First/Last-Guided By Voices

September 14, 2012

In 2009, Robert Pollard reunited the “classic era” (1993-1996) Guided By Voices line-up for Matador Records’ 21st anniversary and a short tour: Tobin Sprout (guitar) “Mitch” Mitchell (guitar), Greg Demos (bass) and Kevin Fennel (drums), who recorded GBV’s ground-breaking lo-fi album, Bee Thousand, which has heralded as the #1 All Time Greatest Indie Rock Album. Following sold out shows and fantastic performances, Pollard took the band into the studio to record Let’s Go Eat The Factory, which was released in January, 2012 to tremendous acclaim: iTunes Single of the Week, iTunes featured album, David Letterman TV show appearance, NPR Exclusive First Listen, Rolling Stone Magazine Playlist, covers of Magnet and Ghettoblaster magazine. In June, GBV will be releasing yet another new album, which ups the ante with the standout singles, “Keep It In Motion” and “Class Clown Spots A UFO”.

The ‘GBV Reunion Tour’ finally hits Pittsburgh tomorrow night at Smalls. My thanks to guitarist Tobin Sprout for participating in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?

I don’t remember the first album, but the first single I bought was The Beatles with Tony Sheridan’s, “My Bonnie” w/ B-Side “The Saints (When The Saints Go Marching In)”. I got it at a drug store on Far Hills in Oakwood! My Grandfather gave me my first album introducing the Beatles. He got it as a door prize at Rotary!

Your last album bought?

Paul McCartney, “RAM” (vinyl mono version). It always reminds me of our family vacations to Cedar Rest in East Jordon, MI. I really like some bands in mono, like The Beach Boys. They seem to blend better in Mono.

Favorite album of all time?

I don’t have an all-time favorite.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?

…or a least favorite.

First concert attended?

Grand Funk Railroad. They seemed to be in town a lot.

Last concert?

Guided By Voices in Nelsonville, OH. Just a few miles from Ohio U, where I went to school.

Favorite concert ever?

Elton John on the ‘Yellow Brick Road’ tour, at the height of glam. He changed outfits every three or four songs.

Least favorite concert?

Don’t have one.

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?

Really looking forward to the show. LOVE Pittsburgh!

Thanks, Tobin. If I remember right, the last time GBV was scheduled to play Pittsburgh was at Rosebud in 2001 with My Morning Jacket opening. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled and I am really glad you finally re-scheduled.

Update: I stand corrected! According to my man Weird Paul, you guys last played Pittsburgh July 21st, 2002 at Rosebud.