The Pixies’ David Lovering Talks ‘Indie Cindy,’ Magic + More
The Pixies celebrated the much-anticipated release of their fifth studio album, ‘Indie Cindy,’ earlier this year. Even with more than 20 years between it and ‘Trompe le Monde,’ fans clamored to get their hands on the new music from one of the most iconic alternative bands ever.
Months since the album hit store shelves, the Pixies have released several music videos and toured across the states. And, as guitarist Joey Santiago recently told us, they’re already thinking about the follow up to ‘Indie Cindy.’
Wanting to get even more details on what the future holds, as well as his own thoughts on ‘Indie Cindy,’ we chatted with drummer David Lovering about it all. Check out our exclusive interview below.
Now that 'Indie Cindy' has been out for a few months, how do you feel looking back on it?
I feel great about it, it's been an interesting process. One thing I can say about 'Indie Cindy' is that, for me, it was a very comfortable experience, you know, recording it. Just because the only album I was comfortable with before was the first Pixies album. The reason why I say that, Chuck, is because every album came a lot quicker and quicker and you get a lot more press, you have do a lot more to get it down -- and I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I love all the records and the way that they came out, but it was always two months after a tour where I was like, “Oh, maybe this is how it should go.” It just always put the pressure on. But with ‘Indie Cindy,’ I had a lot of time to learn and get comfortable with the songs. Going into the studio was such a joy. I enjoyed every day of it. It was such a fun experience.
To add to it, it’s been working rather well for us. I think we’re a very fortunate band, you know, we have a new album out that took a long time to actually have out. We’ve been playing a few new songs with our sets and it seems to work well. They go over well. I can say that from my position as a drummer on a riser -- I can see the response of everything. In the beginning of September, we would do a lot more of the newer songs than the older songs, and a lot of people were there for nostalgia and it’s a little hard to wash down some of these new songs with sugar. But, we’ve got it now doing a few songs that I know play very well, like ‘Indie Cindy,' 'Snakes' and ‘What Goes Boom.’ Those go down rather well. We’re just very fortunate that people are liking it. I’m very happy about that.
What do you think it is about the Pixies that almost 30 years later you still have this lasting impact on fans? Personally, I think it's because the songs are great -- whether they're older songs or tracks from 'Indie Cindy.'
Chuck, you said it. The only summation I can say after all these years is I just think the songs are good, plain and simple. I think they’re good songs. That’s what stands up. Maybe they’re different than everything else as well and being different is another good thing about it. They’re different and good songs. That is the reason why people like us and why the band has stood up for so long. [Laughs] I have no other explanation! I don’t think it’s characters on stage -- I think it’s the songs.
That’s what it comes down to, good songs. More than that, though, you always think of new ways to make a splash. I love how you released 'Indie Cindy' as three EPs. That was great.
Yes it was. We were in a position where we had to do something new; we didn’t have a record company. We were originally just intending to release an EP, four songs. We were going to do an EP, but as we had more and more songs, we realized we had an album -- but we still wanted to do EPs. Not having a record company, we’re lucky to have good people around us. Because of our manager, our publicist, we were able to do this on our own and release it to our fans. And of course we’re going to do it with vinyl. We’ve always done it, it’s just the proper thing to do. The packaging, everything we did was trying to do it over the top. Again, we’re a very fortunate band that we’re able to do this.
Is vinyl still something you collect or cherish?
It's funny, I don’t have a record player anymore. For me, I do enjoy vinyl. I had a huge record collection in my mom’s house but she sold the house and everything in it -- she sold my record collection for $1,000, everything. I’m torn with what happened. A lot of stuff I had, it’s long gone. Since that incident, that was the last time I collected vinyl. But I appreciate the whole thing, everything about it.
You recently released the new music video for 'Ring the Bell.' It's a unique video that you enlisted two fans to create. What was that process like?
I think we’ve done a video for every song on this album except for ‘Jaime Bravo’ -- we haven’t done a video for that yet. Originally our whole idea was to enlist a different video director for each song. We gave it to them and asked them to interpret it. We had no input, we just knew their background. Whatever their interpretation, that’s what it became. We’re really happy with everything. ‘Ring the Bell,’ that’s those fans' interpretation. It’s nice to see something that you don’t know what it’s going to be like. It’s all good, because I don’t have to do anything as well but see the video. It’s been all working out.
As a musician, you create the song and you record it. You labor over it, get it to where you want it and then release it. Is it scary to give it to people for them to interpret? Do you feel vulnerable?
That’s just what it is. You know, we've done it all in the past. We’ve done everything ourselves. Now, it’s a different format. We should be doing it ourselves since we released this on our own, but this is just a new way of doing it. Vaughan Oliver, he’s done our art the entire time and still does it, and it’s all his creativity. It’s been freeing and fun to do.
When can fans expect the next release from the Pixies?
We have been talking about it. It took such a long time to get 'Indie Cindy' out, way back in 2004 we were talking about doing something new. But, we’re back together. Now that we’ve done it, we like the process. We like recording and playing, so there is talk about it. I don’t know when but it’s in the air.
And as a bonus question for our readers, I know you're a magician, so I have to ask: What was the first trick you learned?
I got into magic around 1994. I was hanging out with a friend and we saw a magic convention that was happening in Los Angeles, so we went. We paid the dues, I didn't think anything was going to happen. While I was there, I saw a magic trick with a guy named John Kennedy who took a cigarette and put it through a quarter. I mean, David Blaine and others have done this trick over the years, you'll see it on TV, but this was a completely different method and it blew me away. It was the first time I saw a really cool magic trick. From that point on I was just taken. I went wholeheartedly for years and years, learning, joining the magic castle, books, videos. I slept with a deck of cards for years. It was a lot of work I put in to become a professional magician -- and that cigarette trick was the first one I ever learned.