Pixies To Reform In April?
A decade after a bitter breakup, seminal alternative rock act the Pixies may reunite next year. At deadline, rumors of a tour and a potential new studio album remain unconfirmed. The manger of frontman Frank Black (aka Black Francis) tells Billboard.com, "I have received an offer for the Pixies to perform in April. That said, over the past 10 years, I have received dozens of offers for the Pixies." A spokesperson for the group's former label, 4AD, had no comment on potential reunion plans.
The group's last major tour came while supporting U2 on a number of U.S. dates on the 1992 Zoo TV trek. Goldenvoice Promotions head Paul Tollett tells Billboard.com he has tried to book the Pixies "every year" for the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif. "I still haven't made any movement," he reports. " not sure if they are speaking to each other."
The Pixies -- vocalist/guitarist Black Francis, vocalist/bassist Kim Deal, lead guitarist Joey Santiago and drummer David Lovering -- released four albums and an EP over the course of five years in the late '80s/early '90s, providing a blueprint for the alternative rock boom that dominated the latter decade.
In 1993, two years after the release of the group's final album, "Trompe Le Monde" (4AD/Elektra), Francis (real name: Charles Thompson) sent a press release to the media announcing the breakup of the Pixies. He went on to forge a solo career, now nine albums strong, as Frank Black. Deal found post-Pixies success with the Breeders, whose 1994 album "Last Splash" (4AD/Elektra) peaked at No. 33 on The Billboard 200 in 1994 and has sold 978,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Black has been incorporating Pixies songs into live performances with his band the Catholics with increasing regularity over the past few years. Songs like "Where Is My Mind?," "Mr. Grieves," "Crackity Jones," "Nimrod's Son," "Holiday Song" and "Gouge Away" have all surfaced in recent setlists, and a version of the latter recorded in April in Regina, Saskatchewan, appears on a new Frank Black & the Catholics EP, "Nadine," licensed this week by spinART exclusively to a number of independent U.S. retailers.
In July, Black told London radio station XFM that he still fantasized about reuniting his old band. "I do dream about the Pixies reunion, I do have to say," he said. "It's like those schoolboy dreams when you don't do your homework and you don't study for the test, but I'm at the gig and we're hanging out, but it's an utter failure and I don't know the songs, and hardly anyone turns up for the gig and people walk out. That's what I'm afraid of, that it'd be a big, big failure."
He added: "We might. We do get together and have private jams together, but not for public consumption."
During the Pixies' career, the group never made a huge commercial dent (their top-selling album is 1989's "Doolitte" at 552,000 copies). But its impact on critics and fans was far reaching. A handful of collections of Pixies material have surfaced during the band's hiatus, including the 1997 Elektra double-CD set "Death to the Pixies," which featured favorites and live compilation discs. Last year, spinART Records released "Pixies," a collection of unreleased songs from the band's original 1987 demo tape.