LOS ANGELES When Lit returned home after two years of roadwork
supporting their breakthrough album, the pop punk foursome opted to live a
little rather than fret about how much was riding on their next record.
"We didn't touch our instruments for like three months," guitarist Jeremy
Popoff said last week, while sitting with his bandmates in the lobby of a
San Fernando Valley studio. "We all bought places right around the corner
from each other, and we were just being domestic local guys. All of a sudden
being back with our friends and going to the same bars that we used to go to
and hanging out in our environment that we used to hang out in made us wanna
write songs again.
"It was interesting to see how all of the touring and the craziness and the
success really didn't inspire us to write it was coming back to
The still-untitled follow-up to 1999's platinum A Place in the Sun is
due October 9. Lit hope to finish mixing the album, which they're
considering calling either Lit III or Payola Amigos, late this
Singer A. Jay Popoff said the band embraced a back-to-basics approach in
the studio, determined not to mess with what worked so well for them last
time. Sun producer Don Gilmore was again at the boards.
"Our goal was really not to change it much the whole 'If it ain't
broke, don't fix it' mentality," he said. "I think it's more of a
continuation of A Place in the Sun. It's the next obvious place to go
for us ... We really focused more on getting great sounds getting a
great guitar sound and vocals, and not worrying about loops and samples and
bells and whistles. It's pretty much just the four of us, recorded well and
turned up. We took kind of a classic rock approach to the recording of this
Lit, which also includes bassist Kevin Baldes and drummer Allen
Shellenberger, used '70s rock records by AC/DC, Foreigner, Billy Joel, the
Rolling Stones and the Cars as models for obtaining a thick, warm rock and
roll feel without over-the-top production.
The quartet didn't strive to branch out much in subject matter either this
time around, sticking with familiar topics like drinking, cars and girls who
make them complete and completely miserable. The Elvis Costello-esque
"Addicted" features the chorus, "I'm so addicted to you/ And you're such a
di-- to me."
"You don't normally call a girl a di--, but there are times when you feel like
it," A. Jay Popoff said. "It's turning roles around a little bit. It's sort of like
'Miserable' you're addicted to this girl, but she steps all over
you, but you kind of dig it."
"Addicted" is a contender for the album's first single, as is the crunchy,
punchy "Last Time Again" and the sing-along stomper "Lipstick and Bruises."
One departure on the album is the stripped-down ballad "Happy in the
Meantime," which features strings by David Campbell, Beck's dad.
"It's really how it was written with Jeremy and I and a friend getting
together with acoustic guitars," A. Jay Popoff said. "We wrote it for the whole
band to play, but in pre-production Don wanted to hear the lyrics and the
melody really clear, so we turned everything down. Everyone thought it was
really cool to do it that way."
"She Comes" and "Over My Head" are both collaborations with producer Glen
Ballard (Alanis Morissette, No Doubt); the latter song originally appeared
on last year's Titan A.E. soundtrack.
Lit are also planning to release a two-hour home video documentary tracing
their career, including in-studio footage from the making of all three of
The band plans to mount a full-scale tour early next year.