Longtime guitarist Doug Gillard is preparing the release of his first solo album, "Salamander," due Oct. 19 on Pink Frost/Big Takeover Records.
With legendary indie-rock outfit Guided By Voices set to disband at the end of its current tour, longtime guitarist Doug Gillard is preparing the release of his first solo album, "Salamander," due Oct. 19 on Pink Frost/Big Takeover Records.
The disc will be the first release on the newborn label, run by Jack Rabid and Jeff Kelson of rock magazine "The Big Takeover." Pink Frost is distributed by Redeye.
Gillard has played with GBV since 1997 and has also released music with Cobra Verde, Gem, Lifeguards (with GBV frontman Robert Pollard) and as a solo artist (a 1999 EP under the moniker Malamute Jute). But the 14-track "Salamander" -- on which Gillard plays "pretty much everything" -- is the official full-length debut under his own name.
The set is highlighted by rollicking lead-off track "Valpolicella," the light and melodic "Going Back (To You)" and the choppy pop of "Fate, Say It Again."
"It was a work in progress for many months," Gillard tells Billboard.com of the album, which he recorded at a studio in Kent, Ohio, in between GBV tours. Gillard worked up most of the songs at his home studio, incubating some for years and writing others right before recording them. "I guess I just kind of realized one day that I've never had a full length album out under my own name," he says. "So I just decided it was high time. I'd waited too long already."
Gillard admits the end of Guided By Voices came as a surprise to band members, but everyone is comfortable with the decision. Pollard informed the group after they had finished recording its swan song, "Half-Smiles of the Decomposed" (Matador).
"Things were always going smoothly ... there was no strife within the band that precipitated that decision," Gillard says. "You know, Bob's just thinking about his own career and his life and just thought it was time to discontinue that name. And I don't blame him one bit, really. He wants to continue challenging himself."
Gillard plans to tour behind "Salamander," but first he has to fulfill GBV's Electrifying Conclusion tour, climaxing with a New Year's Eve blowout at Chicago's Metro. The guitarist says the group has been working up a large helping of older tracks, spicing them into the set lists for the home stretch.
"It's a good time," he notes. "The band's feeling a lot of love from people, and hopefully we're giving it back."