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Stevie Chick interviewed Bob for a couple of different pieces and graciously gave us the entire interview to be posted here at gbv.com
Robert Pollard Interview with Stevie Chick
Thereís a lot of pressure on Ďem, yíknow... Theyíll learn to deal with
it, they have to...
YOU GLAD FAME DIDNíT COME FOR YOU UNTIL YOU WERE IN YOUR THIRTIES?
GOT THE GENES FOR IT...
you like this record a little bit more than the last couple? Donít you think
it sounds more like Guided By Voices? That was the task, to try and do it
ourselves but make a record as good as Isolation Drills. Weíve made a couple
of records with producers now, we donít wanna have some kind of relapse, start
sliding because weíre doing it ourselves now. But after working with Ric and
Rob weíre comfortable with walking into a big studio by ourselves. We still
had the help of another person, his nameís Todd Tobias, the bass-playerís
brother. Heís really good, so weíre still not really doing it ourselves. We
tell him what we want to do, and he helps us get it. Most producers, theyíll
work with you and listen to your input, but they pretty much want their stamp on
the record too.
LIKE AN ADVERT FOR THEM TOO ISNíT IT? THIS RECORD GOES BACK TO THE
CHOPPED-INTO-PIECES FEEL OF EARLIER GBV MATERIAL... WAS THAT SOMETHING YOU
WANTED ON DTC AND ID?
not something we intended to do for the record, I intended to make a proper 12
song album, thatís what I wanted. Because we havenít done that, just twelve
songs. So we did that, finished it and mixed it, and then I wrote a bunch of new
songs, and I thought, maybe Iíll put these songs on a solo record or
something. But then I thought, weíre not even really signed to a label yet,
weíve got time, we might as well go ahead and record them, see how they turned
out. It just so happened - you see, the first twelve song record was a lot of
long songs, and these new songs were a lot shorter, kinda punk songs and pop
songs. So i thought, letís sprinkle them in there, and make it kinda like an
old GBV album, like Alien Lanes... It turned out really well.
was the thing, the next question was how to sequence it, to make it flow. I
think it turned out really well.
I KNOW YOUíRE LEGENDARY FOR LAST MINUTE CHANGES TO THE TRACKLISTING...
always weird, every time we wrap up a record I get this urge to write more songs
and stuff, like okay, I can start over now. So if i have time I throw them on
the record, usually itís one or two songs. This time, it was 13 more songs. We
did Ďem in a different place, and I wanted to do Ďem in a different place,
so theyíd sound different, different fields of sound, like an early GBV
was something I felt was missing on the last coupla records. I thought they were
good records, but I thought they were kinda same-soundy,
this one I wanted to mix up the sounds. It sounds like an old GBV record,
but it sounds better as well, I think.
USED TO SAY ALIEN LANES & B000 HAD GREAT SONGS WHICH WOULDíVE SCRUBBED UP
TO BE BIG HITS IF RECORDED IN A PROPER STUDIO...
too, I was kinda curious myself; that was one of the reasons we started working
with a producer.
YOU WERE WRITING THE EARLY STUFF, WERE YOU WRITING IT THINKING, NO-ONE WILL HEAR
THIS, I CAN DO WHAT I WANT?
really early stuff - we just released a record on our own label called Thee Acid
Ranch, have you heard that? That stuff should not be heard by anyone! And we did
it, knowing that it would never be heard by anyone; it was completely
uninhibited, we could do whatever we wanted, sound like whoever we wanted to
sound like. It was more fun that way, knowing no-one would hear it.
when we got to the four track phase, we were just banging out song after song,
as much as we could do. I think we recorded a hundred songs for B000. Now, Iím
a little more selective with my own songs; if I start working on a song and
itís not clicking, Iíll just leave it. We did a thing, like, recording 25
songs for this album. We got back to the concept of one take; when we were in
the studio, with a producer... one time, we had to do seven takes... it almost
drove me insane, though most records take 90 takes... but it almost drove John
Lennon insane too.
