Frank Black

When Kim Deal left the Pixies earlier this year, the band had a hole at bass, and they recruited Muffs frontwoman Kim Shattuck as their new bassist. But after just a couple of months of touring, the band fired Shattucksurprising and saddening her — and replaced her with Paz Lenchantin, formerly of A Perfect Circle. Pixies fans weren’t too happy at this turn of events, and now frontman Frank Black (or, if you prefer, Black Francis) has addressed them.

Talking to Yahoo, Black says:

The big question mark is, if it was going so well, why are you changing it up again? I guess it’s a fair question, but what I would say is, just because some shows went well or a recording session went well with somebody, that doesn’t mean that now you guys are married and this is forever. It’s not really how it works when you’re a band. And it’s hard to explain to people, especially if they get emotionally attached to one person…

Frankly, you don’t want to explain it to anybody – it’s a lot of its personal, private shit. t’s like politics and sports and people’s personal lives have all been smeared together in this modern world. It’s a very presumptuous attitude about a lot of things. [People say] ’Oh you’re shifting something in your world – we demand a statement as to why.’ I’m not the mayor, this isn’t the bus service for a town. This is a rock band. There’s been a shift in the lineup, big woop-dee-doo…as far as we’re concerned it ain’t that big of a deal.

So there you have it: Move along, nothing to see here. Black also has some words about the band’s decision to record new music and Deal’s decision to leave; read it here.

Comments (24)
  1. His band, his employee, no explanation required.

  2. he’s got a point.

  3. Yeah guess what fans, bands don’t owe you anything.

  4. It’s becoming really hard to like him because he seems like one of those people who constantly says, “It’s all good,” even when it’s definitely not. Also, acting like you don’t owe the fans (never mind the person you fired) an explanation when half the reason they still come out to hear you play mostly the same songs after ten years of reunion touring and a poorly-received new EP is the personal connection they feel to the band…well, that indicates that you need a serious reality check. How long before the Pixies bear no resemblance to the band people fell in love with years ago and they wear out their welcome? Keep pushing your luck, Charles.

    • Artists don’t owe you anything whatsoever, nor you them. If you’re pissed that they don’t justify themselves to you, don’t buy or listen to their album or go to their concerts. Problem solved. The lives of strangers are under no obligation to revolve around you and your opinion.

      • It’s not something I spend much time thinking about, since there is generally a built-in understanding (especially within the realm of indie rock) that art itself is deliberate communication and the artist and fan are engaged in a mutually beneficial relationship that crosses both personal and business lines. No one is obligated to do anything unless there is a law compelling him/her to do it, but decent people don’t have to be told to care how their actions affect others. That said, even if Charles hates every fan, it is a stupid business move (and we all know the Pixies has progressively more and more of a retirement plan over the years, though the performances have been great) to behave in ways that will only alienate your fanbase. However, I guess if you are a jerk yourself, you fall within the minority who still thinks he’s still the coolest guy ever.

  5. Yo dawg, I heard you like explanations, so I put an explanation in your explanation so you can explain while you explain.

  6. Let’s just all adore the fact he used the word “Frankly”.

  7. Shattuck was having and decided to stage-dive and they didn’t like it, she was fired soon thereafter. The “Pixies” don’t stage dive. The only diving allowed is in regards to the quality of their musical output. How the mighty have fallen. It’s better to burn out than it is to rust.

    • “It’s better to burn out than it is to rust.”

      Right.

      Wait, what?

      • It’s ok Tim, use your brain. Have you ever heard of Neil Young? One of the Pixies’ musical heroes and influences? It is a lyric from a Neil Young song “Hey Hey, My My” The lyric refers to once great people or artists who instead of calling out quits while they still had it (burning out) they instead try to maintain a charade of a once great thing and ruin the legacy of an all-time great band (rusting) The Pixies are barely recognizable. Pixies without Kim Deal putting out a garbage e.p. Nobody is having fun which is why Kim quit. They all seem miserable and obviously need the money. Rust, Tim. Rust.

