(Above: Grandaddy's Jason Lytle. Photo by Adrian Mendoza/Amenfoto.)
"I’ve been dumbfounded and really gutted ever since I heard. But I’ll always remember the joy you brought me,” types a brokenhearted Grandaddy message-boarder, earnestly lamenting the recent (and unceremonious) dissolution of the Modesto, Calif.-based space rockers. “You all have sincerely changed my life,” opines another. “I will never forget. Take care, keep strong.”
After 14 years together and five full-lengths—including forthcoming swan song, Just Like the Fambly Cat—Grandaddy is ending its run. As appreciated for crunchy, atmospheric indie pop as for tackling the weird divide between technology and organic life, the band’s discography is riddled with all sorts of nature-vs.-machine stickups, including “Broken Household Appliance National Forest,” possibly the single greatest song ever written about dead toasters. But the band members’ distaste for the grassroots hustle ultimately did them in.
“Unfortunately, money was a big part of [the decision to break up],” frontman Jason Lytle admits. “The band wasn’t making money and the guys were always broke, and [having been] appointed the ringleader early on, I was exhausted with having to constantly dish out excuses and assurances and false hope. We did this for a long time, often considered on the verge of greatness, and greatness never came, and collectively the will to make that happen disappeared,” Lytle shrugs. “It’s been a bummer to hear from people how much we meant to them and how they simply don’t want us to stop. It’s sad.”
The band has no plans to tour, and Lytle is unsure of what Grandaddy’s former members will tackle next. “Some guys are already well into their new jobs, jobs that have nothing to do with music. Some guys are still in music and are sure to make themselves known in due time. I plan on working even harder than I ever did in all of my years in the band, and making every second of it matter even more,” Lytle promises. “In addition to lots of walking, breathing and looking at things.”