Guided by Voices are planning to split after releasing and promoting their new album, Half Smiles of the Decomposed, later this summer.
“I’ve always said that when I make a record that I’m totally satisfied with as befitting a final album, then that will be it,” frontman Robert Pollard wrote in a Web post. “And this is it. I love the guys in the band, but I’m getting too old to be a gang leader.”
Pollard became that gang leader in 1985 when he was a fourth-grade schoolteacher. With guitarist Mitch Mitchell and drummer Kevin Fennell, he formed Guided by Voices, playing in local bars in Dayton, Ohio. A prolific songwriter, Pollard inked material for numerous albums, EPs and other releases starting with 1987’s Devil Between My Toes. More than twenty musicians would be included in GBV’s fold in its nineteen years, as the group found a bigger following in the Nineties, allowing Pollard to quit his teaching job in 1994.
Last year, GBV issued a new studio album, Earthquake Glue, along with Human Amusements at Hourly Rates, a single-disc compilation, and the 129-song, five-CD/one-DVD Hardcore UFOs box set.
Half Smiles will be the group’s fifteenth long player and is due August 24th. Pollard, who has released several albums under his own name and with other non-GBV ensembles, plans to continue working as a solo artist. “There’s a sense of maturity, and even integrity, I think, in continuing as one’s self,” he wrote.