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Self-Inflicted Aural Nostalgia
Bonus Episode // Adam Shore
June 24, 2018 A Fan's Guided By Voices Podcast

Bonus Episode // Adam Shore

Adam Shore, the man who signed GBV to TVT, talks about working with the band, getting kicked out of the Pine Club, and why going to see the band play live is like going to church. 

Adam Shore, the man who signed GBV to TVT, talks about working with the band, getting kicked out of the Pine Club, and why going to see the band play live is like going to church. 

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:05Welcome to a special bonus episode of self-inflicted aural nostalgia. In this episode I talk to Adam shore. He was the Asian Art executive who signed it Guided By Voices to TVT Records in the late 90s while on the label the band produced two of their best records due the collapse and Isolation Drills. Adam tells me about the band's time on the label what it was like to go from being a fan to working with the band and why sing TBP live. It's like going to church. Here's our talk. I'm speaking with Adam Schor the NRA executive who signed a Guided By Voices to TVT Records.

Speaker 2:0:41Adam thank you so much for your time. Thank you. So I think you begin your career TvT and then went to vice. All told.

Speaker 3:0:49How long were you in an hour today an hour for about ten years.

Speaker 2:0:54Wow that seems like a pretty cool job. How do you how is that something that people get into.

Speaker 4:1:01When I was at TvT I was hired to I was hired right out of college to be a publicist mom and I did Blissett at TvT for way too long much longer than I was happy for the. I wound up being a help to transition from publicity at TvT to product management which is the marketing job where you lead and coordinate the marketing of an album. Sure. So working with the radio apartment in the art department in the advertising department and coordinating all the efforts. So I did that for a while and as when I first started it TvT it was only about 10 people and when I left there were at least 110. So the company really fast and as it grew. There were a lot of opportunities for me to expand when I was doing so I started in publicity. I then did product management for a while then we then we launched our first Web site because this was back in the 90s.

Speaker 4:2:06And I helped put that together. Then we started launching internationally. So I helped open up our records internationally and then I started doing an hour and it was my doing in or there was kind of funny because I certainly signed the fewest artists probably of anyone who's ever done an R or the label job. I was I wound up but I wound up at TvT. I wound up being responsible for about 30 records. But I did a lot of the you know TvT started as a company that made compilations of television theme songs. I did I did nine of those I did compilations reissues I did soundtracks. So I wound up doing. You know we did leave cable deals. We had a label deal with Cuba label deal with Snoop Dogg. I was the liaison between those records. So I wound up working on a lot of records.

Speaker 5:3:11But I was only able to sign two bands I signed Brian Jonestown Massacre and guided by voices and that was it.

Speaker 2:3:20But they were two of my you know two of my favorite bands in the world so I was feel really lucky to be able to work with them once before we start talking about Gaev where there are some other bands who kind of got away that you really wanted to sign but just couldn't for some reason.

Speaker 3:3:38The truth is I was really busy activity working on all these other projects so I think that you know I think people's perception of Aidar is like you know you're you're out of in the clubs you're talking to artists all the time you're stumbling upon new bands that's just not the way it was. My I was working at my desk 12 hours a day putting together these records. And you know I don't I only really you know I I I there were probably only two artists that I was really really kind of forceful about about really wanting to sign and those were those two bands.

Speaker 2:4:24So and So how did you first hear GPB. How did they come in your book. What was the first thing that you heard you saw or heard of them.

Speaker 5:4:33It was probably the press that came around the vampire and Titus propellor two fer that came out on CD at the time.

Speaker 3:4:43And just by reading about it it it sounded like everything that I love in music all in one band and I got that record and was pretty obsessed by it. And then the first time I saw them was on the insects of rock tour which was their parody of the mosque. Sure sure. And it was at this art gallery called thread waxing space in New York.

Speaker 4:5:09And I just I just like you know I just kind of lost my mind at the show and I continue to see them every single time they played New York. And literally at one time at the show at a show show at tramp's it was during the not in my air force tour I guess Bob did his first kind of Nadji TV tour. And and and I. And he said from the stage that they had just left the matador and I remember thinking to myself like wait a minute. I do way and are like I I should try to see what's going on here. And so I found I found her manager was David Newgarden. Sure. And within you know two or three weeks we know I had the do the collapse album which they had you know binge shopping around I guess to a couple of labels. And I just loved it so much.

