Pixies: New Tour, New Music, New Bassist

Black Francis on the lure of the road and Kim Deal's departure. Plus, covering The Fall.

Pixies: New Tour, New Music, New Bassist

“It’s surreal but great,” says Pixies' Black Francis. “We’re enjoying playing music and we don’t want to stop!” Which is why, with original bassist/ vocalist Kim Deal having left the group temporarily or otherwise, the band begin a world tour tomorrow. It commences with a 28-date European leg that concludes with two Hammersmith Apollo dates on November 24 and 25. Kim Deal has, of course, been replaced by Kim Shattuck, ex-of The Muffs.

The reconstituted group has also prepared a raft of new songs with Pixies producer of yore Gil Norton at south Wales’ Rockfield Studios - EP1 released on September 2. “There was no argument or any creative struggle,” Francis tells Roy Wilkinson in the current issue of MOJO. “[Kim] signed up for the making of these recordings, but then she excused herself.”

Of the new LP, Francis confided that Norton had given his charges certain specific instructions: “He told us to imagine we’d been away for 20 years – away in outer space where we’d continued to make music. So the music we were about to show the world was based on this time in outer space… we bought into it, at least on some level. It even effected some of the lyrics, 'cos I kept throwing him a bone in the words: ‘Hey Gil, outer space…’”

Back on Earth, the group play south London’s Electric Brixton tomorrow (September 27), where it’s hoped they’ll perform their version of The Fall’s 1988 classic Big New Prinz. Francis is a big admirer of Mark E Smith, even admitting to MTV’s Zane Lowe a decade ago that he’d quite like a scrap with him.