MSN Music Blog - Reverb

The Pixies announce a Deal-breaker

Kim Deal suddenly leaves the band

By Mark C. Brown Jun 14, 2013 11:01AM
Kim Deal
Just as no one saw The Replacements reunion coming, no one saw this going down: Kim Deal has suddenly left those other alt-rock icons, The Pixies. And it appears the band is going to carry on without her.

It was announced by the other three members in a short statement on their official Facebook page (the band's official website hasn't had a news update in a year): "We are sad to say that Kim Deal has decided to leave the Pixies. We are very proud to have worked with her on and off over the last 25 years. Despite her decision to move on, we will always consider her a member of the Pixies, and her place will always be here for her. We wish her all the best -- Black Francis, Joey Santiago and David Lovering.

The announcement caught distressed fans by surprise. Deal has been working with her side band The Breeders to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their album "Last Splash." In an interview in today's Irish Times the subject of the Pixies doesn't even come up, much less indicate any trouble. Nor does Deal's official website mention it.

In an interview with me when the band reunited in 2004, Francis admitted that he had problems with the attention that Deal got from fans (he originally broke up the band via fax).

Much of the tension that broke up the band, Black admits, was that between himself and Deal. He was the main creative force in songwriting; she was the main focus of the band. Years ago, he says, they simply couldn’t handle that. These days, aided by “maturity and abstinence,” they’re able to actually appreciate each other.


“Obviously we’re a lot more chill about everything. I’m a lot more chill. I’m less stressed out. There’s a lot more kisses and hugs going around with the band itself than there was with our last tour.”


“Being the principal songwriter, then constantly being question about it in the past as to whether that was legitimate, I always found that really offensive,” he says.


“She is so beloved by the audience that it probably freaked me out even more. I don’t know why. I don’t know if it messed with my ego or it seemed somehow ‘The audience doesn’t get it!’” he says. “I’m plenty beloved myself. The whole band is beloved by the audience. But the fact that she is so beloved, I have come to accept and appreciate, even from a totally showbiz point of view.


“What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing. The audience digs one of the performers onstage, even when she’s just standing there, smoking a cigarette and waving hi. It’s that thing known as charisma. There is some charismatic connection between Kim Deal and the audience. As opposed to having my feathers ruffled 15 years ago, I kinda get off on it.”


He continues, “Obviously there’s something going on that is above and beyond her role as the bassist and sometime-vocalist in the Pixies. There’s some other thing that makes her as beloved as she is.”

Until there's more explanation, we just have the music. Here's the Pixies' breakout hit "Here Comes Your Man" (a semi-duet between Francis and Deal) and the Breeders' biggest hit, "Cannonball."

Jul 1, 2013 5:46PM
Why is she so beloved?  I don't know.  She's a boring bassist and plain looking.  I don't see the appeal.
Jun 17, 2013 6:34PM
maybe she was the one bassist that answered courtney love's craiglist ad
Jun 16, 2013 9:51AM

Once again, affirming the fact, that everyone is a critic and acclaimed musician in his/her own right.


Make way O ye land lubbers to set sail for distant places. Erect the flag, jib the jab and jab the jib. Weigh anchor and let ye venture to lost worlds filled with a bounty of treasure and loot for all!!!


BTW, that is directions from Times Square to Far Rockaway on the IRT. Don't forget your toothbrush.  

Jun 15, 2013 5:12PM
With all the substance abuse issues she and her sister had, coupled with the interband turmoil of The Pixies before/since their reunion over the last 20 years and just the general way she's come off in interviews surrounding the anniversary of Last Splash RE: music, I can't say this is a surprise nor can I feel too much of a loss.  

Chuck, Dave and Joey could go through any number of carbon copy bands (or contemporaries, really.  I mean, Kim Gordon's doing **** all since Sonic Youth called time.  She plays bass.  She lacks similar ability to sing, tending to yawn in key instead.  Her name's Kim.  WE HAVE A WINNAH!) and pick a soundalike for "Gigantic."

This isn't like someone trying to find a Kirsty MacColl soundalike for "Fairytale of New York."  Now THAT was/is a loss.  
Jun 15, 2013 12:10PM
This band hasn't been relevant for a couple of decades...even their progeny have come and gone and heavy music is still waiting for the next big thing...time for the retirement home...
Jun 15, 2013 11:27AM
She wrote some great bass lines, but was never an amazing bassist otherwise. If they are going to keep subsisting off of their earlier material (which is what they basically had done the last decade), then no big deal. 
Jun 15, 2013 10:17AM
What a loss of tremendous talent. I hope some other bands can fill the gap. 
I will never feel the same knowing they will never write another great song like ..... ,     uh.....      guess I can't think of one
Jun 15, 2013 8:13AM





T:  "I think I liked it in the long long ago."

I:    "You mean yesterday?"

T:   "Yeah, the LONG LONG AGO" 

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