The Pixies, in the space of time it takes to skin a Bros, have been hailed as rock's saviours, Those That Will Save Us From Retrogression. Music press euphoria - or should that be eureka!!? - has been matched by the group's mixture of bemusement and glee; 'I can talk for days if you want ", offered Pixies' singer/writer Charles Francis at the end of 75 early- morning minutes with an audible, giggly shrug, bless him. But Pixies' music is a revelation, as their new "Doolittle" album makes even clearer - rock as urgent, melodic, unpredictable and possessed spectacle again, possessed by perversity and punchlines you can sing. Plus interesting mugs, obvious attitude in the sbape of mucbo irreverence, black comedy, punk, surrealism, unpredictable views on weird sex and religion, a weird little Espanol bent and that sharp sense of anecdotal user-friendliness we expect from Americans .... Yes, but what does Charles Francis make of all the commotion?
6pm was considered a decent enough time to call him; 1pm for him in Boston USA, time enough to register and respond to questions. But no, he had to remix another B-side or summat and could we call 7am his time? Uh? Reports of The Pixies' superhuman efforts to rebirth rock were one thing, but this dedication for 24 hour service was summat else. 9am then.....
Am I interrupting an important Pixies day by phoning at nine?
Charles: "No, not at all I'm still in bed." Oh. "And I'm reading Sounds magazine. I've also got NME and Melody Maker here. Right now, I'm reading an interview with Anthrax."
Does the article tell you anything you need to know?
"Nah, none of this stuff ever tells you anything, hahaha. It's always useless information but I enjoy reading it - I always go down to the record shop and get the British music weeklies. It's great because it's all useless but they cram tons of information into the pages. It's much better than the American music mags."
Do you like to read what they say about The Pixies?
"Oh, certainly. It's amusing, y know."
Does any of it make any sense to you? Do you agree with comments like, "surreal phonetic poetry", or, "natural fluid chaos, not a contrived aesthetic notion of same but......"
"Ah, yes, that sounds like the British to me, the masters of hyperbole."(laughs like a small drain). They're fine. I just read them and sometimes I even get to read what I said."
Do their comments sum up the feelings you get?
"Sometimes it does. Hey, I hate to give such vague, shitty answers to your questions, y'know. But I guess Im curious about how we sound. I like, to read definitions of what we are like, oh, that's what we sound like, Ive never thought about 'surrealist phonetic poetry before but I guess that's what it's like."
Don't worry about it. Do you consciously think about what you're doing? Like, as people are saying, The Pixies take rock music and twist it, redefine it?
"I guess so, but half of that is that Im not really a musician. I'm kind of a nerd but I like rock music and I always have since I was a young, young boy. I listen to all of it. In my own naive way, I want to make records and be a rock star and all that stuff, so I do it and thats how it comes out. I guess it is kinda twisted but that was my way into the circuit. It's easier to be avant-garde than it is to be mainstream and still be good. If you dont know how to play the guitar very well and you're trying to break into the local club circuit, then you gotta be loud and be a little eccentric or something, then everyone goes, (puts on snidy voice), 'oh, did you hear that new band? and then you're in the circuit hahaha."
Does that mean that when you've learnt to play, The Pixies will sound all slick and professional?
"That could be, but I don't think it'll happen because we've had to rehearse to get these gigs and to put together these records. We have our own little dictionary of Pixie rules, how we arrange the music, and I don't know if its going to get boring after a while, that's also a possibility, but we stick to our own unwritten rules, like I suppose a lot of other bands do."
Give me an example, say, Pixie rule number three.
"Rule three is just that, the number three and the part it plays in the arrangements and how I put chords together and rearrange lines. I use three a lot. You can put the fourth cornerstone chord in a progression but it's better when you take it out and it flip-flops over itself, like (furiously) "1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, back again!, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4. Then it always sounds like you're playing the ending of a song! Uh, I don't know if you can get what I'm saying. we also do lots of 6-4 (starts off yabbering in what must surely be 6-4 time), anything to jar it up a little."
Im impressed. You're singing and entertaining me while you're lying in bed. Are you really all snuggled up, with three pillows under you?
"Yeah, I got my girlfriends pillow, which she's had since birth, and I got my own, and all the British music weeklies here in bed. I've taken my shower."
And then you get back into bed again (aghast).
