Tobin Sprout

Genres: Pop / Rock
Decades: 1990s 2000s


1955, USA. Less celebrated than Robert Pollard, the founder and main songwriter in Dayton, Ohio’s Guided By Voices, the exquisitely named Tobin Sprout was a major force in that band’s development from lo-fi obscurity to indie rock darlings in the mid-90s.

Self-taught on a number of instruments but preferring the guitar, Sprout first encountered Pollard in the early 80s while still working with the band Fig. 4. He helped out on the recording of Guided By Voices’ 1986 debut Devil Between My Toes, but subsequently put his music career on hold to work as an illustrator and devote himself to his first love, painting. He was persuaded to join the band while they were recording 1992’s Propeller, playing guitar and contributing the extremely lo-fi ‘14 Cheerleader Coldfront’. Sprout’s multi-instrumental prowess and quirky songwriting became a vital element of the band’s work over the next four years. Although...

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