THEREíS NO GBV ANTHOLOGY, WHERE WE GET TAKES 12 AND 15 OF TRACTOR RAPE
donít exist, man. we put out unused songs on B-Sides, I think thereís gonna
be a mini-album of B-Sides in the fall. But I kinda changed my philosophy on
writing a little bit, because I learned the most important ingredient to a song
is lyrics: I used to think it was melody, and I still think thatís important,
but now Iím writing lyrics first. I keep notebooks, Iím writing in notebooks
all the time, taking lines from my favourite poems, keeping my ears open for
anything that could make an interesting lyric...
ISOLATION DRILLS HAD A LOT OF LYRICAL CLARITY ABSENT IN PREVIOUS POLLARDIAN
was kinda a serious time in my life, I had to get perspective. It was weird...
It was therapeutic, it was something I needed during that period, that kinda
change in my life. I had to do that, embark on that cathartic process.
WAS IT SOMETHING YOU FELT COMFORTABLE WITH?
being serious? Yeah, I kinda always wanted to make a serious record; I wasnít
comfortable, period. I was going through some inner turmoil in my life, so I
needed to get that out. It wasnít comfortable, but it was something I needed
to do. But I always wanted to make a serious, kinda Ďblueí record, like a
ĎWhoís Nextí or something, a record that was somewhat uplifting,
spiritually. Iíve always been kinda silly in the stuff Iíve written so far.
A lot of people liked ID, it did very well critically, but some of the fans
were, like, ďKeep your skeletons in the closer, I donít wanna hear about
them, write some more songs about robots and shit like that.Ē
WHEN YOU WERE WRITING ABOUT ROBOTS, YOU WERENíT REALLY WRITING ABOUT ROBOTS,
was juggling two careers at the time, and both of them involved, I thought, a
lot of ass-kissing. As a teacher, thereís a lot of ass-kissing involved; the
students wanna kiss your ass for good grades. And then I started to get involved
in the music industry, and I noticed thereís a lot of people kissing ass to
get their records promoted. And I thought, Iím kissing ass just the same way
my students are, yíknow, to get the good grades. And thatís what ĎGold
Star For Robot Boyí is all about.
the time I was working with kids, I used to read them Grimm fairy tales, so
there was all this magical imagery involved. And also, weíre from Dayton Ohio,
which is the birthplace of aviation. So all that stuff kinda popped up in my
after I was able to quite my job, after a while I wasnítí around kids
anymore. So now my inspiration comes from travelling the world, hanging out with
people that i know, getting drunk, listening to things people say. Thatís what
I do, itís pretty insane, itís obsessive, it probably gets on peoplesí
nerves, but I keep my notebook around me at all times. We were in a bar last
night, every time someone said something interesting I was scribbling it in my
notepad... But my philosophy is that someone will say something, but even though
they thought of it, if I capture it, itís mine.
JUST THEIR WORDS, YOUíVE GOT TO MAKE MEANING FROM IT...
you gotta isolate it. So, thatís what I do, wait until someone says something
that catches my ear, and then I try to expand upon it, explore it. My approach
to songwritingís changed slightly, I donít write quite as much as I used to;
I still write a lot, I put out a lot of stuff; Iíve done a lot of
collaborations lately, Iíve done a record with almost every member of my band,
and I just did a record with Mac from Superchunk. I did two albums with Toby
where I basically said, record the music, mix it, send it to me, and Iíll take
my poems and sing them over the top; itís a really easy way for me to work,
thereís no effort at all, you donít even need to have physical contact with
the person, itís more of a spiritual thing almost.
REMEMBER TALKING TO J MASCIS ABOUT ĎSAME DAYí...
talked to him once on the phone, Jís kinda...
[laughs] I didnít have any idea
what he wanted. But he basically gave me the guidelines, said Ďdo thisí, and
I did what he said. Then he asked me, Ďwhat do you want? do you want a guitar
or something?í I said, no man, I donít want anything. Then I thought, Fuck
man, I shoulda asked him to play on my album!
Iím a lazy guy, I donít like to practise, I donít like to rehearse, I
donít like going over stuff too much, I like the kinda process where you just
go in and do what you were going to do. Iíll listen to the music and come up
with one melodic idea, and then Iíll go in and do it; itís fun to do it that
SAY YOUíRE LAZY, BUT YOU HAVE AN AMAZINGLY PROLIFIC WORKLOAD....
well, it comes easy because Iím older, Iím 44, Iíve been a fan of music
all my life and from the beginning Iíve wanted to participate in it, become a
writer. So itís pretty easy, because Iíve been doing it so long; as far as,
like, working at it, I donít spend to much time on my songs. I spend more time
than I used to, say, back in the four track period, almost all of those songs
were spontaneous, whereas now, in the pursuit of becoming a little more mature
as a songwriter, Iím slowing myself down, working on structures, bridges,
codas [laughs]... second verses! finales!
