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The Pixies are an American alternative rock band formed in 1986 in Boston , Massachusetts . The original line-up comprised Black Francis (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Joey Santiago (lead guitar), Kim Deal (bass, backing vocals) and David Lovering (drums). The band disbanded acrimoniously in 1993, but reunited in 2004. After Deal left in 2013, the Pixies hired Kim Shattuck as a touring bassist; she was replaced the same year by Paz Lenchantin , who became a permanent member in 2016.
The Pixies' music contains elements including psychedelia , noise pop , hard rock , and surf rock . Francis is the Pixies' primary songwriter; his often surreal lyrics cover offbeat subjects such as extraterrestrials, incest, and biblical violence.
The Pixies achieved modest popularity in their home country, but were more successful in the United Kingdom , mainland Europe and Israel. Their jarring pop sound influenced bands such as Nirvana , Radiohead , the Strokes , Bush , Blur and Weezer . Their popularity grew in the years following their break-up, leading to sold-out world tours following their reunion in 2004.