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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



THE STROKES...

BP: Thereís a lot of pressure on Ďem, yíknow... Theyíll learn to deal with it, they have to...

 

ARE YOU GLAD FAME DIDNíT COME FOR YOU UNTIL YOU WERE IN YOUR THIRTIES?

Oh yeah... Those kids are, what are they? Twenty-one? I wouldnít have been able to deal with that... I come from Dayton Ohio, though, itís kinda backwards. Theyíre rich kids from New York City with famous parents, they should be able to deal with it.

 

THEYíVE GOT THE GENES FOR IT...

Do 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.

 

ITS 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?

Itís 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.

That 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...

Itís 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 record.

That 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.

 

EVERYONE USED TO SAY ALIEN LANES & B000 HAD GREAT SONGS WHICH WOULDíVE SCRUBBED UP TO BE BIG HITS IF RECORDED IN A PROPER STUDIO...

Me too, I was kinda curious myself; that was one of the reasons we started working with a producer.

 

WHEN YOU WERE WRITING THE EARLY STUFF, WERE YOU WRITING IT THINKING, NO-ONE WILL HEAR THIS, I CAN DO WHAT I WANT?

The 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.

So 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.

 

SO THEREíS NO GBV ANTHOLOGY, WHERE WE GET TAKES 12 AND 15 OF TRACTOR RAPE CHAIN...

They 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...

 

OBVIOUSLY, ISOLATION DRILLS HAD A LOT OF LYRICAL CLARITY ABSENT IN PREVIOUS POLLARDIAN WORKS...

It 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?

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

 

BUT WHEN YOU WERE WRITING ABOUT ROBOTS, YOU WERENíT REALLY WRITING ABOUT ROBOTS, WERE YOU?

I 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.

At 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 songwriting.

So 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.

 

ITíS JUST THEIR WORDS, YOUíVE GOT TO MAKE MEANING FROM IT...

Yeah, 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.

 

I REMEMBER TALKING TO J MASCIS ABOUT ĎSAME DAYí...

I talked to him once on the phone, Jís kinda...

 

...SLOW?

Yeah [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!

Basically 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 way...

 

YOU SAY YOUíRE LAZY, BUT YOU HAVE AN AMAZINGLY PROLIFIC WORKLOAD....

Yeah, 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!

 

DO YOU GET AS MUCH OUT OF IT DOING THINGS THIS WAY AS YOU DID EARLIER?

Its 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...

So 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.

 

DO YOU LEARN FROM YOUR COLLABORATORS, FROM THEIR DIFFERENT WORKING PROCESSES?

The 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.

But 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.

 

SOMETHING YOU CAN FOLLOW...

yeah...

 

SO YOU WERE WRITING SONGS SINCE YOU WERE 8 OR 9...

  ...Yeah, good ones too, man, like Eggs Make Me Sick, and Planet Mars, and all of those...

 

CORN COUNTRY...

Corn 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 here...

Anacrusis 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..

 

HOW DOES IT GO?

I 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.

When 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.

 

YOU FEEL WEIRD SINGING THEM?

I 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]

 

WHILE YOU WERE DOING TVT, YOU HAD FADING CAPTAIN AS WELL...

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 20s...

 

IS THERE GONNA BE ANOTHER DOUG GILLARD COLLAB?

Thereís another one in the works, heís working on the music right now. weíre called The Lifeguards.

 

SPEAK KINDLY IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE GBV RECORDS...

Thanks. 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...

I told Doug to take his time... weíre quite busy at the moment...

 

IS THERE EVER A TIME WHEN YOUíRE NOT?

Weíre 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.

 

DO YOU FIND THE OUTSIDE WORLD DOESNíT RUN AT THE SPEED YOU NEED IT TO? YOU SEEM TO BE OVER-RUN WITH IDEAS...

Iím 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...

 

YOUíRE RACING YOURSELF...

[Laughs] 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.

Also, 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...

 

DO YOU FEEL AS INSPIRED NOW AS WHEN YOU WERE A SCHOOLTEACHER AND THIS WAS YOUR HOBBY?

I 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.

 

DO YOU STILL HAVE THAT MINDSET?

Yeah. 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...

 

DO YOU GET MUCH LOVE FROM DAYTON?

From 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]...

 

THATíS A VERY LENNON-ESQUE QUOTE [laughter]

Iím not saying weíre bigger than Jesus... in fact, some people think weíre the devil...

 

THERE 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?

We 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...

 

THEREíS NO REAL GBV LOGO YET, THOUGH, IS THERE?

  Well, thereís that thing, the Ďlogoí, weíre not sure what its supposed to be though... [THE GBV RUNE]

 

ITíS SUPPOSED TO BE A FOOTBALL GOING OVER A GOAL, ISNíT IT?

Yeah. 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.

 

IS THIS WHAT YOU THOUGHT THE FANTASY WOULD BE LIKE IN REALITY? ARE THERE DOWNSIDES TO LIVING LIFE AS A ROCKSTAR?

The 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?

 

YOU SEEM REALLY UNAFFECTED BY IT ALL...

It 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.

When 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.

So 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 now...

 

THE STROKES, FOR EXAMPLE...

They 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 while.

Maybe 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 drink.

 

YOUíVE GOT A REPUTATION FOR LOVING YOUR BEER...

If 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...

 

WHATíS YOUR FAVOURITE BEER?

Well, 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...

 

DO YOU FIND KIDS YOU TAUGHT COMING TO YOUR SHOWS...

Sometimes... 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.

 

DID YOU ALWAYS WANNA BE A TEACHER?

I 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 like roofers!

 

SO YOU DRINK LESS AS A ROCKíNíROLLER?

I had to give up teaching to save my liver!

 

THE STORY OF GBV IS A BIT OF A FAIRY TALE...

It 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...

 

SO YOUíRE NOT THINKING ĎIíLL HIT FIFTY AND THATíS ITí...

When 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.

 

DID YOU SEE THE WHO REUNION SHOWS?

No, 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 awesome.

But 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...

 

WHAT DID YOU LISTEN TO WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?

When 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.

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK CAUSED THAT?

The 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.

 

HOW DOES BEING IN GBV COMPARE TO THE BREEDERS, NATE?

 

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.

 

WHEN TVT WANTED YOU TO HAVE THE RADIO HIT, HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?

 

I 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 good advice!

 

CHEAP TRICK TOUR...

 

They 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]

 

ARE THERE ANY BANDS YOUíD LOVE TO TOUR WITH?

 

at 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 good.

 

YOUíRE NOT LO-FI, YOUíRE JUST HI-FI RECORDED ON A BUDGET.

 

thatís right.

 

DO YOU STILL LISTEN TO LOFI MUSIC?

 

No, 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 yourself.

 

SCALDING CREEK CRASHING AMP

 

my 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!

 

next year is the bicentennial of Dayton, and its also the 20th anniversary of GBV, so weíre gonna compile a greatest hits of GBV on matador...