As Oscar Wilde almost said: “To lose one bassist named Kim, Mr. Francis, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two looks like carelessness.” Yup, Black Francis and Pixies are back in the market for a bass player this week, as news that they’re playing Primavera as well as Field Day next year followed hot on the heels of this tweet from Kim Deal’s replacement Kim Shattuck:
Disappointed to learn that my time w/Pixies ended today. Amazing experience.Focusing attn on Muffs & new album. All the best to everyone.
— The Muffs: Kim (@TheMuffs) November 30, 2013
Which doesn’t exactly bode well for the idea of the band as a happy, creative group making new music worth getting excited about. We always knew the band’s original bassist and backing vocalist would be a tough act to follow (It wasn’t just the Dandy Warhols or struggled to find “a girl as cool as Kim Deal”), but Shattuck wasn’t even in place for the band’s recent recording sessions – instead, PJ Harvey and The Fall collaborator Simon ‘Ding’ Archer recorded the bass parts. Francis recently told NME: “He was perfect. He had some balls and was a punky kind of player. It didn’t solve our vocal problem, but it solved the low-end problem.” In terms of the vocals, Francis admitted that “there isn’t any solution” for replacing Deal, but that their friend Jeremy Dubs had done a bizarrely good job of imitating her on ‘Bagboy’. The fact that Shattuck wasn’t allowed to speak to us at all during this interview tells its own story.
The manner of Shattuck’s exit – it sounds from her tweet as if it came as a surprise to her to be summarily fired – suggests that the band thought she just wasn’t working out. But who else can step into Kim Deal’s boots? They need a badass bassist, a great singer to offset Black Francis, and, most importantly, they must be called Kim. Who do you want to see onstage with Pixies next year?