Jason Lytle on Grief, Creating a New Genre, and Grandaddy's Final Album (KEXP Interview)

Interviews
12/09/2020
Jasmine Albertson
photo by Moses Namkung

Jason Lytle and I are having some technological issues. And despite the extreme frustration, I can't help but see the irony in the situation. Well-known as somewhat of a Luddite, his 2000 sophomore album fronting Grandaddy, The Sophtware Slump, encapsulated the panic of Y2K with a skeptical side-eye at the technology that would soon overpower us to the point where we spend the majority of our days staring at a screen. He's often said, in prior interviews, that he's always been intrigued (rather than offended) by technology and the possibilities of how humans could use it but that it could easily be mismanaged and abused. At the risk of sounding like a Luddite, myself, you can't say he wasn't wrong.

It was 20 years ago that Grandaddy unveiled that critically acclaimed album, and while the band never became a massive mainstream "success story" in the same vein as their supposed English counterparts at the time (rhymes with Shadiofed) their underground following has been loyal and fervent in a bubbling cult-like way. Which, ostensibly and personally, makes them cooler. The way that Lytle is able to softly lilt thoughts on technology, love, nature, and just general existential crises amidst a flurry of sounds while introducing us to characters like humanoids named Jed that you can't help but become attached to and perhaps even cry over is an exceptional skill.

Following 2017's Last Place, Grandaddy's first album in over a decade, Lytle recently unveiled a new version of their second album in a stripped-down, primarily piano and vocals format. Aptly titled The Sophtware Slump...on a wooden piano, Lytle made the record during the pandemic, primarily on his home piano, which mostly stays true to the original song structures, allowing the listener to hone in on the lyrics and gorgeous piano arrangements with minor extraneous flourishes. It's a must-listen for any Grandaddy fan who is intrigued in peeling back the layers and experiencing an already well-loved album in a more intimate format. 

KEXP spoke with Lytle (once finally connected and then, again, after being reconnected) about the making of the new (old) album as well as creating an entirely new genre for his exciting forthcoming solo record, how he and his band members are dealing with the 2017 death of Grandaddy bassist Kevin Garcia, and the final Grandaddy album. Read below. 

 


KEXP: Where did this idea of doing a piano version of The Sophtware Slump come from?

Jason Lytle: It was actually Jim, the guitarist of Grandaddy, he reminded me at some point that around the time of recording the actual album, I had said something to the effect of, "Hey, I'm ready to start making the record now, I can play the whole album on the piano from beginning to end." So that somehow signified that I was, like, ready to start recording. And he reminded me of that fact just within this last year. We were kind of talking about...so he works for the label that the album actually came out on and so we were talking about doing something, maybe I would do like a piano album.

And then we were also very aware of the fact that the 20-year Sophtware Slump time was coming around. And I don't know, it was just all of a sudden it was just like, "Oh, my God, we have this idea." Because I can already play like a bunch of the songs off of Sophtware Slump. But it was his idea, basically. Long story short, he was like, "Why don't you try to recreate the album on piano?" And I was just like, "Well, I can already do about 50 percent of them. The other 50 percent is going to be anybody's guess." So I just kind of took it upon myself to see if I could pull it off.

Well, it's incredibly gorgeous. I have to say, I didn't quite realize that you were such an incredible pianist. Without the electronic flourishes, it just really shines.

Yeah, it's my...well, thank you, first off, but it's my warm blanket instrument. That's where I go to when I really just want to play music and be lost to music and can have no...it's my comfort zone. And I mean, banging around on a guitar is just more often a utilitarian kind of songwriting tool. But piano is a place that I like to just sort of drift away into. And I've always had a piano and I probably play piano for fun more than any other instrument.

Is it strange, though, to hear and play these songs this way? Because you've previously said that you see the electronic flourishes as the color while guitar and piano you see as more like brown muted tones and they kind of work together to paint a picture. So what does this picture look like for you in your head when you're playing it this way?

