Smells like ’Surfer Rosa’: Joey Santiago reflects on how Pixies influenced Nirvana

M Joeypixies 041323
ABC Audio

The 1988 Pixies album Surfer Rosa was very influential on Nirvana, and Kurt Cobain named it one of his favorite records. Speaking with ABC Audio, Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago recalls how he felt when that comparison was made.

“When people said it … or Kurt Cobain said that, I listened for it, and yeah, I see it,” Santiago shares. “I see the dynamics and the simple guitar line going over stuff that keeps going and going over different changes.”

But, as Santiago says, it’s not like he was the very first person to do that.

“I can’t take credit for all that,” Santiago says. “I got influenced by other people. It just gets passed along.”

Pixies’ impact on Nirvana, Santiago feels, is just a reflection of the nature of what music is.

“[Nirvana] had a good interpretation of it,” Santiago says. “I had a good interpretation of what George Harrison did and what [Jimi] Hendrix did.”

Pixies released their latest album, Doggerel, last September. They’ll launch a U.S. tour in support of the record in May.

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