American singer-songwriter and musician. Kimberley Ann Deal was born June 10, 1961 in Dayton, Ohio. Her father was a laser physicist who worked at the nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Kim and her identical twin sister Kelley were introduced to music at a young age; the two sang to a “two-track, quarter-inch, tape” when they were “four or five” years old, and grew up listening to hard rock bands such as AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. When Deal was 11, she learned Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” on the acoustic guitar. In high school, at Wayne High School in Huber Heights, she was a cheerleader and often got into conflicts with authority.
As a teenager, she formed a folk rock band named The Breeders with her sister. She then became a prolific songwriter, as she found it easier to write songs than cover them. Deal later commented on her songwriting output: “I got like a hundred songs when I was like 16, 17 … The music is pretty good, but the lyrics are just like, OH MY GOD. We were just trying to figure out how blue rhymes with you. When I was writing them, they didn’t have anything to do with who I was.” The Deals bought microphones, an eight-track tape recorder, a mixer, speakers, and amps for a bedroom studio. According to Kelley, they “had the whole thing set up by the time we were 17”. They later bought a drum machine “so it would feel like we were more in a band” Following high school, Deal went to seven different colleges, including Ohio State University, but did not graduate from any of them. She eventually received an associate degree in medical technology from Kettering College of Medical Arts and took several jobs in cellular biology, including working in a hospital laboratory and a biochemical lab.
Kim Deal became the bassist and backing vocalist for the Pixies in January 1986 after answering an advertisement for a Bass player in the Boston Phoenix Even though her main instrument was guitar. She borrowed her sister Kelley’s bass guitar to use in the band. she also suggested they hire David Lovering as drummer, a friend of her husband, whom she met at her wedding reception. She played Bass on The Pixies first recording Come on Pilgrim and their second album Surfer Rosa on Which Deal sang lead vocals on the album’s only single, “Gigantic”, which she co-wrote with Black Francis. The Pixies next album Doolittle followed a year later, with Deal contributing the song “Silver” and appearing on slide guitar.
Sadly tensions began to develop between her and Francis, with bickering and standoffs between the two marring the album’s recording sessions. This led to increased stress between the band members. However During a 1988 post-Surfer Rosa tour of Europe with Throwing Muses as part of The Pixies, Deal began to write new material and discussed possible side-projects with Throwing Muses guitarist Tanya Donnelly. Following Doolittle the Pixies took a break. During which Deal formed The Breeders with Tanya Donelly, Josephine Wiggs, and Britt Walford. Deal named the band The Breeders, after the folk band she formed with Kelley as a teenager, and they recruited Carrie Bradley, violinist and vocalist in Ed’s Redeeming Qualities, to record a short demo tape. Breeders allowed Deal to become more active in songwriting, and their debut album, Pod (1990), containing mostly Deal-written songs, was recorded in Edinburgh, Scotland by Steve Albini. However Tanya Donelly left and was replaced by Kim’s twin sister Kelley Deal.
Deal returned to the U.S. after finishing recording Pod in Edinburgh, but was then fired from The Pixies. However the other members changed their mind and the four of them began recording the band’s next album, Bossanova. The Pixies final studio album Trompe le Monde was released in 1991. The recording sessions were fractious, as the band were hardly ever together during the process. Deal sang on a cover of Neil Young’s “I’ve Been Waiting for You” and “Alec Eiffel”.
The Pixies broke up in early 1993, and a year later The Breeders, released the platinum-selling album Last Splash in 1993, which went onto great success. The Breeders released the hit singles “Cannonball”. ” “Safari”, “Divine Hammer,” and “Saints.” The band also released the vinyl-only “Head to Toe” 10″ EP during the summer of 1994, when they appeared on the main stage of Lollapalooza.
In 1994 The Breeders went into hiatus after her sister Kelley entered drug rehabilitation. During the band’s hiatus, Deal adopted the stage name Tammy Ampersand and formed the short-lived rock band The Amps, recording a single album, Pacer in 1995. After her own stint in drug rehabilitation, Deal eventually reformed The Breeders with a new line-up for the two more albums, Title TK in 2002 and Mountain Battles in 2008. During that time she would also return to Pixies when the band reunited in 2004. In 2013, Deal announced she was leaving Pixies to concentrate on making new material with The Breeders, after the band’s most famous line-up (Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson had rejoined the band for the first time since 1995) had reunited for a new series of tours celebrating the 20th anniversary of the band’s hit album Last Splash. In 2018, The Breeders released their fifth album All Nerve, the first album to reunite the band’s most famous line-up (Kim and Kelley, Josephine Wiggs, and Jim Macpherson) since the release of 1993’s Last Splash
Kim Deal has also produced music for other groups, most notably fellow Dayton band Guided by Voices (one of the songs on Pacer, “I am Decided,” was written by the band’s lead singer, Robert Pollard). Deal has contributed her voice to numerous projects, including This Mortal Coil’s 1991 version of Chris Bell’s “You and Your Sister” (a duet with Tanya Donnelly); the 1995 Sonic Youth single “Little Trouble Girl”; and The For Carnation’s “Tales (Live from the Crypt)” in 2000.
In 2004, Deal returned to a newly reunited The Pixies and toured North America with them. The song “Bam Thwok” was also released in 2004. The Pixies also played the Coachella Festival in 2004 and headlined Lollapalooza in 2005 at Chicago’s Grant Park. The Pixies also toured the UK and headlined at the Reading and Leeds Festivals. In 2008, the Breeders released their fourth full-length studio album, Mountain Battles. In April 2009, The Breeders released their third EP, Fate to Fatal. On June 14, 2013, it was announced that Deal had left The Pixies
Kim Deal began writing solo material and In 2012, Kim Deal played a solo set at the All Tomorrow’s Parties “Nightmare Before Christmas” festival in the UK, debuting several new songs including her first solo single, “Walking with a Killer,” releasing more songs throughout 2013 and 2014. In 2013, 4AD released LSXX, a 20th anniversary edition of The Breeders album Last Splash. Deal reunited with Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs, and Jim Macpherson for a Last Splash anniversary tour of North America, Europe, and Australia. A new single, “Wait in the Car”, was released in 2017 And in, 2018, the reunited Breeders lineup released All Nerve. The Breeders also collaborated on multiple tracks of Courtney Barnett’s May 2018 album Tell Me How You Really Feel, with Kim and Kelley singing backing vocals on the singles “Nameless, Faceless” and “Crippling Self-Doubt and a General Lack of Confidence”.