Frank Black is Back

Former Pixie won't play court jester anymore

With just about everyone in the rock biz fixated -- as ever -- on the next bigthing, Frank Black's "small is beautiful" attitude is pretty darn refreshing.By "small," we're not implying that the round mound of noisy sound has begunmarketing some sort of post-punk diet plan; he has, however, retreated fromthe major label ranks in order to focus his energy on music, rather thanmarketing.

"It's gotten so that everyone is only interested in the home run, and not inthe guy who can guarantee that he'll get on base," says Black, whose newcombo, the Catholics, will release their first full-length on the SpinArtlabel early next month. "But I'm not really complaining: With the Pixies, wehad our little party, we had street cred and we sold some T-shirts."

These days, Black says he's not quite as interested in the ephemera thatsurrounds making records, preferring to concentrate on renovating his L.A.home -- he proudly notes that he took down his own mailbox column (on purpose)-- and studying up on the shadowy world of the Masons, since, as he puts it,"they're behind everything."

"I realized this was a business the first time a club owner gave me $50 forplaying a show, but it's just gotten way too lame these past couple years," hesays. "I'm never gonna play another one of those f---in' radio station showsagain, for one thing. I don't feel like I have to dance like a court jester inorder to curry favor with someone who doesn't know anything about music."