I think stuff ends up getting revealed that maybe would have ended up being more subdued or just like buried, which that part is cool. I always love the idea of...like every time I'm learning a new song, I try to learn it on piano and guitar because I just feel like it reveals more about the song to me, kind of a lot of times I compare it to, you know, possibly speaking two different languages.

It's almost like if you were to read a passage that was kind of poignant, but then somehow also be able to read it in two different languages, there's going to be weird translation stuff that exists in one form versus the other. And you're just going to get a little bit more insight as to, like, more dimension. So, I mean, for me, there was a lot of that going on. I was just like I'm doing away with the production. I am kind of just stripping things down to the essence of the songs. I'm just focusing more on the lyrics. And yeah, I mean, a lot of it was a bit of a mystery to me how I would end up hearing them again, being played in that kind of way.

Right. So your relationship has kind of changed with them now that you're sort of honing in on the lyrics?

Yeah, I mean, a lot of these songs I have played in a very stripped-down kind of medium before. So I kind of knew what to expect with some of them. Some of them I was just actually dreading. I was just like, "Oh, God, how is this even going to work?" And some stuff got shortened and, you know, I kind of I would tighten up sections. I think I went into it trying to be kind of somewhat militant with like guidelines and rules and then I was just like, "Screw it. You know, I'm going to have background vocals. I'm going to add, like, little effects here and there." I was just like, "It's my recording. I'm going to do whatever the hell I want right now." But there's definitely a focus on the very stripped-down element of it. I mean, it was always the piano and the vocals at the forefront, like throughout the whole thing.

Absolutely. I actually noticed a little Easter egg in the middle of "He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot" where the melody of "A.M. 180" kind of gets peppered into the background for a few seconds. It seems like it was a very intentional move...

Oh yeah, oh yeah. And that actually exists on the real recording too.

Oh, what?!

 

 

Yeah, that ends up being like this total super-nerd fun fact. I don't remember the actual minute mark, where it's at, but that was like the secret...like for me that song was this sort of cautionary tale about how to keep your head together. Like the more notoriety we might get or the more exposure, the more travel and the more opportunity to become more of a jerk as a result of maybe things going to your head or just like don't forget who you are, you know, and how lucky you are to be doing what you're doing and blah, blah, blah. That was the overriding message in that song was like this cautionary tale of just like, you know, just keep your head and just like don't turn into a kook.

And for some reason "A.M. 180" always signified...like that was the song that ended up being on that 28 Days Later soundtrack and it had this very sort of poppy element to it. And it was very recognizable. And so I thought it was fitting to sneak that into the cautionary tale song. It's just my own little fun fact.

Yeah, that's genius. And I think that's interesting that of all the little flourishes on that song, that's what you kept on the new recording and that now it really stands out because I never even noticed it in the original.

It's kind of funny 20 years later that some people are like finally discovering it for the first time, which is kind of cool.

 

Well, you always have so much going on in all your songs that this stripped-down version is a really interesting way to hear these songs captured. And I don't know, I think the fans are going to be really happy with it.

Yeah. I mean, it's definitely like a super fan thing, you know. I think even the concept of trying to win over new people at this point, it's just nonexistent in my brain. So I'm super stoked just to give some enjoyment and a new version of things to listen to for people who are like dedicated Grandaddy fans.

Absolutely. How quickly did it come together?

It was not that easy, actually. [laughs] Once I started trying to map out how I was going to even make the thing, I had this somewhat grandiose plan of – this is like pre-pandemic – I was auditioning all these different pianos in the L.A. area and I had narrowed it down to three or four studios that I liked. And they weren't necessarily like the best pianos, I was just already so paranoid that the album was going to be so boring and kind of limited, like not as multidimensional as I usually prefer albums to be. I was just like, "Ugh, really? Someone's just going to sit and listen to me play the piano and sing?"

