Kim Deal Interview: On A New Breeders Album, Keeping It Cottage Industry And Patricide | NME.COM

Posted: March 16, 2015 by Kimberly Weiss in Band/Artist/Project News, Local Music News
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Almost two years after Kim Deal quit the Pixies, no-one’s any the wiser as to why she walked out. But when there’s a new Breeders record and regular seven-inches from Deal on the horizon, why dwell on the past? She tells Emily Mackay about keeping it cottage industry…

A few days after I speak to Kim Deal, I get an envelope in the post. From Kim Deal. It’s full of seven-inches. From Kim Deal. Not from Kim Deal’s PR, manager or agent, but addressed from Kim Deal, Dayton, Ohio.

This is how the alternative rock darling of the 1990s rolls nowadays. In June 2013, she left the Pixies some nine years after they first got back together. The band’s reunion had become, relative to their success in their own lifetime, a very big deal, and interest in any new material was intense. Kim had in fact written the first new Pixies song, ‘Bam Thwok’, in 2004, but just before they began working on their fifth album ‘Indie Cindy’, she bowed out, without offering any explanation. Now she’s happy to be keeping it cottage industry with her seven-inch solo series.

“There’s a lot of work in it,” says Deal. “Getting people together in the same room to play a song. Like [Slint drummer] Britt Walford, he’s coming up again in a week to play the drums on the next solo A-side… We’re doing it ourselves, and we don’t have a team of people making the product, and there’s not a perfume coming with it, it’s not a lifestyle brand. So even though it reads as low-key, it’s really actually just regular. We’re just like anybody who is in a band who plays music with people and then they go and record it and they put it out.”

She’s been putting out these records independently since January 2013, paying for the recording and pressing herself. In the case of ‘The Root’, she even made the video herself, in the car park of her local grocery store, singing the lyrics into the reversing camera of her friend’s car.

“…And I’m kneeling behind the car, singing along to the track, singing really loud. The people from the grocery store came out and were like ‘Are you OK?’” Kim recalls enthusiastically. (Everything Kim says is enthused; even when she says that in Dayton, “it’s grey, and winter’s coming, and it’s just shitty” it’s with the same fizzy brio that she confides “All I know… is that there were RUMOURS…” at the start of the Pixies ‘I’m Amazed’, on their 1988 debut ‘Surfer Rosa’.) You can see, I tell her, why they’d be concerned about a woman apparently serenading an exhaust pipe.

“Oh yes.”
But Kim Deal really is OK. She’s chirpy, warm, and curious, asking almost as many questions as she answers. There’s still been no word from her, though, about why she left the Pixies. When she announced her departure, the band said her place would always be open. In a subsequent interview with The Guardian, Black Francis claimed she had in fact offered to play for the band again, but just not in a firm enough way that they’d been confident to accept. “She’s been reticent for a very long time to make a new [Pixies] record,” he said. “She was unhappy with the situation, or unhappy with her life or whatever, just not happy.” Kim has politely but firmly declined to comment in her rare interviews since then, and indeed, does not fall for my cunning ‘perhaps you’d like to put your side of the story?’ tactic either, responding with a warm, “I’m goooood, thank you,” and nearly hanging up in the politest, most Kim Deal way possible: “It was really nice talking to you though!”

Kim’s twin sister Kelley, her lifelong musical sounding board and collaborator in Kim’s other ‘90s-shaping band, The Breeders (always the Pixies’ cooler sisters, knocking out weird, haunting, fun and oddly intimate indie-pop classics in their own idiosyncratic way), has revealed a sliver more, telling one website that she didn’t think Kim left the Pixies to focus on The Breeders, but that she thought it “was just one of those things where people grew apart. I think they wanted different things from music, y’know?”

In the absence of any word from Kim, there’s little point in speculating. And why worry? We now have new Breeders material on the way from the line-up that recorded their 1993 classic ‘Last Splash’ and reunited to tour it on its 20th anniversary (backed with a mouth-watering reissue, ‘LSX’), as well as the seven-inches, a gift in themselves. Kim is still pondering whether to collect those into an album or box set, but doesn’t want to make people buy them again. Maybe she could just sell the last one with a box. “I dunno. Do you have any suggestions? Seriously.”

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Kim Deal Interview: On A New Breeders Album, Keeping It Cottage Industry And Patricide | NME.COM
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