Kim Deal

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Kim Deal
KimDeal~ATP.jpg
Background information
Birth nameKimberley Ann Deal
Also known asMrs. John Murphy (1985-1988)
Tammy Ampersand
Born(1961-06-10) 10 June 1961 (age 52)
Dayton, Ohio
United States
GenresAlternative rock
OccupationsMusician, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, bass guitar, guitar, drums
Years active1986–present
Labels4AD
Associated actsThe Breeders, Pixies, The Amps
Notable instruments
Fender Stratocaster
Fender Telecaster
Gibson Les Paul Goldtop
Fender Precision Bass
Music Man Stingray
Gibson Thunderbird
Aria Cardinal Bass
 
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Kim Deal
KimDeal~ATP.jpg
Background information
Birth nameKimberley Ann Deal
Also known asMrs. John Murphy (1985-1988)
Tammy Ampersand
Born(1961-06-10) 10 June 1961 (age 52)
Dayton, Ohio
United States
GenresAlternative rock
OccupationsMusician, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, bass guitar, guitar, drums
Years active1986–present
Labels4AD
Associated actsThe Breeders, Pixies, The Amps
Notable instruments
Fender Stratocaster
Fender Telecaster
Gibson Les Paul Goldtop
Fender Precision Bass
Music Man Stingray
Gibson Thunderbird
Aria Cardinal Bass

Kimberley Ann Deal (born June 10, 1961) is an American singer, songwriter and musician, best known as the former bassist and backup vocalist of the alternative rock band Pixies, and the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for The Breeders. Deal joined the Pixies in January 1986 as the band's bassist, adopting the stage name Mrs. John Murphy for the albums Come On Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa. Following Doolittle and the Pixies' hiatus, she formed The Breeders with Tanya Donelly and Josephine Wiggs. After the Pixies reconvened in 1990, Deal felt increasingly sidelined by the band's frontman, Black Francis, which led to the Pixies' breakup in early 1993.

After the Pixies, Deal returned her focus to the Breeders, who released the platinum-selling album Last Splash in 1993. In 1994, the Breeders went into hiatus after Deal's identical twin sister, Kelley, entered drug rehabilitation. During their eight-year break, Deal adopted the stage name Tammy Ampersand and formed The Amps, recording a single album, Pacer in 1995. She resumed her role as the Breeders' guitarist for their third album Title TK in 2002, and reunited with the Pixies in 2004. She left the Pixies in 2013.

Biography[edit]

Youth and college[edit]

Kim Deal was born in Dayton, Ohio.[1] Her father was a laser physicist who worked at the nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.[2] Kim and her identical twin sister Kelley were introduced to music at a young age; the two sang to a "two-track, quarter-inch, tape" when they were "four or five" years old,[3] and grew up listening to hard rock bands such as AC/DC and Led Zeppelin.[2] When Deal was 11, she learned Roger Miller's "King of the Road" on the acoustic guitar. In high school, at Wayne High School in Huber Heights, she was a cheerleader and often got into conflicts with authority.[3] "We were popular girls," Kelley explained. "We got good grades and played sports."[2]

Confronted by religious choice, however, Deal found herself an atheist. Deal: "I’m an atheist. I go with whoever brings the minimal amount of religion into government."[4] As a teenager, Kim Deal formed a folk rock band named The Breeders with her sister. She then became a prolific songwriter, as she found it easier to write songs than cover them. Deal later commented on her songwriting output: "I got like a hundred songs when I was like 16, 17 ... The music is pretty good, but the lyrics are just like, OH MY GOD. We were just trying to figure out how blue rhymes with you. When I was writing them, they didn't have anything to do with who I was."[5] The Deals bought microphones, an eight-track tape recorder, a mixer, speakers, and amps for a bedroom studio. According to Kelley, they "had the whole thing set up by the time we were 17". They later bought a drum machine "so it would feel like we were more in a band".[6]

Following high school, Deal went to seven different colleges, including Ohio State University, but did not graduate from any of them.[2] She eventually received an associate degree in biology[where?] and took several jobs in cellular biology, including working in a hospital laboratory and a biochemical lab.[7]

Deal met John Murphy, an Air Force defense contractor who had recently moved to Dayton, through her brother, Kevin. Murphy and Deal began a romantic liaison. Although Murphy was not a musician himself, he wrote the song "Hoverin'" with Deal. The couple married on Memorial Day, 1985, and moved to Murphy's hometown of Boston, Massachusetts in January 1986.