Speaker 3:6:13And the label was you know is really the label is run by a guy named Steve Gottlieb who is a pretty notorious figure in music and not really a role model for anybody. And he Key did not you know he didn't really think that that was a sort of band that he wanted to have on the label that you know they were old and you know they were niche and you know he wanted things that were could have a wider reach. And I kept pressing him and pressing him on on listening to the music and spending time with the music and I wrote him long e-mails about who they are and what they mean and how how they really are like you know a 40 year history of rock music all condensed into one. And how the story is just the most incredible story I had heard where it's the band who you know it made seven records in their basement that no one ever heard. Now finally we're having notoriety and he did quit his job after 14 years and there is this incredible live band and I mean I just thought everything was the most undeniable.

Speaker 5:7:25I can't see why we wouldn't do it.

Speaker 6:7:28And he kept not being interested in not being interested. And then one day right before Christmas I I made him a CD of just the song Hold on hope. Wow. And I said I said I think this song is a hit let me know what you think. And it was amazing because I guess that means he never really listened to the collapse in it. In a close enough way because over the holiday he called me and he said Cool made that song that song the hit I was like guided by voices that I talked to you about all the time and he's like All right I think we should do this. Wow.

Speaker 2:8:09And so that's how we wound up signing the band music and I want to talk about hope in a second too because that's kind of a controversial song for the band. So I want to get into the history of that then what was that appropriate like in history in the time because like in 1994 there were like everywhere right there on MTV the road the stories there were the underdogs and there's a lot of competition to get them had that cool down by 97 98 when you started getting involved. What was their sort of profile like.

Speaker 3:8:40I mean you know cool down in a way. I mean I suppose they never reached that kind of like you know critical acclaim again as the beat I was an alien LNS time but under the bushes is an incredible record and Mager was is awesome in that band was so much better as a live band I thought that the band that came before. And they were still you know especially. It's hard for me to kind of gauge their their draw and their and they're following all around the country. But in New York City they had such a diehard fan base where they could just come here every few months and play three hour show and be incredible and get drunk and the audience would get drunk and everybody would sing every word I mean it was really the kind of you know whether Mager wig was like you know maybe maybe they were starting to kind of settle into just being a cop and that they are but they were still just a live phenomenon and just had so many songs that were so incredible. So I never felt that at all I just felt and then not a major force came out and I just thought that was amazing. And you know I mean you know it was just to me it was just like I just couldn't understand why people wouldn't want to sign up within so from an industry perspective so you get a great perspective you you're a true fan.

Speaker 2:10:11If you got into them in 93 or whatever that's about as early as you could and then you're also in the industry. How do you think. What do you think that Matador did or didn't do for the band do you think to handle them well. Do you think they miss some opportunities.

Speaker 3:10:24The only thing that I mean you know I mean I it seems to me everything they did was right because you know the records came out and the and you know the the the Latino the tureen grew and grew. But what I learned from from when I first talked to David Newgarden God above voices at the time was that Matador had made clear to Bob that they felt like he was releasing too much singing and that you know they there that consumers can't keep up and it would be smarter in their in a career move to do two to slow down the pace. But what was interesting was that they weren't really excited about letting Bob put out records on his own. So I thought that would have been the perfect solution. Matador gets the guy to buy voices records Bob releases whatever else he wants under whatever name he wants on his own.

Speaker 3:11:28But Matador did not want to do that. And that's an understandable record label position. I don't think that's completely unfair but it just didn't really fit this one particular songwriter. The only other artist that I I had signed to TNT was Brian Jonestown Massacre which is a similar sort of situation where the it's really a band that's led by one person who is an incredibly prolific songwriter. And at that time everything was was it was just gold and. And we also you know we didn't want to limit him. But what we were able to offer or Bob was that we would put out Guided by Voices records and other records that he wanted to do on his own. He would be welcome to put out on his own. And I guess that became sort of the offer that Bob was really looking for more than anything. Sure. And that's and that's what we did.

Speaker 2:12:32And then sort of looking back so you obviously you feel differently the matador about that exposed material and that didn't make a difference for you guys in terms of sales or you know getting reviews or getting press. Did everyone at TvT share that opinion that Bob was welcome to do anything you wanted on the side as long as you guys got the GPB stuff.

Speaker 3:12:50Yeah that was that was part of the deal from day one. And what was really gratifying for me was that once the band was signed to TVT how much the staff at TvT just loved them like I think it was kind of this moment where everywhere all were all the record labels you kind of have two different types of people. Goes probably still now across the board. There's your kind of clock punchers who are in it for the job. They like music but you know they're they're not. And there's the ellipsis of music fans and the music fans at at TvT I think they finally were able to say like wow this is like this is a band that we love that we just love like I think a lot of the bands were banned today. You know I needed to work and they were the ones you signed and that was the label was putting out but this was a band where it seemed like everybody was like just so elated that they had a band that you could really really love. And so the enthusiasm was really there from the beginning. And when we launched the due to the collapse campaign it was you know it was as big and as robust and as well financed as any record that TvT had put out.

