Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 102

tionist, and her attitude in the studio was
very light. We loved that she fit in - it's
hard to find people as weird as us. She's
positive; we call her "Pazative."
So, if it wasn't for rock and roll and
the Pixies, what would your life have
been like?

I don't know... I would probably be trying to be in a band. It probably wouldn't
be as good as this.
Did you ever wonder if that knack
you had for economics could have
amounted to anything?

The only thing I knew about economics
was that Mick Jagger was also an Econ
major. So my economics background has
nothing to do with the Pixies... other than
me wanting to tour more because the fixed
costs were already paid. I remember one
professor asking a class, "Who wants to
work for IBM?" A lot of people raised their
hands, but I didn't. I thought, "Hmm, I
shouldn't be here."
How have fans reacted to Head
Carrier?

All very positive. We made something
fresh and smeared our fingerprints all
over it! Seriously, though, it's been great
playing the new songs in the live show.
They fit in really well.

met and he asked, "How long did take
you to do this?" I told him, "Some of it
was an hour, some was 20 minutes." And
he goes, "You're not bulls****ing me, are
you?" I told him, "No," and he asked me
to compose the score for his TV show,
"Undeclared." I also started doing films.
Head Carrier is the band's first set
of songs written to go together since
Trompe le Monde. Was the process
similar to those earlier albums?

No, we took about three weeks just sorting through songs, then figured out which
would go to the wayside. Then, we went to
Toronto to record proper demos and met
with producer Tom Dalgety. Right away,
we were bonding, and he thought we had
enough songs, so we started recording. We
did pre-production for a couple weeks,
decided on arrangements, then pretty
much nailed recording in three weeks;
David did drum tracks in three days, then
we recorded bass, then guitar, then vocals.
And Charles' lyrics were worked out?

Kinda. There were a handful he wanted
to tweak.
What amps did you use?

I had my Marshalls and my Vibrolux.

Did your parts come together pretty
easily?

Yeah, we were writing guitar parts as we
went, but I got them down pretty quickly.

The album has a strong modern-rock

feel but still sounds like a Pixies record
going back. It reinforces the thought
that you guys were ahead of your time.

Well, we were drawing from the past -
we embraced what it is, what we are, what
comes naturally to us. And it might sound
different because Kim left, but it's different
[because we were] experimenting.
How did you decide Paz was right
for the band?

We knew it, really, on our second tour
with her. And when we started recording
the album, she had great suggestions, and
she had chops, obviously.
What was the first connection with
her?

She played with my ex-wife and I in the
Martinis once, which I sometimes forget
because it was years ago. But, I called
my friend, Josh Freese, the drummer in
Perfect Circle, and said, "Is there anyone
you think would work?" We wanted to
try out three people. Charles knew of one,
and I also thought about Rachel Haden, of
That Dog; she played with Todd Rundgren
and was spectacular. Then Paz came in
and was very much in our mood, had a
good sense of humor. We enjoyed every
moment with her.
How do you describe the nuance Paz
brings vocally, compositionally, and in
her bass parts?

Her vocals are right on, she's a perfecVINTAGE GUITAR

102

October 2017

Have there been notable tour highlights?

We had great shows in the U.K. and
Ireland to start, and now mainland
Europe. A personal highlight for me was
when my kids came to Paris to see us at
a Lollapalooza in July. It was interesting
to experience through their eyes.
How does Europe compare with the
U.S.?

I prefer to tour in Europe. It's got
a liberal vibe and the architecture is
interesting.
Do you have any expectations for the
fall tour in the U.S.?

I'm definitely looking forward to
visiting cities we have not done with this
album, including shows in Canada and
the Midwest, particularly. I look forward
to every tour.
What's next for the band?

After this, we'll take a break, but
then we have two more U.S. tours.
Nex t year, we're pla nning to v isit
another continent - one we have not
yet done on this album. And we're
thinking about recording a new album.
What do you think it is about Pixies
music that draws a perpetually young
audience?

I guess when a part of each generation reads that Kurt Cobain was
into us, they take a listen. Plus, "Where
Is My Mind" was on Fight Club.

Santiago: Simon Foster.

Santiago in the studio, pedals galore.


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