Three years ago, Frank Black told Rolling Stone he'd be game for a Pixies reunion "if I were penniless or a family member needed a kidney transplant." Last year, the answer was "I can't say it won't happen, but I won't say it will." Today, after weeks of speculation that the group would make a May appearance at the Coachella Festival in California, the Pixies officially announced that they would reunite.
The group -- Black, bassist Kim Deal, guitarist Joey Santiago and drummer David Lovering -- is planning an eleven-city North American tour in April, wrapping with Coachella on May 1st, and followed by a set of European dates running from May 28th through July 10th. The dates are the Pixies' first since they opened for U2 on the Zoo TV tour in 1992.
The Pixies formed in Boston in 1986 and released four albums and an EP before splitting in a notoriously nasty fashion. The band never managed much in the way of mainstream sales clout but found a rabid and loyal following, which included Kurt Cobain (who claimed that his hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was a Pixies rip-off) and David Bowie (who covered "Cactus" two years ago). The prolific Black, who has released nine albums in the time since the band's demise, never completely severed ties with the Pixies catalog, always dropping a few old tunes into his solo sets over the past decade. But he also never seemed completely comfortable with the weight of the band's legacy.
"I've been disappointed with a lot of those songs," he told Rolling Stone late last year. "Not the band or the recordings of the music, but mostly in terms of my lyrics. I think I hit my stride on a few songs with the Pixies. But a lot of them we were spitting them out too fast because everyone was saying, 'You're great, give us more.' I wish I could have slowed down the pace, in retrospect, and I'd have less cringe-y moments."
A Pixies DVD is also in the works. The group's former label, 4AD, has collected all eight of the band's videos, a 1988 concert from London, the Gouge band documentary, and other odds and ends for Pixies, to be released later this year. A twenty-three-track compilation is also planned.
Dates and cities for the upcoming tour have not yet been confirmed.