YOU GET AS MUCH OUT OF IT DOING THINGS THIS WAY AS YOU DID EARLIER?
an evolution of my songwriting, its fun. I still go through ideas and songtitles,
I still bang out as many ideas as I can, then I go back and pick what I like.
Whereas I used to just use Ďem all, the way they were. Now Iíll pick; if
thereís something I feel is done, Iíll leave it as it is, but there are
other ideas Iíll work on, because I want Ďem to be long, I want that one to
be a psychedelic, prog-rock song. Usually if its a punk song, itís finished;
if itís an acoustic song, itís finished; the pop song, I might work on the
chorus or something...
Iíll go back and root through my brain files. I have all these songs that
Iíve been writing since I was a kid; a catalogue, I started writing songs when
I was 8 or 9, Iím still using little bits and pieces of Ďem. Itís a
complicated thing, but itís not to me, because thatís how I do things.
Everyone has their own special way of doing things.
YOU LEARN FROM YOUR COLLABORATORS, FROM THEIR DIFFERENT WORKING PROCESSES?
collaborative thing is something Iíve always felt Iíve been best at. Before
I could play an instrument I could sit in and jam, play stuff over the top of
it. I was always good at that, I was always good at singing lyrics; its like
reciting poetry but youíre singing it. Thatís what we started out doing
before we learnt how to play; we had instruments we didnít know how to play,
but we could make a noise, and I could sing over the top of it. Thatís what
Thee Acid Ranch is... But thatís why I do the collaborative thing, because
thatís what I think I do best.
i like being a songwriter, I like working on structures and twisting things
around and making it sound like something you havenít quite heard before, but
still making them sound like pop songs. Thatís the challenge, making things
sound good, chord progressions that sound good but youíre not sure if youíve
ever heard them before, theyíre not the obvious ones. Thatís what typifies
music today, most of the chord progressions are obvious. Itís like country
music, you know exactly how the chord progression is gonna go, you know exactly
what the melodyís gonna do. The challenge is staying away from that but
keeping it listenable, keeping it entertaining. Because I like experimental
stuff, I like psychedelic music, but I like it to have melody, I like lyrics. I
like songs, yíknow.
YOU CAN FOLLOW...
YOU WERE WRITING SONGS SINCE YOU WERE 8 OR 9...
Country... No! That was a little but later, that was my first hit! [laughs]
Thatís when I had it, man, contacted the labels, Ďwe got Corn Countryí
was the worst period. Because we were a heavy metal band, so we tried to write
original music; we played covers at first, but then we started trying to write,
egotistical heavy metal type bullshit. we had a song called ĎFame &
Fortuneí [laughs] the worst song I ever wrote..
DOES IT GO?
canít, itís too hard, man [laughs]... It was like this wishing, wannabe type
thing, like ĎWeíre Anacrusis, we wanna be famousí... There was NO way. It
was a joke, I didnít really think that, though some of the people in my band
mightíve. [laughs] it was kind of a joke song, but Iím still a bit
embarrassed by it. we were big in our community.
I was a kid my songs were better, some of my best melodies come from when Iíd
just started making up songs. I still use Ďem... they were written in the 60s,
people say weíre a 60s retro band, which I donít think we are, cos too much
other stuff goes into our music, from all periods. I useta tell them, well, you
know, a lot of those melodies were actually written in the 60s [laughs]. They
were. Ďwrinkled ghostí on Waved Out, I wrote the melody and structure to
that one when I was a little kid, from a song called ĎAnaliseí [sings, Ďanalise...
Analise..í]. So some of my best melodies come from that period; i still have
some left, too, but now Iíve gotten beyond the Ďpopí stage, so i donít
wanna use Ďem... thereís be a lot of people happy I was just playing dumb
pop songs again, like Echos Myron, stuff like that, but I think Iím getting a
little odd to be writing songs like that.
