Early on, I made it my goal that if my music were ever recognized in any way, I would want it to lure people into my world, the way music has affected me in the past, like when I first heard R.E.M., and there was the mystery of the South, with the kudzu growing over everything, and the people. It made me want to go down there and experience it myself. There was a sort of magic to it. So I wanted to incorporate what it was like to live here in the Midwest, in Dayton, where there’s really nothing to do but drink and watch airplanes. I wanted to convey the mundane nature of the place. It’s restrictive in a way but it’s also what keeps me here. It’s what keeps me coming back here. There’s a comfort in it. I’ve thought about living in New York City or Austin, but I know I could never do it. I’ve got too many people here that provide me with ideas. I mean, I’ve always been more interested in creating alternate worlds rather than literal ones. I feel like there’s a spiritual component to that as well. I write about these alternate worlds that I believe might exist, but I’m also doubtful.
Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices, interviewed in 2004 for The Believer. This interview is featured in Confidence Or The Appearance Of Confidence, an forthcoming collection of Believer conversations with musicians.
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