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Pixies bassist reveals Kim Deal connection

AAP logoAAP 3/10/2016 Danielle McGrane

Pixies bassist Paz Lenchantin says her predecessor, Kim Deal, has given her blessing in a pretty unconventional way.

Lenchantin stepped into Deal's talented shoes to replace her as bassist with the US surf-rockers in 2014.

It came after a two-decade break between albums, a split, a reunion, and ongoing tension between Deal and the band's frontman Black Francis.

But in the past two years, Lenchantin has become a permanent Pixies member, releasing her first album with the group, Head Carrier.

Deal's blessing came when Lenchantin first joined the Pixies, although the two never actually met.

"She (Deal) appeared in my dreams one time early on when I first joined as a live performer with Pixies and that was the only time," Lenchantin told AAP.

"I've never spoken to her."

Lenchantin describes her relationship with Deal as abstract.

"It's not a real relationship in the way that we know it but it's a real relationship to me in this surreal world of music," she said.

Deal was an integral cog in the Pixies machine and the incumbent bassist felt that pressure keenly, but in the "dream" put a lot of her worries to rest.

"It was interesting what she said to me in the dream and I knew it was her," Lenchantin said.

"She came and she whispered this information in my ear and she basically said to me, 'if you want to be like me, don't be like me' meaning there is nothing to copy, just be yourself, just do as you do and you'll be fine."

The message also assuaged Lenchantin's anxieties, particularly surrounding her vocals.

"She has a pronounced way of singing, and I have my own pronounced way of singing, and it was very important for me just to be myself."

Deal's absence is a spectre that's hung over the band since her departure, but Black Francis appears to make peace with in the song All I Think About Now on the new album.

Lenchantin, who wrote the music for the track, also gives voice to Francis' largely apologetic lyrics over a melody that sounds wistfully like one of the band's early hits, Where Is My Mind?

"If I could go to the beginning/I would be another way," Francis sings on the track and finishes by thanking Deal: "I want to thank you anyhow".

"I asked Francis to write a thank you letter coming from him, sung by me," Lenchantin said.

"I wanted to do a tip of the hat to Kim. It's almost like she passed over the flame to me."

That flame, it appears, is well and truly Lenchantin's now.

Guitarist Joey Santiago credits her for bringing a lightness to the band while drummer David Lovering says she "lessens the craziness".

It's not a conscious effort on her part, she claims, but she's finding it easy to be a member of the legendary group.

"I try not to weigh anyone down, I try to keep things very present and move things forward," she said.

" To me I just couldn't imagine it any other way. I'm always surprised when I hear things, that I keep things light because for me, I think, they keep everything light."

* Pixies will play in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney next March and Head Carrier is out now.

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