CLAY: We are joined by the man whose music you just heard bringing us back into the third hour of the program. He is Jeremy Popoff from the band Lit, and, Jeremy, I’ve gotten to know you in Nashville. What does it mean for you — as a, I know, very much longtime Rush Limbaugh fan and listener — to have your music now connected to the audience that we are speaking with every single day?
POPOFF: Ah, man. Well, first of all, I’d like to wish you guys a happy anniversary and we’re big fans of the show.
BUCK: Thank you.
POPOFF: I was in England when you texted me about possibly using the song and everybody was super fired up. So it’s a real honor for us. Yeah, we’re just truly humbled and honored that you picked our song and we get to be a small part of the show each day and it’s awesome.
BUCK: Jeremy, we so appreciate it, and we think Lit is a great band. I’m wondering, that guitar riff, you’re the leader guitarist of the band Lit and that guitar riff of the people hear at the top of the show, I would argue it’s one of the most iconic guitar riffs of the 1990s — one of the most memorable, one that really sticks out. I’m just worked how this came together this is like our Behind the Music moment here.
BUCK: Were you hanging out on the beach with an acoustic and having some fun? I mean, how’d this come together?
POPOFF: Man, we used to have a warehouse in Anaheim. The band is originally from Anaheim, California, and we had a warehouse that was a man cave before we knew what a man cave was. And we spent every night there for several hours and that’s where we practiced and wrote and hung out with our friends and did all that stuff, and that riff just sort of spilled out one night.
BUCK: Do you remember playing it and realizing, “Oooh, that’s really good?”
POPOFF: I mean, we thought it was cool, but we think all our songs are cool when we’re writing ’em, you know?
POPOFF: So actually, one of our good buddies Tony who was kind of like the unofficial fifth member he was kind of like, “I don’t know, man. I don’t really like that song.” So we ended up… We didn’t play it for a few shows because we were self-conscious about it ’cause Tony didn’t like it. (chuckles) But, yeah, what a crazy thing, man: Two notes and some lyrics that were probably written to be maybe changed or modified when we had time to get to it.
And then it just sort of took off and became something that we would have never dreamed that it became. And, yeah, really just blessed and just yesterday, we must have had a hundred thousand messages sent to us. There was that viral video yesterday of the bride playing drums to it at our wedding, and it’s just like a weekly thing where it just like it takes on this life of its own. It’s just crazy.
CLAY: Jeremy, one thing that Buck and I wanted to make sure we did when they told us that the music was coming up and we needed to come up with a new open to our hours was we said, “We don’t want to end up with a musician or a group that doesn’t like our audience and doesn’t respect our perspective,” and I was so excited to know you. You relocated your family from California to Tennessee, and you were super upset with all of the restrictions that were going on with covid.
So when I told Buck that, he was like, “Oh, man, these are our guys.” But kind of explain how you ended up making the move to Nashville and what your response was to the government telling you, “Hey, this is what you can do; this is what you can’t do.” There’s a lot of musicians now that seem to embrace the nanny state. When oftentimes artists and musicians historically have been about rebelling against the power structure. There’s an awful lot of musicians and artists now who say, “Hey, regulate me more,” which to me is the antithesis of what art should be.
POPOFF: It’s crazy how full circle it’s come with a lot of musicians and especially the guys that are supposedly more punk rock and more edgy or alternative, and they have just sort of gone the way of the buffalo, and just sort of follow whatever they’re being told to do. (sigh) Look, we’re an American rock ‘n’ roll band. We were very just middle-class dudes that grew up in Anaheim, which is not the fancy part of Orange County. (chuckles)
And we just were hardworking, do-it-yourself guys who believed much more of just our freedom’s not negotiable. Leave us alone; let us do our thing. We’re also… We play by the rules. We’re respectful dudes and we’re family guys and we have our values and stuff, but we’re just kind of like, “Hey, man, we’re grown-ass men now. Leave us alone and let us do what we want. We’re not hurting anybody. We’re just what we want to do.” But it blows our minds to see just how many of our peers have just like lost their balls somewhere along the way or something. (chuckling)
CLAY: No, that’s well said. I think that’s a hundred percent right.
BUCK: We’re speaking right now to Jeremy Popoff, lead guitarist of the band Lit, and for those of you who are wondering where that music, the song you’re hearing at the top of the show comes from — it’s the one-year anniversary of Clay and Buck — we got this new theme song that gets everybody fired up. Do you think, Jeremy, that there’s…? I think right now — I’ll just put this out there — there’s a little bit of a turning away from the monolith in the arts that we’ve seen or just the demand that everybody…
Whether you’re in sports, whether you’re in Hollywood, whether you’re in music, that entertainment is just so the province of only one side of the national conversation. And do you think we’re heading toward a little bit, at least… I’m not seen saying people that are Republican or conservative necessarily who are in music and in the arts, but just understanding that without freedom, you actually can’t be an artist and therefore you have to actually defend individual freedom at some level.
POPOFF: A hundred percent. Look, I think the reason why your show is number one in so many markets and is so popular and refreshing is because I don’t think it’s about being far right or far left. I think it’s about people are starting to realize, like, you guys just make sense. It’s just common sense and it’s not about politics. It’s about, like, what are we doing here? And it’s so much more… When I listen to you guys, I’m just like, “Who’s gonna disagree with this right now? Does it…?” You know what I mean?