  8. Yes, they can do whatever they want. However, it seems like a random, unjustified move to just fire her. Also, he comes across as entitled and condescending in his explanation. Oh, we little non-band people just don’t understand how the whole thing works and that’s why she was fired, so go suck a penis.

    He seems to have something weird against women so I don’t know why he insists on hiring female bassists. Maybe so he can mistreat them and then inexplicably fire them?

    • Maybe because they need a female vocalist. Also, maybe his statement wasn’t directed toward you and was said in response to a question in an interview. Also, maybe you should read the original link rather than relying on Stereogum to summarize it for you out of context.

  9. He does seem a bit of a prick to be honest but then again TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE…..so you know you just gotta love him really.

  10. If he wanted to treat Kim Shattuck as completely replaceable and at-will, he should have had the courtesy to state so up-front rather than spring it on her by having his manager fire her. That’s just completely disrespectful and embarrassing and a crappy way to treat a person.

    Unless I’m mistaken, I’ve seen no indication that she was a touring or temporary bassist, so basic decency and PR would seem to dictate you should at least speak to her face-to-face about any problems and offer at least a one-line statement on the change in line-up. But none of those considerations really seem to be weighing on Black Francis, who seems more intent on shunning the same fans whose money he is asking for …

  11. Big Black dick.

  12. Everyone has feelings and opinions, but what we’re reading here is a concentrated blurb about another post that was a select transcript of another statement. If anyone actually clicks on the link provided at the bottom of the article and sees the actual source, the context changes quite a bit from what we’re reading on Stereogum. This post came across to me as if Black came out and publicly “addressed” the fans, as if with a statement on the Pixies site or something, but the link that they are quoting from, actually seems like it was taken from the transcript of an interview.

    You might wonder what the difference is, but it’s actually fairly large; he’s responding to an individual, not addressing YOU the fan and telling YOU to fuck off. Also, the judgments on the whole Shattuck thing and how that’s being handled… it kind of fills that in a bit, as well. From the way that the actual information being referenced frames it, in the source article, Black seems to feel that it was the idea to create new music that may have turned Deal away from moving forward in the band–and let’s keep that in mind too, KIM DEAL QUIT THE BAND. The idea to kind of go through the old hits worked, but the idea of actually working together on new material, seemed too intimate and real and, maybe something that she just didn’t think that she had in her. Her solution, after all, is to keep playing an old album from her other project, instead. People can hate on Black all that they want and talk shit about the new material, but all that anyone has been bitching about, regarding the band, over the last decade, was if they’d finally record some new stuff. Love it or hate it, everyone begged for it. Now they hate the band because Deal isn’t in it, but everyone loves Deal for leaving and hates the remaining project?

    As far as Shattuck was concerned, they had a tour to do and got someone to fill in that role, after KIM QUIT. The issue is that, they are trying to move forward creatively, record new material, and move forward as a band with a future, not just a nostalgia act playing their own tunes. Whether you feel that intention is misguided or otherwise, that’s what they’re attempting to do. To do that, they have to find someone that they can create new material with and integrate into the group, lest they remain a Kim Deal knockoff indefinitely. Frank/Francis/Charles’ also stated that Shattuck was never locked in to be a permanent member/replacement. “Why didn’t they tell her then?!” Maybe she was aware of that, or just assumed that she was permanent, but it all happened really quick adding her and, like he said, it’s a band. “You’re hired forever, whether or not we feel like it’s going to work out and you were just a temporary fill-in, because, you know, feelings and how people that read music blogs might interpret and internalize the whole thing, etc.” And just like how everyone begged for music and then seems to hate it, I recall everyone losing their shit over replacing Kim Deal in the first place, now everyone loves the replacement? And they hate the new replacement? Who is actually pretty great, by the way. It’s all ridiculous bullshit.

    So, Black Francis owes the fans an explanation NOW for replacing Shattuck, because you guys bought tickets? Ok. Well, who bought tickets because Shattuck was playing with them? Nobody.

  13. Refreshing reply.

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