"Yeah pretty much every day. I get up really early because my girlfriend has to be up at 6.30 to go to work. If I'm not totally dry, after I towel dry myself, then the pillows and the sheets just soak up all the extra moisture."
So you don't use Johnsons Baby Powder?
"No, I don't use anything like that at all! I'm always amazed at the number of men who use things like mousse or aftershave or deodorant. It blows my mind."
The Pixies strike me as a pretty sweaty group, no deoderisingerising.
"I do sweat a lot, that's true. And I eat a lot of garlic and people tell me that I smell like garlic."
That's not quite what I meant, but ... do you think rock should be sweaty, like a kind of bodily function rather than something clinical and intellectual?
"Well I see it both ways. I like Iggy Pop but I like XTC too. I probably prefer all the sweaty stuff more often than the clinical stuff, but some of it can be good. It all depends. I don't use drum machines or artificial types of sampling gadgets, but I like bands that do that, if it's done right."
You said that, 'nothing beats volume, lights and drunk people.
"Well because that is the standard rock'nroll set up, bass, drums and one or two guitars and the nightclub, and that's the most traditional, unless we go another 60 years of keyboard bands."
People nearing 30 (approx definition) might feel that rock is approaching redundancy, with the rise of newer rhythm like hip-hop, acid house, world musics. Are you personally bored with most rock?
"Yeah. I watch MTV every single morning, I put it on when I don't have to think too much, and it blows my mind how bad it is! I used to blame it on MTV or some of those big record companies that put out all that mediocre crap but as I've grown a little bit older and more mature perhaps, I've realised that they are giving people what they want and that's what people want. And people are mediocre and bland! And if you try to play them what people like you or I would call groovy rock music, they would turn off and go find, oh man, oh man ... that's why those bands can play at Wembley and all the cool bands are somewhere else."
But isn't even most cool rocknroll getting stuck too? Or do The Pixies prove otherwise?
"I guess we prove otherwise, but were not playing at Wembley. But rock music, or popular music, radio music, is really, really fractured, and there are all different things you can buy now. I guess that's true and that rocknroll is kinda dead but I dont think about it too much. I still listen to things, but I'm really out of it. I know what's available and what I like to put on my little boom box. I put on The Beatles, 'White Album', and then I might put on Pailhead because I think it's neat. If I was a record reviewer or a critic, then maybe I'd be burnt out because those guys listen to so many f***in ' records. Are these bland, boreass answers? I don't have my Thesaurus here."
Does it disappoint you that people generally avoid asking about the music but more your opinion about AIDS?
"Yeah, it's unfortunate because that's the only thing I feel passionate about really, rock'n'roll records and making them. That's all I care about at this moment in my life. Things always get off the subject in interviews. But I like talking about music. I'm a fan and that's why I'm making them and that's all there is to it. All the other stuff is interesting and it all fits into what you're writing about, but it all comes down to a bunch of people who like records.
So let me ask you about the album cover, hahaha.. Does the monkey on "Doolittle" take over from Surfer Rosas nude, like, a theme maybe...
"The only theme that we have running is that we like figures on the cover. We tell Vaughn Oliver at 23 Envelope to do what he wants and he describes what he's doing and sends me packages in the mail, yknow, proofs of the artwork, and then in the end, I agree with him. I don't want to get into the artwork really. But I like it, I think he's an interesting artist, so I think it would suck if I was to work hand in hand with him and put in all my stupid ideas."
But does the monkey signify anything?
"Well, he picked it out from the Monkey's Gone To Heaven' song after I sent him the demos. The monkey is absolutely meaningless. The song and riff is two years old and I never had any words for it, except for (sings), 'this monkey's gone to heaven', which I was stuck with."
Is Doolittle equally meaningless?
.'We always take song titles out of the lyrics. 'Doolittle' comes out of the song Mr. Grieves', meaning Doctor Doolittle. It has some significance in the song but not as an album title. Actually, the album title was going to be 'Whore and then I got a little flak for it and I said, I don't give a shit, that's what its going to be called, but Vaughn changed the artwork idea and said he was going to use this monkey and halo, so I thought people are going to think I was some kind of anti-catholic or that I'd been raised Catholic and trying to get into this Catholic naughty-boy sort of stuff, like Ken Russell does in his movies. A monkey with a halo, calling it Whore', that would bring all kinds of shit that wouldn't be true. So I said Id change the title."
That doesn't seem quite right, that the change was pretty much put on you.
