A desert island disc. That’s what Grandaddy’s album, The Sophtware Slump is, for me. Its opening track, “He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot” is, as someone wrote me this week, “[the] best opening track to an album ever. Heartbreaking.” Its theme – technology – and its sad, alcoholic robot Jed character, are compelling. It’s a nice, sad, textured album. It makes me miss Grandaddy enormously (though I am thankful singer Jason Lytle still does solo stuff, and mooches about in Admiral Radley).
BUT ALL HAIL THE RETURN OF GRANDADDY!
Sorta. At least on reissue. (Sorry.)
Last week Lytle announced that the now-defunct band would be reissuing Sophtware outside the US in double-CD format on Universal/V2, with some new stuffs wedged onto a double disc, à la Sebadoh’s Bakesale. (Yes, yes, yes, reissues are trendy/boring now, but who can blame really cool yesteryore bands for wanting to tap into this cyclical re-awakening. Indie rock is au courant!)
They’re also re-putting-out the first three Grandaddy albums in the US, Under the Western Freeway, Sophtware and the double Sumday, on vinyl (via label The Control Group). This is all good, good news for vinyl and ageing hipster nerds like myself. Do the pre-ordering/buying thing here.
But back to Sophtware. I decided to check in with Lytle and toss him a few questions about this album I swoon over. Love his first answer, particularly. It’s a knife to the chest of this idealistic music fan, heh. (Though Lytle has been quoted elsewhere as saying he loves the album.) Here’s our cyberchat o’ silly:
What do you recall liking the best about Sophtware Slump?
I don’t recall ever really liking anything about the Sophtware Slump. Perhaps getting away with that title is something to be proud of. I do remember feeling a bit driven and having something to prove throughout the whole recording process. I kept telling a girl I was hanging out with at the time “I really think I’m onto something here”. Things did start to take an interesting shape eventually…then we went on tour and proceeded to play and replay the songs a gazillion times and I started losing interest. Onward and upward….ready to move on…ready for Sumday.
To me, Sophtware is pretty much perfect. But if you could go back and change one thing about it, what would it be?
I would go back and try to have a little more fun during the recording process. I really tend to beat myself up a bit too much when I’m in “work-mode”. A lighter atmosphere while recording is something I strive for these days.
I mean I know he’s dead but he’s a robot, so I’d like to think he was re-programmed. If that’s the case, what’s Jed been up to for the past 11 years?
Jed’s been trying to re-evaluate some shit …and keep a keen eye on his blood /alcohol ratio. Yes, Jed has blood…and I, in fact…. have circuits and capacitors.
I have an orginal SS CD with bits of computer and plastic in its spine. Will the re-release have stuff like bits from your hats, or skateboard? Can I have a broken part from a musical keyboard, maybe, in mine?
The re-release jewel case will be filled with typical grumpy/crusty old man stuff: thick toe nail clippings, grey beard shavings, ibuprofen…..ear plugs….you get the picture. \m/
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