Speaker 2:14:08One time it's like that in a second but we're sort of staying on the subject of Pollard and all his side projects and stuff. So now you guys had a first look option on the solo with a side project stuff beginning into those records in the mail like night walker and LIXO and libbers and thinking you know maybe we could put in. Was that ever considered to try to do more than just the DBP stuff.

Speaker 3:14:29No I mean you know I mean the by the time you know Pops was done when we received it and we put it out. And then you know as you can imagine not long after that we started getting the demos for what became Isolation Drills so the there really was never a feeling that we were missing out on stuff like we were just doing the job onto the collapse and the second that was done. We started setting up Isolation Drills. Sure.

Speaker 2:14:56So getting back to signing the band I know you went to the right to meet with them and then who did. Oh yeah I went because there wasn't really a band at the time and this was after the major leagues so those guys were gone. Who did you meet with. What was that like.

Speaker 3:15:10Right. I went right to Bob's house and sat and sat in his kitchen where he writes songs every morning. You know he explained to me his process that he wakes up and kids go to school and he sits in his house in his robe and he drinks coffee and he sits at the kitchen table and he just write songs. It's incredible. And then we what else do we do. We know he drove in his car and we went. Well first we went to a drive thru liquor store which is the first time I've ever seen anything like that before.

Speaker 7:15:50And the band.

Speaker 5:15:52And I guess and then I guess we went to the to the monument club which his is that do you know my chronology better than me.

Speaker 8:16:04I know that had to because this to do about it but I think he went to a very nice restaurant called the wine club and you guys got kicked out.

Speaker 3:16:11We did you know God bless the pipeline club was like that was written in the liner notes and I asked him what that was. And yeah he was he was really excited to take me to the nicest restaurant of the day. And we. Well I mean I guess like you know in retrospect what happened was it seems like you know from my from my understanding you know Bob is you know he drinks to get over his own nerves and self consciousness. I I've definitely you know I I've worked with a lot of addicts in my life and I assume that maybe under some definition you know Bob has some issues with with with alcohol. Better to hang out with him was hard. He would never drink certainly never drink when he was writing and working and in the video. He was only drinking right before he gets on stage.

Speaker 3:17:07Kind of kill those nerves. And I guess maybe that night he drank Toronto lot because he was a little rambunctious tanned. And I don't know you know he told me later that it was because he was sort of nervous because I was the label guy and like I was nervous the whole time because I'm the biggest Guided by Voices fan and I'm you know I have a date like hanging out with Bob and driving around in his car and like going to his restaurant. So it was just incredible. But I do remember that he really did get kicked out of the of the pine club before we got to eat and he wound up being too drunk to drive home. So a friend drove him home and he asked me if I would take his car back to his house. And I got into his car and drove it home and Hailey and a cassette of Alien Lanes was in the tape deck. Wow. And I just loved that. Wow that's awesome.

Speaker 3:18:10So the only other real recollection I have of you know it was only the second band I signed right to us and ask here was a very easy signed theme Guided By Voices had like a much more professional manager and a much more professional lawyer. And I was a relatively unprofessional and our person and I had just seen in record labels that how long the contract process takes you know you get a contract and you sit on it for a while and and you mark it up and send it to a lawyer and they sit on it for a while and they mark it up and it goes back and forth and no one actually has a conversation. And I I tried to create a scenario where I brought their manager their lawyer and our lawyer and our president of the company in a room together and the five of us would bust out the contract in real time. And that's actually what we wound up doing. But it wound up being a pretty miserable variance for everybody and the lawyers did because they couldn't they couldn't be all passive aggressive and they had to actually talk to each other. And and we wound up doing the deal pretty much that day and then all those lawyers and the manager said to me never ever again would we ever do something like that which I've never seen happened since.

Speaker 2:19:34I like it. You're getting done. So speaking of the managers and stuff in it that one of the things mandatory drug Coslett complained about was not being able to deal with Bob directly there was always a layer of management between him and that main creative force of the man on the ongoing relationship for you. What was it like were you able to deal more or less with Bob did you go through the manager did you feel that that was a hindrance for what you needed to get from the band and the guys.

Speaker 3:19:57Yeah I mean I know that Matador GEP certainly has you know when they started the label you know the kind of band they signed did really have. So everybody everything was a direct relationship with the with the label. Then once the whole what's the hole in the rock industry started to get more professional that they always felt that managers were a hindrance. But the truth is like that is the case sometimes but sometimes the management really is helpful. And it's true that I didn't have a direct daily connection to Bob because Bob didn't use e-mail.

