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The Breeders Biography

Home > Music > B > Breeders, The > Biography

Birth Place: Boston, Massachusetts, Dayton, Ohio, East Los Angeles, United States
Years Active: 1988–present
Genres: Alternative Rock

The Breeders is an alternative rock band that formed in 1988 by Kim Deal of the Pixies and Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses. The band exploded onto the music scene during the height of the grunge music movement during the early 1990s. Over the years the band has seen a number of line-up changes, with the current line-up consisting of Kim Deal on lead vocals and guitar; Kelley Deal on guitar and backing vocals; Jose Medeles on drums and percussion; Mando Lopez on bass guitar; Todd the Fox on guitar; and Cheryl Lyndsey on guitar. Kim Deal has remained the band's one constant member since formation. The Breeders debut album, “Pod” arrived in 1990 and met with critical acclaim from the press and music peers alike, however the album was not a commercial success. The Breeders most commercially successful album was their 1993's album, “Last Splash,” which spawned the massive international hit single, “Cannonball.” The album saw the band achieve mainstream popularity.

The Deal sisters began playing guitar and singing at an early age; by the time they were teenagers they were playing at open mic nights. The duo built up a local following before branching out to join other bands; Kim Deal landed the job of bassist in the now famed, the Pixies, while her twin sister Kelley joined the Throwing Muses. Kim began to write music for a side project with guitarist Tanya Donnelly of the Throwing Muses, and recruited violinist and vocalist Carrie Bradley, four different drummers, and bassist Ray Halliday to produce a demo tape. This was the beginning of The Breeders. The band played their first show at The Rathskeller in Boston, billed as a “Boston girl super-group.”

The band were offered a record deal with the English indie label 4AD, hired producer Steve Albini, and added bassist Josephine Wiggs to the flock. “Pod” arrived in 1990 and became a hit in alternative music circles, with musicians such as Kurt Cobain citing the album to be one of his favorite records, ever. 1991 saw the band record the EP, “Safari,” and the addition of Kelley Deal on guitar. Following the release of the EP, “Safari,” Donelly left The Breeders to form Belly; The Pixies became inactive by mid-1992, and Deal began to focus on new material for The Breeders. Drummer Jim MacPherson became a full time member of The Breeders before they set off on their European tour opening for Nirvana in 1992.

The Breeders second offering, “Last Splash” came on the heels of The Pixies break-up in 1993 and was an instant success. 1994 saw the band secure a slot on the Lollapalooza tour. A year later, Kelley was arrested for drug possession, which led Kim to form a side project called The Amps with MacPherson, bassist Luis Lerma, and guitarist Nate Farley. The Amps released the album “Pacer” later that year while Kelley went through rehab. When Kelley had recovered she started two new side projects: 'Kelley Deal 6000' and 'Last Hard Men' with Sebastian Bach, Jimmy Chamberlin, and Jimmy Flemion. 1996 saw Kim Deal return to performing as The Breeders with The Amps line-up, including violinist Carrie Bradley. Kelley Deal rejoined the band in 1998 and The Breeders began work on their third album, “Title TK” (2002). The band's fourth studio album, “Mountain Battles” appeared in 2008 on 4AD and featured Kim and Kelley Deal, Jose Medeles and Mando Lopez. The Breeders' third EP, “Fate to Fatal” followed, which featured Mark Lanegan.