The Pixies are an American alternative rock band formed in 1986, in Boston, Massachusetts. Until 2013, the band consisted of Black Francis , Joey Santiago , Kim Deal and David Lovering . They 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 later that year by Paz Lenchantin, who became a permanent member in 2016. The Pixies are associated with the 1990s alternative rock boom, and draw on elements including punk rock and surf rock. Their music is known for dynamic “loud-quiet-loud” shifts and song structures. Francis is the Pixies’ primary songwriter; his often surreal lyrics cover offbeat subjects such as extraterrestrials, incest, and biblical violence. The band achieved modest popularity in the US but was more successful in Europe. Their jarring pop sound influenced acts such as Nirvana, Radiohead, The Smashing Pumpkins and Weezer. The Pixies’ popularity grew in the years after their breakup, leading to a 2004 reunion, sold-out world tours and four further albums: Indie Cindy , Head Carrier , Beneath the Eyrie and Doggerel .