Speaker 3:20:33And so you know that's really the way you know it's you know I didn't really have a lot of reasons just talk to him on the phone about things you know they were he was very professional and prolific and Kate you know gave us music all the time so and gave us approvals all the time. So there was really nothing that was a hindrance. And I actually found working with David Newgarden to be incredibly helpful Dave was a great manager and and worked well within our system. And we got along great. So no I never had any of those problems at all.

Speaker 2:21:08So you guys so they had to do the collapse in the can ready to go when it got when when you guys signed him. Did you have to make. Did you want to make. Were there any suggestions made to the record in terms of song choice or song content or was it just use the sounds great let's you know this would be the first record.

Speaker 3:21:26Yeah this was it. I mean to me. To me there wasn't. It's true that maybe a more professional title and our person would have wanted to put his or her fingerprints on the record. I mean I didn't think it was. I didn't really think it was my place. They had been doing this for you know 15 years. They know what they want. Also you know it was you know Rick Ocasek produced it. Bob is a Bob takes sequinned seemed incredibly seriously. And to me it was just a finished package it was mastered and ready to go. Wow. That was their record they want to add and they didn't really seem to be an opening or a reason for us to to know. You know have any feelings otherwise. And also I think the fact that Rick Ocasek produced it gave the label of it kind of like a sigh of relief you know it was the first time that the band had really worked with a professional producer like that. And he was a pretty inspired choice and certainly the production on the collapse was a much bigger more professional studio production and all the records that came before. So no we were all we were really happy with the album.

Speaker 2:22:49Awesome. So let's talk hold hope so it's a real point of contention among fans. Pollard says it's as big as music and some critics really pounced on its being like the sell out song. I personally think it's a great song. But like so it sounds like this is what actually got them signed to the label and what you're dealing with the band. How was what was their feeling about this being like you know that song.

Speaker 3:23:11You know there was some pushback from them they didn't want to first and foremost it was obvious to everybody that teenage FBI was the single OK. So that was we knew that that was this ought to go out on. They felt the same way. So we launched the campaign which is FBI. It is you know it didn't really get us on alternative radio. I think like we hoped but then at the same time even though we were a very big independent label you know we're still an independent label there's not a lot of spots for independent labels on alternative radio there's not a lot of spots for indie artists Alternative Radio. So you know I think I think everybody was a little disappointed that we weren't able to get the band over that hump. So I'm not even sure what the perception of the band was but I know internally we really thought that we had a chance on the song.

Speaker 3:24:05It definitely you know it got them on you know. You know we got MTV and you know we got all the special shows that we did great call and the album did incredible at college. And we certainly like you know helped grow or continue or build Guided by Voices or it's not like we put out the record and they know it was a stumble. But you know now it was time for the second single and that was when Steve Gottlieb the president of the company thought that now it's time to really do hold on hope the right way. There wasn't any pushback from the band otherwise you know that was the plan. I think Bob did always have a love hate feeling about that song but even he knew that it wasn't incredibly well done song. I mean he wrote it. You know I mean his rug.

Speaker 3:25:00And it's an incredibly effective song. And Rick did a great job on the production. But the what happened was was that at the time there were two singles. Remixers that pretty much owned alternative and are radio and if you had if you had one of those two guys doing a kind of radio mix of your song then you had a much better chance of the song being a hit. And so we cleared that out with the band. They were okay with letting him blinking on his name of who was the remixer. But he he you know Bob in the band and David were okay with us giving it a shot with this remixer the remixer did a more kind of radio version of it where there's more compression and you raise levels and you know you kind of make it so it can slot better into in between other songs on the radio.

Speaker 3:26:05He also brought in John Bryant who you know was not as a household name at the time and John Brian played Chamberlain on it and added an extra musical line to the song when it made it again like sound fuller and more like it would fit on the radio. That was not something the band was excited about and ultimately is the band's decision over what we release and so we played these radio versions to the band and through management we found out that Bob was incredibly unhappy with the mixes and did not want us to release them well and have never seen the light.

Speaker 2:26:58I don't think I've ever stumbled across him.

Speaker 3:27:02No they don't I don't. They have not. And then what happened was is that you know when I went back to Steve Leeb and said listen I tried I did everything I could. The band and management are not happy with these. They are happy to have us really song. We should just go to radio with the album version. And Steve Gottlieb said there is not a chance I'm doing that. I've invested too much in this band. I'm going to release the singles this single all the way with this remix. You have to get their permission. He said Where is the band. Go talk to them tonight. And I said the band is in Manchester England. And he said get on the next plane. Wow. So I did and that plane you go there. So I get on that plane and it's before a show and they know I'm coming in and their guards are up and.

