The Pixies 2013 has been a fascinating case study in what happens when a band stops operating like a band and starts acting like a business. After Kim Deal officially left the band, the band dropped the not-particularly-well-received EP-1, their first new record in 22 years, and named Muffs frontwoman Kim Shattuck — another ’90s-vintage lady named Kim — as their bassist. Then they fired her. There were lots of jokes about how they’d now have to reach out to Kim Gordon or Kim Coletta to fill in on bass, but instead they just named Paz Lenchantin, of a Perfect Circle and ZWAN, as their new touring bassist. And now we’ve heard from Shattuck, who, understandably, is not all that happy about how things went down.

Talking to NME, Shattuck mostly just seems mystified at the way she was told she was no longer in the band. Black Francis famously originally broke the band up via fax, and Shattuck’s exit seems just as unceremonious. Here’s how she describes it:

I was surprised. Everything had gone well, the reviews were all good and the fans were super-nice about everything. They were like, “We love you, New Kim!” We said goodbye at the airport, and the following morning, the manager called me and said: “The band has made the decision to go with another bass player.” I was shocked… I get the feeling they’re more introverted people than I am. Nobody really talked about deep issues, at least out loud. There was a show at the Mayan in Los Angeles where I got overly enthusiastic and jumped into the crowd, and I know they weren’t thrilled about that. When I got offstage the manager told me not to do that again. I said, “Really, for my own safety?” And he said, “No, because the Pixies don’t do that.”… I would have preferred it is they told me face to face as a group, but they’re nice people. I’m still a fan of the Pixies!

Shattuck remains with the Muffs, and there’s talk of a new album next year. And I have to say, she’s being really cool about all this.

Comments (22)
  1. It doesn’t seem like she even had the change to get herself fully invested with the band to really take it too personally. My takeaway is that this is like dating someone for a few weeks, a month or two at best. The breakup is quick, unexpected but kind of painless. You don’t see or call the person afterwards, and in five years, you forget you even dated the person.*

    *I’ve never done this, but I’ve watched enough episodes of Felicity to know this is how some people operate

  2. “The Pixies don’t do all that rock’n'roll and being cool with people stuff, please go home now.”

    Maybe it’s more something like that : “If Black Francis can’t jump in the crowd. No one can.”

  3. I think the real issue here is that since Frank Black cannot safely jump into a crowd, no one else is allowed to do it.

  4. Ultimately this will be for the best for the Pixies brand. They can’t have someone muddling their message as they pursue total market saturation.

  5. No shit, Shattuck!

  6. “…jokes about how they’d now have to reach out to Kim Deal or Kim Coletta to fill in on bass…”

    I think you mean Kim Gordon. Why would they reach out to Kim Deal after she quit?

  7. “I get the feeling they’re more introverted people than I am. Nobody really talked about deep issues, at least out loud.”

    Anyone who’s seen loudQUIETloud knows that they’re terrible communicators, and not overly warm with each other in a personal capacity. Her quote together with Kim’s view of the band in general seem to resonate. I don’t blame them for feeling left out. Pixies sounds like a tough gig.

  8. No one finds it strange that Black seems to believe that a lady bassist is needed to fill that role? I mean at this point it’s not a coincidence and a little weird.

  9. If only they would have reached out to Kim Jong-il before it was too late.

  10. Shatt Down

  11. Hank didn’t die in the desert, he just went to sing for Pixies.

  12. Ug. That EP had to be one of the bigger disappointments of the year. On the bright side, earlier this year I stumbled across a song that reminded me of the good old days – “Ain’t That Pretty At All, recorded for a Warren Zevon tribute album in 2004. It’s the only Pixies song I can remember with shared lead vocals from Black Francis and (the original) Kim, and it’s worth tracking down just to hear her cracking up at Francis’ goofy ad-libbing.

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