Oh. My. Fucking. God! Pixies is coming! For the 2011 Lost Cities tour, the legendary indie/punk quartet performs its hugely popular 1989 album Doolittle in cities it has never played before, and our sleepy town makes the list. In one of the greatest honors of my life, I spoke with members David Lovering and Joey Santiago about the tour, Pixies' place in the pantheon of iconic music and outer space—why wouldn't we?
SFR: Did you ever think you’d be back together playing shows again?
David Lovering: I thought we’d never, ever get back together, but because of the success [of Doolittle], and because we were approaching the 20th anniversary of the record, we figured we’d go for it. Truthfully, though, we’ve been at this a few years now, so I think we’d be on Trompe le Monde by now…if we were sticklers, that is.
Joey Santiago: No, never. I mean, there were rumors popping up every few years about us playing shows, so I suppose I had this inkling we’d eventually cave in. Still, you never know, and it didn’t seem truly real until it was actually happening.
How does performing now compare to 20 years ago?
DL: It is so cool and so strange to look out and see people I assume bought the album when it came out, and they’ve got their kids with them. Seeing people that weren’t even born yet singing along is quite a treat. But music hasn’t changed that much; if you’re good at what you do, people will notice.
JS: I imagine this dad looking at his kid and saying, “Son, it’s time for you to learn about new music,” even though this is old music, I guess. The crowds are a little older, but the enthusiasm is as strong as ever. Hell, maybe it’s even greater, as it’s been so long since we’ve played.
Do smaller cities differ greatly from larger ones?
JS: People freak out! To hear that the shows are selling out so fast in towns we’ve never played is awesome. These people aren’t buying tickets just for the hell of it; they’re truly excited to see us, whereas in Los Angeles or New York, people seem jaded, and I’m just tired of these places.
DL: This is our chance to play for people that maybe can’t afford to travel. We felt we owed it to our fans, and these smaller cities seem to have a greater appreciation. The tour has also allowed us to visit some pretty cool places like Tasmania.
Is it at all strange to be considered so influential?
DL: I think, when Doolittle came out, Rolling Stone gave it three stars, and then more recently it was re-reviewed and given five. That is hysterical to me. Looking back, I think we knew we had something special, but we didn’t fully realize what it would become.
JS: I remember when we finished the recording, we’d rewind the tape and listen over and over. We really loved it, but you never know how people will receive anything. I’m glad that fans and musicians find things to take away from our music. I was at a Red Sox game recently, and they played “Debaser,” which was super-strange. They even played “Where Is My Mind?” for these astronauts in space, and that blows my mind—so to speak. I got it, I get it; it’s weird, but it’s also quite flattering.
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