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MAGNET Magazine Issue #43
Jan/Feb 2000

Top artists of 1999

#4 - Guided by Voices

Bob Pollard's year appeared to begin and end in holding patterns. After all, Guided By Voices went in to '99 labeless, and 12 months later, the band was waiting for its new handlers at TVT to promote "Hold On Hope", the second single from the Ric Ocasek-produced Do The Collapse, to commercial radio.

"I've still got this weird thing in the back of my mind where I'd like to somehow break top-40 even though I can't stand top-40" says Pollard. "Just to bring back a classic style to rock. And it's nice that TVT has confidence that they can break us into mainstream. So it's kinda exciting to see what happens. If nothing does, fuck it. It's like Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, when he tried to pick up the sink: 'I gave it hell, didn't I?'"

In truth, 1999 represented anything but statis for Pollard. Aside from touring non-stop with GBV, the prolific songwriter released no less than four records on his new, Internet-marketed Fading Captain Series imprint. "That was a personal goal I set for myself," says Pollard, "to create my own label for side projects. I think I can do this for a living; we have a pretty hardcore fanbase. It lets me know I've got something after this whole professional thing called Guided By Voices is over."

Pollard is quick to make forecasts, however, for the Y2K GBV. Working with Ocasek clearly helped him grow professionally, and he's eager to record the next LP, which he predicts will be "full of anthems, big crunching power chords."

And he'll be taking those anthems to the street. "I have fun with this band now constantly," he says, "and I seriously think we put on the best show around. I still have this romantic notion that the kids need to rock. We're gonna be part of that."