FEEL WEIRD SINGING THEM?
donít feel like singing songs like that anymore. and also, TVT was kinda
funny, because they had aspirations for us to have a radio hit, they were, like,
write songs about cars and girls and summertime! and i said, Iím not really
into cars and girls and summertime, Iím beyond that! i never was into that!
Iím into whiskey and hanging out in a basement, practising jumps and kicks and
stuff like that! [laughs]
YOU WERE DOING TVT, YOU HAD FADING CAPTAIN AS WELL...
that was the good thing about TVT, they let me do my own label. so I was able to
put out a lot of stuff. itís been three years, maybe, and weíre up in the
THERE GONNA BE ANOTHER DOUG GILLARD COLLAB?
another one in the works, heís working on the music right now. weíre called
KINDLY IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE GBV RECORDS...
That shouldíve been, the timing was bad... that coulda been a GBV record. the
songs, i thought, were good enough. there were songs about cars and girls on
that... one of the songs is gonna be featured in the next Stephen Soderburgh
movie; heís a GBV fan, heís using Ďdo something realí as the song that
plays as the credits roll. hen that happens weíre gonna release Speak Kindly
over here, with a sticker saying, from the new Stephen Soderburgh movie!
Featuring the hits Tight Globes and Pop Zeus...
told Doug to take his time... weíre quite busy at the moment...
THERE EVER A TIME WHEN YOUíRE NOT?
busier than we used to be, there was a time when we took lots of time off. now
weíve got to the point too, one of our problems with matador was that we
wanted to put out an album a year. I will probably will do less solo records
now... we wanted a record out every year, cyclical; like, every June we put a
record out, and then I still have time to do my collab stuff. Itís busy, but
its what we want to do, so I donít consider it to be work.
YOU FIND THE OUTSIDE WORLD DOESNíT RUN AT THE SPEED YOU NEED IT TO? YOU SEEM
TO BE OVER-RUN WITH IDEAS...
too fast, Iíd like to slow down. Iím not necessarily sure itís a good
thing. You read philosophies and things like that, and they tell you to slow
down. I canít clear my mind, itís heavy traffic in there...
Iím trying to slow down, but Iím not sure if i can. Iím not sure if that
applies to music. Iíve had people tell me, you SHOULD slow down. But good
directors keep making movies all the time. Some donít I guess. But why stop?
If you have an idea, why would you hold it back, not let it come out. So I do.
And I only write songs, maybe, 3 or 4 times a year. Every now and again I just
feel it, this hyperactive energy, and then I write a bunch. That happened the
other day, I wrote about 9 songs for my next album.
Iím somewhat paranoid about the possibility of writerís block, although
Iíve never had it... Never ever. I donít really think itís possible, I
donít wanna jinx myself... But every once in a while something comes over me
and I just have to write. A lot of good ideas come out. Thatís why I stay
ahead, keeping ideas in notebooks. I keep tonnes of ideas in my notebooks,
tonnes of titles, so every time I feel inspired musically, I can just bring my
notebooks out, sit down with some coffee... start work...
YOU FEEL AS INSPIRED NOW AS WHEN YOU WERE A SCHOOLTEACHER AND THIS WAS YOUR
feel more inspired. to me, when I was a teacher, this was just a hobby, a
fantasy. It was fun, and just the simple fact that it was very entertaining
would inspire us to make our music. Whereas now I consider it my job, and Iím
considered to be some kind of, uh, song-writer, or whatever I am, some poet or
something. I donít consider myself a poet, but I kinda have a way with words,
they donít make any sense, but they kind of flow and they have colour. Iím
more serious about it now, I get into it more, Iím more inspired... But I
donít do it as much. It used to be every weekend. The thing is, when you have
a job thatís 9-5 every weekday, you look forward to the weekend, like, weíre
gonna give ourselves a band-name, make some music, weíre gonna get into the
basement and make ourselves an album. when
we recorded, Iíd have the album covers ready, Iíd have everything ready, to
just do it. Iíd have song-titles, fake producers, Ďproduced by Steve
Lilywhiteí. it was pretty silly. We used to do photo-sessions, thatís what
we did, it was fun. We werenít serious, we were sure nothing would come of it;
thatís what made it so fun. no-one would hear that shit, so we could do what
ever e want, say whatever we want.
YOU STILL HAVE THAT MINDSET?
