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December 17, 2003

lovingly transcribed by David Tandy


By Fab Moretti From The Strokes

"They're, like, the band that when I started to get into music kinda reassured me maybe I had a more of a chance of being able to do it. Like when you're in High School the teachers are like, 'Yeah, keep dreaming.' with the whole music thing. Then I heard them and their songs were so great and the fact that they recorded some of their stuff on a four-track recorder - wow. I was like, 'Shit, maybe, you know... it's still possible.'

I just think Robert Pollard is a very smart, beautiful human being. Just inspiring to me and the band. And he should be inspiring to a lot of people. They're just a really great band. We were fortunate enough to meet him and also tour with them. Then at Leeds festival when we were headlining we brought him out to sing 'A Salty Salute' from 'Alien Lanes'. No-one knew the song or anything but we really didn't give a shit.

When I was like 15, 16, I had a best friend at that time. He just knew all these bands. He would never play them for anyone but for some reason he would play me bands every once in a while, I'd just hang at his house and play guitar with him. He started playing Guided By Voices, an album called 'Vampire On Titus'; there's this song called 'Donkey School' on there and I remember listening to it over and over again driving to a party and I just couldn't believe that I'd never heard this. It was almost like hearing music for the first time. When I listened to it, I almost felt, like, that same cool feeling I had when I first heard the Beatles - except it was great.

Everybody calls it dirty. It's recorded on a four-track and I really like that. It feels really intimate. It feels like you're finding a tape of someone that no-one else knows about and it's just for you.

If you go out and party and you can listen to them at, like, six in the morning... it's great. And if I feel sad I put some on and it just, like, helps you go to sleep. I'd listened to them for, like, eight years. Then in LA a year and a half ago, I found a new song of theirs I'd never heard before. I couldn't believe I'd never heard something so... perfect.

Even though lots of songs are really short they also feel just right... they don't seem short... you just want to push 'play' again. It's so nice he (Robert Pollard) actually told us that once - when he heard our first record - he said, 'You guys have great replay value.' Meaning you wanna keep pushing 'play' after the song's over.

He's so funny, man. When we opened for him, he drove us back to our hotel in the van, he was just saying all these jokes. And you know... he told me I can call him Uncle Bob."

Fab Moretti was talking to Mark Beaumont


Vampire On Titus - Scat - 1993

Their breakthrough record: rough as sandpaper, recorded in a bin, but overflowing with top-flight tunes.

Alien Lanes - Matador - 1995

Yes it's long (28 tracks). Yes, it's self indulgent. But so are GBV. And with songs of the caliber of 'Motor Away' in their pockets, they can do no wrong.

Human Amusements At Hourly Rates - Matador - 2003

Best-of compiling all the band's best moments and ditching the ones that sound like they're made on a broken Dictaphone