Interview With Lit - 15th May 2014
Photo Of Lit © Copyright Lit James met up with Kevin Baldes before Lit’s awesome show in Birmingham last month, here’s what he had to say.

Everyone has heard of Lit as you've had 5 hit albums, many top charting singles and have toured everywhere over your long history, but what can you tell us about the band that people might not already know?
Kevin – Wow, I don’t know. We all grew up together and we’re a tight nit family, our tour manager Tony I met in 84 and he introduced me to AJ and Jeromy and because of our love of heavy metal we started the band, so if you’re a friend of ours you’ll always be a friend of ours. I mean I don’t know if people knew that, but I mean we’ve been together a long time and we’re all close. Allen our old drummer, passed away and we could have held auditions to replace him but our friend Nathan Walker, who knew Allen and used to play golf with him, when he got sick he came up and said if there’s anything I can do for the band let me know, not necessarily play but just help out, but as Allen got sicker he played more and after Allen passed we asked Nate to be part of the band full time. So that’s how that happened.

You released your last album The View from the Bottom, back in 2012 making this the first album you’d released in 8 years, how was it making the album after so long and how has it gone down with fans and the press?
Kevin – Dude its gone down great, the fans love it, and a cool eye-opener doing this run, right now we’re focusing on A Place In The Sun, but after that we play some old and new stuff and the fans are singing along to the new album and it’s great. I mean if you’re a Lit fan, hopefully you’ll like everything we put out, as we stay within certain guidelines of what Lit is, so it’s great that people still love it and request songs from the album that we might not have even thought about playing, I mean tonight were playing a song for the first time called The Wall, oof The View From The Bottom we play You Tonight, The Broken and Miss You Gone, there the staples so it’s awesome that the other songs are getting more attention as it means we don’t have to play the same songs every night. Plus with technology, people record the shows and put them on YouTube so it’s good to give people some variety at home too. You asked about View From The Bottom, sorry, yeah it felt great to get in the studio and record some new music as we had many setbacks over the year, and I’m excited to write something new and get something else out sooner rather than later.

This is the 15th anniversary of A Place in the Sun, is it fun playing all these songs again? And do you see it as a tribute to Allen who sadly passed away 5 years ago?
Kevin – Yeah absolutely, we had a dream when we were kids of touring the world and playing in front of people, and that album got us out doing it, and now where celebrating it and he was a big part of that, so almost every night we say something in honour of him and in the middle of Miserable I go over to Nate and we do a little something to remember him. But yeah, typically we’d play 4 songs of A Place In The Sun, the singles, occasionally we’d play Down, but we’ve never done this before, and another thing My Own Worst Enemy is normally a song we’d play last but on this tour we’ve been playing it second, and it’s awesome to play some of our biggest songs early in the set and people stay for another hour of our songs. That’s a testimony to the band as we try and put on a show that’s fun that everyone will enjoy, as we’re rock fans and we go to shows and no what we like so we hope we give the fans what we enjoy so they can enjoy it too. I mean I’m a photographer, and I like to shoot shows amongst other stuff, I mean today I was shooting around Birmingham, I arrived at the venue and met a fan called Simon who was here by himself and asked me for a photo, so I asked if he had a car and if he could drive me around Birmingham to shoot some photos, so we drove around and then brought him in for soundcheck and to meet the other guys, so I mean that’s how we are, we can’t meet everyone, as that’d be impossible, but we try to be nice to the ones we do meet and show them that we’re real people with passions too, mine happens to be photography.

I only found out today that you shoot shows too
Kevin – Yeah I shoot Zebrahead allot

I love Zebrahead
Kevin – Well we may be coming back here and doing a co-headline tour with those guys soon, as we’re really close as we’ve robbed some off their contacts for this tour like there sound guy and merch printers, so yeah we’ve been talking and both thought it’d be really cool to do a tour together over hear so hopefully that’ll happen.

You've done loads of gigs over the years, playing the world over from the U.S. to China and you’re currently on a headline tour playing the entirety of A Place In the Sun, with all these gigs have you grown used to being on the road or do you still find it hard?
Kevin – Well I have a wife and son so that makes it hard, but other than that no, I mean with our riggers and team it makes it easy for me as I just do sound check, press and the show. We started in China on this thing, we’re literally going around the globe and not allot of people get to say that. Its fifteen years later and we still get to do it, that’s mind blowing. To answer a question you didn’t even ask my favourite shows are in England for sure, its fucking great here man, they go off not just for the singles and obvious songs but for everything else which makes us feel great!

You are towards the end of your huge tour which covered, China Europe and the UK, what have been your highlights so far?
Kevin – The highlight for sure, as last year we did the KOKO show which is great and we love England, but this time we got to go to Ireland and Scotland for the first time, I mean we did Ireland last night, and so we are a bit worse for were now, but it was awesome there was something in the air for both Ireland and Scotland which made them special!

