A Day in the Life of… Jeremy & Ajay Popoff of Lit

Credit: Joe Schaeffer

“Jeremy and I grew up around music. Our grandfather was a musician and our dad was in radio,” explains Lit’s Ajay Popoff of how he and his older brother, guitarist and bandmate Jeremy, were destined for a life in music.

They started playing instruments at a young age. By seven, Jeremy had learned a few songs on his grandfather’s Hammond organ, and his grandfather bought him his own. “I used to take lessons from this older lady who’d get mad at me for not reading the music and for playing everything by ear,” says Jeremy. “I would see her daughter taking kids upstairs for guitar lessons and I was super envious of those kids. They seemed super happy.”

Everything changed after they went to their first concert: UFO, with Iron Maiden as the opening act. “My mind was absolutely blown and I never wanted to do anything else after that night,” Jeremy says.

“Game changer, for sure,” Ajay agrees. “The level of adrenaline I felt was like a drug! Been hooked since.”

Since forming Lit in 1988, the brothers have retained a reputation for one of the best live shows on the road. “For me, being in front of a live audience feels similar to being in a crowd at your favorite band’s show but multiplied by 100,” Ajay tells me. “Hard to explain, I can be having the worst day, but as soon as I hit the stage and feel that energy it’s like a total reset for me.” Jeremy agrees: “I love the energy of a live crowd singing and having a good time.  I love the sound of our instruments bouncing back off of the walls and just feeling like I’m inside the music.  I hate in-ear monitors, because it feels like I’m wearing two condoms and doesn’t feel right.”

They’ve been doing this long enough that being on tour feels like home. “Other than missing my wife and our dogs,” Ajay says, adding that touring is best when his wife and daughter join him on the road. “It definitely refuels my heart and soul,” he says.

The new album, Tastes Like Gold (June 17), brings the old-school pop-punk party that’s gained these guys a fanatical following for over three decades.

If you’re planning to form a band with your sibling, Jeremy and Ajay have some sound advice. “Hahaha! Man… It’s all about the dynamic,” Ajay says. “Mutual respect is everything. Make sure you’re ready to spend a lot of time together.”

“Nobody ever gave us any advice on that. We probably could have used some,” Jeremy chips in. “I’d say that once your band has been together for a while and been through a lot, you’re all siblings at that point.  It does make holidays and family gatherings easier because your schedule is the same and nobody is asking why you can’t be more like your successful brother.”

The new album, Tastes Like Gold, brings the old-school pop-punk party that’s gained these guys a fanatical following for over three decades. Catch Lit on tour through October. Tastes Like Gold is available everywhere Friday.

Here’s a day in the life of Jeremy and Ajay Popoff.

 

Date

March 9, 2022 — Jeremy

March 16, 2022 — Ajay

 

Time I woke up

8:00 a.m. — Jeremy

9:00 a.m. (A little later than normal because I took a very strong gummy last night.) — Ajay

 

Every day starts with

I let my dogs out and feed them. Then I chug a couple bottles of spring water and take my vitamins. Then I stretch, do some push-ups and then I hit the coffee maker a few times. — Jeremy

I start my day off while still in bed, with a breathing exercise to get my diaphragm working nicely. — Ajay

 

Breakfast consists of

I love breakfast food, but I never eat in the morning. Just coffee. — Jeremy

Breakfast usually comes later, but for starters I make fresh celery juice, about 8 – 16 oz. I drink this then wait 20 minutes before desperately reaching for my first cup of coffee. I’m told that this allows for the celery juice to work its magic on your body. — Ajay

 

To get going I always

Tackle emails, phone calls. Flip through the socials and check out a little news. Then I’ll throw on MTV Classic for a bit while I get ready to roll. — Jeremy

Coffee, coffee, coffee. Always coffee. Then, treadmill! — Ajay

 

I don’t feel dressed without

My rings, watch and necklaces. — Jeremy

I never feel fully dressed without putting on my jewelry. I think that’s normal for a lot of people, right? — Ajay

 

Before I start working I must

Depending on what I’m working on that day, usually I can’t shift from morning mode to work mode until my countertops are super clean and my bed is made. When I get home later, I like the house to be tight! — Jeremy

