“I can only guess there wasn’t a lot of that going on at the time in other records that were being released,” he said. “And so ours stood out.”
Though the Pixies never caught the attention of the American mainstream, the band’s impact on popular music cannot be denied. A host of artists, from Radiohead to Weezer, David Bowie and U2 all cite the Pixies as an influence.
Kurt Cobain, arguably the band’s most famous champion, noted on numerous occasions how he used the Pixies’ musical stylings as a blueprint for Nirvana. Following the success of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” the members of Nirvana recalled in various interviews how they considered shelving their biggest hit because they felt it came too close to sounding like a Pixies song.
What did the Pixies think?
“Yeah, they ripped us off,” Santiago joked.
What impact the new-look Pixies will have on a new generation of musicians will unfold as they continue to tour and release more songs, which they say are coming, on their own terms. For now, Thompson is keeping the band’s future plans close to the vest.
“If we tell everyone how we’re going to conquer the world,” he said, “someone else is going to steal our idea, and they’re going to conquer the world.”