Speaker 3:28:03And we saw we went to a pub and you know it was the the the five guys in the band. And me and I was waged into the corner of a booth and the five of them were circled around me and I made as persuasive an argument as I could. And it was hard for me because you know I I really I truly believe that we should be doing what is best for the band. And I think that the one piece of criticism that I kept getting as an eight hour person and I think this is a pretty common thing what they are people across the board like to the label. I was another person in the band and to the band I was a suit at the label. Sure you're them you know. I think I was the man that the guy and our people are always that way. And I made as persuasive that I could probably not persuasive enough because I felt outnumbered. I felt a little intimidated and I felt not really incredibly secure in the argument that I was trying to make.

Speaker 7:29:13And they got almost belligerent.

Speaker 3:29:21I would say they were there. They were furious that they were had to have this conversation and they accused me of not understanding the band not caring about the band not being a fan of the band which was pretty crushing to vehicles that are really like.

Speaker 5:29:42I mean I think at that point I mean before I before I signed them I think I've seen them in concert like 20 times and I never seen the band it even double digits before. You know and have these guys that I love so much and that I've worked so hard on. To tell me that I don't care about them and I don't understand them and I probably should not be working with them was was a pretty harsh reality. And so I. And so I went back to New York with wife. I still some I enjoyed the show that they did in Manchester you know their play and all these songs from the plane fly out of my air for flakes like a pilot clocks out and I think they were playing electoral per song by then. And like you know I still love the show. But I sculpt back to New York with my tail between my legs and I told the boss that that they just refuse to do it.

Speaker 3:30:36And so we wound up releasing that second single. But there was like there wasn't the campaign behind it. I think at that point the label was already like you know what they don't want it then we're not going to try. So we didn't really do a real robust radio campaign and I'm trying to remember I don't think there was really a third single that we wound up working off that record. It was a surgical focus. Oh surgical focus. That's right. Well wait a minute. The focus we think we think. I think surgical focus actually came out in between those two things. I think we knew the surgical focus isn't a single. But we also do that there was such a rabid vinyl audience and we had our art director was just so oh into the band and just had all these ideas and Bob really liked his ideas. So he created this idea of the this kind of pinwheels surgical fogeys 7. Yeah. And of course Bob had all that besides ready to go. So. So we did that. We did that surgical focus seven inch but that was really just like a kind of like give me for the hard core fans to keep stoking the hardcore fans as we did then try to take the band more pop and mainstream with hold on hope. Sure. So. So yeah. So that didn't work and then we went right into the next record hidden.

Speaker 2:32:14So then there were some reports of Lake stickup Steve Gottlieb getting a bit hands on with the band like like I think like Poller turned into some isolation drills and then Gartley was like you're holding out on me I want you to write hit singles girls and cars think summer do you think the brush off you go with Holden who made him more emboldened to give the band some marching orders or is that the role that he just kind of played with any band on the label.

Speaker 3:32:37Absolutely any band. You know the you know the the Beatles could have come back with Revolver it would have been like that I just don't hear the single. Don't you think you could just work a little bit harder. I think that's a pretty understandable you know record company presidents tactic you know and a lot of times that really works. You know bands do go back to the studio and reassess what they've been doing and to come up with new ideas and a lot of times the last song you wrote because the best song on the record that pointed to that was never yeah that was never a discussion on to the collapse because it was a finished handed in rare record. Sure. And I don't think it felt like there was I at that point like we paid a fee for the record. And if there were to be more recording then it would be would we get record Cosic back to rent out electric ladyland again like we would wind up costing a lot more money. But for isolation drills yeah that was that was a typical tactic but I will tell you that everybody thought right off the bat the glad girls was a hit anyway so probably wasn't as aboard.

Speaker 2:33:48And so Pollard finally came to the conclusion that maybe GVC was just wasn't the kind of band to have a hit. Do you agree with that. Would there be some sort of scenario where they could have had a hit. There were plenty of one hit wonders from the alternative years why not GPB what do you think would have held them back from having a hit.

Speaker 3:34:04I really don't know. I think that is it a lot of it could simply be the fact that like you know whether it's you know to like 1999 or 2001 or two that I was an 18 like you look at the at what's on the radio. And it's all major label artists. You know the industry may have collapsed in the last ten years and there are all these know DIY and Soundcloud and you know independent artists successes left and right. But they are not on the radio. They're really not. You know you know a soundcloud rappers can come up with songs and they have millions of YouTube hits and those songs do not show up on hip hop radio. So it's just the way it is like you know the industry collapsed. But the one thing that the major labels one was radio they did not let go of their hold on radio.

