Pixies frontman Black Francis pulled back the curtain somewhat on the recent firing of bassist Kim Shattuck – who replaced co-founder Kim Deal after she left in June – in an interview with Yahoo!, saying that the group never intended to make Shattuck a permanent member, while also dismissing the need to further explain the situation.
“Frankly you don’t want to explain it to anybody – it’s a lot of its personal, private shit” Francis said. “It’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.”
The Pixies have already hired a new touring bassist, Paz Lenchatin, who has previously played with A Perfect Circle, the Entrance Band and Billy Corgan’s group Zwan. “Paz is really good,” Francis said. “She’s really nice and we played with her a couple of times before. We’re very curious about working with her and so we are gonna work with her.” This new Pixies line-up is set to embark on a 33-date North American tour on January 15th, after which they’ll hit the festival circuits in South America and Europe this spring.
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Still, Shattuck’s firing came as a surprise to her after a run of successful tour dates in the U.S. and Europe, during which the new bassist was warmly recieved by press and fans alike. “Everything had gone well, the reviews were all good and the fans were super-nice about everything,” Shattuck said after she was let go. “They were like, ‘We love you, New Kim!'”
Despite the positive feedback, Francis said bands operate by a different set of criteria. “The big question mark is, if it was going so well, why are you changing it up again?” Francis said. “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.”
Francis also spoke about Deal’s departure, theorizing that it was the band’s decision to make EP-1, their first release of all new material since 1991’s Trompe le Monde, that led to her exit. “We were becoming a vital creative entity again,” he said. “Creativity is a new paradigm – it’s more intimate. Playing the old songs is less intimate. It’s like for old time’s sake, let’s play it again. Playing new music is definitely another level in a band. I think that it ended up causing the band to break up again, so to speak. Or in this case, not break up but [undergo] a lineup change. Now the onus is on Joey and David and I to make it valid or not.”