Pixies Not Moving On, Moving Forward
Some bands flame out gloriously, while others work at a steady pace. In the case of seminal 80s alt rock band Pixies, they seemed to have found a perfect middle ground. Born on the campus of the University of Massachusetts in the late 1980s, the band, consisting of Charles “Black Francis” Thompson, Joey Santiago, David Lovering and Kim Deal, went on to make four critically acclaimed albums and influenced a substantial number of acts during the 90s alternative rock boom before acrimoniously disbanding in 1993. In 2004 the band returned to perform some reunion shows, which were some of the fastest selling around the world, and decided it was high time to make another record. It’s been many years and a couple new members later but Pixies have been steadily performing and releasing music that not only equals their previous output but in some cases, transcends it. The bands new album Beneath The Eyrie is set to be released on September 13 and, as drummer David Lovering puts it, showcases the band at its most confident and comfortable yet.
“Nothing we are doing now is comparing it to the past,” the affable and kind drummer says on the phone from his home in Santa Barbara. “Since Paz (Lenchantin, bassist) officially joined the band, it’s really been like a family. Plus, she is such a good player that it makes me want to step my game so I don’t embarrass myself” Lovering says with a laugh. Pixies went through some personnel changes since Kim Deal left the band before the start of recording the album Indie Candy in 2013. “When we finally found Paz things seemed to really click for the band as a unit,” Lovering says admiringly. Lenchantin’s presence has definitely seemed to have made the act more whole. From their stage performances and recordings over the last few years you sense a higher amount of confidence within the group. “Plus we are all older now,” Lovering says, “and that gives you a certain sense of freedom.”
This freedom can be heard all over Beneath The Eyrie. While still sounding like the band that has been adored for years, Pixies have branched out exploring different genre styles. “We think as a band, and I’m going to say ‘think’,” Lovering jokes, “is that we can cover any kind of genre and keep doing what we do and be happy to not look back and just enjoy it.” Lovering, sounding refreshed, is eager to take the new album on the road. New and old fans of the group should find much to enjoy here. From the classic Pixies sound of “On Graveyard Hill” to the driving “Long Rider” with it’s spaghetti western-esque guitar intro to the dreamy surf vibe of “Los Surfers Muertos” there is a ton of new ground covered.
Recorded in upstate New York at the unique and interesting Dreamland studios in the winter of 2018, Beneath The Eyrie stands apart from the bands previous releases with a decidedly gothic tone. “We met about a year before the recording started,” explains Lovering, “Charles had brought some songs into the rehearsal space we were working out of and we banged those around and came out with about twelve that we felt really confident with.” When the group arrived at Dreamland things changed. The studios, nestled in Hurley, New York and set up in what was once a Saint John’s church built in 1896, had such a unique atmosphere that it was bound to impact the recording sessions. “We were staying up there, working on the material and we came up with about another six songs,” says Lovering of the process, “After feeling so confident with the twelve we had it was another moment of ‘well time to get my ass in gear to really nail these new ones’,” he says with a chuckle. “I’m not 100% sure if the environment inspired the creation of these new ones but being up there in the winter, surrounded by barns and being in a church definitely inspired Charles’s lyrics.” Lyrically Beneath The Eyrie is a treat to dive into. Full of tales of witches, misfits and even an appearance from Daniel Boone, the songs add an extra dimension of otherworldliness to the bands oeuvre.
With a world tour looming, Lovering is excited to start playing the songs, new and old to fans everywhere. “The older songs are still great to play,” he says, “I have no qualms with them at all, it’s like riding a bike.” The new tracks seem to be a bit more daunting to the drummer. “We recorded the album last December and I haven’t really listened to it a ton since then,” he explains laughing, “I’m just digging into everything again now and it’s actually really fun.” Then, Lovering says with a sly lilt, “you’ve probably listened to the album more than me so if you feel like doing me a favour and coming to Pasadena next week and playing them for me, that would be great,” he says with a laugh. While the offer is hilariously tempting, when fans see this new, perhaps slightly older but very much more relaxed, confident and rejuvenated version of the band they’ve loved for so long, they will definitely come away from each show with a huge smile on their face.
interview by Adam Fink
31 Daydream Festival, Pasadena, CA
12 De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, UK
13 Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, UK
14 Pavilions, Plymouth, UK
16 O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK
17 O2 Academy, Leeds, UK
18 O2 Apollo, Manchester, UK
20 Alexandra Palace, London, UK
21 O2 Academy, Newcastle, UK
22 O2 Academy, Glasgow, UK
23 Usher Hall, Edinburgh, UK
25 Ulster Hall, Belfast, UK
26 Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
29 Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway
30 Cirkus, Stockholm, Sweden
1 KB Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
3 TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, The Netherlands
4 O13 Poppodium, Tilburg, The Netherlands
5 Columbiahalle, Berlin, Germany
7 Palladium, Cologne, Germany
8 Lucerna Music Hall, Prague, Czech Republic
9 Gasometer, Vienna, Austria
11 Estragon, Bologna, Italy
12 Todays at OGR, Turin, Italy
13 X-Tra, Zurich, Switzerland
15 Tonhalle, Munich, Germany
16 Forest National, Brussels, Belgium
17 Luxexpo, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
19 L’Olympia, Paris, France
20 Le Radiant, Lyon, France
21 Le Liberte, Rennes, France
23 Sant Jordi Club, Barcelona, Spain
24 Riviera, Madrid, Spain
25 Campo Pequeno, Lisbon, Portugal
26 Coliseum, Galicia, Spain
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