Speaker 3:35:00And so I think that we are we had strikes against us to be able to turn them into a mainstream band in the first place. Also you know our radio to apartment never really had big radio successes. We had we had isolated events here and there you know we had this we had the band the canals they had they had one song in it. That song 74 75 that got on the radio. We did have nine inch nails. Before my time they had some exposure on radio not like they did once they got to Interscope. We had we had this kind of Nine Inch Nails pop industrial knockoff called Gravity Kills and they had one huge song that nobody remembers that was you know number one it K Rock in L.A. But you know. You know I I also think there's there's something that's sort of like you know there's there there is something that to a more mainstream fan got to be says doesn't seem sort of marketable.

Speaker 3:36:09And maybe that's their age and their appearance that are kind of perspective on things. It's like the indie rock mentality. But you know could another could have another label have had a hit with GLADD girls or teenage FBI or old on hope. Yeah absolutely. And I think that above have had songs throughout their career that with the right sort of luck in with the right sort of push they could have had that in the grand scheme of things though does it matter that they never became a huge mainstream band. I don't know. You know I don't know if I'd want to have to see them in gigantic venues. And I love going to shows where it's everyone in the room as a diehard fan and there's not those kind of casual fans and you know it's nice that they haven't had like a huge spike and then a huge decline. You know they've stayed pretty consistent for a hundred albums. So you know I mean maybe you know and Bob actually like you know he seems like he makes up a perfectly good living being a songwriter is that he doesn't have five houses. I mean I guess you have to ask him but in the grand scheme of things like there they've done pretty okay as a band.

Speaker 2:37:26Sure. So let's take that isolation drills for a second so you suggest a bunch of producers and he picked Robinov. How do you think he did on the record. Yes.

Speaker 3:37:35The first thing that they did for TvT yeah another another like a new experience of of Bob working with a producer. You know they again recorded in New York. And I don't know I thought that I thought that Rob was a really great choice for the band. You know he really understood the Sonics. He really understood letting the band beat the band. He really really understood how to how to how to communicate with and how to get the best of them how to have pushed them without pushing them too far and how and how to create a pretty laid back approach in the studio. Because even though you're really on the clock it never really felt so stressful. He had a good time schedule where the band would record for a certain amount of hours during the day and then they were allowed to leave and he would work on mixes for the rest of the day and then they would show up in the morning and listen to the mixes.

Speaker 3:38:34There was fresh conversation. So you know from my recollection you know I didn't I didn't live in the studio. But for all of the times I went through all the conversations I had around them. It was it was just a really positive environment. Also everybody loved the songs. Everybody loved the way they sounded. Everybody was happy with their performances. You know Bob is a great rock singer. You know I think it's it's I think people who know it. No I don't think it really gets said enough. You know he's a great vocalist and he really can first take really just nail songs and add that band was really strong at the top line. You know Jim is just a powerhouse drummer and. And you know if they were you know Doug Doug Miller just came up with these amazing lines all the time like they were just a really strong band. And they were really feeling really confident and strong. And you know I think even though like old I hope wasn't a hit like they were. They were positive about the label they wanted to make something that the label liked. And vibes are really good.

Speaker 2:39:49Yeah how do you do sort of patch up with them obviously you you have that experience in Manchester that is not good. Maybe the tide has turned a little bit of their thinking unit different. How do you get to a place to where you're making the second record everyone's feeling good they're feeling good about you how did you sort of mend fences if you will.

Speaker 3:40:06I guess I don't really remember any sort of reckoning that had to happen I think time passed and I think they they knew that you know that I that I am a real fan an advocate of the band and that I was doing my job and that you know when we started again we started the next record it was you know it was a fresh blank slate again.

Speaker 2:40:33Cool so then talking about you know Bob isolation drills were you aware it was happening with him at the time in terms of his personal life he was going through a divorce and the record was kind of filled with all kinds of references to you know well isolation was apparent when he was going through or did he just sort of was it still sort of Bob as usual.

Speaker 3:40:53It was not apparent to me at all. We had conversations about that. And it wasn't really until we got on the road touring that record did it all really come out because it wasn't just Bob. There was a lot of marriage dissolving in divorce scene going on around them. They were also tour being more than they had ever toured before and gone more than they had ever been before. And you know feeling isolated from their lives or their their wives of him well he's feeling isolated from them. I mean it's it's it is it's really hard you know to to to to be on the road all the time and still and me and Taine these relationships you know it's a really difficult proposition. And I guess they did. They had a good run of it for a while but it all seemed to kind of come to a head around this record.

Speaker 2:41:48And what kind of drew that was that you know TvT wanting them to get on and and expose themselves to more audiences was this them wanting to really make this big push to get on the radio what do you think drove them being on the road more than they ever had before.

