“Watch this,” whispers Kim, leaning in conspiratorially. “Hey Josephine, I think we should try ‘Launched’ next album…”
“Shut up!” explodes Wiggs, half joking but very much half serious. “I told her if she ever even mentioned that song again… it nearly killed us. It was like the myth of Sisyphus, of pushing the boulder up the hill and thinking it’s done. I was like, ‘You do realise I nearly quit because of that song?’ It was lots and lots of work.”
“For nothing,” adds Kim. “That song is a cockroach.”
“Launched” naturally didn’t make it on to All Nerve, but recently the band began practising the material that did. “We just got all our gear back [after touring],” says Kelley, calling from her home in Dayton, “so we played one song – ‘Howl At The Summit’. It took us a couple of times to get through it, but it sounds awesome, it sounds so good! Tonight we’re having another practice, and it’s gonna be “Nervous Mary” night… I’ll be like, ‘Wait, what did I play there?’”
“It does take a lot of work,” says Kim. “Hopefully it doesn’t sound like it. It’s so hard to make something seem effortless.”
“Kim’s songs baffle me,” says Albini. “She’s clearly a unique talent, and her choice of words seems rooted in a kind of personal charm that the rest of us aren’t going to have explained for us. Her songs are by turns tough and fragile, literal and abstract, worldly and ephemeral. She can be touching and personal but also opaque and flippant. I gave up trying to figure it out and just wonder at it.”
“Kim’s one of my all-time favourite songwriters,” adds Donelly. “It used to actually make me giddy when she’d play a new song for me.”
With All Nerve ready for release, The Breeders are now looking at a 2018 full of touring, whether it’s US dates in April, UK and European gigs from May, or any number of festivals. Late last year they even resurrected Kim’s Pixies classic “Gigantic” as an encore; a sure sign that The Breeders are now everything to Kim, encompassing her life’s work with The Amps, Pixies and solo. Kelley, Wiggs and Macpherson are more than happy to come along with her, seeming to enthuse about the songs they didn’t originally play on as much as those they did.
For now, the future, always a tricky subject for The Breeders, hasn’t been discussed – “I hope we try and stay in the moment,” says Macpherson – but right now the four of them seem like old friends.
“Music is all we do, when we’re in Ohio,” says Kim, looping back to her hometown’s somewhat slender attractions. “Jim works and comes over almost every night of the week. We do this all the time. I like bands, I don’t know why. I romanticise them. I’ve always just wanted to be in a band.”
The July 2018 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with Public Image Ltd on the cover in the UK and Johnny Cash overseas. Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find exclusive new interviews with Ray Davies, Father John Misty, Pink Floyd, Mazzy Star, Sleaford Mods, Neko Case and many more. Our free CD showcases 15 tracks of this month’s best new music, including Father John Misty, Neko Case, Natalie Prass, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Jon Hassell.