Guided by Voices Drop a New Video for “5 ° on the Inside”
When one thinks “Dayton, Ohio” one does not often think “trumpets” — but that’s exactly what you get in a new video for “5 ° on the Inside,” the opening track of Robert Pollard’s hundredth release: Guided by Voices’ sprawling, celebratory August by Cake. The brass blares triumphantly as the camera pans over footage of Pollard’s native Dayton. Then he wails, “The city of oil!”
“On Bob’s demo, he sang the trumpet part,” the band’s guitarist Doug Gillard says. “His specific instructions to us were, ‘I want a trumpet here.’” And trumpets he would have. Gillard called in his pal Dennis Cronin and power pop’s beer-soaked, microphone-swinging king got his coronation.
Pollard was born and raised in Dayton. He attended Northridge High School, where he was a sports star — and later became a school teacher to make ends meet, playing in bands on the side with former classmates like Kevin Fennell and Mitch Mitchell. Along with that duo, Pollard formed what would become Guided by Voices, becoming an unlikely rock star in that unlikely locale: Dayton, a drab everytown that’s on full display in the video featuring “5 ° on the Inside.” The video, directed by frequent GBV collaborator and friend Mike Postalakis, is a home movie of sorts — a kind of “this is your life” that also encompasses local spots such as Sammy’s Fuel Mart, Marion’s Piazza and Main Drive Thru. The video also features Ohio musician Kyle Sowash chugging beers and GBV pal/photographer Matt Davis and his son mugging with Pollard’s records.
Pollard still resides and records in Dayton today; the video gives us a tour of Pollard’s Rockathon Records warehouse and a peek at his extensive back catalogue. A sampling: Boston Spaceships, Ricked Wicky, Teenage Guitar, Circus Devils and, of course, Guided by Voices, which boasts more than twenty albums (including August by Cake).
Gillard was hunkered down in Dayton when he spoke with us earlier this week, buckling down to rehearse with Pollard and the band for their upcoming spring tour (members also rehearsed in New York earlier this month — a kind of warm-up for the warm-up). And we’re guessing they need all the practice they can get; GBV shows often last three hours with a set list of upwards of forty songs, even when they’re not in support of thirty-two-track album. Despite their impressive length, however, they’re often rowdy, happy affairs where diehard fans can get drunk in the pit without even buying a drink (Bob is generous with his onstage liquor supply). “We love our fans,” Gillard says. “Some of them travel city to city to see us play.”
And this record should afford fans to see a new side of the band, as each member (Gillard, bassist Mark Shue, drummer Kevin March, guitarist Bobby Bare, Jr.) contributed two or three of their own songs to the mix — a first for GBV. The band has famously featured a revolving cast of members over the years; past GBV heavy Tobin Sprout put out a stellar album titled The Universe & Me in early 2017, for one.
“We didn’t plan it this way, but each one of us also played drums on our own songs,” Gillard says. “We all pretty much played everything on our own songs. Some songs Bob had recorded in Dayton, Ohio, and the rest we recorded as a band in New York. It’s a very diverse record in that way.”
You’ll have to wait a few more weeks to hear the rest (there are more trumpets!), but, in the meantime, hit repeat on the video below — and maybe consider giving Dayton a visit.
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