Speaker 3:42:02I think it was. I think it was both. I think that they knew that we had the support. You know like you know we were from my experience working with Matador because I later managed an artist who I signed to Matador and so I worked really closely with those guys again will start again. I never really worked with them before. They are you know they're they're really smart today and they package everything right. And you know Matador has a lot of cachet and simply by being on Mataura you get the audiences and the respect and the critics but they don't really market records you know like when Guided by Voices is is playing you know in I don't know you know any town on their tour. You know we're we're advertising their record we're we're we're we're doing point of sale where we're discounting the record and making sure it's way up front on all the racks and we're advertising in the weekly that that it records come in and we're doing giveaways of tickets on all the radio stations and we're you know we're really seeing the them to do more press. And so you know we're really a city by city market by market. We're really marketing the records. And I think that there was just a lot of momentum at the time. You know they they were getting better offers and getting their audiences were growing and. And we were working the records pretty hard. And you know I guess that was I there was never it was never us saying you have to do this many shows are why don't you want your all of his stuff just happened because the way it should.

Speaker 2:43:44And then how did the band feel about how isolations drills did in comparison and to do the collapse. Was the expectations met within the label within the band how do you feel personally that they did in their time on TvT.

Speaker 3:43:59Well so here's here's something that. So what happened was the record came out. And you know the the the response is really great. The press was great glad girls had had you know again. It didn't become a huge hit but it kind of did everything that teenage FBI did. We were working on another E.P.. And the Chaisson had a crazy we did a seven inch and it was all really good. And then for me personally what happened was I had been at TvT for eight years at that point and I had a contract and my contract was up and I had been working. I started working at TvT pretty much the moment I got out of college and after eight years I was like I just really need a little bit of a break I need a little bit of a vacation. And you know the record was out and there was momentum happening and I and they asked me to resign a contract.

Speaker 3:45:02And I said yes I would but I'd really like to take three months off and do some traveling. So you know I I made sure the record was delivered the artwork was delivered the campaign had begun the video was made everything was off and then I I took off I kind of disappeared for a little while. It felt like they were really good hands. And certainly I had you know set it up well at the label. But I wasn't they care for the day to day of the touring and the promotion on isolation drills so I can't really answer for what their experience was or when Team Beatties experience was. Then on a personal note what happened was after three months of being away I was traveling around Southeast Asia by myself and after about three months where it was time for me to come home.

Speaker 3:45:53I kind of just felt like that point like I was starting to enjoy myself. I was starting to have fun and I was really like getting into this whole traveling thing. So I let me know that I needed three more months and so I went on. So I wound up taking six months off it's the only time in my life I've ever taken even remotely that much time off. It was an amazing trip. He told me that when I come back they wouldn't be able to guarantee my job would be there for me. So I certainly was had a lot of freedom.

Speaker 7:46:31And then went by came back.

Speaker 3:46:36It did seem like you know isolation drills did its thing. Sales were good but you know I think that maybe TvT saw that that if they did a third record it might not it might not have the same sort of returns as even a do the collapse of the isolation drills and they wanted to put their energy and focus on things that would sell many many more records. And so there became this sort of you know we just did take the option on the third record and it was sort of a no never like we're dropping you. There was no bad blood at all. It was just like you know maybe maybe we can't do what you need for us baby you can't do what the label needs. Everything is good but we're not going to take the option.

Speaker 2:47:24And then when Gigi Gaev left TvT and as Bob put it meant crawling back to Matador. Do you think that was a smart move. There had been talk No Labels is subpar. You know I was talking to them that seems like a great move.

Speaker 3:47:35Why do you think they wanted to go back to the right kind of repeat the past comfort and it seems that by that time the matador had relented on their idea that they would be the X Youssouf label for Bob. I mean at that point Bob's label had taken off and he was able to do things on Matador and do things himself which is what Bob always wanted in the first place. Sure maybe if he had that at the beginning he never would have left Matador in the first place.

Speaker 2:48:09During the ensuing years did you continue to follow the band or preludes. So the crews would run into him from time to time. What was that relationship like and what do you of that stuff.

Speaker 3:48:19I would still continue to go to every single show I could. I did always see him at the shows. And afterwards we we had good nights of Italian food at the gala and drink. And after shows and say what the band with the rest of the band. And yeah for a good long while we were in touch a lot. And then I do because now I have kids.

Speaker 9:48:50I go out less and I see them but I still see the band at least once a year. And I feel like I'm right in that place again. That's awesome remain the law.

Speaker 2:49:03Also I love it. I'm there too. And then finally said You have no space gunner August by cake. You've seen this new line up like how. What are your thoughts on how Pollard manages to be this good for this long I mean I'm I'm blown away by his recent stuff is as good as some of the other stuff they've done in the past you know would you have thought 20 years ago that he would still be going at it or that the quality would be this high.

