American multi-platinum rock band Lit, famous for hit single My Own Worst Enemy in the late 90s, are returning to the UK on tour this month and we’ve got two free tickets to give away for their gig at The Haunt in Brighton on 20th November, read on for more info…
Lit’s return to the UK to mark a very important anniversary for the band and Verse writer Harry Barnes spoke to bassist Kevin Baldes (left in photo) about how they plan to mark the occasion.
H: You start your UK tour on the 13th of November, celebrating the 15th anniversary of A Place in the Sun. It must feel crazy to you guys that the album came out that long ago!
K: We had no idea how big it would be. Early on, friends of ours, like Zebrahead got very excited about the newer material, especially, My Own Worst Enemy. The first time we played M.O.W.E. at the Troubadour in Hollywood the guys from Zebrahead came out and after we played they commented on that particular song, so we knew something special was brewing.
H: You sadly lost your drummer and close friend Allen Shellenberger in 2009. Having time to reflect, what did this put into perspective for you as a person, and as a band? It must have been a very traumatic time for all of you.
K: Losing Allen was a very traumatic ordeal for sure. Also, because it came shortly after another incident that happened to Jeremy and A.Jay’s mom and step dad. Their step dad was killed and their mom lost her leg when their motor cycle they were riding was struck by a drunk driver. It was a lot of loss in such a short amount of time. We miss Allen dearly and almost always acknowledge during each show one way or another. We continue to make him proud. We are very tight with his daughter and keep her in the loop. Life is fragile we know that for sure. Enjoy it while you have it.
H: Since then, you have released a new album that has been pretty well received across the board. How has your song writing evolved since starting the band, maybe (dare I say) you have grown up and changed your ways? Do you share writing duties?
K: Early on we did a lot more jamming in a rehearsal room and we used to work on ideas right there on the spot. But, that’s when we lived with our parents and tried everything to stay out of the house. So, we’d just jam all night. Now that we all own our own homes, we like the comfort of jamming quietly on acoustics or even practice amps to rough out an idea. Also, we write a lot with other people, too. Sometimes in our home town of Orange County, California or in another state, usually Nashville, Tennessee
H: How much has the music industry changed the way you look at releasing and making music – have you considered for example doing a Beyoncé or Radiohead and release an album for free, or maybe even a U2?
K: It seems like every year things are changing. It’s crazy. I just heard the other day that there hasn’t been one platinum album this year in the states. Crazy!! It is what it is. We’ll continue to make music and get it out there somehow. Perhaps we’ll give it away on-line or figure out some way to get it to those that want it. I do however, miss the way it used to be. We all grew up on vinyl, 8 track, cassette etc . . . In 1999/2000, finding out you sold 48,000 albums in one week was pretty exciting. That’s just nuts. It felt good too.
H: Apart from Brighton obviously, are there any dates you are looking forward to in particular on your tour of the UK? I must say as well, for a band from the US, playing twice over here on two separate tours is very rare!
K: Honestly, just being in the U.K. playing music is fun. The reason we quickly booked another round of dates this year is because it went off so well the first time. The fans there are literally the best. They really sink their teeth into whatever band they are into. It’s not just about a hit song, but the band as a whole and everything about them. For me personally, it’s an incentive if there is something beautiful to photograph, like a castle or what not. I’ve already had offers from fans to take me out to shoot something in their town. Castle + bar at the castle = a good time for me!
H: Would you describe yourselves as a band that likes to explore the area you tour, or do you not look past the hotel curtains?
K: We explore for sure. Bars especially! I myself, love to sight see and photograph anything I can. Dramatic sceneries through rain soaked hills or mid evil castles. Shit like that pumps me up. God, I sound old. Well, I still like my beer and loud music, so….!
H: Thank you very much for your time Kevin, and enjoy the tour! I’ll see you down the front.
K: Hope you enjoy it. Thanks again for sending over the interview!
To put the last few questions into context, Kevin is a successful rock photographer which you can find over at his website here. Lit play The Haunt in Brighton on the 20th November, and tickets are on sale now. More info on the band and the gig via www.litband.com and www.thehauntbrighton.co.uk
Win tickets to Lit @ The Haunt, 20th November! To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to the gig, simply answer the following question: ‘Where does Lit call home?’ (you can find the answer in the interview above!).
Email your answer with the subject ‘Lit Competition’ to firstname.lastname@example.org until the closing date of Sunday 16th November, 11.59pm. The winner will be selected at random from correct answers and any entries submitted after the closing date will not be counted.
Article by Harry Barnes.