Before the year that punk broke, grunge, Nirvana or Radiohead, there was The Pixies. Formed in Boston in the late-80s, The Pixies were unique in their approach and an enormous influence on so many bands that developed in their wake. From their music to their image, the band has always been no frills, and its become clear how much that set them apart their music wasnt about ripping solos or over-produced ballads, and they looked approachable, not like rock stars, but like folks you might hang out with.
For guitarist Joey Santiago, the band was always the only option.
The moment that we knew when we were going to be more than a local act is when we started the band, Santiago says. We want[ed] to go places, thats why we started the band. You want to strive for something. It was probably when we dropped out of school. No safety net. None. If you have a Plan B, you dont have a plan at all. No one wants Plan B.
According to Santiago, they achieved their sound pop and punk, but not pop punk in a very simple way.
Were honest to ourselves, he says. Thats about it. Every moment, every song is what we do; we always end up sounding like The Pixies. We cant help it. Its in our DNA. Its just there, its magically there well, not magically we dont pretend to be anyone else than what we are. Not sound, but personality. Were not posers.
Nothing good can last forever though, or so it would seem. Around late-1992, The Pixies went on a sabbatical that lasted until they reunited in 2003, which saw the original line-up intact until bassist/vocalist Kim Deal left again in 2013, prior to the release of their newest, Indie Cindy.
At the end of the day, we just have to go about our own business, Santiago explains. People cant forget that there is still the three of us. Her influence on us: big. She was a quarter of the sound. Can we replace that and be The Pixies? Absolutely. The other person that goes in there has to be honest too, to be the person that they are. Its bound to sound like it again if theyre true to themselves.
He continues, adding of their legacy, There are bands out there that I was told were influenced by us, so we get influenced by The Pixies, because we are The Pixies, because we are ourselves. Bands try to strive to sound like us. We dont have to do it.
Santiago certainly sees Indie Cindy as an equally integral part of the ever-growing Pixies canon: I think with Indie Cindy, it fits right in. People could do an experiment, to make a playlist of all the Pixies material, including Indie Cindy, and put it on shuffle.
Continuing, he adds of any differences pre-and-post hiatus, Critiquing time is silly. Its different with technology. But critiquing the lifetime of a band pre-and-post, it doesnt do any good. Its just music. It shouldnt be part of the equation. Its like, OK, its 2015. What the hell is this like now? Well, yeah, theres a progression. Theres a growing up. And we should be growing up. And maybe we wont. Maybe we go to the studio and we reminisce. We have our own language. We put a different accent on it, but its the same thing, just a different accent.
For Santiago, music is work, but work can be a good time. He explains of his ethic that The touring, youre just trying to remember things, muscle memory. With recording, its more on the side of work. Its called the music business. In the studio, its the business. When you play out it should be fun.
As to the next generation, he offers this advice, Play live, book shows, then make the album. A band is starting out bash it out first, test it out, test those waters, before making that first record. You can demo it out, but its better to play a lot of live shows. Youll never meet anyone sitting on the couch. Not even through iChat. Youll never get a tune of the person just texting. Youll never get a tune out of someone talking over the phone, but when youre face-to-face with someone, thats when the honesty happens. You can read their face, you can tell if theyre lying.
Friday, May 15
625 S. 4th St.
$49.50+; 8 p.m.