Lit’s Jeremy Popoff on Working With Butch Walker, Their Hair Metal Days
Next month, Lit will be releasing The View From the Bottom, their first studio album in eight years. The record reunites the Orange Calif. rockers with producer/singer-songwriter dynamo Butch Walker and if first single, “Same Shit, Different Drink” is any indication, the album will deliver the skyscraping vocal and guitar hooks that first brought the group fame in the ’90s.
Noisecreep recently chatted with founding guitarist Jeremy Popoff and discussed the new album. Since Lit and Walker both got their starts on the Sunset Strip hair metal scene of the late ’80s. Lit started out as Razzle and Walker was the guitarist in SouthGang. We asked Popoff if their relationship with the producer went back to their Aqua Net days: “We were definitely aware of each other back on the Sunset Strip days and might have even shook hands back then at some point, but we didn’t become friends with each other until Lit and his old band, Marvelous 3, were big and playing shows together. The first couple of times we hung out with Butch, we spent hours reminiscing about the old Hollywood days and laughing about the great memories. We definitely had a lot of the same friends in common.
“Eventually, we all became really close and we’ve come to be like family. When Butch would come out to California, he would stay at my house and the vice versa when the band was out in Atlanta. I’m so proud of him and how well he’s done with his producing and songwriting career. Not to mention his killer solo records,” says Popoff of Walker.
Watch Lit’s “Same Shit, Different Drink” Lyric Video
Lit first collaborated with Walker on their 2001 Atomic album, co-writing two tracks with the band, and although the union was successful, it’s taken them a long time to get back into a studio together: “It’s crazy, but it took us 10 years to finally be able to carve out some time in each other’s schedules to meet up and get to work. Working with him is so easy because he knows where we’re coming from musically and as people.”
Walker talked about his love/hate relationship with his hair metal days in his recent memoir, Drinking With Strangers: Music Lessons From a Teenage Bullet Belt. Noisecreep asked Popoff how he felt about the period: “I guess we have a love/hate relationship with it like Butch does. For him, it was probably different because SouthGang actually got signed and he had some kind of expectation of success from that. Razzle never got that far, thankfully [laughs].
“Sure, the scene was filled with a lot of cheese and glitter. There were a lot of phony people around. For Lit, the Sunset Strip was kind of like our rock ‘n’ roll college. We were in and or just out of high school during that time and there were no all-ages clubs to play out in the Anaheim area where we’re from. The Strip gave us a chance to play places like The Roxy and have all of our friends come out and see us. We also learned about grassroots marketing back then. You had to go out and plaster your flyers everywhere and promote the hell out of your shows. If you didn’t have a packed room, you didn’t get paid back then,” says Popoff, who also owns the popular Fullerton, Calif. food and entertainment venue The Slidebar.
“I get bands coming through my club with these halfass attitudes, drawing 30 people for their gigs and then asking me to pay them and get them free beer. It’s fucking crazy!”
Lit’s The View From the Bottom will hit stores on June 19 via Megaforce Records. The band will be heading out on a headlining tour of the Southeast and in late June will be part of the Summerland Tour along with Everclear, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms and Marcy Playground.
Headlining tour dates:
May 4 Louisville, Ky. Phoenix Hill
May 5 Clarksville, Tn. The Warehouse
May 8 Montgomery, Al. Blue Iguana
May 9- Birmingham, Al. Zydeco
May 10 Charleston, SC Jumbo’s Rock Lounge
May 11 Charlotte, NC NC Music Factory
May 12 Fayetteville, NC The Rock Shop
May 13 Baltimore, Md. Recher Theater
May 16 Virginia Beach, Va. Neptune Park
June 28 Saratoga, CA The Mountain Winery
June 29 Los Angeles, CA The Greek Theatre
June 30 Las Vegas, NV The Beach at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
July 2 Del Mar, CA Del Mar Fairgrounds (Free w/ admission to fair)
July 3 Phoenix, AZ Comica Theatre
July 4 El Paso, TX Socorro Entertainment Center
July 6 Austin, TX ACL Live at The Moody Theater
July 7 Fort Worth, TX Billy Bob’s Texas
July 8 Tulsa, OK SpiritBank Events Center
July 10 Columbus, OH LC Outdoor Amphitheater
July 11 Cincinnati, OH PNC Pavilion at Riverbend
July 13 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheater
July 14 Raleigh, NC Raleigh Amphitheater
July 15 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre
July 18 New York, NY Roseland Ballroom
July 20 Bethel, NY Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
July 21 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
July 22 Gilford, NH Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion
July 24 Bethlehem, PA Sands Bethlehem Event Center
July 25 Vienna, VA Wolf Trap
July 27 Atlantic City, NJ Ovation Hall
July 28 Boston, MA Bank of America Pavilion
July 29 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun
August 2 Detroit, MI MotorCity Casino Hotel
August 3 Rosemont, IL Allstate Arena
August 4 Duluth, MN Bayfront Festival Park