By August 7, 2012 Read More →

MAMAView – Jason Lytle Interview

By Chris Murphy

Jason Lytle
Grandaddy Reunion.. No Longer on Standby, Now it’s On.

I was so very excited when I got the sneak peak teasers from OutsideLands Festival. Could it be true? Thay had posted an Instagram pic of Grandaddy on their line up.  Yes, I learned it was true, after breaking up a few years ago, Grandaddy was back. Was it one show or more? It was a global tour.

The band that created The Crystal Lake, Jed the Humanoid, He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot, Levitz, Jeez Louise, AM180 and so many other globally acclaimed hits were back.  Created in Modesto by songwriter Jason Lytle and band mates, Jim Fairchild, Kevin Garcia, Aaron Burtch, and Tim Dreyden, Grandaddy for many years was known all around the world, playing for 50,000 people in Brazil and other huge festivals and returning to Modesto playing for 100 lucky locals at the Dirty Duck (now Speakeasy).  Music critics loved the musical creations that were showcased in albums like Under The Western Freeway, Software Slump, Sumday, and Just Like the Fambly Cat on the V2 label and a variety of handmade tapes and CDs beginning in 1992. Grandaddy broke up in 2006, Jason moving to Montana and the rest going their separate ways, Jim recording as All Smiles and a guitarist for Modesto Mouse and Aaron in Good Luck Thift Store.  You don’t know what the future holds for Grandaddy, but for 2012 they are back together and we have a few shows and maybe this will inspire more Grandaddy music.

We caught up with Jason Lytle as they were doing their summer prep for the tour.

ModestoView: What made you decide to reunite the band and take your show around the world?

Jason Lytle: Money, money, ….and money. No, Im’ just kidding (sort of).
Actually just last year Jim Fairchild and I hadbeen talking a bit and hammering out some details for an anniversary reissue we were working on for our album “The Sophtware Slump”. It kept coming up as a possibility, or something we might consider if it sounded fun and if there was enough money involved to make it worth our while. The Outside Lands offer arrived in our lap and we said “well, as long as we are rehearsing and making the effort we may as well throw in a few more shows”.

When the word got out (in the industry) that wewere reforming for shows, a barrage of offers started coming in. With the help of some trusted people, we settled on the best offers, plotted a course, and began figuring out how to play all of our songs again.

MV: What or who inspires you now?

JL: Other than watching the Kardashians on my 60 inch plasma TV in my boxers, with the new Katy Perry blasting on the Bose, while twittering on my Iphone with Doritos fingers, I enjoy spending as much time as possible outdoors …..often hiking, running, biking, skiing, or perhaps just staring at a rock.

As far as music…Clint Eastwood is my favoriteguitar soloist.

MV:  Is there a Grandaddy song that you would like to re-record in a different way?
JL: We have one called “Laughing Stock” off of Under the Western Freeway that I envisioned being a sort of Neil Young Sci-Fi epic at one point. I don’t think the recording quite captured that. So given the opportunity, I might take another crack at that one.

MV: Is there a city or country that you have wanted to perform in that you haven’t?

JL: New Zealand. I’ve been to Australia twice so that makes it even more frustrating and/or elusive. It just has everything I look for in an “ideal island recreational paradise”.  So yeah….either New Zealand or Westley.

MV: How are you different now since you took this time off and relocated?
JL: A while back I coined a phrase “living in Montana has made me hardy rather than hardened”.
I actually left the Central Valley because I needed a break from the crime, drugs, pollution, paranoia, and the destitution that is all too prevalent and visible here. I mean….there are plenty of wonderful and charming aspects of this area as well. But I was having a hard time seeing the good stuff and I was just worn out and a little too overly sensitive to everything. I didn’t want to
become hardened to the negativity. So I moved somewhere where the quality of life is much different. The winters are brutal and the terrain can be unforgiving.  In this way I have become hardier. If and when I leave Montana, I will be grateful for that.

MV: Do you miss wakeboarding in our canals?
JL: Canal surfing, taking the bus to vintage faire, keggers on Litt Road, skating 5 story’s, concerts in the park, eating at the (old) Old Mill, not eating at Der Weinerschnitzel, romantic evenings at Pick ‘n Pull, Beyer High School dances, tire fires, putting soap in the fountain onMcHenry and Briggsmore… name it….I have fond memories of all of it !

Go Modesto
Arm of Roger – The Partisan Merced  Tuesday Aug 7
If you love Grandaddy, then you will love Arm of Roger.  This is a special show of special musicians that will prepare you for one of the most amazing tours of the 2012 music season.
If you miss this show, you will be sorry. If you have tix, don’t lose them.  If you haven’t purchased them yet, click here quickly as I am sure the crowd will be at capacity:

Grandaddy 2012 World Tour
Wednesday, August 8th in Big Sur, California
August 10th – 12th in San Francisco, California USA @ Outside Lands
Monday, August 13th in Los Angeles, California USA
Friday, August 17th in Hasselt, Belgium @ Pukkelpop
Saturday, August 18th in Trondheim, Norway @ Pstereo
Wednesday, August 22nd in Malmo, Sweden @ Malmo Festival
Friday, August 24th in Zurich, Switzerland @ Zurich OpenAir Festival
Saturday, August 25th in Pully, Switzerland @ For Noise Festival
Sunday, August 26th in Paris, France @ Rock En Seine
Wednesday, August 29th in Manchester, UK @ Ritz
Thursday, August 30th in Glasgow, Scotland @ ABC
Friday, August 31st in Stradbally, Ireland @ Electric Picnic
Sunday, September 2nd in Salsbury, UK @ End of the Road Festival
Tuesday, September 4th in London, UK @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire



Posted in: global, music, news

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.