Kim Deal of The Breeders

23rd March 2021

With a little help from the smash hit “Cannonball” on their 1993 album “Last Splash,” The Breeders became one of the biggest names in early ‘90s alternative rock. In 2018, we chatted with the band’s lead guitarist and singer Kim Deal. She talked about the music scene in her hometown of Dayton, Ohio, how unintended her success was, transitioning from the Pixies to The Breeders, and what it felt like the first moment she realized that she had written a song that people wanted to dance to. She also talked about The Breeders reuniting for “All Nerve,” their first project in almost a decade, which dropped in 2018.

Episode notes

(Photo: Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images)

Kim Deal on her work with the Pixies and The Breeders

Born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Kim Deal started in music by playing guitar with her twin sister Kelley. Unlike a lot of kids with guitars that age they never really formed a band, played any shows, or toured.

In the mid 1980s, she got married and moved to Boston, and after she got settled in, replied to a classified ad looking for a bassist. Out of that exchange, she and three new friends formed the Pixies. The group became indie rock tastemakers, but they never produced a real chart topping hit.

During what ended up being a 10+ year hiatus for the Pixies, Deal formed The Breeders who eventually went on to create the smash hit “Cannonball.” She wrote the song for their 1993 album “Last Splash,” which made it to the US Billboard Hot 100 and got constant play on MTV.

In the 28 years that have passed since, The Breeders have broken up and reformed a handful of times and toured sporadically. Through it all, Kim’s had a knack for writing honest, sincere rock songs. 

When we spoke with her in 2018, Kim also talked about bringing The Breeders back together to record “All Nerve,” their first new record in almost ten years.

On March 10, 2021, they released a new song called “The Dirt Eaters,” which is a cover from the band His Name is Alive. The song is part of a compilation project celebrating the 40th anniversary of the independent UK record label 4AD.

This interview originally aired in 2018.

In this episode...

Senior Producer
Maximum Fun Producer
Maximum Fun Production Fellow


  • Kim Deal

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Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

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