So I was scrambling, in an attempt to make it more interesting. I was like, "Alright, well, I'll play all these different pianos and the pianos will all have different sounds and I'll pick pianos for certain songs and you know, I'll use like certain vocal effects and it'll just be like a little bit more interesting." And I had it all mapped out like I knew which studios I was going to go to, which pianos I was going to use on certain songs.

And then the pandemic thing happened and so immediately overnight, I have no access to any studios, any pianos. I just have the one here in my living room, which fortunately worked out because it's probably my most comfortable instrument, it's like a really good friend of mine. So it was fitting that I ended up getting to use it. But having said all that, it was a nightmare trying to get it recorded here just for a lot of very practical reasons. There's a lot of traffic noise. And I'm like a really early morning person and we have all these wild parrots out here and they're just so loud. And I live kind of on this busy road in this weird part of L.A. where there's a lot of, like, really fancy sports cars.

Got it. Yeah, and those people want to show off how fast that motor goes.

Not only that, but I live on this very specific, busy, sort of like thoroughfare. So right off the bat, I was like, "I can't record from like 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., like commuter time." And then around noon is kind of when all the landscapers start to show up. And I actually live right next door to a fire station as well. I had all of these insane, like, extraneous limiting...[laughs]

The cards were stacked highly against you!

Yes! It was like, what should have been just like focusing on the right take or, I mean, you would get like 80 percent of the way into a take and someone just like blows by on a Harley and everything's screwed. It was just way harder than it needed to be.

So start to finish, how long would you say it took?

I mean, once I really dug in and started, each song would get about two or three days of dedicated [time]. It took about a month just to do the piano tracks. And then I actually thought I could do the vocals here, but there was no way. So a good friend of mine who has a studio that's a proper studio and it's quiet, he wasn't using it at the time so he gave me the keys and I was able to do all the vocals there, just like on their own. So, out of necessity, I had to record everything separately. I did all the piano tracks on their own and then I did all the vocals and tried to make it sound natural, like I was actually singing and playing at the same time. Maybe that's giving too much away.

It does sound highly complicated for a stripped-down record.

Yeah, but it was classic me! You know, that's how it all started, with full-on resourcefulness. I was laughing, I was like, "Twenty years have gone by and I'm doing the same damn thing I used to do back then." Just like huddled over all this gear, sitting in my boxer shorts, alone, just like trying to tap into some essence, like the song. I'm like, "Man, not that much has changed really."

But I mean, the cool part is that you did record it during quarantine and it definitely has the feeling of isolation that we're all feeling right now. And I'm curious because you've frequently expressed how you prefer to be alone. You don't like to go to shows, you prefer to spend time in nature. So I'm curious whether the lockdown has really changed your life much at all and if you're maybe even thriving under these isolated conditions.

I know. Well, most of my close friends... like that's the joke. They're like, "Dude, you've been practicing. You're in your zone right now." Yeah, it wasn't that much of a shakeup for me. Like, I'm a very avid outdoors person, outdoorsy person or whatever, but like, I don't even I don't do weekends. Like I go to the most remote trails and I go on weekdays. I'm like the king of the anti commute. I go to the grocery store at like 7:00 in the morning, when I know nobody's going to be there. I'm just not a big fan of crowds. But I'm not anti-social, I just don't like being...it's more natural for me just to have a little bit more elbow room. And so the pandemic thing was just like, "Oh, this is kind of how I prefer things."

I've heard you're also not a massive fan of touring. Are you kind of relieved to not have to do it this time?

I'm not a fan of the repetitive sort of mundane aspects of it. You know, I like being engaged. I like doing things. I like my independence. And a lot of that usually is not the case when touring. You're just adhering to these very rigid schedules and you're always surrounded by people and just like somebody else's agenda. And I mean, I was good. I could work. I realized it was work and I wasn't just being like a difficult baby who can't be dealt with, but at some point, it was just very unnatural for me to be in these very controlled, confined...and it was just like if I had a dollar for every time one of our friends would come on tour and they'd be like, "Man! I would love to come out to Germany or Italy and meet you guys!" And two days on the bus and they're like, "I don't know how you do it. This is the worst."

 

 

Here I am, complaining about traveling on a bus, but it's very hard and it was always strange for me that I'm the guy up there on stage, like, song and dance man. I'm like, "How the hell did this happen? Like what is going on right now?" But I was just...you know, I got put into the situation by default. And it was kind of one of those things where I was like, "Alright, well, nobody else is going to do it." But we had a lot of fun with it. I'm not complaining. But it was very strange very often. More often than not, it was just surreal. And I was just like going along with it, but, like, still trying to be smart.

Yeah. No I mean, it is odd, like to not even like to go to shows when you're a musician...

I loved going to shows when I was younger. I've kind of moved away from like...I just don't like being in lots of crowds and standing in lines. I like my elbow room. [laughs]

Fair enough. So if you had not been a musician, what would you be?

I had two things that I wanted to be that I can remember. I either wanted to be a fireman or I wanted to be a park ranger. Those are the only two things that I recall wanting to be.

Those sound great for you! So you often get asked about this, and in 2017, after Last Place came out, someone asked you about whether this was the last Grandaddy album and you said you had a two-album record deal so you kind of had to release another one. Wooden Piano is not the second album in that deal, correct?

No, as a matter of fact, the label that I was on when I said that dissolved, so all that kind of went out the window. But even beyond any of that information, there's another Grandaddy record that I'm pretty excited about. Well, I have a timeline kind of laid out right now. I'm making a solo record that I'm actually...

Well, okay. So this piano album's going to come out and there's so much focus on, like, nostalgia and the old days and blah, blah, blah. So I'm immediately going to release this new Grandaddy single at the beginning of the year just to kind of be like, "Hi, I still make stuff! I'm not just like swimming in the good old days." And then I'm doing a solo record as well, under my own name. But I'm actually really excited about it because it's going to have a very, very distinct [sound]. I've always wanted to make a record that just had kind of like one dynamic, like most of the Grandaddy records are like slow songs, fast songs, happy songs, sad songs. Where I'm trying to kind of cover all this territory. But this album is going to have a very, very distinct feel and a very, very...like I almost think I created a new genre.

Nuh-uh!

I know that sounds impossible in this day and age!

[Yet another technological malfunction disconnects us]

Oh my goodness, I am so sorry. I promise I will take very little more of your time. I honestly just...

[laughs] No! No! Screw it! We're in! We're talking all day now. You've ruined my day already! We're going all the way in.

I ruined Jason Lytle's day! I'll put that on my gravestone! [laughs] So I am just dying to hear more about this solo album that you were talking about.

Oh, yes, yeah. Yeah, it has a very distinct sound, it's basically like...I don't want to jinx it and I don't even...it's, if you can imagine, it's like...I don't even like saying the word "bluegrass" in this regard, but it's like...[sighs] Ugh no [laughs]. Yes, see? So there is a version of bluegrass, it's very slow, very sweet. It's almost like the more Emmylou Harris kind of like the real pretty waltzes. And it's all simple storytelling and most of it is like waltz, but it's all synthesizers and drum machines and with some pedal steel. There's lots of synthesizers, lots of layers, and almost kind of more modernistic drum machine flourishes and stuff. So [I] started calling it "blue-wave." I was just like, "Blue-wave. It's like new wave and bluegrass kind of mixed together." So that's it.

 

 

And I have this sound that I'm hearing and the album's going to have a very distinct feel. It's like you put it on and it's going to do this one thing for the first song all the way to the last song. There's not going to be like varying dynamics. And I'm not trying to hit all these marks, it's basically just like when you're in this mood, you put this album on. I haven't really been able to make an album like that and I'm super excited to like to be able to do something like that. So that's the thing that, after this Grandaddy single comes out, I'm going to be focusing fully on that. I already have a lot of the songs written and stuff. I just need to get into just creating it and like getting all the sounds and stuff. And then after that, the last big Grandaddy record. And that'll take me into my twilight years.

That is so exciting. I kind of think you did create a new genre, by the sounds of it. I haven't heard anyone make anything that combines pedal steel with like electronic flourishes.

Just like big, big synths, big rich synthesizer pads and somewhere in there'll be like real drums, a lot of sort of light, waltzy drums. But there'll also be drum machine flourishes as well. But it's just very simple, pretty like, like everyman kind of lyrics, mostly about love and just like being frustrated about just being a normal idiot.

Well, that doesn't it sound too far from a Grandaddy song [laughs]. I do want to talk about Admiral Radley as well. You released a couple of EPs during Covid. How did that come about and how did you go about making it with all the social distancing guidelines?

Well, a big part of me even coming down here to L.A. was my my dear friend, Aaron Espinosa, who had that band called Earlimart, who is the other half of Admiral Radley. We had planned on working more and more and more together and basically him making his studio available to me and having that be like my home base. That was the big plan when I moved down here. And as soon as I moved down here, the pandemic happened. And then he had all this like sickness and just like crazy stuff happen with his family so I was just kind of lost. Like I moved down here and I was like, "What am I doing here?" Like I was shut up in this house due to the pandemic. I'd planned on coming right down here and we were just going to start working together like we were becoming more of a team. And I don't know, it was a very confusing time. But I understand, you know, he had some sicknesses in his family and I was just kind of waiting for things to kind of stabilize.

But, in the meantime, we did keep working on stuff. It's like, "I'm not going to let this dream die!" We were working remotely on on more Ad Rad stuff but now we're back in the studio and we're finally like, you know, how you have, like, a handful of people that you do hang out with. And so he's one of my handful of people that I do hang out with. And, you know, there's like the occasional Covid tests everyone will get. But, yeah, we're cranking away at stuff in the studio. And that's who I'm going to be doing that blue wave record with. But we've been working on Ad Rad stuff together as well. And eventually, that's where I'll be working on the new Grandaddy record as well.

Yeah. It sounds like you had a lot of fun making these EPs, like even songs like "You Can Do Better" have, kind of like a fun, upbeat tone to them, despite the self-deprecating lyrics.

That one is such a relief! I wrote that song probably about eight or nine years ago. And I couldn't like...it never...I have songs like this that exist where it's just like, you know, they're like waiting, they're chomping at the bit like, "Am I gonna make it on a Grandaddy record?" Or, "Am I gonna make it on any record?!" And it just always missed the cut, like it never got picked, you know, it was like being in PE class and getting picked for the baseball game, it's just never got picked. And it was such a relief for me to like finally [finish it]. And we're usually like, he'll do a certain song with a certain feel to it and then I'll try to counter that, I'll bring in my idea for a song. And then we both contribute to both of them accordingly. But, yeah, I was just like, "Man, am I finally going to resurrect this thing?"

 

 

It finally found a home!

God, it took forever! And I sent it to him and I didn't hear anything for a while. He added all these awesome guitars and just like I mean, ideally if you're really lucky, it gets some new life breathed into it. So I was just like, "Hell, yeah." So I re-recorded all the vocals and I just got super excited about the song again after having lived with it, just thinking it was probably just going to [happen]. I mean it had fallen off the vine a long time ago and it was just like rotting in the dirt, doing nothing. So I was so happy that something happened with it.

Yeah, that's awesome. Do you consider Ad Rad as kind of like an outlet for all of your non-melancholy thoughts and ideas?

Yeah, I mean, I definitely will compartmentalize or just be like, "Oh, that'd be good for that. That'd be good for that." I mean, the funny thing is, all the best shit is in the Grandaddy folder. Grandaddy gets the best shit. And that's not to say that Ad Rad gets, like, the crappy leftovers or like my solo stuff gets just like the lame stuff. I mean, if anything, you don't ever want anything just to be lame. And if for some reason there are weaknesses there, it makes you want to work even harder to make it cooler. But the stuff that's just a no brainer, like four to the floor, just like, "Oh, this is going to be good." That goes in the Grandaddy pile.

