HOLLYWOOD — The band best known for asking "Can we forget about the things I said when I was drunk?" is posing a more serious question. Can we forget about iTunes?
Last week, Lit launched their own download service, offering three new songs exclusively on their Web site (www.Litlounge.com) for 99 cents apiece.
"We almost feel like we're getting away with something because we just parted ways with RCA a few months ago and this is the first time we have new music and we haven't had anyone telling us what to do with it or when it's going to come out or how much it's going to cost," guitarist Jeremy Popoff said before a recent benefit performance at the House of Blues. "I have a feeling a lot of bands will be following suit."
"Everything's gone to hell in a handbasket and we kind of like to think that maybe this is the answer," singer A. Jay Popoff added. "But if not, we'll continue putting out records the way everyone else does."
Actually, Lit still plan to release an album in the spring, after offering three or so more songs online between now and then. Of course, the Orange County rockers will closely monitor the number of downloads on their site and may alter that strategy.
"We may talk to you in six months going, 'We don't need a record company now,' " Jeremy said. "No one knows, but this is one of the possibilities and we're one of the first bands to try it on our own. Our RCA stuff is on iTunes, but we'll never see a dime from that because bands don't see a dime from record companies anyway."
Along with the possible business perks of Lit's new plan, it has artistic benefits as well. Immediately after recording songs, the band can test them out on fans and just live with them in the public for a while before deciding which ones they want to push on the radio.
The three tunes recently made available happen to be what Lit consider three of the best the band has written.
Bassist Kevin Baldes described "Looks Like They Were Right" as "picking up where 'My Own Worst Enemy' left off."
"It's got a jumpy feel to it, kind of a pick-me-up," A. Jay said. "The words are kind of self-abusive, facing the fact that you can be an idiot sometimes."
The second song, "Too Fast for a U-Turn," also has similarities to Lit's 1999 breakthrough hit in that it flaunts the band's wild side.
"It's about getting so far into trouble that there's no way to get back, so you just go for it," Jeremy explained. "You pass the point of no return."
The final download is a rare departure from Lit's signature sound. Titled "Lullaby," the ballad was written by Jeremy for his 2-year-old son, Jake, although A. Jay, who has a 1-year-old daughter, Presley, had no problem relating.
"We're big fans of Monster Ballads so we're trying to get on part two," Jeremy joked, before getting more serious. "At first we questioned it like, 'Does that make us seem old?' Then we started looking around and man, everyone's having kids. Whether you're 18 or 48, people are having kids all over the place. Or even if you just have a little brother or there's thousands of kids in the Middle East right now. They had to leave their families behind and it's a song about having to leave someone behind you really care about.
"It's a little personal. It feels a little weird putting that out there, but I think a lot of our new songs have that," the guitarist continued. "We're getting better as songwriters, more willing to open ourselves up. Before, we'd touch on something personal and make it universal in the process and not open up ourselves too much."
Lit have written several other songs that are not yet available for download, with titles such as "Over It," "Times Like This" and "Throw Away." The follow-up to 2001's Atomic (see "Like A Mullet Haircut, Touring Has Highs And Lows, Lit Say") is tentatively titled Weapons of Mass Distortion.
"Our tour manager blurted it out and we were like, 'That's the most brilliant thing I've heard all year,' " A. Jay said. "And we're a loud band so it fits."
Lit will premiere the new songs and see how fans are enjoying the available downloads on a short West Coast tour beginning November 16 in Moscow, Idaho.
"It's a little bit of road-testing and little bit of us [being] sick for not being out there," A. Jay said. "It sucks seeing a show when half of the songs are new, but [the downloads] are a way for them to get to know the songs before we come to their towns."
Lit tour dates, according the band's spokesperson:
- 11/16 - Moscow, ID @ Sub Ballroom/University of Idaho
- 11/17 - Portland, OR @ Aladdin
- 11/19 - Orangevale, CA @ The Boardwalk
- 11/20 - Palo Alto, CA @ The Edge
- 11/21 - Bakersfield, CA @ Montgomery World Plaza
- 11/22 - Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
- 11/24 - West Hollywood, CA @ House of Blues
- 11/25 - San Diego, CA @ 'Canes
- 11/26 - Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues