A Minute With-The Pixies, the "psychotic Beatles", on fame, comebacks and break-ups

Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:11am EST
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(Please note offensive language in Q&A)

By Andrei Khalip

LISBON (Reuters) - Beloved of David Bowie and a generation of influential UK and U.S. guitar bands, American alt-rock combo the Pixies have sold out across Europe as they tour with new music for the first time in over 20 years.

There is talk of a joint tour with Bowie, 66, whose own new album has made waves in the past year for the first time since his 70s and 80s heyday, and the band expect to follow this year's four-song EP-1 with more new releases.

The Ziggy Stardust creator has called the Pixies the "psychotic Beatles" and rates their music as "just about the most compelling of the entire 80s".

If lacking some of the band's youthful, surf-punk folly, the new songs have plenty of drive and the trademark shifts from quiet and melodic to loud and screamy that influenced Nirvana, Sonic Youth and others in the late 1980s. The cosmic sounds of "Andro Queen" connect with Bowie's space-themed compositions.

The band got its start in Boston and had a string of hits in "Hey", "Debaser", "Where is my Mind" and "Monkey Gone to Heaven" before breaking up in 1993. They reunited in 2004 only to have bass player Kim Deal quit in June for a second time without much explanation, leaving the three other Pixies "shell-shocked".

Frontman Black Francis, 48, lead guitar player Joey Santiago, 48, and drummer David Lovering, 51, spoke with Reuters in Lisbon during their global tour about regrets over their first breakup, Deal's possible return, and the future.   Continued...

Black Francis of the American band the Pixies stands under stage lights during a performance at Lisbon Coliseum November 9, 2013. REUTERS/Hugo Correia