Pixies[edit]

Deal became the bassist and backing vocalist for the Pixies in January 1986, after answering an advertisement in the Boston Phoenix for a bassist who was into hardcore punk band Hüsker Dü and folk music icons Peter, Paul and Mary. Deal was the only person to respond, even though her main instrument was guitar. She borrowed her sister Kelley's bass guitar to use in the band.[8] To complete the lineup, Deal suggested they hire David Lovering as drummer, a friend of her husband, whom she met at her wedding reception.[9] For the release of the band's first recording Come On Pilgrim (1987), Deal used the nom de disque "Mrs. John Murphy" in the liner notes. She chose the name as an ironic feminist joke, after conversing with a lady who wished to be called by her husband's name only as a form of respect.[10]

For Surfer Rosa (1988), Deal sang lead vocals on the album's only single "Gigantic" (About this sound sample ), which she co-wrote with Black Francis. Doolittle followed a year later, with Deal contributing the song "Silver" and appearing on slide guitar. By this time, however, tensions began to develop between her and Francis, with bickering and standoffs between the two marring the album's recording sessions. This led to increased stress between the band members.[11] Murphy commented that during the sessions, it "went from just all fun to work" for the Pixies.[12] Exhaustion, from releasing three records in two years and constant touring, contributed to the friction, particularly between Francis and Deal.

The tension and exhaustion culminated at the end of the US "Fuck or Fight" tour, where they were too tired to attend the end-of-tour party. The band soon announced a hiatus.[13]

The Breeders and Pod[edit]

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During a 1988 post-Surfer Rosa tour of Europe with Throwing Muses as part of the Pixies, Deal began to write new material. As both bands did not have plans for the short term, Deal discussed possible side-projects with Throwing Muses guitarist Tanya Donelly. After rejecting the idea of creating a dance album together, the pair decided to form a new band.[14] Deal named the band The Breeders, after the folk band she formed with Kelley as a teenager, and they recruited Carrie Bradley, violinist and vocalist in Ed's Redeeming Qualities, to record a short demo tape.[15]

The Breeders' demo was sent to 4AD head Ivo Watts-Russell, who immediately signed them to the label. The Breeders allowed Deal to become more active in songwriting, and their debut album, Pod (1990), containing mostly Deal-written songs, was recorded in Edinburgh, Scotland by Steve Albini. Pod, and especially Deal's contribution, was praised by contemporaries; Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain later named the album one of his favourites and remarked: "I wish Kim was allowed to write more songs for the Pixies."[16]

Bossanova and Trompe le Monde[edit]

Deal returned to the States after finishing recording Pod in Edinburgh. Deal was then fired from the Pixies. She flew out to Los Angeles to meet with the band. The other members changed their mind and they all began recording the band's next album, Bossanova (1990).[8]

The band's final studio album was Trompe le Monde (1991). The recording sessions were fractious, as the band were hardly ever together during the process.[17]

She rarely sang on the band's songs during this time; a vocal contribution to "I've Been Waiting for You" (sample ), being one of her few. However, Deal did sing on Trompe le Monde, on songs such as "Alec Eiffel", but did not write any material for the album.[18]

Last Splash and The Breeders[edit]

A year after the Pixies breakup, Deal's identical twin sister Kelley joined The Breeders on lead guitar and the band released its second album, Last Splash, to critical acclaim and considerable commercial success. The record went platinum within a year of its release.

At the height of The Breeders' popularity in the mid-1990s, they scored a number of MTV hits, including "Cannonball," "Divine Hammer," and "Saints." The band also released the vinyl-only "Head to Toe" 10" EP during the summer of 1994, when they appeared on the main stage of Lollapalooza. Although the band went into stasis in 1994 when Kelley Deal entered rehab for a heroin addiction, they never officially split up, and in 2002 released Title TK (TK is a copy-editing expression standing for "to come" and is often used when editing drafts to indicate missing information).

The Amps and other projects[edit]

During this eight-year hiatus, Kim Deal kept busy by forming, recording, and touring with The Amps.

After a few gigs where Deal went by the moniker Tammy Ampersand, The Amps released their single LP, Pacer. The record had an enthusiastic reception from reviewers, but was commercially unsuccessful.

She also produced music for other groups, most notably fellow Dayton band Guided by Voices (one of the songs on Pacer, "I am Decided," was written by the band's lead singer, Robert Pollard).

Deal contributed her voice to the Sonic Youth single, "Little Trouble Girl", from their 1995 album Washing Machine, and to the intro for The For Carnation's "Tales."

Pixies reunion and beyond[edit]

In 2004, Kim Deal returned to a newly reunited Pixies and toured North America with them. The song "Bam Thwok" was also released this year. One notable performance included a live taping for the public television program Austin City Limits in October 2004. The Pixies also played the Coachella Festival in Indio, California in 2004 and headlined Lollapalooza in 2005 at Chicago's Grant Park. The Pixies also toured the UK to massive acclaim including a headline appearance at the Reading and Leeds Festivals.

