(vocals, lyrics, album art, founder)
Known as "The Godfather of indie rock," Robert founded the band GUIDED BY VOICES in 1983 in his hometown Dayton, Ohio. In 1994 Robert decided to leave his job as a 4th grade teacher to devote his time to the band. Over the years Guided by Voices has seen many line-up changes with Robert remaining at the helm. In addition to his work with GBV, Robert has released many SOLO ALBUMS, and is an accomplished collage artist. There is a series of collage/poetry magazines titled EAT, along with a hardback collection of his work titled TOWN OF MIRRORS, published in 2008. In his spare time Robert waits at the window in anticipation of his daily visit from Meals On Wheels.
LETTERS FROM A WITCH from the album "GRINGO"
FREEDOM'S MONSTER from the album "ATAXIA"
SUNFLOWER WILDMAN (REMEMBER HIM?) from the album "STOMPING GROUNDS"
The development of the average Circus Devils fan is clearly shown.
ALL THE GOOD ONES ARE GONE from the album "MOTHER SKINNY"
"Todd and Tim [Tobias] write the music, and I come up with the melodies and lyrics. I call it the Ohio Rock Factory. Tim and Todd run the northern plant in Cleveland, and I've got the southern plant down here in Dayton. No tours permitted." -Robert Pollard
INFORMATIVE QUOTES FROM INTERESTED PARTIES (including band mambers)
"Although it would be easy to dismiss Circus Devils as just another indie side project by Guided by Voices founder Robert Pollard, the band encompasses a different form of musical exploration altogether, and dismisses the styles of his solo endeavors for a more ominous and nightmarish tone exploring the themes of good and evil." -Jason Lymangrover (Allmusic.com)
"Circus Devils is if nothing else incredibly consistent, with each record bringing an element of the unexpected." -Bryan Hammil (The Ash Gray Proclamation)
"Circus Devils is real!" - words heard shouted in 1989 by Robert Pollard and the Tobias brothers on separate occassions. Both times the words were shouted by an unidentified hairy-faced man, who resembled the famous Russian "dog-faced boy" (Fedor Jeftichew). Robert was startled by this man in a record shop parking lot. The Tobias brothers spotted him when their car broke down on a lonely Ohio back road. After pronouncing the words "Circus Devils is real!," the hair-faced man quickly ducked back into the woods and was never seen again. The words proved prophetic 12 years later, when Robert proposed the formation of Circus Devils.
"Likely too odd for your average music fan, but also an intricate, intoxicating and unique, hybrid form of rock." -Dave Heaton (Erasing Clouds)
"Ask SGT DISCO" (aka The Circus Devils Forum - active from 2007 - 2012)
contains Q + A from fans with philosophical musings and useful advice from the Sergeant.
2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2011 - 2012
For those new to Circus Devils, each album is unique and has its own flavor. Often there is a concept or theme with supporting characters. Because of this, our albums are intended to be heard as albums. Having said that, the compilation LAUGHS BEST (The Kids Eat It Up) can serve as a gateway to those who aren't sure where to begin. -Todd Tobias
Tim has been a member of several Cleveland-based bands since the 1980s, including 4 Coyotes, Gem, and most recently Clouds Forming Crowns. Though customarily a guitar player, Tim joined Guided by Voices on bass from 1999 to 2003. In 2000, while recording the GBV album Isolation Drills, Tim passed one of brother Todd's experimental cassette tapes to Robert. Soon after, Robert proposed the formation of Circus Devils. Tim currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He enjoys watching the television and playing the guitar (at the same time).
(music, album production)
In addition to his music constructions with Circus Devils, Todd releases works of his own on the Hidden Shoal label and Tiny Room Records. Todd's collaboration with Robert as a musician/producer began with Guided by Voices' 2002 album Universal Truths and Cycles. In earlier years Todd played in bands with his brother Tim (see below), while tinkering on the side with a cassette 4-track recorder. Todd resides in the wooded suburbs between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. Little is known about his personal habits, but he has been spotted by law officers, grocery shoppers and hikers standing alone and speaking to invisible companions.
CYCLOPEAN RUNWAYS from the album "CAPSIZED!"