That makes sense. Understandable for sure. So I have this column called Sixteen Again, where I dissect the soundtracks of teen shows and movies currently working on one about Gilmore Girls, I don't know if you remember or if this was even on your radar, but were you aware of how often Grandaddy was referenced on the show?

[laughs] I definitely didn't even watch one of the shows where they referenced it. But I would always hear something where somebody would post something. But that usually comes down to like there's a music supervisor and they get it in there and like the poor girls – actresses – they didn't know who Grandaddy was and they're like, "Oh my god, what are you listening to?" "Oh, it's the new Granddaddy." "Oh my gosh, this is so cool!" [laughs]

No, it is really funny because especially like there's this one scene where "The Crystal Lake" plays during this like massive rich kid party where I'm like, there's no way the DJ would be like, "Oh, you know, what's really going to take this party next level is Granddaddy."

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Where he goes from Outkast to Grandaddy.

Yeah. It's like, "Hmm... not that believable."

But, I will say there's like a band on the show like this band Hep Alien and it makes sense that they would listen to Grandaddy. So yeah. Just was kind of curious about whether you were aware of that.

Well, that was that era though too. That was like remember that little window of time where it was kind of the only way for like musicians or bands to make any money, it was just to get like, you know...I mean, it's funny, there's a lot of people who were really resistant to that. And it was like that whole, like, "sellout thing." I was like, "Nah, I'm sorry dude. These are like new rules." Like the only way to actually make money anymore is to get placement. I had some weird ones. Like I did a Macy's commercial, a Macy's Mother's Day. And I got like a Honda Civic [commercial]. I did  Coca-Cola cause it's weird. I mean, but the thing is, all that stuff is gone. Like there are not those opportunities. I'm glad I kind of scooped them up because they got me through those lean years.

 

 

Yeah, how are you making...like where is your revenue coming from without touring?

Umm, that is a great question. You know, I'm still hustling. I've been fortunate enough to...you know, it's crazy that there's like this whole other level that exists now, people who are like professionals now, who grew up listening to Grandaddy. And it's almost just like they find themselves in a position where they work for maybe ad agencies or they're creatives in like filmmaking or...I get weird random projects all the time. And it's usually due to somebody who grew up listening to Grandaddy and now they're in a position to like, you know, help a brother out. Which is cool.

Thank God for them!

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But, you know, I don't have a very extravagant lifestyle, so I just stay busy and somehow, you know, the big money pile just maintains a certain level in my bank. And it's fine if it just stays about at that level, you know. I just go buy gear and I'll just pay rent and utilities and stuff. But yeah, I'm lucky. I'm very fortunate.

Yeah, absolutely. Just sustain the needs, just get the bills paid and it's all good.

Yeah. But it's crazy. You know, I don't know how anybody does it. It's like the more I think about it, it's probably just better that I don't. I don't know how anybody makes a living. Being a grown-up is still super perplexing to me. But like, you know, I bought houses. I'm responsible. I have a great credit score but somehow it's just still amazing to me, like how people survive.

I totally feel that well and especially now with like Covid and everything and how the music industry is going to recover from all this. The venues...I don't know. I try not to think about that too much because then I spiral, but yeah.

Yeah.

So, all right, this might be far too personal of a question. We can totally skip it if you want, but you already hate me, so I'm just going to shoot my shot [laughs]. And I'm hoping there's maybe been enough time since but I'm wondering if you're ready to talk about Kevin Garcia's passing. I know it was so tragically sudden and I'm curious how you're coping three years later and how it's affected the band.

