After reuniting to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its “Last Splash” album, the second incarnation of the Breeders may just have a little more music to make together. At least that’s the way guitarist Kelley Deal feels.
“People have asked about are we planning on writing any more stuff, and at the time I was like ‘No!’ ” Deal tells Billboard. “It just didn’t occur to me. We were so busy working on this (tour) and stuff and figuring out what all we were going to be doing. But think I started thinking to myself, ‘Jeez, (‘Last Splash’) is the only album the four of us were on. Isn’t it worth exploring some other things — question mark, question mark?’ I think it’s an interesting idea. We’re so busy right now with this tour and everything, so talk about new stuff has not been on the table, but…maybe. I think we should think about it.”
Until that point comes, however, Deal, her twin sister Kim, bassist Josephine Wiggs and drummer Jim Macpherson will be busy recreating “Last Splash,” which the Breeders will be playing in its entirety on a tour that gets under way May 3 in Pittsburgh and currently has dates booked into July, including All Tomorrow’s Parties on June 21 in England and the Pitchfork Music Festival July 20 in Chicago.
“Kim and I were sitting on the couch in my house, and I don’t know why I mentioned it but I said, ‘You know, next year is the 20th anniversary of ‘Last Splash,’ ” Deal recalls. “And she said, ‘Oh, really?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Well, what would we do to celebrate that?’ ‘I don’t know; maybe we could do a show, maybe play the album or something.’ And that sort of led to, ‘Who do we play with? We just did a quick text to Jim and Josephine to see if they’d even be interested in pursuing the idea of ‘something’ — it was very vague. And they were both like, ‘Yes!,’ immediately. So that got us going.”
The “Last Splash” shows will obviously include “Mad Lucas,” which Deal says the Breeders have never done live. But mostly, she adds, reconnecting with her first full-length album is “so easy for me and so fun for me to go in and go, ‘Yeah, this is what I did.’ ‘Cause I played it in the first place, I don’t have to guess about anything. That’s really nice.”
In addition to the tour, 4AD is releasing deluxe anniversary editions of “Last Splash,” titled “LSXX,” with the original album, a live show from Sweden in 1994, BBC radio session recordings, a 24-page booklet and more on three CDs. The sets with “an irreverent conceptual and visual re-imagining” of “Last Splash’s” artwork by original album designer Vaughan Oliver, comes out May 14. A seven-LP vinyl box set version will follow in late May
“Somebody we were working with threw out the idea, ‘Lemme tell 4AD you’re planning on doing some shows and see if they want to do a reissues of some sort,” Deal recalls. “We thought it would be something simple, but they were totally up for reissuing — not even reissuing but celebrating and putting an anniversary package together that includes so much cool stuff.”
Looking back on “Last Splash,” Deal says that “it doesn’t feel like 20 years. It feels like maybe six years — just long enough that it’s not right now but you certainly have memories of it.” And she still marvels at the platinum success of the album, which spawned the alt rock hits “Cannonball,” “Saints” and “Divine Hammer.” “Y’know, at the time, Paula Abdul and metal bands were on the charts, Deal remembers. “This kind of thing wasn’t anywhere when we were writing (the songs). In ’93, things changed very rapidly. We were on the front edge, for sure.”