Saturday, June 5, 2021

Best Magazine Reads: Robert Pollard of GBV in The Big Takeover

Now that Magnet Magazine seems to have finally been laid to rest, the best source for finding the best music is easily The Big Takeover. It recently had a massive two-part interview with my hero Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices. Here are some nuggets from part two, which had magazine staffers asking questions they’ve always wanted to ask the rock legend.

  • Pollard has released around 2,400 songs.
  • He was mostly into arena rock in the 1970s and didn’t become “enlightened” until late in the decade when he discovered bands like Wire and Devo.
  • Among his favorite record stores in the U.S., Pollard mentions St. Louis’s “the Euclid stores” and Planet Score.
  • Basketball was the favorite for the three-sport star.
  • His experience as a teacher translated to the stage in that he has to maintain energy and keep the kids in the audience excited and attentive for long periods of time.
  • He says he's too shy to ever do a solo acoustic guitar tour. He also notes that he was once the only guitarist in the band, in the 80s, which is interesting because he’s only been the singer on stage since the 90s.
  • He writes his songs and does his art collages in the dining room of his house.
  • Pollard’s favorite cover of one of his songs is Glen Campbell’s version of “Hold On Hope,” a tune Pollard says he didn’t even like much until Campbell changed his mind about it.
  • He became quickly disenchanted with his brush with a major label (TVT), which wouldn’t let him use his own art on the covers (he hated the art on those covers), forced his vocals to always be pitch perfect, and even told him (at 40 years old) to write songs about summer, cars, and girls.


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