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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

BLACK FRANCIS

THE GUITAR INTERVIEW

For over three decades, Pixies have remained one of the most vital, interesting and influential indie-rock bands on the planet. Their impact can be measured not just in albums sold or classic tracks recorded, but in the myriad era-defining, festival headlining bands who eagerly name-check the Boston four-piece as a seminal and critical influence. But you won’t hear anything about that from Black Francis. The Pixies’ no-nonsense frontman and guitarist remains entirely unsentimental about his band or the impact they’ve had on the wider music world, much preferring to chat about their latest album, Beneath The Eyrie, his love of Telecasters, his commitment to “work” and why vintage guitars make him a better player…

PHOTOGRAPY TRAVIS SHINN

Despite hailing from Boston, there’s something about Pixies that has always resonated a little deeper with British fans than those back home – and it’s a connection that has endured through the decades. “You know, we don’t feel like we’re an English band… but all of our connections are here,” explains Charles Thompson IV, the man better known as Black Francis. “All the people that we work with closely tend to be English – our manager, our agent… even our road crew, they’re all from Manchester!”

Sat in the comfortable surrounds of a London hotel suite – with Francis smartly turned out in a black suit, black shirt and dark shades – it feels like Pixies have come a long way from those early days. Does he ever worry that the band has drifted away from being the iconoclastic, angry college dropouts who tore the roof off small venues across this city in the late 80s? “I don’t know that we even have that mindset anymore, we just do what we do at this point,” he shrugs. “It was more identifiable in 1986 as to what we didn’t want to sound like – the music that we were not into. And most of that was in the commercial realm.

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