In 2003, Deal moved from East L.A. to her Dayton, Ohio hometown to care for her mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

In early April 2008, the Breeders released their fourth full-length studio album, Mountain Battles.

In April 2009, Kim and The Breeders released their third EP, Fate to Fatal.

On June 14, 2013, it was announced that Kim Deal had left the Pixies.[19] Deal has since posted new solo music on her website and the remaining Pixies have welcomed her to come back as her schedule with Breeders allows.

Solo releases and LSXX[edit]

In December 2012, Kim Deal played a solo set at the All Tomorrow's Parties "Nightmare Before Christmas" festival in the UK, debuting several new songs. At the same time, she released her first solo single, "Walking with a Killer," and has announced her intention to issue further solo material in 2013.[20]

In April 2013, 4AD released "LSXX," a 20th anniversary edition of The Breeders' "Last Splash" album. Deal is currently rehearsing with Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs, and Jim Macpherson for a "Last Splash" anniversary tour of North America, Europe and Australia.[21]

Equipment[edit]

Bass guitars[edit]

Kim Deal generally plays four-string solid-body bass guitars and always uses a pick,[22] particularly the "green Dunlops with the little turtle on them",[23] although since the Pixies' reunion she has also been using custom green Dunlops with "KIM" written on them. She prefers having old strings on a bass.[23]

Guitars[edit]

When playing acoustic guitars for rhythm, Kim Deal prefers distorting their sound through Marshall amps, particularly liking the resulting low end.[24] She also pointed out that it almost doesn't depend on the acoustic guitar used.[25]

Amplification[edit]

Effects[edit]

Recording[edit]

Kim Deal uses the All Wave philosophy of recording. To record All Wave one must use no computers, no digital recording, no auto-tuning, nor any other mainstays of contemporary production. The philosophy carries through the entire production and mastering process, including mixing, editing, sequencing, post-production and the exceptional step of an all-analog direct-metal master for the vinyl LP. This process was used on The Breeders' Title TK, the Off You EP, and Mountain Battles.

Deal commissioned the All Wave logo in an effort to identify recordings that follow this method of recording, and possibly start a movement.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Frank, Ganz, 2005. p. 4
  2. ^ a b c d Glickman, Simon. "The Breeders biography". MusicianGuide.com. Retrieved 2007-12-02. Kim's has 2 nieces named Rebecca and Grace Deal, she also has a nephew named Robert "Eddie" Deal.
  3. ^ a b Frank, Ganz, 2005. p. 5
  4. ^ "Q&A with Kim Deal of The Breeders". SF Station. 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2014-02-10. 
  5. ^ Frank, Ganz, 2005. p. 6
  6. ^ Frank, Ganz, 2005. p. 8
  7. ^ "The two Kims – Kim Gordon; Kim Deal interview". FindArticles.com. November 1995. Retrieved 2007-12-02. [dead link]
  8. ^ a b "Kim Deal bio on BreedersDigest". Breedersdigest.net. Retrieved 2012-02-19. 
  9. ^ Sisario, 2006. pp. 8–9
  10. ^ Frank, Ganz, 2005. p. 56-7
  11. ^ Sisario, 2006. p. 53
  12. ^ Frank, Ganz, 2005. p. 115
  13. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Pixies > Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2006-09-10. 
  14. ^ Frank, Ganz, 2005. p. 105
  15. ^ Frank, Ganz, 2005. p. 106
  16. ^ Melody Maker, "Kurt Cobain of Nirvana Talks About the Records That Changed His Life". August 29, 1992.
  17. ^ Frank, Ganz, 2005. p. 149
  18. ^ Frank, Ganz, 2005. p. 152
  19. ^ facebook.com/pixiesofficial
  20. ^ Pedder, Alan (2013-03-08). "Kim Deal interview • Part I: "You would freak the fuck out if you were me!" | Wears The Trousers magazine | a women in music compendium". Wearsthetrousers.com. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  21. ^ "Last Splash Turns 20. The Breeders Reunite For Shows In The US And Europe". 4AD. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g Guitar Player, April 1991
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Leigh, Bill, "The Pixies' Kim Deal Turns A Modest Approach Into A Big, Big Sound", Bass Player, November 2004
  24. ^ a b c Guitar Player, November 1993
  25. ^ a b c d Guitar World, January 1994
  26. ^ a b c d Musician Magazine, September 1993
  27. ^ a b c guitargeek: kim deal of the pixies Retrieved on 2008-04-08.
  28. ^ Musician magazine, December 1990
  29. ^ "The Breeders". Breedersdigest.net. Retrieved 2010-05-15. 

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]