Kim Deal has parted ways with Pixies, ending an oft-confounding, occasionally frustrating, always brilliant partnership that spanned 25 years, and included one hiatus, an abrupt breakup and a triumphant round of reunion tours.
The band made the announcement on Friday (June 14), via a polite statement that read, in part:
“We are sad to say that Kim Deal has decided to leave the Pixies. We are very proud to have worked with her … [and] despite her decision to move on, we will always consider her a member of the Pixies, and her place will always be here for her. We wish her all the best.”
That’s a far cry from the band’s breakup in 1993, which came after years of creative tension between Deal and frontman/songwriter Frank Black (or Black Francis, if you prefer) and was notable for several reasons, including the part where Black notified Deal of her firing via fax. Deal had joined Pixies in 1986 as their bassist, co-wrote and sang lead on the song “Gigantic,” the first (and only) single off their 1988 full-length debut Surfer Rosa.
Pixies would go on to release three other critically lauded, influential albums — 1989’s Doolittle, ’90’s Bossanova and ’91’s Trompe le Monde — but Deal was becoming increasingly frustrated by Black’s total control over the band, and during a hiatus, she formed the Breeders, the band that would become her primary focus after Black broke up Pixies.
After a decade apart, rumors of a Pixies reunion began to spread, and in 2004, a full tour — with Black, Deal, guitarist Joey Santiago and drummer David Lovering — was announced. That initial jaunt was such a success that it lead to festival appearances, a 20th anniversary Doolittle tour and even a new song, “Bam Thwok,” with Black telling MTV News in 2005 that Pixies were “getting closer” to making a new album. As recently as September, there were rumors of a new record, but now, if there is one, Deal seemingly won’t be involved.
At press time, there’s been no comment from Deal about her decision to leave Pixies. She’s spent 2013 marking the 20th anniversary of the Breeders’ Last Splash, with a tour and a deluxe reissue of the iconic disc.