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Voices Carry

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"I'm just going to keep cranking that stuff out. And you know, thing is, some of it's sloppy, some of it's experimental, but I like having that side still," continues Pollard. "My next solo record, I did it with [former GBVers] Greg Demos and Jim MacPherson, and we didn't even practice -- and it's really kind of complicated songs. So, it's sloppy: Drums come in late, and there are mistakes all over the place. But I kind of like that. That was, at one time, a trademark of Guided By Voices, that we just leave the mistakes in, you know? It's good to be able to do that, and it's good to be able to move on in a more professional direction with Guided By Voices."

GBV's ultimate direction has, in recent years, been the subject of much speculation. After all -- the pundits wonder -- how long can a man in his mid-40s continue to barnstorm the country, playing three-hour sets, drinking, dancing, singing and performing with all the vitality of a young, mike-twirling Roger Daltrey? These days, Pollard, who has admitted to "thinking about breaking up the band several times" over the last half-decade, says he's more committed than ever.

"I don't really want to [break up GBV] now. I want to keep going as long as I can, as long as I'm physically able. I don't know how much longer we'll be able to continue to play live, but I still feel good, I'm still healthy and as long as that holds out . . ." he says, trailing off.

If the last couple years have taught Pollard anything, it's that making art is not without its sacrifices. Whatever losses he might have incurred, with GBV's continuing success, Pollard has managed to keep a large part of himself and his life intact; his voice is full of affection and reverie when speaking about his relationship with his bandmates -- a brotherhood and a bond forged by fire.

"We're solid, this is the most solid lineup we've ever had, and also it's the best chemistry we've had. We get along really well . . . we're a family," says Pollard pointedly. "We've all had things happen to our personal lives, so we have to be -- we have to rely on each other."

"I don't want that to end."

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Bob Mehr
Contact: Bob Mehr