Before I start working I like to know exactly what my agenda is for the day and plan accordingly. I’m a bit OCD. — Ajay

 

Currently working on

We just finished the new album so lately it’s a lot of tour-prep stuff.  Lots of meetings and planning.  Also, working on what the new stage set is going to look like and what the merch will look like. — Jeremy

I’m currently working on getting myself show-ready. We’ll be touring a lot this spring and summer so I wanna make sure all guns are blazing. — Ajay

 

But I’d really love to be

In Cabo. — Jeremy

There’s nothing I’d rather be doing right now. We just finished the best record of our careers and are now gearing up to do what we love most…getting out on the road and hanging with Lit fans! — Ajay

 

Book I’m reading

I’m reading Matt Sorum’s new book, Double Talkin’ Jive.  It’s great! I usually like to read autobiographies. Especially when I’m on the road. — Jeremy

My ADD won’t let me sit still long enough to read a book. Lol. I love listening to podcasts and audiobooks while staying busy or driving, like The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuckby Mark Manson. — Ajay

 

I don’t know how anyone ever

Has never traveled. Lives without dogs. Works out at 5:00 a.m. Plays guitar left handed. — Jeremy

Answered this very tough question. My brain just exploded. Lol! — Ajay

 

If I had to play one album on repeat, it would be

Eagles Greatest Hits. And I do often! — Jeremy

I’d die of old age trying to pick one. I’d get really sick of just about ANY record on repeat for too long. — Ajay

The perfect midday consists of

If I’m home, a drive through the country or gettin’ a little sun in the back yard with my wife and the dogs. — Jeremy

Family, sunshine, dogs, cold beer, good live music. — Ajay

 

To help get through the day I need

To be productive and get some boxes checked. Caffeine and rock ‘n roll help, too. — Jeremy

I need to write shit down and set multiple reminder alarms on my phone. And, multiple cups of coffee. —Ajay

 

Not a day goes by without speaking to

God. — Jeremy

Probably goes without saying, but I speak with my wife every day, of course. But I also really try and make it a point to speak with my daughter, Presley, who’s off at college, and also my parents. I speak with my bass player almost daily. — Ajay

 

My daydreams consist of

I have been so lucky to have made so many of my daydreams into reality. I think I might dream the most about how to just keep doing what I’m doing. — Jeremy

A constant reminder and appreciation that I’ve actually been LIVING my dream for decades now. — Ajay

 

In a perfect day, in a perfect world

The people running things would get their shit together. My son would be visiting from college. And as long as my family is healthy and happy, I’d probably just have a Tito’s and Sprite Zero and maybe some spicy miso ramen. — Jeremy

Thank, God! —Ajay

 

I’ll always fight for

My family and friends. And I will always back those who fight for us and our rights and freedom. — Jeremy

Family, friends and freedom. And the ethical treatment of animals. — Ajay

 

Currently in love with

My life in Franklin, Tennessee. — Jeremy

Life! I’m surrounded by such amazing people and doing what I love. — Ajay

 

Hoping to make time to watch

I am all caught up. But I can’t wait for new seasons of Yellowstoneand Ozark. — Jeremy

I’m honestly not a big TV guy. My wife gets me to watch shows with her. I enjoy a good murder mystery show, but I’d rather be outside. – Ajay

 

By my bedside I always have

Two bottles of water and my phone plugged in. — Jeremy

In the morning, it looks like a train hit my night stand. A little bit of everything: empty wine glass, a few empty bottles of water, candy, remnants of a late-night snack, humidifier, drugs…. — Ajay

 

To help get through the night I

Eat a weed gummy and turn on white noise. — Jeremy

Wine, gummies, sleep timer. — Ajay

 

Bed time

Usually around 2:00 a.m. — Jeremy

Bed time usually starts about three hours before sleep time. On average, it starts around 10:00 p.m. — Ajay

 

When I think about tomorrow, it’s always

Fuck, I’ve got a lot to do. — Jeremy

Written down on my calendar and forgotten about ‘til then. I try not to think too far into the future. Gives me anxiety. — Ajay

 

IMPACT

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