Feature Stories

Pixies' Joey Santiago: "The Hardest Thing Other Bands Did Was Try To Look Poor"

Joey Santiago is a man at peace with himself. Lead guitarist for the Pixies, and by most accounts the driving force behind their reunion, Santiago couldn't be more content with the current state of the band. Answering our phone call with a "YEEHAW," Santiago proceeds to interview us for the first five minutes, amiably demanding to know about our lives while making some accurate guesses about why we do things.

A friendly and disarming man of 48, Santiago has spent virtually all of his adult life as a musician, since forming the Pixies at age 20 with college buddy Charles "Black Francis" Thompson. During the Pixies' long hiatus, Santiago worked extensively with Thompson on his multitude of solo records, wrote soundtracks for television and fronted The Martinis with his wife. He's just delighted to still be a working musician, and not looking for anything more than what he's currently got. "I just go by the daily sheets," he says. "Like, 'Where shall I be? The show's at 9? Oh, it's at 8:45 now? Really?'" He laughs. "That's all I am most of the time."

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Gavin Cleaver
Contact: Gavin Cleaver