"But it's a lot more fun to see what this guy sends us in the mail like, oh, that's what he did.', like its somebody else's album. We like his artwork. We'd rather think about making records. He doesn't represent us in a corny or bad way."
Did you find the change between Steve Albini and Gill Norton drastic?
"Kinda, like, here's Steve Albini from Big Black and then there's Gill Norton, from... Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, hahaha, or Echo & The Bunnymen, Throwing Muses, Wet Wet Wet! They're completely different people and tastes but I liked the way it worked out. We had to fight a lot with Gill in pre-production in our rehearsal studio, but after he hung out with us for a month and listened to us play our songs it was sorta, hey, you know, man, he hung out in America and ate American stuff. It's a plus to have someone like us, our pop structures, melodies and the way we presented ourselves, which he did. I think he wanted us to play a little more tightly. He's more into using contemporary technology in, if I might say so, a very British way, which is fine because he's British. But we had to fight with him to remain simple. But we kept to the same Pixie set of rules. We're a little less hyper, if you know what I mean. We're getting more into playing, well, a groovy kind of rock as opposed to hyper (impersonation of hyper cat). At the start, we sent demos off to the record company, with lyrics made up on the spot, the wrong lyrics, y'know, and then Steve Albini rolls into town, like, 'yeah, man, let's make a record', turning everything on and that was it, as opposed to this, sitting down with a guy and playing the songs with him for three weeks, eight hours a day, and fine-tuning every little niche and cranny!"
You've talked about The Stooges and especially "Funhouse". If that album is a barometer of the true spirit of rock'n'roll, (and, hey, it is, OK?) does it matter that 'Doolittle' is less "Funhouse', than, "Surfer Rosa"? More groovy than sweaty?
"Nah, it doesn't bother me. The main reason is that the producer we used doesn't sit around and listen to 'Funhouse'. Hey, it's still loud, it's still big bar chords and we still use Marshall amps. It's still guitar-rock! All we've done so far is be sweaty really, and I don't think we've ever been as sweaty as 'Funhouse'. I don't think we're bad-arsed hard rock musicians. We play it loud. We've never tried to analyse things before, and make a rock record. But we never got bland on anybody! We just try and come up with some toons that sound good to us and they just go, 'yeah yeah that sounds neat!'. That's us listening to the playback!
What's your current listening list?
"Let me see.. hold on a second ... (sound of getting out of bed) 'I Am Kurious Oranj', by The Fall, those unreleased Velvet Underground songs, 'Another View,, and Pailhead. I play the Bulgarian voices once in a while. And hey, I even like a couple of those Gypsy King songs! We licensed the album to Elektra here so we raided their CD vault. I've got the complete Cure CD catalogue here. They're one of those big arena bands I actually like."
Does working with a major label change your approach?
"Not really, except everyone is as hyper as shit because they're going to print up 50,000 of the motherf***ers, and make sure everythings done just right. But we're only licensed to Elecktra. We're signed to 4AD, who we have a friendly and casual relationship with, so we don't really answer to Elektra. If they put it out, great, if they don't, we'll make less money. Maybe after we sell some records, the pressure will be on. But with 4AD, they like our music and pretty much let us do what we want. They offer lots of suggestions which we sometimes decline or accept. It's good for us because at least in America, 4AD has the Cocteau Twins kind of image, all that kind of music, and we're not, so it's not like people think we're on 4AD so we must sound like The Cocteau Twins, because they know we don't, unless they never heard us. (exactly, Charles). I don't know what it's like to be on another label anyway."
How appreciative is America right now?
"We aren't really too hip over here. They think we're some stupid underground college band. We aren't hip at all. I guess we have fans but we definitely don't have the respect. We get all the nerds and stuff, not the harder, uh .... we get the regular Joe-type people who just like toons, that don't sit around and wonder if we're playing loud or weird enough. People who don't even f***in' know who Sonic Youth is, you know. 'Hey, I heard The Pixies on college radio today, you guys are GREEAAT..... They just don't care."
But you're surely too weird and way out for Mum's apple pie stadium-partying guy
"I find that out every once in a while. Sometimes I laugh because I think we're so f***in' straightforward and easy to swallow, but I guess that we're kinda weird because that's what I hear from people. I guess I'm so used to my own music."
Play "Mr. Grieves" to them and the way you sing "everything is alright" (like with a ruptured diaphragm).
"I never even think about it. I always thought that was kinda like The Kinks or something! Guess it don't!"
