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."
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