Speaker 3:49:29I guess there would be no reason not to. Because he was doing it well before I even knew about him. There's no reason he wouldn't be able to do this until the end of time on him. And it's true like you know his the output is still staggering and the quality level is still so high. I guess maybe for me now that I'm much older and I've kind of you know been a part of their lives for so long. For me personally I I start to hear ideas being repeated more than I had when I was younger and maybe that's just my you know maybe it's just my own perception or just like you know now I've just heard so much music. So I wind up liking not kind of having that same kind of level of obsession and fandom as I had when I was younger. Sure. But I'm still I still just find Bob to be such a remarkable artist. I there's really no one else in the world like him. And it just is staggering what he's able to predict see year after year after year.

Speaker 2:50:43Well I'm glad you mentioned Brian's turn to him as secure before. I must say in preparation for a talk I did get out my copy of Digg the other night and watch it again. Oh I'm sorry. Are you still in contact with him. What do you make of music come out just this past week.

Speaker 5:50:59Yeah. Actually I am in touch with him still. You know Antons good at e-mail and texting we that we are in touch. I see him I see him every once in a while.

Speaker 3:51:10I still go see the band as much as I can because I it and it's just like I know I do kind of I kind of cringe at nostalgia because I feel like there's so much good music new music all the time that looking backwards is not always the healthiest impulse.

Speaker 9:51:28But I do find that when I when I go to Guided by Voices show or go to Brian or Brian Jonestown show even if it's my 40 50 or 60 times seen them it's like I don't know it must be what churches like for other people you know like it's just just a warm inviting and comfortable place where it brings me it sort of brings me back to all of my memories or is from every other time I've experienced that. And it kind of connects me with the music that has been the most meaningful for me through my life. And I'm and it's true that you know Anton has gone through phases of being prolific and not prolific in phases of being more experimental with the sound. I love the phase that he's in right now. He's making these kind of classics. Brian Joseph masker records. The shows are always great because these bands are always great.

Speaker 3:52:21And it's you know you know he he's in another one. Like I you know I'm just so grateful to have be a footnote in his story and be a part of helping bring the music to hopefully a few more people than maybe had known about him before.

Speaker 2:52:421000 percent and you're in the movie for God's sakes. And.

Speaker 3:52:47With that movie for God's sakes the movie the movie I just find Sterkel because you know if Andi had not been filming that band at all of those moments she got on camera and was filming them completely different times it would have been the exact same. Yeah. That you know certainly she played with you know chronology. And definitely the rivalry is a bit more kind of you know made for a movie than really like it the day to day reality. But the the footage that she got the band is incredible and it really was like that all the time.

Speaker 2:53:29Back to Bob per second as we sort of wrap up. Any great sort of Pollard's stories where you feel that you got to see something as a fan that sort of illuminated some characteristic ABAB that you hadn't you wouldn't you would not have been able to have access to if you were you know from the outside or are some great moment.

Speaker 5:53:47One thing that I remember is that we know we did have him do some things that were very industry you know studio session. And from radio interviews and meet and greets and things that you know were kind of an anathema to bands like that. But they were always open to it. And one time one of the big distributors at the time the people that the record labels would sell to distributors and distributors were the ones that made it into the record stores was called Valley. And they were out on the west coast and we did it. We did a thing where the band and would play a mini concert for the for the Valley employees. And those are the most awkward things in the world. And nobody wants to do them. I even wonder if the employees really want them or do they feel obligated but it's just something you do.

Speaker 5:54:45And for some reason Bob and the band said they would do it. And the it was actually a it was breakfast. So like before work started. So I think I think their set time was 8:00 AM before work started. We we as the label would pay for breakfast for the whole company and we set up a stage in their cafeteria. And the band would play a set and. And we. So we did that. And the band agreed and I got there at about 7:00 a.m. and Bob was already there. And he was in their little conference room quietly pounding beers because that's how nervous he would be and doing things like that and I don't know I found that that sort of moment to be a real kind of like you know it showed that like they were really trying and we were really trying. And probably something that never happened before and will never ever happen again.

Speaker 1:55:49Well and again I want to thank you for the work that you did with them. Those are two amazing and great records and thanks for everything you did to bring the band and where people.

Speaker 10:55:57Write us by.

Speaker 1:56:01That's it for this special edition of self-inflicted are on the Stajan visit every Elpida come to listen to past episodes or does that describe to future episodes our turn next week with a new episode looking at a G.B. the LP. In the meantime I want to thank Adam ashore again for his time by Evelyn.

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