I can say whatever I want, but there are certain things you canít say
[laughs]... Iím not quite as bold as the east village Patti smith types
[laughs], Iím not quite Lou Reed yet...
YOU GET MUCH LOVE FROM DAYTON?
people who go see shows, yeah. But from the people who own clubs and promote
shows, and the press, we donít get a lot of love. I think itís the thing,
like, we know these guys... they give us disrespect. I mean, even when we
recorded with different producers they wouldnít play us on a major radio
station, weíd be on the cult-rock show on a Sunday night or something... Same
thing happened with the breeders. it seems unfair to me, but maybe thatís the
way it always is in your home town. someone told me Jesus Christ wasnít
treated right in his hometown [laughs]...
A VERY LENNON-ESQUE QUOTE [laughter]
not saying weíre bigger than Jesus... in fact, some people think weíre the
HAVE BEEN COUNTLESS MEMBERS OF GBV OVER THE YEARS... SUITCASE, EVERY SONG HAS A
DIFFERENT BAND-NAME... DO YOU EVER WISH YOUíD NOT STUCK WITH GBV AS A BANDNAME?
went through a lot of names before we landed on GBV... basically, I was trying
to convince this guy who ran a club to book us. I didnít even have a band yet,
but i figured if he booked us i could throw some shitty band together. so i was
giving him names and he didnít like Ďem, until finally i pitched guided by
voices, and he liked the way that sounded. so i told him we were guided by
voices. and then we had it for four years or so, and i got tired of it and
wanted to change it, but no-one would let me, they told me it was a great name.
they didnít like the band, but they liked the name... so now, itís like The
Who... GBV looks as good as the Who... Symmetric, the first word and last word
have the same amount of letters...
NO REAL GBV LOGO YET, THOUGH, IS THERE?
SUPPOSED TO BE A FOOTBALL GOING OVER A GOAL, ISNíT IT?
Thatís not what I drew, though, I was just doodling on the phone one day, and
I drew that. It became our logo... Thatís what we do, we try to make things
that look serious, but arenít REALLY serious, theyíre jokey... Then
sometimes we do something that seems jokey, but is really serious. Guided By
Voices is about confusion. Thatís why thereís all the bandnames on Suitcase,
all the pseudonymous projects.
THIS WHAT YOU THOUGHT THE FANTASY WOULD BE LIKE IN REALITY? ARE THERE DOWNSIDES
TO LIVING LIFE AS A ROCKSTAR?
fantasy was, all you had to do was play shows and make records, itíd be easy.
But when I actually got on my first television show it was scary, not what I
thought it would be. Itís real now. But making records is what I wanted to do,
thatís fine, thatís it. You do press, play shows, appear on television, but
all that really matters is making a good record. Nothing else matters, yíknow?
SEEM REALLY UNAFFECTED BY IT ALL...
didnít really kick in until I was 36 years old, that helped... But even at
that time, when it first started to get real, people were telling us, youíd
better get ready for this shit now, because itís real. I still couldnít
believe it was happening. We were kinda like The Buzz, which was weird, after
being in the basement for ten years or whatever, we were the Buzz - the last
great American underground rockíníroll band, is what Everett True said.
[laughs] Lo-fi champs, Lo-Fi pioneers... all these crowns were bestowed upon us.
people started doing the GBV chant that we made up at the start of propellor,
when people started doing that at shows... we multitracked that, all of us in a
room, chanting Ďg-b-v!í, and then mixed it with the intro to a live song so
it sounded real... in fact, Scott Kannberg from Pavement asked us which show we
recorded that at [laughs]... we did that in a studio, man... We werenít even a
live band at that point, weíd quit playing live, we hadnít played live for,
like, five years.
then it became real. it took a long time for it to sink in, that people do
actually like us... I thought maybe we were being exploited, that someone was
fucking us over. People would hold their lighters aloft at shows and Iíd
think, fuck you, like they were laughing at us. because we were old school
rockíníroll. but people love that shit. someone thanked me the other day for
bringing back kicks and jumps, that whole arena rock posing thing. bands
werenít doing that at the time, everyone was Shoegazing. theyíre doing that
STROKES, FOR EXAMPLE...
