Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks Drop 'Sparkle Hard,' and Nix a Pavement Reunion: "No, That's Not Happening"
Published May 15, 2018During a radio interview last year, Pavement's Spiral Stairs suggested that the band, which reunited for a tour in 2010 after breaking up in 1999, might be back to celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2019.
During a chat with Exclaim! about his new album with the Jicks, Sparkle Hard, their seventh overall, Stephen Malkmus has definitively quashed the idea.
"That's next year," Malkmus says. "No, that's not happening. It's not possible. I mean, we're going to carry [the Jicks] through 2019, and I've got some other things that might be coming out.
"Maybe the band will play again," he adds. "I don't know, y'know? We could play again, but there hasn't been any talk with booking agents. You'd have to do that already to get good spots. We haven't thought about that. If people are so into it, I can see it happening, but I haven't talked to anybody about it. I'm just imagining, like in a fantasy world, if the band were really into it, I would consider it, I guess. But I haven't gotten that feeling.
"It seems like it'd just be another '90s reunion or something. If we could somehow transcend that, I guess I'd listen to the potential. I just think, this is today, and the Jicks album is… people like that, and that's what I want to do. My heart is in that."
Like many Pavement reunion discussions recently, this one is the result of a member in the band discussing the prospect in the press and hinting that, if Malkmus can be convinced, the band will return. It sometimes seems like a funny bit of public pressure is being applied to the affable leader of the band.
"I think they're just being open and honest about how they feel," Malkmus says. "People ask them questions and they answer. They're not guarded — no one is in our band. I know some people in the group would like to do a reunion, because it sounds fun and they wanna rock. They're proud of what we did and they wanna do it again. Also, they gave the best years of their lives to doing that, and I can see that. I just think they're chattin' about it. Who knows? Maybe their friends or cohorts are like, 'C'mon, you gotta do this. We're psyched!'
"But I have my family here," Malkmus adds, over the phone from his family's kitchen in Portland, OR. "I got the Jicks, who I actually hang out with and play music with, so I'm in a different space. Reunions are fun. When we did it last time, it was rewarding to play those songs and connect with people, but to me, to go back and do that now, it just doesn't feel right to me."
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks' Sparkle Hard comes out May 18 via Matador Records.
Listen to this interview with Stephen Malkmus on Kreative Kontrol via Apple Podcasts or below.