Pixies’ Joey Santiago on Doolittle, music, Sawx

by Ryan Snyder

The Pixies hit War Memorial on Nov. .8 — don’t forget to vote first! (courtesy photo)

If anything, iconic, recently reunited ‘80s alt-rockers the Pixies have been comprehensive in trotting their classic album Doolittle around the globe. The tour that began in 2010 as a celebration of one of their finest works is currently on its fourth, and presumably final leg, a run of mid-sized metros the band has never played, given the somewhat ignominiously title the Lost Cities tour.

Playing the same album from top to bottom for so long might seem like a tedious task, but guitarist Joey Santiago says it has given him a new appreciation for it. He’s taken to the twangy, droning “Silver,” which the band had never played live until last year, and likewise the band has come to terms with “Here Comes Your Man,” a fan favorite that he suggested was a dishonest representation of their sound.

Eventually, though, there’ll be no more Pixies’ milestones to celebrate and the band will have decisions to make on their future. Whether or not that involves new music is still up in the air.

Y!W: 2011 has seemed to be the year of the album-focused tour among a lot of your peers. What’s the attraction for this?

JS: There’s the nostalgia part to it. People want to experience the things that they experienced when they were young all over again. Also, let’s face it, it’s an excuse to go out and tour.

Y!W: The underlying theme seems to be that you’re all artists from a time when rock started becoming highly fragmented, yet didn’t have the advantages of the internet.

JS: I’ve got a feeling that we’re one of those bands that you come of age and you get exposed. That’s a time in most people’s lives that you want to broaden your horizons a little more. I think we’re one of those bands. One of my nephews never knew how popular we were until he went to college.

Y!W: How are you treating the songs as a body of work live versus individually?

JS: We pretty much stayed to the script…. We’re taking turns picking songs for the encore, but it’s guaranteed that “Where Is My Mind?” is going to be in the encore and “Gigantic” will be there. Those are the crowd pleasers, you know? Just like if you go to a Rolling Stones concert and they don’t play “Satisfaction,” you would notice it.

Y!W: Do the band listen to a lot of music on tour to remove yourself from the record?

JS: You know, everyone’s in their own little world on tour. There’s nothing we really agree on anyway. And after a show we don’t feel like rocking out together back at the hotel. We never really did. Actually we started doing that a little, just backstage. I rediscovered my love for the Velvet Underground. I can’t get enough of them these days.

Y!W: Were there more creative outlets that the four of you could have explored as a band before the split?

JS: You mean if we had kept continuing? I think so. I think so. We probably needed a break because we were making an album every year. We could’ve just waited it out for two years. But having said that, the breakup was actually pretty good for us.

Y!W: Is there another album left in the Pixies? JS: There’s a slight possibility in that, it’s just that we have to be careful with that one. I think that’s what everyone is probably thinking. It’s different than touring. Being in the studio can be a lot of stress. A lot of people have their input, and you get tested. It’s a very fragile thing.

Y!W: You’re a Bostonian. What happened to the Red Sox? JS: Goddamnit. Mother fu**ing goddamnit.

The Pixies will perform at the War Memorial Auditorium on Tuesday, Nov. 8 with Surfer Blood in support.