Jason Lytle Goes Solo For Yours Truly, The Commuter

Ambitious title track, ‘Yours Truly, The Commuter,’ seems fixated on pre-Beatles electronic experimentalism.

I love primitive on-the-cusp recordings that seemed on the verge of something exciting. People were fascinated by what came out of their speakers back then. Innocently, they were messing around with sounds. I like getting to the point where I lose myself in the studio. That prods me along when I’m failing to find interest.

Just smoke a joint to get motivated.

(laughter) I’ve got wine stains on my console. I’m not a big pot smoker. It makes me hide in the corner paranoid.

I felt comforted you didn’t take any left turns away from Grandaddy’s gossamer tone.

For a hot minute, I was considering going all over the map. But I reeled it in since it was my only opportunity to make a solo debut. My compromise was to make it well-balanced. The second’s gonna be a complete mess. (laughter) I consider this one a nice compromise of concise songs and instrumental bits. The next will be a little more lopsided. My career had become imbalanced in a bad way. Everyone was reasonably concerned about money. Keeping the machine going was suffering because the cart was ahead of the horse. The cart was a bunch of shit I had to dump and I had to get a new horse.

Was ‘It’s The Weekend’ written on an emotional high? Its zooming arena rock guitars and ‘80s synthesizers really soar.

I’m still confused by that song. I called a few people to offer apologies. I had to fit it somewhere. I remember being on a backcountry hike with an annoying melody in my head and the chord progression. All I could equate with the feeling was how stoked and happy you were as a kid when morning cartoons came on and there were endless possibilities for the weekend.

Grandaddy’s been graciously called America’s version of Radiohead much the same way the Byrds were considered America’s Beatles in the ‘60s.

I wish there was more Pavement in what they do. Thom Yorke’s too damn dark and serious. No humor. But in terms of what they did with OK Computer, this new era of experimentalism mixing trash with elegance and making use of multi-tracking turned things on its ears. I was only half a fan before. When that came out, I was like, ‘Thank you.’ Afterwards, my fan-dom petered out. I tend to forget what a huge Cars fan I was coming out of that classic/prog-rock phase of too-long songs. The Cars were tight, well-produced, and blended synths, guitars, and big Roy Thomas Baker drums with purposely confusing lyrics that impacted me alongside heavily produced new wavers A Flock Of Seagulls, The Cure, and Depeche Mode. Then, the Pixies came around and screwed things up in a good way. I realized there was this experimental punk energy blended with slightly more orchestral arrangements that were just wrong enough. I also had brothers and sisters subconsciously pumping the Beatles, Beach Boys, and Pink Floyd into my head via headphones as a child.

Catch Jason Lytle at Brooklyn’s Union Hall, July 10, or at Bowery Ballroom, July 11. For more info, visit jasonlytle.com.