The Austin Chronicle

SXSW Music Interview: Grandaddy

Jason Lytle is ready to pick up the Grandaddy mantle again

By Abby Johnston, March 17, 2017, Music

When Grandaddy put out Just Like the Fambly Cat in 2006, Jason Lytle believed it would be the band's last.

"What we were doing wasn't sustainable," he explains from his home in Modesto, Calif. "I didn't want to go through the painful process of having a bunch of tired looking dudes touring around the country, so I ended it."

Eleven years later, Grandaddy is back with Last Place, a resurgent album Lytle and fans alike never thought would happen.

After Fambly Cat, Lytle, who had grown weary of "being told what to do," decamped for the wilds of Montana, untapped terrain offering a respite from the churn of the music business. It was the perfect place for him to unhook from the leash he'd been on. In Montana, he could do whatever he wanted.

"I guess the Unabomber proved that," he jokes.

Lytle never dropped out of the business, though.

"I found that I was able to create a balance with being outside and going back home to write and create," says Lytle. "It was a balance I couldn't achieve before, but it was possible for me."

Between plenty of time on the trails, he put his production skills to work, most notably with Band of Horses. And that in itself gave Lytle some perspective.

"Ben [Bridwell] is such a music lover. Watching him problem solve and tackle his own work made me fall in love with music again," recalls Lytle.

Prompted by work on the reissue of The Sophtware Slump in 2011, a series of solo albums, and a few Grandaddy reunion shows, Lytle, who eventually left Montana for Portland and landed back in Modesto, decided he was ready to pick up the Grandaddy mantle again.

"I just realized that I had hard drives full of material that could be the start of a Grandaddy record, and I was ready to do it," he says. "If this has taught me anything, it's never say never."


Fri., March 17 @ Stubb’s, 12:30am

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