After a massively critically successful career, taking in four albums and numerous tours, Grandaddy called it quits in 2006 citing a lack of financial security as one of the reasons. Now, some six years later, the band have (temporarily at least) reformed for another tour, which will take in a Friday evening slot at this weekend's Electric Picnic. The performance will take on a extra poignancy for the band, considering their last ever live show (prior to this tour, of course) was in Dublin.
But how does reforming a much-loved band after such a long time affect the impact of the group? Are they same band they were six years ago? Frontman Jason Lytle explained to entertainment.ie: "when we're up there [on stage] and I'm looking around I wouldn't have known that six or seven years had gone by. I guess it helps that we're playing these songs that, at one point, we had been playing over and over and over. Maybe if the music was completely different and we had a gospel choir and three Tibetan gong players then maybe it would feel different. It just fits like a glove, and I say that in the most positive sense."
Setlists are among the chief considerations bands undertake when embarking on a tour. Usually a band would have a record to promote, but with no new Grandaddy material in years how do they determine what to play this time around?
"I ended up with this master list of 20 songs and that wasn't getting too obscure, just the ones that historically we always had a good time playing", said Lytle. "Then there's the ones that we expected people wanted to hear and a couple of obscurities, and maybe going back a bit to a b-side or early album stuff. We ended up with 21 or 22 songs we were capable of playing, so I didn't really have to dig too deep."
Lytle also took some time to talk about Internet file-sharing, a hot topic among musicians these days, likening it the choice between eating mass-produced unhealthy food versus organic food. "It's about deciding to eat local food or deciding to eat stuff that's been trucked from all over the place", a somewhat cryptic Lytle said. " If you're honestly okay with discovering this music that somebody obviously worked very hard on and put their life into and you're okay with taking it and not helping out, or not respecting those who made it? You'd have bigger problems. It's really sad that this can actually result in people just being forced to stop making albums."
Grandaddy will play The Electric Arena at 5pm on Friday 31st August.