long. It’s fresh again, which is cool.”

Lit w/ Blame My Youth, Nights Like Thieves and Chad Tepper

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, June 17

WHERE: House of Blues, 400 W. Disney Way, Suite 337, Anaheim

COST: Tickets start at $30

INFO: 714-520-2334, houseofblues.com/Anaheim