With their weird and wonderful brand of outsider, alternative rock, The Pixies became favourites of Kurt Cobain and one of the most influential bands of the late 1980s with their classic albums Surfa Rosa (1988) and Doolittle (1989). Front man Charles Thompson grew up listening to 1960s beat groups and religious preachers before discovering punk and avant garde cinema in his teens, and after the demise of The Pixies in 1992, the Bostonian turned solo under the pseudonym Frank Black. Debut Frank Black (1993) continued his concoction of raucous, lo-fi, surf rock, reaching Number 9 in the UK charts. He obsessed about sci-fi and UFOs on The Cult Of Ray (1996) before Black Letter Days (2002) and the acclaimed, Nashville album Honeycomb (2005) explored more rootsy Americana, country and folk sounds. The Pixies reformed in 2004, but Black went on to pay tribute to cult Dutch musician and artist Herman Brood on Bluefinger (2007) - later turned into a rock opera - and form electro-rock outfit Grand Duchy with his wife Violet Clark. He also produced an album for Art Brut and released his self-confessed "sexy record" NonStopErotik in 2010. Yet, for all the strange, oddball styles, screeching, distorted guitars and art house weirdness, the enduring reference point and cornerstone of his work remained his love of the three minute pop song.