Without a doubt, it shut everything down. I think there's so many different ways you can look at it and there's so many different...you know, I think that the people on the edges of it who had some sort of like a financial investment with the band, they were just like...And, you know, there's plenty of examples, where people pass away and you just deal and you move on. I don't know. And I considered every possibility. Within a couple of weeks, I was on the phone with one of my dear friends here. I was just like, "Man, this Grandaddy thing, I want you to be the bass player." It's like if we're going to do this, I'd pick the one person who was one of my dearest friends. It's like this position just isn't going to get filled by some rando.

But I even moved away from that. I think I was just grasping like trying to...[sighs] You know, it's funny, the part that kills me the most is that him and Aaron, our drummer Aaron Burtch, they were like the best of friends, they were the closest, closest, closest friends. And that's how we got Kevin was through Aaron. They played in like this just really bad Modesto reggae band that just like ... ugh. Like I often joke how I saved them [laughs]. I rescued them from that situation.

But, for me, to have to be in a room playing music with Aaron and know that Aaron is not playing with Kevin, just that thought alone breaks my heart too much. Like I can't even imagine it. It would be too hard for Aaron. And obviously, he's like this [deep voice] "big dude who's like gnarly!" But he's like the most sensitive, loving, caring guy on the planet. And I just couldn't look at him and know that his heart would be breaking so much or things were just too off. And that's band chemistry... you know when something's off – when people and things just aren't [right].

And we were so fucking close, like we're so close, all of us. And it's just like I couldn't. I don't even want to put myself in that position. Like, I don't even want to get into a rehearsal room and have to, like, anticipate looking at Aaron, playing with probably like the nicest new bass player on the planet. But I can't. It's crushing for me to have to try to imagine that. And that's why there was just no right answer. I just had to stop it all, like stop everything. And maybe I think that's the case with a lot of things though in life. When it's time to deal, when it's time to move on, when it's time to heal, you'll know. But it hasn't come around. It still hasn't really come around. I haven't been pushing the matter either, but I have no interest in knowing how heartbreaking it would be to be in a room, not playing with him.

Is it something that the three of you talk about often?

No. We're not very touchy-feely, open like we probably need lots of therapy and all that stuff like that. We all kind of grew up not super open and expressive. We obviously all love each other to death, but we're not really...we're kind of closed up, manly men like that, but very sensitive, but super sensitive as well. So it's tough. There have not been like, you know, these big open, just like primal screams, just like, "Ahhh!" Letting it all out kind of conversations. That just hasn't existed. I think it's still very sad and raw.

Do you think that's something you'd want to orchestrate or are you just going to not push the matter and let it happen naturally if it happens?

Uh. I mean, there are other guys in the band who are...like Jim, specifically, that's like...what's that saying? It's like, "The comfort zone is a nice place to be, but like nothing grows there." I just always want to be in the comfort zone [laughs]. I don't know, it's...Plus, at some point, too, you have to ask yourself, it's like, "Why...?"

You know, it's almost easier for me just to make another Grandaddy record and just be done with it. Like, that's how I started. I started making them on my own. And then they became extended and more inclusive and then there were more about everybody else. But maybe that's the full circle that needs to happen. Maybe I just need to for the last one, you know, it'll just be like finishing it the way that I started it.

 

 

So this last one is just you?

At this point, yeah, that's as far as I've gotten with it, but a lot of times you have no idea how these things evolve. Right now, it's actually just a little bit too far away for me to be able to be too...

Yeah, well, you've got a lot on your plate right now.

Yeah. No good stuff though.

And I'm sure just the act of keeping busy and creative is probably a coping mechanism in itself.

Oh yeah. Keeping busy, you know, trying to stay healthy and trying to...Uh, yeah, just getting older, you know, you're able to apply all this newfound knowledge that you have and you're a little wiser and less of a loud idiot.


The Sophtware Slump...on a wooden piano is out now via Dangerbird Records. Below, watch Lytle play with Admiral Radley for their 2010 KEXP in-studio performance.

 

 

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