Music Article

Hearing Voices No More

Ex-Guided by Voices member talks old and new music -- Robert Pollard discusses the demise of his influential band and making his new solo album, ''Compound Eye''

Robert Pollard learned a lot from 18 years of fronting Guided by Voices, like how to fire a bandmate (he's had 40-plus) and how to put out albums (he averages four a year). But he doesn't have a clue about lawn maintenance. ''I don't even know how to leaf-blow,'' he says after a morning of yard work at his Dayton, Ohio, home. Now that his blue-collar rock band is hanging up its instruments (after a final New Year's Eve show in Chicago), Pollard may get to master that skill — if work on his double solo CD, Compound Eye, due this spring, permits.

Did you write an EP this morning? I was working on some songs earlier. I'm trying to chill out. We just got back from the West Coast. I got to hang out with Eddie Vedder in Seattle.

How's he doing? I like Eddie Vedder. I just don't like some of the stuff he spawned, like Creed or Seven Mary Three. Actually, I don't like a lot of what GBV inspired, either [laughs].

You just sold a copy of 1992's Propeller for $6,200 on eBay. I didn't expect that. I was moving into a new house but couldn't get a bank loan. So I called this my ''f--- the bank'' sale.

If GBV were to play all of its officially released songs and each clocked in at two minutes, how long would the show run? A little over 17 hours.

Do you remember them all? Like, which of these is from Bee Thousand, as opposed to being a racehorse name?

1. ''Deathtrot and Warlock Riding a Rooster''

2. ''Crocker's Favorite Song''

3. ''Irish Bulldog Bail Out''

4. ''Hell Roaring Creek Strategy''

5. ''Buzzards and Dreadful Crows''

6. ''The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory''

7. ''A Big Fan of the Pigpen''

1, 2, 5, and 6. [Pollard falls to identify ''A Big Fan of the Pigpen'' as his song!]

Feeling sentimental yet? I'm tired of Guided by Voices as an entity. Gen. Robert E. Pollard has decided to surrender. I want to survey the carnage and see who the heroes and villains are.

Originally posted Dec 20, 2004 Published in issue #798 Dec 24, 2004 Order article reprints
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