Doug Gillard

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Doug Gillard
Dgillard 4.jpg
Background information
Born (1965-12-23) December 23, 1965 (age 48)
Sandusky, Ohio, U.S.
Origin Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Genres Rock, indie rock, pop
Instruments guitar, vocals, bass, piano, keyboards, drums, percussion, melodica
Years active 1982–present
Associated acts Bambi Kino, Cobra Verde, Death of Samantha, Gem, Guided by Voices, Lifeguards, Nada Surf
Website www.douggillard.com

Doug Gillard is a New York-based guitarist and songwriter, originally from Ohio. He has been a member of major indie pop and punk bands, most notably Guided by Voices and Death of Samantha.

Early life[edit]

Doug Gillard was born in Sandusky, Ohio.[1] His parents were from Colorado, where his father helped construct missile silos, and his mother was a teacher's aide.[2] Gillard grew up on a farm in rural Northeast Ohio,[2] in the town of Huron, and attended schools in Elyria, Ohio.

By age five, Gillard was writing songs, which he recorded on a reel-to-reel tape machine to be mailed by his family to his older sister who lived in Germany.[2]

Gillard moved to Cleveland after graduating high school. In 1984, he was briefly a non-student college radio DJ at Oberlin's WOBC, after which he was a DJ for six years at Cleveland State University's WCSB, concurrent with his musical career in the late 1980s.[3]

Musical groups[edit]

Beginning in high school, Gillard began performing with Ohio punk bands such as Suspect Device, Children's Crusade, and Starvation Army.[2] He has also performed and/or recorded with Richard Buckner, Yuji Oniki, My Dad Is Dead, The Mice, Bill Fox, Fence Lions, Zest of Yore, Stewart Pack, The Oranges Band, Mascott, and Sally Crewe and The Sudden Moves.

As a result of Gillard's appearances on Guided by Voices' Suitcase and Suitcase 2 box sets, he is sometimes erroneously credited as a member of a variety of fictitious bands (e.g., Approval of Mice, Champion Hairpuller), with Robert Pollard creating a new band name for nearly every track of his compilations of outtakes and demos.[4]

Death of Samantha and Cobra Verde[edit]

In the 1980s, Gillard was a member of the Ohio-based band Death of Samantha, a "modernist pop troupe" led by John Petkovic. After the breakup of Death of Samantha, Gillard became one of the original members of John Petkovic's 1990s band Cobra Verde.[2] Robert Pollard, who had been a fan of Gillard's since his Death of Samantha days, asked Cobra Verde to be his backing band for Guided by Voices' Mag Earwhig! LP in 1996.

Guided by Voices[edit]

Main article: Guided by Voices

After joining forces with Guided by Voices as part of Cobra Verde, Gillard remained a member of Guided by Voices for about eight years, from 1996 to 2005, a period that encompassed six official LPs and numerous other releases.[1]

Gillard's association with Pollard also resulted in three albums in collaboration as a duo: 1999's Speak Kindly of Your Volunteer Fire Department (credited to Robert Pollard and Doug Gillard),[5] and two albums credited to Lifeguards, Mist King Urth in 2003,[6] and Waving at the Astronauts in 2011.[7]

Gem[edit]

In the early 1990s, Gillard launched Gem, his own band, which also included bassist Tim Tobias (later of Guided by Voices).[8] Gem's debut album, Hexed, was recorded in 1994 and released on Restless Records in 1995.[9]

The Cleveland Scene praised the group as a "velveteen rock combo," and the editor of Cleveland's Alternative Press cited Gem's song "Suburban Girl" as "one of the greatest things in the history of Cleveland rock."[2] Trouser Press called Hexed a "tuneful rush of smart, catchy and simple rhythm guitar pop-rock — sort of grown-up Weezer without the anxious pretensions."[10] According to Trouser Press, Gillard's contributions stood out as "crafty," with "the woolly and weird chant of 'Sheep,' the bracing T. Rex borrowings of 'Your Heroes Hate You' and the countryfied pun of 'Only a Loan.'"[10] In 2001, Gem reunited to release another album, Sunglare Serenades.[8]

Bambi Kino[edit]

