Robert Pollard: Voice of Reason

By Michael Alan Goldberg
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jun. 15, 2011

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These days, what makes a show particularly special or memorable for you—playing the songs well, your connection with the crowd and their response, your connection with the other guys in the band, or something else?

I’d say the crowd. You have to have that response, that energy to feed on. If you don’t get that, you almost become self-conscious. Like, “They’re not diggin’ us.” There has to be a good vibe in the room.

When you speak to fans after shows, what do they want to know about you? Are there a couple questions that you get more than any others?

Yeah, like, “Will you do a shot with me?” Or, “What are you listening to or reading?” Or, “Why do you drink Miller Lite?”

What’s the question you wish a fan or journalist would ask you but they never do?

“Why did you dye your hair for a year or two? Why did you stop dying your hair?”

What aspect of your evolution as a songwriter or musician over your career are you the most proud of?

That somehow it never gets old. Making music always makes me happy, and I don’t think it’s gotten stagnant or stale. Some may disagree and some may not. The fact remains that I keep kickin’ it out.

As a former pitcher, what’s your assessment of the current Phillies starting staff, which many consider the best pitching staff ever assembled?

Well, I don’t see how you can lose a game except for some fluke. It’s not really fair. It’s nice to have a lot of money, I guess. I’m jealous.

Are there enough hours in the day?

Elvis said he wished there were more than 24, so I guess not. Perhaps we need 25 or 26, maybe that would keep us happy.

Guided By Voices perform Fri., June 17, 6:30pm. $29.50. With Wavves. Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing, 301 S. Columbus Blvd. 215.923.0387.

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Being Frank With Guided by Voices
By Michael Alan Goldberg

When we heard the news earlier this year that legendary Ohio indie-rock/power-pop band Guided by Voices—led by the prolific Robert Pollard—were reuniting its mid-’90s “classic lineup” and coming to Philadelphia, we knew we’d need to speak to sports journalist Reuben Frank.