| Home | Fading Captain Series | GBV News | The Band | The Music | The Critics & Fans | Merchandise | Other Stuff |

Dallas Morning News
By Thor Christensen

Guided by Voices leader Robert Pollard insists he doesn't have a beef with Dallas. The reason he's only played here once is purely geographic, he says.

"It's so hard to get to Texas -- it's like an 18-hour trip form here, the singer says, speaking of his hometown, Dayton, Ohio. So how do you explain all those Guided By Voices shows in Austin? Press him a bit, and Mr. Pollard admits he still has "a slightly bad taste in my mouth" from GbV's sole Dallas show, in 1994 at Deep Ellum Live.

"I remember Ween was playing Dallas on the same night, so the managers decided to put the two shows together," he says. "All three bands on our tour got to play for 25 minutes, and Ween got to play for 3-1/2 hours, so we got slightly screwed over."

Still, 25 minutes of GbV is better than two hours of most bands.

Fronted by the frenetic Mr. Pollard and sounding like the American punk version of a British Invasion group, Guided By Voices is one of the best live bands around. Mr. Pollard gives much of the credit to malted barley and hops. "I've tried to go out sober, and it's not very good," he said. "I'm pretty self-conscious -- like, 'Oh God, they're looking at me!' But if I have enough beer, I'm uninhibited."

In concert, he often chugs cans of beer, then pops one open and pours it on his head. "Onstage, I kind of play it up a bit, it's part of our act," he said. "It's similar to the Grateful Dead shows where everyone went in the show and took acid... With Guided by Voices, they come expecting every show to be this huge beer blast."

Sometimes, of course, the blast goes bust. "People say our shows can go from brilliant to pathetic in a half hour," he said. "But we're not the total drunken wrecks that people think we are," he said. "One guy from Man or Astroman predicted in an article that I'd be dead in a year. And I guess it looks really extreme onstage. But we're not as bad as people say. I don't drink as much as I used to. Now, I only drink half the days, and I don't start till late."