BUCK: We feel the same way. We feel like everyone should be listening and agreeing. So there you go.
POPOFF: Well, I think it’s a balance of we all get together with our buddies and, listen, I’ve got a lot of friends from all over the spectrum of beliefs and religions and faiths and politics, whatever. At the end of the day, we all get together and have a beer and we agree on way more than we disagree on, and all we really all want to do is be happy and healthy and raise our families and be able to have a shot at the American dream. So, who doesn’t agree with that? And then call me and let’s (chuckles) have conversation about it ’cause I don’t understand how you’re not on that page, you know?
CLAY: Jeremy, you and I met for drinks with Tomi Lahren. We were out watching an Alabama-LSU football game in 2020 in Nashville when there were still restrictions on how long bars could be open. Our mutual friend Steve Ford owns a bunch of bars in downtown Nashville and was chomping at the bit over what was allowed, and we left that bar to go back to your house, and you had the Utah football game on.
By the way, Salt Lake City is one of the cities where we’re number one, and I walked in, and I was like, “Oh, this guy must be a pretty big college football fan.” Your son was a student manager, it turns out, on the Utah football team, and so you were watching that game. But I’d always been a fan of your band and certain of the iconic songs that you’ve produced including the one that we’re using to start every hour. But that was where I said, “Oh, man this is the dude who overlaps with me in a lot of different areas,” and that was during a time when the city of Nashville was trying to say, you couldn’t have more than, like, five people in your house, which kind of goes to the whole point of how absurd all this was.
POPOFF: Well, if you remember that night, too, the cops were called from a neighbor and, yeah, ended up being a whole thing.
CLAY: What…? By the way, for people who don’t know, we went back to watch college football games and have some drinks when the bars were shutting down. Your house in Davidson County, which is where Nashville is, the cops showed up. I think there are like 15 or 20 people there. It wasn’t like it was a raging house party.
CLAY: Everybody was pretty much indoors just having a few drinks and watching some football. It wasn’t even that late and the cops came — which, by the way, is just an element of how crazy it was. Whatever ended up happening with that?
POPOFF: Well, that was my brother’s house that time, and, yeah, he got arrested. He had to go to court, and he had to do community service and pay a fine and hire a lawyer. And, yeah, you’re right. It was about 15 people there, and I would say eight of them were standing out on the deck having a cigar or a cigarette or whatever, and there was a handful in the house within also 4,000-square-foot house with plenty of space and tall ceilings and everything else (chuckling) and they come in to the backyard or whatever and they were like filming us from the backyard. It was a real odd, odd experience — and, honestly, I think it was probably the next day that my wife and I started looking at houses outside of Nashville. We ended up moving out by you, out in Franklin.
BUCK: It sounds like Fauci was gonna appear at any moment. You guys have more than 10 and he’s there.
CLAY: Think how crazy this is. Buck, this is Nashville, Tennessee, a city known for creativity and people having a good time. We’re not talking about, like, 400 people at a house. And they arrested your brother for having, like, 15 of us over and for violating the law about how many people you could have over at your own home. And a bunch of those people, to his points, were standing on the backyard deck outdoors smoking cigars or drinking beers around a little fire pit, if I remember correctly?
POPOFF: Yeah. You’re a hundred percent right. (chuckles) It was pretty insane. Yeah. You know, Gavin DeGraw was there that night, too, and I remember standing out there talking to the officers out in the street — which, by the way God bless them and they were just enforcing some silly order that they were handed down by the mayor, and you know they weren’t stoked on getting us.
They drew the short straw that night and had to be on house patrol shift or whatever. But they kind of had a look on their faces like, “Yeah, tell us about it. This sucks,” you know? But I remember Gavin saying to a couple of them like, “So wait a minute. You’re telling me if I have a 20,000-square-feet house, I can still only have 15 people over or eight people?” or whatever the number was. But it was one of those things that just didn’t make any sense. It didn’t make any sense. A one-bedroom the apartment is the same as a six-bedroom house?
BUCK: None of it made any sense, Jeremy, ’cause all those people got covid probably twice anyway and don’t even get me started on the it.
CLAY: How perfect of a Nashville story would it be, Gavin DeGraw, the band Lit, Tomi Lahren, Clay Travis, all get arrested for having beers in a private home and violating covid law? I mean, I feel like people are gonna look back on this and say, “This is one of the dumbest things that’s ever occurred in United States history.”
BUCK: All right, Jeremy, how do people check out the band? Are you guys still on tour or where can they go? Obviously they hear the song listening to this show but if they want to hear more Lit songs or see you guys live.
POPOFF: We’re here in Southern California right now ’cause we just played Adam Carolla’s party and then the day before that we had the album release people, our new record just came out on Friday so if everyone wants to go give it a spin we would appreciate that. It’s called Tastes Like Gold. Go on iTunes and get it and check out Lit Band Official on any of the socials and give us a shout and, man, just we’re so stoked that you guys are playing us every day and supporting our band, and we love you guys and happy anniversary, and thanks for having me on today.
POPOFF: Also, congrats to our good friend Tomi on her new show. Super stoked on that.
CLAY: No doubt. Debuted last night on OutKick. Yep.