You’ve made some amazing video’s throughout your career, from the Massive Miserable, to the Hollywood Over My Head to the stylish My Own Worst Enemy, which is your favourite?
Kevin – The favourite real video for me is My Own Worst Enemy, as we filmed it on my birthday, but I also love the Pamela Anderson video. But some of my favourite videos to watch are made by our friend Shaun Card, he does our live videos. It’s the best as it shows us having fun and the crowd enjoying it. I mean I’d love to make another proper video, and we might do it for the next album, but they used to be expensive to make, like proper expensive, you know how much our Lipstick and Bruises video was? $475,000 that’s stupid, that’s RCA money man, you know the Mulletron, which was my idea which they went for, but now everyone shouts at me and says that was your fault.

Was it hard adding picking the extra songs to play after A Place In the Sun for your setlist? Seeing as you have another 4 albums and tonnes of b-sides to choose from?
Kevin – No it wasn’t hard, you play enough shows and you know what people are gravitating towards, but we’re on a run of 7 back to back shows and I can turn up and play hung over but out singer man it takes a toll on you, he drinks with us pound for pound but we’ve got to cut back I mean I wish we could play for 2 hours, we do an hour and a half but I’d love to do more, but you’ve got to cut back a bit. I mean you’ve got to leave them wanting more.

You've come to the UK quite allot over the years, so you know it pretty well. I have a list of a few things that I'd like you to tell me, what your favourites are from the UK;

Food – Fish and chips I guess, but In Germany I love Sausage and Sour croute and all that, I mean my father’s German and from Stuttgart so I gravitate towards the German deal. Oh whilst where on about it, I love English architecture, I mean all the history and old buildings that we don’t really have in the states, I mean something like GBGB’s which they tore down, instead of leaving it as listed building which sucks.

Drink – Well I had red ale and Guinness last night, I love the fact you have different beers in different areas, but I’m happy with any beer in my hand on a sunny day.

Band – I would have to say Iron Maiden, dude what if I said ACDC (laughs), people would be like he don’t know shit, but no I know Ozzy’s from here and Judas Priest are from around this area. It’s weird the English Heavy Metal scene has almost brought Lit together, as when your younger you go oh there’re from over there or you don’t give a shit, but when you’re older your like ah shit England put out allot of good music. I mean in Ireland they have U2 who I’m a huge fan off, and Thin Lizzy. I was discussing the other day who has put out the most bands, US or UK and its strange to think how many each have but the UK definitely cornered the market in Rock and Roll.

Yeah, we had allot back then, but it’s a bit less now, but we still have some good ones that are popular like Bring Me the Horizon
Kevin – They’re from here, shit I didn’t even know, dude call me old, I still just listen to allot of stuff I grew up on and I feel every week they’re a new band and there’s only so much time in the day, I don’t know how you keep up.

Festival – We did Reading fifteen years ago but it seems to have changed quite a bit, but everything changes, but we played Download last year and where lucky enough to land on Iron Maiden and Queens Of The Stoneage day, so I’d say Download.

What would you say is the best band you’ve seen over here on your travels?
Kevin – Iron Maiden, as we played Download last year, and went out on our own after the show as I just wanted to be a fan, so I ran into this girl that I’d talked to earlier in the day and she asked where I was going, so I said I was going to watch Maiden, so she said come along with me and my friends, a group of guys and girls and I was arm in arm with a bunch of dudes I didn’t know but it was cool, singing along to all their songs.

You played Download Festival last year which along with your special Koko gig marked your return to the UK, and now you've almost done your Headline tour, have you got any plans to return for more gigs and festivals soon? And where do you hope to see Lit in a year’s time?
Kevin – Hopefully have a new album or being in the process of a new album to release over hear. I’d like to say that we’ve been back to the UK a few more times between and possibly with Zebrahead and maybe a few festivals, as those are fun and you get to see other bands and have a dressing room with beer.

One last question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a zebra and a giraffe which would you be and why?
Kevin – I guess I’d be a Zebra, so I could be like Zebrahead I guess, I don’t know, giraffes look a bit dorky at least as a Zebra I’d look like a little pony with stripes. You know what you should ask, flight or invisibility, as a super power. What would you have?

I’d pick flight, so I could go to new places easier and go to places people haven’t been to.
Kevin – Yeah imagine the great photos I could take, I’d pick flight too, as I’d be too much of a creep with invisibility.

Thanks for your time; do you have a message for your fans reading this?
Kevin – Thanks for being patient and for giving us a second chance and coming to the shows, it means allot to us. We’ve got allot of heart and we’re like a family, so if you come and see us then you’re part of the family too.

Interview by James Daly
 Band Members

A.Jay Popoff
Jeremy Popoff
Kevin Baldes
Nathan Walker
 Latest Releases

Lit - The View From The Bottom
Release Date - 19th June 2012

1. C'mon
2. You Tonight
3. Same Shit, Different Drink
4. Miss You Gone
5. The Broken
6. She Don't Know
7. Nothing's Free
8. You Did It
9. Partner In Crime
10. Here's To Us
11. The Wall
12. Right This Time

 Band Related Links
Lit Facebook