By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
"Yeah, but it could be some guy's weird guitar with weird tuning," Jeremy chimes in from across the table, holding the hand of his fiancee, Michelle (they're getting married this week), who arrived a little while ago. Having been with Jeremy for nearly 10 years, she has no doubt seen and heard all of this before.
Allen just shakes his head. You ask him if he's ever had a dream in which he quits the band. You figure that the tension of being in a band—even one as cohesive as Lit—must come out somehow, and maybe it's in dreams. Allen looks at you like you're speaking in tongues. "No, never!" he exclaims. "Why!?"
"They're like a little family," says Schechter of the rapport between the band members. "They feel like they're all they have."
You will hear this repeatedly from those closest to the band: they're the best of friends, they have an amazing chemistry, they think alike, they talk to one another about even the smallest decisions, and they want to same things. You will notice that they rarely call one another by their whole first names, instead using "Al," "Jer" and "Kev," and you will see that they've become so close that they've adopted one another's speech patterns, including the use of a made-up word, "tam," which you find out later is Lit-speak for "lame." (Jeremy spoke earlier of the fear that being stand-offish would be perceived as being "all fucking bitter and tammed-out.")
"We're the only two boys of two children," says Jeremy of his relationship with his brother. "We've been close since the day he was born. Our parents got divorced when we were pretty young—we were, like, 7 and 9. That's about the time we started listening to Iron Maiden and the heavy-metal stuff. We lived with our dad for a while. Our mom wasn't really around, and our dad worked, so for a few years, it was just the two of us, and we sort of took care of each other. But, you know, knowing Kevin and Allen for as long as we have, there's definitely a brother relationship with those guys, too. We act around one another the way brothers act, not the way colleagues or partners or adult friends act with one another. I mean, Kevin is 27, and we'll be standing somewhere, and he'll just, like, grab an ass cheek and fucking rip one right there, and we'll start cracking up, and then we'll just look at one another and go: 'What the fuck are we doing? We're in our late 20s, and we're still fucking around like we're little kids.'"
In the morning, you run into Kevin and Allen, who are leaving Las Vegas. They're getting a ride home with friends. The idea had been tossed about to stay in Vegas for the following night's Motley Crue/Scorpions show ("Dude, how rad would that be if we were playing at the Joint tonight and opening for Motley Crue and the Scorpions tomorrow night?" said an excited Kevin the day before when a promo came on the radio). But Allen stayed up all night gambling and going to a strip club with Artie, their bald radio-promotions man. "I'm up, and I'm leaving," he says. "I promised my little girl I'd take her to Raging Waters," he says. "By this time tomorrow, I'll be on a water slide!"
You bid adieu to the boys and make your way to the taxi outside, passing again the bathroom playing Sugar Ray, the elevator playing the Offspring, the hand-scribbled Sublime lyrics and the No Doubt display, and your head swims with thoughts about Orange County and the scene at home and what it takes to be a successful band and what happens when you achieve that kind of success. You remember something Jeremy said at the coffee shop yesterday when you asked if they felt they'd made it. "The weird thing is that you work and you dream as a kid of being a rock star, and you spend all these years thinking about it and planning for it, and you bust your ass, and you get to a certain point where you've achieved a certain amount of success," he says.
"When you're trying to get there, you're frustrated because you're trying and it's not happening, and it's a whole different feeling when you're sort of there and you're thinking, 'Aw shit, how the fuck are we going to stay here?'"