If you haven’t already heard, the Boston-bred Pixies are headed our way for three shows in March. They are one hell of a quality band, and their material hasn’t slipped since reforming in 2004. While their new stuff is great, their first four albums have been given credit to inspiring a whole generation of music, and then some.

These are the artists who would just not exist without the Pixies.


5. Modest Mouse

You’ll find the Pixies in Modest Mouse when the band is at its most chaotic. Modest Mouse play from the same textbook as the Pixies – loose and fast playing interwoven with loud yelps. The comparison sits right with the band and frontman Isaac Brooks has said that he doesn’t “give a damn” that every single reporter finds a way to point this out to him.


4. Grouplove

When in 2011 frontman Christian Zucconi named the Pixies as one of the world’s most influential, he probably had the band’s effect on Grouplove in mind. Like Modest Mouse, Grouplove’s best songs take from the Pixies’ high-spirited method to music playing. Colours from the band’s debut stands as the best example of the band’s debt to the Pixies.


3. M.I.A

On M.I.A’s breakthrough album Kala, one track called 20 Dollar treated itself to some Pixies lyrics. Where is My Mind? (which you’ve probably heard in the movie Fight Club), adds to the nightmarishly slow pace of the track. M.I.A shows her fandom of the Pixies in other ways too: her bombastic personality is an ode to the frantic howls Pixies frontman Black Francis specialised in.


2. U2

On the surface yes, it does seem unlikely, especially as U2 themselves could have their very own list about bands they’ve influenced. But U2 are big time Pixies fanboys. Bono has called them one of America’s best, inviting them to open on their 1992 tour. U2’s music post-Pixies bares some of their influence too. Walk On features a smothering of Joey Santiago-inspired guitar, raucous and bold. 


1. Nirvana

No Pixies, no Nirvana. Seems like a pretty bold statement, doesn’t it? But it would be supported by none other than Kurt Cobain himself. In a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone, the singer remembered writing Smells Like Teen Spirit and recalled the degree to which the Pixies influenced it. Without this admission it’s still easy to pick up on the similarities. Nirvana introduced the wide-world to the quiet verse, loud chorus style that the Pixies had been applauded for. Smells Like Teen Spirit in particular draws from this, and more than that, the riff sounds a lot like the Pixes’ Debaser.

Bottom line is, if you’ve ever posted a Nirvana lyric on your Tumblr page then I highly, highly recommend you see the band that made them.