Lit will release The View From the Bottom, their first new album in eight years, on June 19th. Produced by Butch Walker, the LP features a new drummer, Nathan Walker, and guitarist-keyboardist Ryan Gilmoor. The band says it wanted to capture a sense of fun on the track "Same Shit, Different Drink," premiering exclusively on RollingStone.com.
"A.J. and I wrote that one with Butch," guitarist Jeremy Popoff tells Rolling Stone. "We kind of got on this little train of throwing out names of cocktails; we wanted a drinking song that would be a cool party anthem. We made a couple of references to 'My Own Worst Enemy' without being super blatant or cheesy."
While Gilmoor was brought in by Lit as an additional member of to round out the sound of The View From the Bottom, Walker joined under much more difficult circumstances, as the replacement for late drummer Allen Shellenberger, who passed away in 2009 from brain cancer. Lit pay tribute to Shellenberger on the new album, particularly on a song called "Here's to Us." Says Popoff, "Originally it was sort of about how – you know when you're at a party, and everyone's always talking about what they're gonna do next and how unfortunate it is? Everyone's programmed to look ahead and no one stops to go, 'Isn't this awesome?' That's what inspired that song, but two days after we wrote the second verse, which talks about seeing your friend in the hospital, we flew home and Al was in the hospital. He had gone while we were on the plane coming back, and that was when we found out he had brain cancer. It was eerie. It became the tribute to him, that song."
"Here's to Us" features an orchestral string arrangement, and Popoff says the finished version left everyone speechless. "When we heard it for the first time, everybody was just kind of silent," he recalls. "That was very moving, and everybody got emotional."
Popoff explains that after Shellenberger's passing, they weren't sure they would continue on. But while hanging out at the Slidebar – the Fullerton, California restaurant and bar in which the band is invested – one day, they made that decision to keep going.
"I didn't know if we knew for sure we were going to keep going or not. When he died we were all in the room together with him, including Nathan," Popoff recalls. "It probably took two or three months...we were all at the Slidebar celebrating New Year's Eve together, and Nathan was there and somebody just said, 'We gotta do this. Let's jump in and write some new songs and make this record.'"
You can download LIT's "Same Shit, Different Drink" for free here.