Just weeks after the successful crowdfunding campaign to create a history book on The Pixies, another chapter has closed in the tumultuous history of the group with the shock announcement that bassist Kim Deal has decided to leave the group.

The group made the announcement via their Facebook page over the weekend. “We are sad to say that Kim Deal has decided to leave the Pixies. We are very proud to have worked with her on and off over the last 25 years,” read the statement.

Deal first joined the group after answering a newspaper ad in 1986 in the Boston Phoenix. That advert led her to become a member of a group, and although using the alias Mrs. John Murphy for the band’s early releases Come on Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa, Deal soon became an integral member of a band that would become alternative rock legends.

But with success also comes tension, the the animosity between Deal and Pixies frontman Frank Black soon became a huge thorn in the side of both musicians, eventually contributing to their break up in 1993.

During the break, Deal went on to start The Breeders alongside Tanya Donelly. When the group released their seminal sophomore album Last Splash, they were quickly rocketed to both critical acclaim and commercial success on the back of the omnipresent ‘Cannonball’ single and their renowned live show.

The original tenure of The Breeders was a brief and torrid affair. Donelly left the band not long after 1990 debut Pod, to be eventually replaced by Kelley Deal (even though she famously couldn’t play guitar at the time), and they were soon opening for Nirvana on their immense 1992 European tour, but things sadly fell into disarray not long after the massive success of Last Splash.

Since then Deal rejoined Black and her other bandmates in The Pixies, reuniting in 2004 for a string of tours, including the 20th anniversary of Doolittle back in 2009.

The Breeders have also been playing gigs again, most recently touring internationally to celebrate the the 20th anniversary of Last Splash. The group visited Australia last year for ATP, and are scheduled to travel back down under in October for a string of headline shows.

But despite Deal’s abrupt depature from The Pixies, the rest of the band looks set to continue on without her. There’s been talk for some time about a supposed new album that up until now has remained illusive. Perhaps Deal’s departure will be the catalyst that gets that ball rolling again. Although it has to be said, is it really The Pixies without her?

It’s a question that Black himself might be considering. “Despite her decision to move on,” the statement finished. “We will always consider her a member of the Pixies, and her place will always be here for her. We wish her all the best.”