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Pixies tried to keep ‘Kim-shaped hole’ in album

Black Francis says decision over whether to continue after bassist quit was a challenge they never want to face again

The Pixies had to decide whether to continue working on latest album Indie Cindy after bassist Kim Deal quit midway through the production.

And Bagboy, the first track to be released after she’d gone, only contained vocals that imitated her style due to a creative accident, says frontman Black Francis.

He tells Rolling Stone: “We had this whole thing where Kim left in the middle of the record. That was an interesting challenge – I don’t think we want that kind of challenge next time we have a sessions.”

Once they’d decided to continue, they considered the option of trying to find an artist who’d perform similarly to Deal.

But Francis says: “The general feeling was, even if the record has this Kim-shaped hole in it, we needed to leave the hole there. We had to do it ourselves.”

Bagboy features backing vocals by Francis’ collaborator Jeremy Dubs, although the fact that his contribution sounds like Deal wasn’t planned. “He’d thrown down some vocals when I was out of the studio,” says the frontman. “Even at the time I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, it sounds exactly like Kim.’

“It’s unfortunate because it have the impression to the conspiracy-seekers that we were doing that deliberately to fake everybody out. It was a total fluke.”

Deal was replaced by Kim Shattuck, who was dismissed after just four months in the role. Paz Lenchantin was hired as her replacement, and guitarist Joey Santiago recently said there was a chance she’d be invited to remain on a full-time basis.

Indie Cindy is launched this week – and while Francis hopes it’ll be well-received, he insists he’s prepared for the opposite results.

“We want to be successful. We don't want to be skewered; we don't want to get a 1-out-of-10 star review or whatever,” he says. “We don't want any of those things, but we're actually perfectly willing to accept all that.

“At the end of the day it's, ‘Cut the shit – we just want to make music.’ It's a rock band. We live in reality most of the time, unless we have a few drinks. We're pretty grounded.”

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