Doug Gillard is kind of a low-key guy. You wouldn’t know it from the sparkling guitar work he’s weaved throughout his career—most notably as lead guitarist in Guided By Voices for nearly ten years. You certainly wouldn’t think that from checking out his early roots as a riff-shooter in the great, underrated, late ’80s Cleveland glam-punk gang, Death Of Samantha (that’s him, second from the bottom). He’s been a consistent live show member of Nada Surf for a few years. And would you believe he is about to release his third solo album, Parade On, out April 8 on Nine Mile Records? It’s beaming with the expected unbelievable guitar work that is his trademark, and overall bittersweet pop sounds that he’s developed since his first post-Death Of Samantha project, Gem.
From the bright hooks of “Ready For Death,” I’m going to hope the title and lyrics aren’t famous last words, but instead may be a nod to the fact that Gillard’s first band has not only been doing a few reunion shows over the last year and a half, but have recently released an excellent double-vinyl album, If Memory Serves Us Well (St. Valentines), featuring the original lineup blasting through 18 of their old tracks during a rehearsal in 2012. After some studio fine-tuning, it’s shaped up into a surprisingly explosive beast for what was considered a one-off practice tape for a couple of gigs. And now Death Of Samantha is knocking around the idea of making a new album. Ready for Death, indeed.
Gillard will be playing some SXSW shows, and is planning a tour around Parade On. For now, check out Ready For Death and, if you stumble upon them, nab any of Death Of Samantha records you can.