The prolific Dayton rockers will probably record and release a new album in the time it takes you to read this
The new record by Guided by Voices, August by Cake, is said to be Bob Pollard's 100th studio album and his first double LP. Over the course of those 100 releases, Doug Gillard's name pops up frequently.
Gillard, a Sandusky native, grew up playing in punk bands, and in the 1980s he was a founding member of influential Cleveland post-punk trio Death of Samantha, led by John Petkovic, who also recruited Gillard to play guitar in his 1990s band Cobra Verde.
Down in Dayton, Pollard was a fan of Death of Samantha, and after Guided by Voices' original lineup split, Cobra Verde became GBV's backing band, resulting in 1997's classic Mag Earwhig! (Gillard wrote album standout “I am a Tree”). For the next several years, Gillard continued collaborating with Pollard on Guided by Voices releases, along with side projects billed as Lifeguards.
Guided by Voices' lineup has changed frequently over the years, and last summer Gillard was invited to join ranks again. The revamped lineup — Pollard, guitarist Gillard, guitarist Bobby Bare Jr., drummer Kevin March and bassist Mark Shue — will bring its current tour to Skully's Music-Diner on Friday, April 28. DTCV, featuring one-time GBV bassist (and now Columbus resident) Jim Greer and local hero Kyle Sowash, opens the show.
For August by Cake's 32 tracks, Gillard said that Pollard asked each member to come up with two songs. The bulk of the tracks were recorded as a band in New York.
“Bob writes differently depending on who's in the band,” Gillard said by phone. “He kind of tailors the songs he writes. Sometimes he feels like he doesn't have the freedom to write certain types of songs depending on who's in the band. That's when he tends to have a lot of solo projects and things with other musicians coming out. I think he feels now, with this lineup, he doesn't really need to have a lot of other side projects. He doesn't really have that desire because he has everything he needs in this band.”
Gillard is no stranger to Columbus, having played long-gone Stache's with Death of Samantha a couple of times. He also played a birthday party in the basement of Bernie's in 1998 with Guided by Voices. But even before that, as a teen in growing up in northeast Ohio, Gillard traveled down to Columbus for two special shows: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' first-ever U.S. tour, which stopped at Stache's, and a Cocteau Twins show at Newport Music Hall.
Gillard also plays guitar in Nada Surf, and, using unfinished song fragments of Scott Miller, founder of Bay Area power-pop band Game Theory, Gillard wrote a track for Miller's forthcoming posthumous release, Supercalifragile.
And, as always, Pollard has new material on the way. Gillard said the band already has demos for another record. Look for it sometime this year.