Grandaddy has never quite played by the rules. So, when they
announced an odd co-headlining tour with Saves the Day, guitarist
Jim Fairchild stated, “It was their idea. I think they wanted
to play with a band they normally wouldn’t play with.”
Both bands agreed to the experiment, which hasn’t fared for
the best: “It seemed like a really good idea at the time, but
it’s not the best idea for execution in terms of the
audience.”

Grandaddy’s set began with a computer-generated video,
which has been a longtime staple of their shows. “It really
came about because we were just fucking boring to watch. We were
really really bashful performers … But now, it’s
actually become something we’re pretty into, and it’s a
necessity.”

Grandaddy isn’t the most ostentatious group, but their
music is captivating. They build a unique tormented sound that
punctuates their recurring theme of man versus technology. Similar
to 2000’s masterwork, The Sophtware Slump, their
latest LP, Sumday, continues with some of the same themes,
yet it’s surprisingly different. Fairchild noted,
“It’s a lot more concise. It sounds better because we
were able to buy better equipment for a better recording this
time.”

Sumday, according to the band, was an attempt at
optimism. “I think we’re starting to get older and
bored of just being sad pieces of shit,” Fairchild said.
“But I don’t think it actually worked, really …
Because (a song like) ‘The Warming Sun’ just rips your
fucking heart out … the next record might even have to be
more at least lyrically optimistic.”

Recently, the band has been through a lot, including the death
of one of its biggest champions, Elliott Smith. “A few major
events have occurred that have taught us to really be mindful and
appreciative of what’s going on in our lives,”
Fairchild said. “Maybe the stuff that was attempted in terms
of sentiment on Sumday I now actually believe … I
don’t think that we actually were capable of believing that
when the songs were recorded. Now, I kind of have to in terms of
self-preservation.”

On their previous tour with Super Furry Animals, the
band’s setlist was comprised mainly of Sumday
material, but this outing revived old classics.
“(We’re) just trying to keep it interesting to
ourselves and our audience so they don’t get bored listening
to the same shit we were playing six months ago.”

The set included plenty of Grandaddy classics.
“Hewlett’s Daughter” energized the crowd with its
laidback melody, keyboard frenzy and hardcore guitar bursts.
“The Go In the Go-For-It,” with bugs scurrying across
the screen, was mesmerizing. The MTV2-embraced “The Crystal
Lake,” introduced by Lytle as a song “about a public
pool with a bunch of pee in it,” had a relaxed energy as
Lytle’s fragile vocals contrasted a synthesized keyboard
arpeggio.

When asked what’s next for Grandaddy, Fairchild was honest
and eloquent when he stated, “We definitely haven’t
made the best record we can make, and I don’t think Jason
(Lytle) has written the best song he can write. I think the whole
trick to that is to figure out how to inspire yourself. I think now
the band is more driven than it’s ever been.”

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