And you'll ask yourself, where is my mind? Where is my mind? Wheeeere is my mind? Away with the Pixies for the last 23 years, wherever they were. Black Francis, David Lovering and Joey Santiago have reunited to headline the biggest festivals this summer and release their first album since Trompe le Monde in 1991. This one's for Indie Cindy.
Having influenced probably the majority of bands who formed in the late 80s/early 90s including Radiohead and Nirvana, Pixies were the alt rockers that everyone wanted to sound like and that everyone still knows the whole mish mash of lyrics too even if the band themselves don't know what they mean... After bassist Kim Deal walked out of the band in a coffee shop in Wales, the three remaining members went on to record Indie Cindy - performing live with Paz Lenchantin instead - have already headlined Coachella and are set to play Field Day and Glastonbury this year. We catch up with David and Joey to see where their minds are at.
Do you remember when you guys first met?
David Lovering: I got a call from John Murphy who was Kim Deal's husband, years ago in 1986, could have been 85, I don't remember. They were living in Massachusetts and I was living in the suburbs and I got a call because they were looking for a drummer. She had joined up with Charles [Black Francis] and Joe, she'd answered an ad looking for a female bass player and my name came up through her husband who I had worked with previously. I went to Kim's apartment where it was Joe, Charles and Kim.
Joey Santiago: We were judging David.
David: Yeah, and Charles was on the acoustic guitar and they just played songs. They played like Ed Is Dead and Nimrod's Son and things like that and me - I didn't have anything. I didn't have drumsticks or anything but to tell you the truth, back then, I was listening to Rush and bands like that and this was kind of alien to me. It was good but I never really got the full implication of it until we started for real and I brought in my drumsticks and it was finally the four of us. When we really started going I realised that wow, I like these songs, I really liked them. I was going to college at the time and all I remember in my head was the songs, it wasn't work. It was music, music, music, Pixies!
Joey: When he came over he played the Linn Drum Machine and then he left and then Charles and Kim forgot because he didn't seem very interesting and I was like... "well, he might have been stoned!"
Joey: I go, "trust me, he was stoned, lets call him." You were waiting for the call right?
David: I think I probably was, yeah, because I had given up drums. I played them all my life and then gave them up. I had a girlfriend for a number of years and just never played. That was the first time I was in a real band.
Were you in college together?
David: No, different schools.
Joey: And I met Charles through a lottery in the university. They happened to just put us in the same kind of suite, I guess you could call us roommates. And he went there to start a band and I went there to start a band and I didn't bring my guitar because I wanted to get my GPA, my grades up before I started screwing up, that wya I had a cushion. But anyway, he started playing his songs and I go, "these are good." So I went home and picked up my guitar and we started playing.
Did you carry on trying to up your grades after that?
Joey: No, no, after two and a half semesters Charles and I exchanged letters - he was in Puerto Rico - saying "we gotta get outta here, we gotta go," and I agreed. So he came over and I dropped outta school, just signed off, bye!
Why did you decide to get back together after 23 years?
David: I think it was all because Charles was on the radio here and he jokingly said, "oh yeah, the Pixies have been rehearsing," and because of that it went viral, it was on CNN.
But you hadn't been rehearsing?
David: We hadn't been, but it became bigger than it was.
Joey: You know those things, the scrolling things on CNN? It said, "the anniversary of 9/11," and then it said, "the Pixies are reuniting." We weren't but we were thinking about it so in essence, CNN reunited us!
Do you think your sound on Indie Cindy has changed a lot to your last album?
Joey: Yup. It was on purpose. We couldn't do those things again. A band grows. We still sond like the Pixies, but we're grown up.
David: It is a progression of the last album Trompe Le Monde. It is in theory 20 years later or whatever but it really is closer, it's the next album. It's still the Pixies sound, people tie it to Trompe Le Monde. I think where we are and what our sound is, is naturally going to be that.
How was Coachella?
Joey: Awesome. We killed, we won.
Have you played there before?
Joey: Yes, 2004. And that's interesting to come back to, because that was the beginning of our reunion. We had done some shows in Canada but Coachella was the big deal.
David: That was the first time I saw a sea of kids - who hadn't even been born when we were a band - singing along. That was kind of like "woah." It was a really surreal moment. And it was eye-opening to realise what had happened in the interim that we had disbanded. Even now, ten years later, there are still kids in our show who are even younger, and the people my age are bringing their kids to the show. It's pretty wild.
Joey: Coachella, again, is one of the factors that reunited us. Because we weren't, we were still ironing out the business side of things. So we were taking care of that but weren't officially reunited but Coachella was there and we were like, "we need to do something, we gotta get our crap together before Coachella," and that's the truth.
Did you go to lots of festivals when you were younger?
David: No, well, we didn't have them in America. Lollapalooza was the first one and that was pretty much just after we had broken up. We only did festivals when we were playing them in Europe back in the 80s and 90s.
Will this be your first time playing Glastonbury?
David: Second, we played back in 1989.
What's your favourite song off the new album?
David: I agree.
Joey: It was just put together nice and it was spontaneous. It was conceived in the studio.
David: It has a feel to it that I really like.
What's it about?
David: I can't speak because Charles wrote it but I think it's about an asteroid or a star. Magdalena 318 - that's the star's name that's been designated in the solar system. That's all I know about it.
Joey: Key of C#. That's what it's about.
What's Where Is My Mind about?
David: I don't even know! Looking for a cup of coffee?
Joey: Because he couldn't find his mind and he needed a cup of coffee.
David: Really? That's what it's about?
Joey: Swear to God, Dave! It's about the key of E.
David: I don't know, it's so surreal isn't it? Charles writes everything.
And no one ever knows what it means?
Joey: I don't give a shit. I don't listen to the words, Pixies - I don't know any lyrics. I don't know a single one. I know the keys.
David: I only listen to the melody of it. But that's not just with Pixies, that's with all my favourite bands, I don't know any lyrics. I enjoy the music of it. But especially Charles - I have no idea what he's talking about!
Are there any young bands around today that you think are like Pixies?
David: I don't think so.
Joey: They say that but I think the influence we have is people starting bands. That's about it, I don't think they sound like us.
What advice would you give them?
David: Make sure your songs are good. That's it. As long as your songs are good, everything else will fall into place and people will take notice.
Joey: Practice. And take a million dollar loan out. Buy your way into the business. No, you can't even do that! Just practice and be unique.