came to our shows. Albert threw a 3 song demo onstage, Doug found it... when
weíre on the road, we have what we call the gong show, where we play the stuff
that gets given to us. sometimes, two seconds and weíll all decide to take it
off; the strokes CD was really good, it was a really rockiní CD, not like
their album. songs that havenít appeared on any of their records; Iím gonna
keep it, it might be worth some money [laughs]. i thought about asking them if
theyíd mind me putting that out on Fading Captain, bankroll the label for a
a year or so passed, and Albert personally got in touch with our manager and
asked about doing some shows with us. so we did a weekís tour, then right
after that they exploded. so maybe we can take a little credit, taking them
under our wing. theyíre a good band, they look good, good songs, like to
GOT A REPUTATION FOR LOVING YOUR BEER...
Iím appearing drunk onstage, Iím drunk... Iím not as drunk as I used to
be. When we first Ďbrokeí, back in 1993, I used to start drinking at noon,
because I was petrified... Youíve got ĎCrying Your Knife Awayí, you know
what Iím talking about... Now, we start drinking just before we hit the stage.
We play for two and a half hours, so we have enough time to get drunk. And we
play it up onstage, when I drink beer at home I sip it, Iím not chugalugging,
thatís for the show...
YOUR FAVOURITE BEER?
I LIKE Budweiser, but Iím getting older... I know you brits donít think
Budweiserís heavy, you drink strong beers, but thatís strong to me, so Iím
drinking lighter beers now. I mean, Iím drinking every night, for four hours,
up onstage, i gotta think about my health. thatís why i drink Miller Lite, and
the people who make fun of us for drinking Miller Lite, they canít drink with
us. They canít even drink Miller Lite with us. People try to match us drink
for drink at shows, theyíre throwing up halfway through the show, getting
kicked out, dragged out by their legs...
YOU FIND KIDS YOU TAUGHT COMING TO YOUR SHOWS...
Theyíll come up, ĎMr Pollard!í. I started teaching when I was 20 years
old, I was teaching 8th grade, they were 14 year old kids... Some of those kids
are 36 years old now.
YOU ALWAYS WANNA BE A TEACHER?
always liked working with kids, and I wanted to be a teacher; one of the reasons
I wanted to teach was that I could get the summers off. Freedom to do what I
want is what I wanted, i really just wanted to make music. As a teacher, you
really only work half the year. seven hour day, all these vacations. But it is
the hardest job really, because when you do work, its the hardest work. you NEED
those vacations... Most of the teachers i knew were all alcoholics. theyíre
YOU DRINK LESS AS A ROCKíNíROLLER?
had to give up teaching to save my liver!
STORY OF GBV IS A BIT OF A FAIRY TALE...
seems to be. I was thinking, yíknow, it happened when I was 36 years old;
thatís beyond the time when success should come to someone in music, way way
later. When I used to play music in my twenties, Iíd say Ďwhen i hit thirty
Iím done, thatís too oldí. But you canít stop it...
YOUíRE NOT THINKING ĎIíLL HIT FIFTY AND THATíS ITí...
i hit forty I said, three more albums and weíre done. i donít wanna be Mick
Jagger. But as long as we can play for two and a half hours and still put on a
good show, weíll continue. Iíll play it by ear.
YOU SEE THE WHO REUNION SHOWS?
but i saw the Quadrophenia tour. I donít wanna look like that. Pete Townshend
had his guitar up to here [indicates high-chest area]. Come on! Youíre
supposed to have it down here, dick-level! But it might be better now, because
they had Gary Glitter and there was that whole production... I donít know, I
wish Pete Townshend would just go out and play acoustic shows. thatíd be
right now, weíre having too much fun. aerosmith, even though they probably
donít look too good up close, they look good up on stage. they still rock,
steven tylerís still got the moves, so, whatever...
DID YOU LISTEN TO WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?