Bambi Kino
Live album by Bambi Kino
Released 2011
Genre Merseybeat
Length 27:08
Label Tapete Records
Bambi Kino
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[11]

Gillard was one of the founding members of Bambi Kino, a band formed in the summer of 2009 in anticipation of 2010's fiftieth anniversary of the first Beatles concerts in Hamburg, Germany.[12] The band also included Nada Surf drummer Ira Elliot, Mark Rozzo (guitarist for Maplewood) and Erik Paparazzi (bass player for Cat Power).[12]

The group covered songs from the formative 1960–1963 pre-celebrity era of The Beatles in Hamburg and at the Cavern Club.[13] The band took its name from the Bambi Kino, a squalid movie theater in Hamburg where the Beatles lived in a storeroom behind the screen.[14]

Working with Hamburg-based Tapete Records, the band debuted with a concert in 2010 at the Indra Club in Hamburg, where the Beatles first played.[14] A live recording of that concert was released in 2011 on Tapete, as the group's self-titled debut album.[11] The record was praised by AllMusic's James Allen for its authentically "scrappy Merseybeat style," resulting in an album that "also happens to rock on its own merits."[11]

The group has remained active, and in May 2014, Bambi Kino played at a benefit concert at Brooklyn's Bell House.[15]

Nada Surf[edit]

In 2012, Gillard joined the band Nada Surf, which had been formed in 1992 by Matthew Caws and Daniel Lorca. The line-up of Caws, Lorca, drummer Ira Elliot, and Gillard appeared on Nada Surf's 2012 album The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy.

Solo career[edit]

Parade On
Studio album by Doug Gillard
Released April 2014
Genre Power pop, indie pop
Length 43:51
Label Nine Mile Records
Parade On
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[16]

The music magazine Blurt, in 2014, quoted Death of Samantha's John Petkovic assessing Gillard's limited name recognition as a solo artist: "Doug deserves more attention, no doubt. But it's a larger thing — people are able to evaluate the name on the painting more than the painting. Doug has always been pretty dedicated to the painting, and that’s a good thing."[14] Petkovic praised Gillard as one "who comes at music and art through imagination ... attracted to sounds and parts. As a result, he’s able to synthesize disparate pieces that other people wouldn't imagine fitting together until they saw the completed puzzle."[14]

Gillard has recorded three full-length albums as a solo artist, not including his early cassette releases. Gillard's solo recording career technically began with two self-released cassettes, the four-song Cover Songs with Big Heads EP (1985), and a 1990 release of juvenilia recorded by Gillard at ages 5 to 9.[13]

In 1999, Gillard's serious solo career began with the release of the five-song Malamute Jute EP. This was followed in 2004 by Salamander, his first solo full-length album made as an adult, and the 2008 album Call from Restricted.[13]

Parade On[edit]

Gillard's 2014 solo album, Parade On, was released on Nine Mile Records.[3]

Blurt wrote that Parade On blends hooks with layers of guitars in a display of diverse examples of "steady, riff-based rock,"[14] and the British music magazine Bearded wrote that Gillard's "cup brims over with subtle gems," making Parade On a record "worthy of its own ecstatic praise."[3]

AllMusic's Mark Deming called Parade On an eclectic and superbly crafted album of "guitar-fueled rock & roll with an extra portion of pop hooks" and lyrics in "various degrees of bittersweet snark."[16] Deming praised Gillard as a gifted songwriter, guitarist, producer, and arranger, whose multi-instrumental performances included layers of strong lead and rhythm guitar work melding with "tough yet flexible" bass, in the service of songs ranging from "sparkly jangle" to "sweet but aggressive" hard-rocking power pop.[16]

In April 2014, a music video by filmmaker Mike Postalakis was officially released for the album track "Ready for Death."[17][18]

Other projects[edit]

Gillard produced indie band Eternal Summers' third album, The Drop Beneath.[19] He has scored several independent films,[3] including the comedy short film Creative Process 473 (2002), and American Cannibal (2006).[20][21]

In 2014, Gillard recorded a version of the Scott Miller song "Dripping with Looks," which originally appeared on Game Theory's 1987 album Lolita Nation.[22] Gillard's version, released as a music video in May 2014, is expected to appear on a Scott Miller memorial tribute album.[3]

Gillard presently lives in New York City and continues to perform solo and as a member of Nada Surf and other bands.

