Guided By Voices' Leader And Back-Up Band Part Ways

Cobra Verde react to news that Bob Pollard was considering a new lineup by leaving first.

Guided By Voices' leader Robert Pollard and the group that he enlisted to fill

out the most recent Guided By Voices lineup, Cobra Verde, will not work

together on the next GBV

album, and in all likelihood will never play together again as a group,

according to Cobra Verde guitarist John Petkovic.

Cobra Verde, the Cleveland, Ohio-based quartet, which GBV leader

Pollard recruited to record and tour for his latest album Mag Earwhig

have broken ties with the singer/songwriter, following remarks he made recently

to Addicted To Noise

"[see Oct. 21 edition, Music News Of The World]" that he was

considering using other musicians for his next album, Petkovic added.

"I don't think any of us have a problem with the outcome of what happened, but

we wish that it would have been done in a more upfront, friendly manner,"

Petkovic said of the decision, which came within the past two weeks just as GBV

was finishing the last leg of their tour.

Pollard would not comment on the breakup.

"Bob is working on putting together a new lineup, with tentative plans to

include Breeders drummer Jim MacPherson," said

Paul Sommerstein, at Matador, GBV's label, confirming the breakup.

Pollard, the mastermind behind GBV who has been touring with Cobra Verde on and

off for the past year, told Addicted To

Noise in October that he was mulling the possibility of using other

musicians when he goes into the studio next year to record some

30 to 40 songs he has already written.

After reading about Pollard's plans, following GBV's Oct. 20 gig at Bimbo's 365

Club in San Francisco, the members of Cobra Verde confronted Pollard, Petkovic

said. "It was all kind of strange," he said. "In an unstated way it all just

fell apart. We had heard about [Pollard's comments] before we played the

Columbus (Ohio)

show, and it was on our minds then. None of us wanted to play Chicago."

Prior to that Petkovic said the band played a show in L.A. that went off without a

hitch. The members took a red eye back to Ohio, where they learned about

Pollard's potential plans to work with other musicians. The band's show at

Chicago's Metro, scheduled for last Saturday, was canceled abruptly.

The group performed its last show with Pollard the day before in Columbus,

Ohio. However, according to Matt Sweeney,

Pollard's friend who's played bass with GBV for years, Cobra Verde guitarist

Doug Gillard, who wrote a song on

Mag Earwhig, may continue to work with Pollard in the future.

"Bob, I know, had wanted to continue working with Doug," Sweeney said. "And I

know Doug was interested in the same."

Petkovic, as well as Cobra Verde bassist Don Dupew and drummer Dave Swanson no

longer figure into the GBV equation,

however, he added.

GBV has been through numerous lineup changes since its formation in 1983.

Pollard is the only

remaining original member of the Ohio-based band. In that time, GBV have put out

10 full-length LPs and numerous EPs,

filled with their trademark short but gritty power pop tunes.

Though he said he was considering working with other musicians "to keep

things fresh," Pollard, according to Petkovic, had already approached the

members of Cobra Verde with material for his new album. "Bob had recorded all

the songs for the new album on his eight-track and had given us the tapes so

we could learn them," he said. "We had a block of studio time reserved in late

November to record them."

In reaction to the split, GBV's label Matador held fast to its stance

that GBV has always consisted of Robert Pollard and various support musicians.

A press release issued by Matador Records' representative Nils Bernstein was

simply cut and pasted from an official statement dated Sept. 15, 1996, when

Pollard left his previous lineup, which included Tobin Sprout. "Contrary to

Internet rumors,

Guided By Voices has not broken up," the statement read. "Since 1983 Guided

By Voices has been (and will continue to be) Bob Pollard, joined by a cast of

excellent musicians."

Bernstein further explained "It's all part of the GBV pattern," and added that

future touring and recording collaborations between Pollard and the members

of Cobra Verde "remains up in the air."

However, Petkovic said he doubts his group will work with Pollard again.

"GBV is [Pollard's] thing, and that's fine with me," he said. "I'm not ashamed of

anything we did musically. I think we did what we needed to do to make the

songs sound good. The record was as collaborative as possible."

Petkovic said the members of Cobra Verde are

ready to put the past behind them and concentrate fully on their upcoming album. "All I can think about is getting our record done," he said. "I haven't

thought of the future of GBV at all, really."

The new album, in the final mix down stages, features collaborations from

longtime-Tom Waits horn player Ralph Carney, and will run the gamut "from film

noir atmosphere, to spaghetti western starkness," Petkovic said.

"Look," he concluded, "I live my life according to a very simple philosophy:

Always be constructive; never be deconstructive. What happened, happened.

It's done, and I'm ready to move on."

According to a Matador's Bernstein, Pollard has already returned to the studio

to begin recording tracks to Mag Earwhig's follow-up.

Color="#720418"> [Thurs., Nov. 6, 1997, 9:00 a.m. PST]