I was a kid in the 60s I listened to Bubblegum, The Monkees, Hermanís Hermits,
all that kind of stuff, the Beatles of course. I was too young to get into the
Ď67 thing, psychedelia, which I discovered later, and became my favourite
period of music. But then I started getting into heavy metal, prog-rock... we
didnít have any record stores around where I lived and thatís the only kind
of stuff you could buy. But heavy metal then to me was just rockíníroll. I
went to school with a lot of freaks, they loved metal, and they kinda respected
me, because I was a jock. there was this jocks-hate-freaks thing, but they liked
me because I knew music, I wrote a column for the school paper called ĎPlatter
Chatter by Bobby Pollardí. But like I prided myself on the fact that I liked
good rock; they were into Uriah Heep, Bob Seger, Mahogany Rush and Foghat, shit
like that. While I was into Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, UFO, AC/DC. But I also
liked prog-rock, and no-one understood that at all... early Genesis, Van Der
Graaf Generator, King Crimson, Family, stuff like that. I still like that stuff.
I didnít know at the time about stuff like Velvet Underground or Big Star, it
just didnít come our way in Dayton. But thatís the good thing, because now
Iím bored with modern music, it seems to me its pretty much all been done
before, but iím glad that, being from Dayton, I missed a lot of the good old
music, so i can discover lots of great music from the 60s and 70s. I really got
into post-punk too. I wasnít too crazy about punk, thereís not much there; I
like the spirit, but thereís not much song there, I like the song. But I like
what came out of it, Wire, XTC, stuff like that. But that was it, basically.
Everything after that was kinda spotty. thereís still good music, but itís
not like it was from Ď66 to Ď79.
DO YOU THINK CAUSED THAT?
last part of it was about change, revolution, but the first part - I guess the
first part was too... It was about drugs at the time, acid.
DOES BEING IN GBV COMPARE TO THE BREEDERS, NATE?
I like it a lot better. Not to be chauvinistic or anything, but i like to hang
out with guys. weíre from Dayton, and we hang out with the same people. being
in a band with a lot of drunken dudes is a lot more fun.
TVT WANTED YOU TO HAVE THE RADIO HIT, HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?
was flattered that someone thought we had the potential to do that. Then I kinda
got stars in my eyes and was thinking, yeah! we can, man! Iíve kind of
abandoned that now, I donít want to. But it could still happen. Thatís what
happened with Guided By Voices, we didnít sell ourselves, we didnít want
anything to happen, and it did. we get bands coming up to us, asking, do you
have any advice? Do not try. Donít sell yourself. But thatís probably not
kinda lectured us. Rick Neilson and Zander were like, you guys drink too much. I
tried to get up onstage and sing with them, and they were, like, next time, try
not to tread on all our pedals, try to be in tune... But I think they liked us,
we had a good time. we played our set, and then got to watch them. my throat
really hurt from singing Cheap Trick songs at the side of the stage. I
wouldnít call it a dream come true or anything. But it blew the minds of
everyone in Dayton. They donít know whatís going on with us, havenít heard
any of the records, but- Jesus, they toured with Cheap Trick! thatís cool! We
wanted to call the show Cheap trick with special guests Fat Chance. [laughter]
THERE ANY BANDS YOUíD LOVE TO TOUR WITH?
one time radiohead wanted us to tour with them. i donít know whether thatís
compatible though... Foo Fighters would be a good tour, theyíre not like us,
but their fans could accept us. I wouldnít mind touring with Sonic Youth, but
Iím never too sure about how serious they are about themselves anymore.
theyíre kinda laid back now. i always hoped weíd tour with pavement. i wanna
tour with superchunk; they only seem to wanna do weekends with us because they
try and drink with us, and it hurts. thereís a lot of bands from the US and
Canada we want to take out with us, we were gonna tour with Pete Yorn, but he
just kinda took off, and they wanted us to open for him. and i said, i donít
think so; i love Pete Yorn, but i donít think heís paid his dues yet for us
to open, i donít wanna do that. but we took BRMC out with us, and i wanna do
some shows with the shins. and andrew wk... but the album doesnít sound as
good as the album he put out before where he played everything. thatís really
NOT LO-FI, YOUíRE JUST HI-FI RECORDED ON A BUDGET.
YOU STILL LISTEN TO LOFI MUSIC?
Iíve kind of gotten out of that. i donít even know whoís doing it anymore.
i like the sound of it, but Iím kind of out of touch with the people playing
it. its kinda had its time, i guess. we kinda ran out of ideas of things you can
do in the basement, thereís only so many percussive things you can create
CREEK CRASHING AMP
brother did that, in the middle of the song he picked up the amp and dropped it.
we were like, you ruined the fuckin song! then we played it back, and then we
decided he was a genius!