3 questions for...Robert Pollard

Guided by Voices captain, cut-and-paste champion

Photograph: Emily Wilson

1. Are you going to quit music if some prominent art critic shows up to your exhibit and declares you the greatest new artist of the 21st century?
[Laughs] Yeah, what the hell? Only because I do art in the same idiot-savant way that I do music. Not to be egotistical, but when people say my songs sound like John Lennon or Ray Davies, I have to say, “Really? Because I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.” Art is even worse. I can say I like something, but I don’t know the periods or anything.

2. You turned down a Budweiser commercial. But isn’t that your target audience?
That was exactly why I wanted to do the commercial. Like, “Hell yeah, I drink Budweiser!” I originally changed the line “Do you see me like I see you?” in the song “Non-Absorbing,” to “Do you like Bud like I like Bud?” or some shit. But they told me I had to use the line, “This Bud’s for you.” So I was singing it all these different ways, and I just couldn’t do it without sounding like a complete ham. I called them and said, “Sorry, man. I tried.” I was also one of the guys asked to write the song for That Thing You Do! I can’t compromise my art by doing stupid shit like that, you know?

3. Is it true that you once beat the Beastie Boys in basketball?
Yeah. The Beastie Boys are, like, 5'6". My brother and I are 6'2" and we both played in college, so it wasn’t really fair. I won’t play anymore though, except for H-O-R-S-E. I don’t want to hurt myself.

—Andrew Parks

Robert Pollard’s debut art show, “Do the Collage,” opens at Studio Dante on Sun 9. For more info, call 212-239-4500.

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