Guided By Voices Eyeing New Label For 'Plantation'

Seminal underground rock outfit Guided By Voices has parted ways with TVT after two albums and is negotiating with labels for the release of a new, already completed set, tentatively titled "From a Vo

Seminal underground rock outfit Guided By Voices has parted ways with TVT after two albums and is negotiating with labels for the release of a new, already completed set, tentatively titled "From a Voice Plantation." The group's perpetually revolving drum stool has spun again with the amicable exit of Jon McCann, who has been replaced by Kevin March (Dambuilders, Shudder To Think). March makes his live debut with GBV tonight (Feb. 22) in Bloomington, Ind.

The band recorded and self-produced more than a dozen songs for the new album late last year in its hometown of Dayton, Ohio, but recent sessions up the road in Kent, Ohio, yielded several additional tracks. The 19-track, 50-minute album touches on GBV's myriad musical personalities, from the heavy riffing of "Eureka Signs" and "Back to the Lake," to the brief, fragmentary "Love 1" and "Skin Parade." Two cuts feature backing by the Invert String Quartet.

At times, "Plantation" also returns to the more rough-hewn production style of revered albums such as "Alien Lanes" and "Bee Thousand." Frontman Robert Pollard tells Billboard.com that "it's kind of mid-fi again. It's crunchy. It's big, and the guitars sound good. In my opinion, it's more interesting because we did it [ourselves]. We took one song at a time. That was my approach, instead of going in and doing the basic tracks and then doing the vocals and overdubs. I think that allowed for more diversity than on the past couple of records."

Pollard hopes the set will see the light of day by June. The band has U.S. tour dates on tap through late April, including a previously announced March 3 stop at the 10th annual Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco. The track "Everywhere With Helicopter" will be featured on a two-disc Noise Pop compilation album, due March 11 from Amazing Grease. It will also be included on "From a Voice Plantation."

The ever-busy Pollard also has several other releases in the pipeline. "Life Starts Here," a second album with former GBV guitarist Tobin Sprout under the moniker Airport 5, was released earlier this month through Pollard's Fading Captain Series imprint. "Calling Zero," Pollard's collaboration with Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan as Go Back Snowball, is due Tuesday (Feb. 26) from Fading Captain. Pollard reports that a GBV box set, which would likely include one CD each of live recordings, out-of-print singles, unreleased material, and a DVD component, may see the light of day next year on an undetermined label.

"It's just ridiculous how much stuff we have," Pollard says with a hearty laugh. "My philosophy is, if you like to write and play music, why hold yourself back? I don't see it as being a diluting thing."

Here are Guided By Voices' tour dates:

Feb. 22: Bloomington, Ind. (Bluebird, w/ the Anniversary)
Feb. 23: Columbia, Mo. (Mojo's, w/ the Anniversary)
Feb. 24: Kansas City, Mo. (Hurricane, w/ the Anniversary)
Feb. 26: Boulder, Colo. (Fox Theatre, w/ Desaparacedos)
March 1: Anaheim, Calif. (House of Blues, w/ Preston School Of Industry)
March 2: Sacramento, Calif. (Colonial Theatre, w/ Pocket For Corduroy)
March 3: San Francisco (Bimbo's / Noise Pop Festival)
March 5: Seattle (Crocodile Cafe, w/ Visqueen)
March 6: Vancouver (Richard's on Richards, w/ the Battles)
March 9: Minneapolis (First Avenue)
March 10: Champaign, Ill. (High Dive, w/ Flashing Lights)
March 16: Dayton, Ohio (Dublin Pub, w/ Kentucky Overflow)
April 2: Grand Rapids, Mich. (Intersection, w/ Phantom Planet)
April 3: Detroit (Magic Stick, w/ Phantom Planet)
April 5: Cleveland (Beachland Ballroom, w/ Phantom Planet)
April 6: Buffalo, N.Y. (Continental, w/ Phantom Planet)
April 7: Syracuse, N.Y. (Armory High)
April 9: Brooklyn, N.Y. (Warsaw)
April 11: Lancaster, Pa. (Chameleon Club)
April 13: Baltimore (Recher Theatre)
April 14: Richmond, Va. (Alley Katz)
April 16: Carrboro, N.C. (Cat's Cradle)
April 17: Charleston, S.C. (Music Farm)
April 19: Athens, Ga. (40-Watt Club)
April 20: Nashville (Exit Inn)