Way off, Charles, way off.
"Oh man, I guess that's what it is, I'm just way off. I'm just a f***in' cock-up!"
To you, it's straightforward, isn't it; sex and death and religion...
"Yeah, I don't think I'm that weird. We don't sound like Big Black. You can snap your fingers to our tunes."
There are a couple of sublime out-and-out pop songs on the new album.
"Yeah, the most poppy song on the whole album, which we can't even play live if we tried, 'Here Comes Your Man', I wrote when I was about 15, and somehow it ended up on our first demo. People have been telling us to record it ever since so we finally did. We would never play that song live, we're too far removed from it. It's too wimpy-poppy. We're not used to playing so sing-songy ... I like that kind of music, y'know, but .. I can't even listen to f***in' radio, college radio, and the big underground alternative radio totally sucks, and of course mainstream radio sucks, and even the stations that say theyre progressive ain't. The only thing I can listen to is Oldies 103, in Boston, WCOD, all they play is early sixties and late fifties stuff and that stuff is great, like Telstar (sings familiar 'Telstar' guitar sound) and 'Mr Postman', all that stuff sounds great, and they're all a minute and 20 second long."
Nothing on 'Doolittle' breaks two minutes or thereabouts does it?
"That's what we do anyway. Even the songs that we do long, basically what you've got is the meat of the song happening in the first minute or 90 seconds and the rest is the outro, like the ending chords over and over. I like shorter songs. I think just about everybody plays their songs too long."
Our editor was particularly taken with the twangy guitar in 'Here Comes Your Man' to the point of asking me to ask you, and I quote that famous question, 'just how do you get that fantastic sound'?...
"That was a 12-string Rickenbacker, which we would never even play. We can barely hold our fingers down on that sort of fretboard. I don't even like 12-strings unless they're electric. I hate 12-string acoustics, that's just like a production thing. We do like a lot of surf music too. I think some of our stuff sounds kinda surfy sometimes. The sound is really basic and totally involves chord progressions and a cute little riff, and that's one of our rules too, the chord progression and the song itself, and then whatever cute little riffs we can put on top of it."
The Spanish influence has always distinguished The Pixies, but is it being phased out? The only noticeable bit of Espanol is on "Crackity Jones", who you get to call 'Jose Jones', plus the song sounds like an evil little Spaghetti Western theme.
"Heh heh. That's got a couple of Spanish lines in it. I wish I could write more songs in Spanish but it's not natural for me. I don't live in Puerto Rico anymore. If I have to face coming up with one of those Spanish tunes, y'know ... obviously I'm not going to fool anybody by creating this niche for myself, like 'oh, he's that wacko white guy that sings those Spanish songs'. It's really corny. Unless for some reason I start talking Spanish again because of where I'm living or something, it won't come up naturally."
The Puerto Rican part of your life hasn't come under much scrutiny.
"The lost years, hahaha! People ask but they don't keep on. It's like, 'what about the whole Spanish thing?' and I go, 'I used to live in Puerto Rico and they go 'Oh and on move to the next question."
OK .... what did you do in Puerto Rico, Charles?
"I went to school for six months. I managed to drop out of most of my classes and hung out with an odd group of people and lived in a slummy little section of town and went to the beach a lot. I didn't pay my rent and I ended up dropping out of school after that and starting The Pixies, so it didn't serve any academic purpose."
Shall I ask you more about Puerto Rico or go on to the next question?
"If you stayed on the beach and dropped out, then the only question left is what drugs you got caught up with. I didn't use drugs then. I was never too much of a drug user. I used to play pool a lot and I drunk a lot of beer, I guess, which I don't really do either."
In a British interview, when you were asked if you had any goals, you replied, 'I wannna do some heavy, heavy hallucinogenics in Peru'.
"Yeah, taking Ecstasy with a bunch of bozos sloshed out of their minds, I would freak out! I wouldnt enjoy that, but taking some serious hallucinogenics on the mountain top, eating some rice and beans and dancing sounds OK to me. That seems the way to do it, to have the extremes. But I did take some hallucinogenic mushrooms recently and I watched 'The Beverley Hillbillies' with my girlfriend, hahhaha!"
Did the characters leap out the screen at you?
"Well, the only thing that happened was that the right-hand corner of the screen kept bending. I was convinced there was something wrong with the tape that they were playing over the air! I was focussed in on that very unimportant bit of detail. But my girlfriend laughed a lot and I told a lot of jokes. She was my audience and I was the comedian and this went on for about four hours."
