More than six months after regrouping for a world tour, the Pixies have definitively addressed the “Gigantic” elephant in the room. Curiously absent from interviews about the pioneering alternative rockers’ ongoing live trek and two new EPs has been much acknowledgement that the Pixies aren’t quite the same without founding bassist-singer Kim Deal, who also fronts the Breeders. Now, Pixies drummer David Lovering has said Deal, unlike the dude in the old Beyoncé song, is irreplaceable.
“When we were in the lurch when Kim Deal left it was a tough decision,” Lovering told Brooklyn Vegan. “Basically, no one can replace Kim Deal. It would be impossible to do.”
It’s not the Pixies’ first comment on Deal. The band wished her “the best” in a carefully worded June statement announcing she’d left. Frontman Black Francis, whose tension with Deal has long been famous, has described learning rather abruptly of her decision, telling The Guardian that the band had studio time booked and no choice but to continue: “Even with her leaving, which was sort of like the big no-no, you know, no one wants her to leave — ‘Oh God, not Kim Deal, anybody, but not Kim Deal’ — we still went: ‘No, we’re going to finish the job.'” Then again, Radio.com reported that Black Francis avoided the subject, and any reflection on Deal was glaringly missing from a recent Reuters interview.
Though Deal may be one of a kind, the Pixies’ new touring bassist, Paz Lenchantin, has an impeccable track record of her own, and Lovering was effusive in praising her. He told Brooklyn Vegan she’s “just wonderful.” He also confirmed the band looks for female bass players. “I think if we had a guy up there, it wouldn’t be the same,” he said, before reiterating that no one can replace Deal “but we’re doing the best we can with it.”
The Pixies named Lenchantin, a former member of A Perfect Circle and Billy Corgan’s group Zwan, as their new bassist in early December. She takes over for the Muffs’ Kim Shattuck, who’d joined only four months earlier and later said she found out she was fired through a phone call from her manager (par for the course from an outfit that originally, legendarily broke up via fax). Lenchantin’s impressive body of work also includes playing with Queens of the Stone Age, Silver Jews, Brightblack Morning Light, and more.
As Slicing Up Eyeballs points out, Lenchantin will make her Pixies debut at a newly announced warm-up show on January 13 at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, Massachusetts. Check out the Pixies’ full touring information on their website. The band recently dropped the unannounced short-player EP-2, which follows last year’s four-song EP-1. As for the gazillion-pound gorilla in the room, it’s gone to heaven.