Partial discography[edit]

Solo releases[edit]

Albums and EPs[edit]

  • Cover Songs with Big Heads EP (1985)
    self-released cassette – sold mail order by Scat Records
  • It'll Be Such a Thrill (1990)
    self-released cassette – sold mail order by Scat Records, contains songs recorded by Gillard at ages 5 to 9
  • Malamute Jute EP (1999) (Cushion Records)
  • Creative Process 473 (2003)
    contains 10 songs for motion picture soundtrack, plus 3 bonus original songs not on soundtrack
  • Salamander (2004) (Pink Frost)
    distributed by Redeye Distribution, Inc.
  • Call from Restricted (2008) (347 Records)
    2008 digital release, 2009 physical CD – contains 11 songs recorded in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Brooklyn, NY
  • Parade On (2014) (Nine Mile Records)[16]
    contains 11 songs recorded in New York, NY and Austin, Texas

Singles[edit]

  • "Breaking in Two" b/w "So Much More" 7" (2011) (347 Records)

Videography[edit]

  • "Ready for Death" (April 2014)[18]
  • "Dripping with Looks" (May 2014)[22]

Collaborations with Robert Pollard[edit]

Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "Product Head" b/w "Naught Windsor" 7" (2011) (Serious Business Records)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 347 Records (2011). "Doug Gillard biography". Last.fm. Archived from the original on 2014-07-11. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Bracelin, Jason (April 6, 2005). "Facing the Music". Cleveland Scene. Archived from the original on 2012-09-28. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Mertz, Erick (March 31, 2014). "Interview: Doug Gillard". Bearded. Archived from the original on 2014-07-09. 
  4. ^ Perry, Jonathan (December 21, 2000). "Voices carry: Robert Pollard unpacks his GBV Suitcase". Boston Phoenix. Archived from the original on 2005-03-10. 
  5. ^ a b Rabid, Jack. "Speak Kindly of Your Volunteer Fire Department". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on 2012-07-03. 
  6. ^ a b Hadani, Jordan (January 24, 2011). Lifeguards’ (GBV Members) New Album. Archived from the original on 2014-07-09. 
  7. ^ a b Serious Business Records (2011). "Lifeguards: Waving at the Astronauts". Serious Business: Music. Archived from the original on 2013-06-21. 
  8. ^ a b Morris, Kurt. Sunglare Serenades at AllMusic.
  9. ^ Reger, Rick (December 7, 1995). "Gem: Hexed (Restless)". Chicago Tribune. 
  10. ^ a b Robbins, Ira (2007). "Cobra Verde and Gem". Trouser Press. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c Allen, James. Bambi Kino at AllMusic.
  12. ^ a b Bambi Kino (2010). "Info". Bambi Kino: It Was 50 Years Ago Today. Archived from the original on 2014-05-27. 
  13. ^ a b c Neff, Joseph (April 8, 2014). "Graded on a Curve: Doug Gillard, Parade On". The Vinyl District. Archived from the original on 2014-07-09. 
  14. ^ a b c d e Shanley, Mike (May 1, 2014). "Dedicated to painting, not the painter: Doug Gillard". Blurt. Archived from the original on 2014-07-05. 
  15. ^ "A Benefit for PS154 in Windsor Terrace". The Bell House. May 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-07-09. 
  16. ^ a b c d Deming, Mark. Parade On at AllMusic.
  17. ^ Orr, Dacey (April 21, 2014). "Video Premiere: Doug Gillard - ′Ready for Death′". Paste. 
  18. ^ a b Gillard, Doug (April 21, 2014). "Doug Gillard – Ready for Death". YouTube.com (official video release) (Mike Postalakis, director). 
  19. ^ Monger, James Christopher. Eternal Summers at AllMusic.
  20. ^ Doug Gillard at the Internet Movie Database.
  21. ^ American Cannibal at the Internet Movie Database.
  22. ^ a b Gillard, Doug (May 5, 2014). "Doug Gillard – Dripping with Looks (Game Theory cover)". YouTube.com (official video release) (BlackbirdsVids channel). 
  23. ^ Mist King Urth at Discogs.

External links[edit]

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