Music Article

Pixie Dusted

Nirvana, Radiohead are among bands Pixies inspired -- The band gives their thoughts on just how influential their music has been on other seminal acts

You've heard it before, and you're hearing it again. The band influenced a buttload of other seminal acts. So what do they think about that?

The Pixies are credited with influencing dozens of bands who came after them (everyone from Placebo to Pavement) -- but Frank Black isn't keeping score. ''I'd be the wrong guy to notice bands indebted to the Pixies because I don't really listen to a lot of contemporary music,'' he says. ''I've got this mantra: I don't listen to modern music. I listen to old stuff. A lot of '60s.''

Some other Pixies tastes are a tad more contemporary -- by a decade or so. ''Rush is my favorite band,'' declares David Lovering. ''I flew to Vegas three weeks ago and met Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, and they said they loved the Pixies! Tears were in my eyes!''

For their part, Deal and Santiago express something approaching humility when they discern echoes of their sound in other people's music. ''I hear our influence via the Nirvana thing,'' says Deal. ''Other bands started biting heavily on some of the little teeny elements Nirvana copped from us, so I heard a little bit of us, as cousins, in a lot of the early-'90s bands. Not like, oh, they sound exactly like us. Nirvana sounded like Nirvana.''

''The weirdest one is Radiohead,'' says Santiago. ''People say they sound like us. And I just go, 'Nah, I don't hear it. Those guys are good.'''

But some bands actually boast about their Pixies fixation. ''We were at a party, and Weezer's drummer, Pat Wilson, was there,'' says Santiago. ''And my wife asks him, 'Have you ever toured together [with the Pixies]?' And Pat goes, 'Ah, nah. We don't tour with them. We just rip them off.'''

ALBUMS TO LOOK FOR PIXIE DUST ON:

IN UTERO, 1993, Nirvana

OK COMPUTER, 1997, Radiohead

PINKERTON, 1996, Weezer

Originally posted Sep 17, 2004 Published in issue #784 Sep 17, 2004 Order article reprints