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Guided By Voices
May 19, 2002

Indie cred abounds as Guided By Voices is in the radio.wazee spotlight with the first single from their new album on Matador "Universal Truths And Cycles," "Everywhere With Helicopter."

Schoolteacher Robert Pollard formed Guided by Voices in the early '80s. Throughout the group's history, Pollard was at the center, writing the majority of the songs and leading each incarnation of the band. During the '80s, his brother Jim, who continued to write songs for the group even after his departure in the late ‘80s, frequently joined Pollard. GbV didn't become a full-fledged band until guitarist Tobin Sprout and bassist Dan Toohey joined the group in 1985. The band released their first EP, "Forever Since Breakfast," a year later on Dayton, Ohio’s (the birthplace of aviation, by the way) local indie I Wanna Records.

During the latter half of the '80s, Guided by Voices was essentially a hobby. The band rarely performed, and a wide array of musicians appeared on the group's albums – according to some estimations, nearly 40 musicians passed through the band during its first decade.

Over the years, GbV released albums on various independent labels, but it wasn’t until they signed with Matador Records that they really earned widespread acclaim. 1994’s "Bee Thousand" was a surprise word-of-mouth hit, earning GbV a spot on the Lollapalooza Tour, glowing reviews in Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly and airplay (albeit scarce) on MTV. By this time, the group had also won fans like fellow Dayton native Kim Deal (Pixies, Breeders) and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore.

Pollard had only quit teaching shortly before the release of "Bee Thousand," and by the release of 1995's "Alien Lanes," the group had joined Matador Records’ official roster. The group embarked on its first full-scale American tour, and that fall, Pollard and group member Tobin Sprout both released solo albums on the same day. As the solo albums indicated, Pollard and Sprout had a falling out during the group's extensive tour earlier that year, which resulted in Robert firing the rest of the group. At the end of 1996, Pollard recorded the next Guided By Voices record, "Mag Earwhig," supported by the Cleveland garage-punk band Cobra Verde. After a jump to TVT records for 1999’s Ric Ocasek-produced "Do the Collapse" and 2001’s "Isolation Drills," GbV is back at Matador for "Universal Truths and Cycles," due June 18th.



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