To celebrate Friday’s release of Grandaddy’s The Sophtware Slump ….. on a wooden piano — a 20th anniversary-celebrating, piano-only reworking of the band’s classic 2000 LP — frontman Jason Lytle plays a trio of Grandaddy tracks for the latest installment of Rolling Stone’s In My Room series.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Lytle discussed The Sophtware Slump reissue as well as rerecording the album on his titular “wooden piano,” a decision made in part due to the coronavirus quarantine.
“Luckily I have a piano here in my living room which is my beloved, favorite piano,” Lytle says. “So I spent about a week getting the piano sounding good… It was a bit of relief when I realized, ‘This thing isn’t gonna fall apart.’ I like the fact that I was able to record it on my piano; it could not get any more comfortable for me.”
For the In My Room performance, Lytle — from Glendale, California outside Los Angeles, where he recently resettled — delivers a pair of Sophtware ballads, “Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground)” and the album’s closer “So You’ll Aim Towards the Sky,” as well as a piano rendition of “The Go in the Go-For-It,” off Grandaddy’s 2003 album Sumday.
“I went into [The Sophtware Slump ….. on a wooden piano] pretty apprehensive,” Lytle admits of the reissue. “I was pretty scared about whether or not I could pull it off, so the fact that I feel like I did — or it’s not that bad of a listen — I think I would be way more open to the idea of a Sumday.”
Lytle added of transforming the indie-rock classic into a piano-only opus, “I think it was certain songs on the album where I thought ‘This isn’t going to work,’ and then it becomes a challenge. It becomes an exercise that you can either moan and groan about or you can have fun with it, keep messing with it until it does find the right tempo. You accentuate certain parts of the song maybe that didn’t get accentuated before. I think more than anything it was a fun exercise.”