Who would you take to Peru with you?
"My girlfriend. We hang out a lot together. I'm very entertained by her presence."
So you wouldn't take The Pixies up the mountainside with you?
"Oh God, no! We spend enough time with each other in hotel rooms, bars and recording studios. We hardly ever hang out together when we're home. I'm friends with everybody in the band but it's only Joey who I knew outside the band and we just artificially put a band together, it wasn't like, 'holy shit, we've been hanging around here every Saturday night playing toons, hell, we've got a band here, let's get this thing on the road!!!' It was definitely, let's start a band and try to make a record and play a club."
So when do you plan to go off to Peru? Have you got enough money yet?
"Uh, I blew it all on taxi cabs and restaurants! It's better than a massage. I'm addicted to them. It's like, 'taxi!'....if I've got cash, I take a cab. 'Take me here, there..'. and they take you to a restaurant and you say, 'bring me this food', and you eat it and they take your plate away! That's great."
Are you bone idle by nature?
"I am when I'm in the city. I don't like the city that much, and the only thing I like about the city is restaurants and movie theatres, and to a lesser degree, nightclubs. I would rather live in the country. If I was, I would be out walking the countryside and going up little mountains and looking at little animals, maybe have a garden (a squillion squalid fantasies of Charles 'Eraserhead' Francis quickly ruined) because I enjoy very quiet, outdoor life which I don't do very much because of the work that I'm in, so as a result, I'm a fat slob that takes taxi cabs to restaurants and gets high with my friends and talks about rock'n'roll records. That's what I do, I go over my friends house, smoke a hung and go, 'hey, let's listen to this!'. It's just me listening to the sound of my own voice, pontificating about the f***in' Clash or something. It's just about one of my favourite things to do, sit around and play records. A lot of people don't have that kind of patience."
Thinking of nature, the birds, green fields, little lambkins etc, are you planning acoustic roots record?
"No, never, never..(sudden tone of horror). As much as I like country and quiet things, I don't live there, but in the city, where I go to movies and listen to rock'n'roll records and that's very, very urban, and I do live in the United States and I do live in 1989 and it's all urban decay and all that shit, and the world is getting warmer by the minute, all that stuff that sucks, and that's where I live. I hate it and enjoy as much as everybody else, making comments on what's going on around them."
Has it surprised you how quickly and vehemently Britain has reacted to you? Do you ever think The Pixies are overrated?
"You might be right. We might be overrated but then we might be good. We do well over there. We aren't playing at Wembley, but they pack out the clubs and everyone's enthusiastic. Overrated or not, I do what I do and that' s all. I don't profess to be anything great. I'm just a guy who loves records and wants to make them. I'm in competition with my favourite records of all time. I'm not as good as those records but that's what I try to do. You think we're overrated, don't you, hahaha."
Wellll ... no, actually. I always start off thinking the new Pixies record is overrated but end up glued to it.
"This record's slower than the other two records. This guy Gill Norton did polish us up a bit but really got into what we were doing and in the end, we were in agreement on takes. He slowed us down a bit and made us feel more cocky and pompous about what we were playing 'don't just play the songs what are you playing, you don't need to rush through things, be confident about those chords, be confident about them and play them on time and in tune!'. That was the main thing he did, talking about what we were playing. It was kinda schmaltzy, which I liked."
Talking schmaltz, is "Doolittle" as preoccupied with sex as the last two Pixies records? The one lyric I noted down was, 'lips like Cinderella'.
"It's hips actually. I don't even know if I like the lyrics to that song. That song is just about all these f***in' stupid arse f***in arse students that live around this neighbourhood. Man, oh man, they are the rudest motherf***ers in the world. They're all f***in' rich, which is fine, I don't care, I wish was totally rich, but they supposedly come from an upper middle class background, they're educated, and they're going to private universities, meaning public in the UK, and they are the rudest, most uncouth, most disrespectful people I've ever met on the face of the earth!! Law students are the worst f***in' vermin in the world!! Songs about these girls around here are just like.... man oh man, whats wrong with them, they keep perming their hair!!! And they wear awful clothing and act awful. I hate to put them down because I dont like putting people down, but they're awful!!!!! They could be sexy but they're not. They could be interesting people but they keep stuffing their faces with Mozzarella sticks and Buffalo wings and getting totally drunk every night and shaking their arses all over Commonwealth Avenue!!!!!!" (whooaahh, Charles!!!!!)
