Oliver Future frontman Noah Lit tries to hide the hurt in jokes and quips – he’s good at those, too – but it’s clear he’s still wounded over the decision last year by bandmates Jordan Richardson and Jesse Ingalls to join Ben Harper’s new rock quartet, Relentless 7.
“I told myself all I was gonna say is that we lost our rhythm section in a classic rock accident,” Lit says. “It’s a human drama story. Ron Howard just bought the rights to it.”
It goes like this: Full of vinegar and formidable musicianship, Oliver Future moved to L.A. in 2005 from Austin, Texas. Lit and his bandmates (brother Josh Lit, Sam Raver, Ingalls and Richardson) made the well-regarded but commercially challenging album “Pax Futura” (2007) with producer Adam Lasus. They had begun tracking a sophomore album when Ingalls and Richardson departed. Now Lit, his brother and Raver are carrying on as a three-piece, scrapping most of the works in progress and recording new songs with Lasus for an album titled, “Out of the Wreckage.”
“The split left me and Josh and Sam pretty brutalized,” Lit says. “You get good enough that people are going notice, big people … and then they’re gonna take your rhythm section. We had just started our second record and we thought we had some momentum.”
Although band members’ comings-and-goings are de rigeur in a town such as L.A., this particular fissure has left the parties on non-speaking terms. Richardson declined to discuss the matter in detail, except to say: “We had differences, and I left the situation. I really wish those guys all the best.”
In Oliver Future’s new configuration, Lit will remain out front, his brother will man a bank of keyboards affectionately called “rig-zilla” and Raver will drum. “Sam just went out and bought a kit and said, ‘I’m going to be your drummer and we’re going to be a three-piece,'” Noah Lit says. “So the story is we just downsized because of the economy.”
Lit says the trio “locked ourselves into an antique storage warehouse” and thrashed out new songs. “If you like the more epic and weird stuff on the first record, you’ll like his,” he adds. “There’s no feeling anymore that we have to write a single. But in a weird way, when there’s just three people playing – even though the songs are out there – everything just sounds more simple.
“Before we were like an aircraft carrier. But there’s something to be said for being minimalistic.”
Photo by Sidney McMullen