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Guided by Voices' contract with TVT Records allows Pollard to indulge in as many side projects as he wants, whether they be solo albums or Guided by Voices albums recorded under pseudonyms, such as the recent releases by the Fading Captain Series. Fading Captain is a project Pollard began earlier this year to release whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. Although only in existence for a few months, it has already kicked out three albums: Kid Marine, an EP by GbV alter-ego Lexo & the Leapers, and an album by NightWalker, which Pollard says consists of "psychedelic ramblings I recorded from '84 to '93."
Since almost all of the recordings Pollard appears on involve whatever musicians he happens to be playing with at the time, and since Guided by Voices has essentially become a solo vehicle for him, it doesn't make much sense that he would separate Robert Pollard and Guided by Voices into separate projects. But for Pollard, the arrangement is perfectly logical, a way to play ball with the music industry but never become a slave to it.
"With a Robert Pollard record, there aren't any obligations to do anything, really," he says. "I mean, I can do whatever I want without anybody telling me, 'That's not what we paid for.'" He laughs. "And it's mainly the degree of professionalism, you know? Robert Pollard albums are kind of like what Guided by Voices records used to be like. I can leave mistakes in, and I can do lo-fi--I can do whatever I want. Guided by Voices is kind of like this big professional entity now. Robert Pollard is not. Until someone wants to give me the kind of money Guided by Voices is given. I had entertained a notion of every band, every pseudonym that I come up with, I entertained a notion of getting those bands signed. Get separate advances and everything, keep doing that." He laughs. "I don't think that's allowed, though.
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