"Doolittle" starts off with "Debaser', then the torrid tale behind "Tame", swiftly followed by "Wave Of Mutilation" and "I Bleed", plus the ten million tons of polluted sludge dumped on New York and New Jersey in "Monkey's Gone To Heaven", which sounds like enough decay and disintegration for the fans...
"I guess I do write a lot about that kind of stuff but it's all, I hate to say it, very spontaneous, and has more to do with rhyming words and getting things to mathematically fit in a nice way in my songs. I don't think about the words too much, I just come up with them, things that just pop into my head. They're traditionally surreal, I guess. To sit around and automatically write and not worry too much about what it means, and kinda have an idea but not be too close to it, and not necessarily have a point or a message, and just get it from your own little mind, you don't clarify things too much for anybody, which I think is what surreal is. It's also connected to what your dream world is made of, when you sleep."
Hence good, twisted lyrics about sex .... It seems a lot of people are afraid to write about sex because they'll be branded sexist, or they're too tainted by the spectre of AIDS. Some people would have disliked the nude on the cover of 'Surfer Rosa", and the fact you were considering calling the album, "Whore'.
"But there are male and female prostitutes, and they're both whores. I only meant it to be in the more traditional sense of the word, the more operatic, biblical sense, you know, "WHORE!!", as in the great whore of Babylon. Whore is a great word with a lot of connotations ... mercantile connotations and politics, everything."
But most people shy away from breaching the subject of sex although people like sex (our survey said ... ). I reckon they like the fact The Pixies write about sex, especially in your own depraved, twisted way, with the right amount of dirt. Woody Allen when asked whether sex was dirty, replied, "only if you're doing it right"
"Sure. Sex is pretty dirty. People go (in Minny Mouse voice), 'oh sex isn't dirty, sex is clean', and that's one side, but the other side is it's dirty. You go to a porn shop and that is f***in dirty! You're talking grungy! It's pathetic, it's twisted and it's sad and it's depressing and it's wonderful and exciting and awful, all rolled into one. It's disease-ridden and f***s with people's minds over relationships with other people, and it's awfully twisted. And for half of the people who walk this earth, sex is an evil and has wrecked them in one way or another. It has with me, you know? It's a glandular reaction. Like getting hungry."
If people say you write twisted lyrics about sex, you haven't written yet about fetishes, like scatology or something...
"I can't even remember what scatology means right now."
It's the study of excrement. (thinks, do I really want to be encouraging Charles?)
"Oh. it's not in my music but it's definitely in my humour. I make plenty of shit jokes! Do you know, my girlfriend told me last night that when she was young, her siblings and her would watch television and the way they would watch, they would talk about the characters on the screen and relate what their fart must smell like! Isn't that great? I think that's so amazing! So funny, like, 'oh, his fart must smell like asparagus, uuurrgghh "
What's your favourite TV programme? (subliminal question..)
"At the moment, it's 'Car 45, Where Are You?'. But British TV is great, probably because I'm American and it does seem a lot stranger."
And is 'Blue Velvet' your favourite film?
"One of them. It's up there in the top 10. But I hate to jump on the bandwagon. It's just that it's good."
The film and The Pixies seem to have something in common in that both uncover, in a supposedly freaky and twisted way, the gunk beneath the accepted face of normality that in truth, is as normal as what lies above it (did I just say that??).
"Yeah, totally. But you probably know better than I. You're on the outside looking in. We're just sitting here just thinking about what chord we're playing."
Do you think the main difference between American and British bands is that you have the daily presence of MTV to rally against? If we had MTV, we'd put it on every day, like we watch 'Top Of The Pops' as a masochistic ritual, to see what's on, and watch the pretty colours.
"Well, you see it, and realise how massive it is, and how it sells in so many millions of units, and how bad it is, and how unrock'n'roll and everything. It definitely makes you feel like more a rock'n'roller, like it's like rebelling against what is rock'n'roll itself here, hahaha! You can't even tell if you're watching a video or a TV commercial. You have to wait and see, hahaha! But the thing is, that's what people want, and I don't blame MTV one little bit, y'know?"
This is it, The Pixies are manna from heaven, come to save rock'n'roll!
"I hope we have that reputation. In the end anyway."
Reproduced from 'The Catalogue' April 1989