Trompe Le Monde: Magic With the Pixies’ David Lovering – Exclusive
"I went wholeheartedly for years and years, learning tricks, joining the Magic Castle, reading books, watching videos. I slept with a deck of cards for years. It was a lot of work I put into becoming a professional magician."
You might expect that quote to come from someone like David Blaine or David Copperfield, but it actually came from the mouth of the drummer for one of the most iconic indie rock outfits of all time, the Pixies' David Lovering.
"I'm on the stage in front of 80,000 people with the Pixies and I'm behind a drum set. I'm never nervous. I've never been nervous for a Pixies show," Lovering tells us. "It's never bothered me. But when I do my magic, I could be in front of 10 people and I've never sweat so much and panicked so much in my life."
It all started around 1994 when Lovering attended a magic convention with a friend and fellow musician in Los Angeles. "I went along -- we paid the dues and I didn't think anything was going to happen," he recalls. "While I was there I saw a magic trick with a guy named John Kennedy. He took a cigarette and put it through a quarter. I mean, David Blaine and others have done this trick over the years and you'll see it on TV. But this was a completely different method and it blew me away. It was the first time I saw a really cool magic trick. From that point on I was just taken."
It was that cigarette trick that was the first Lovering learned. After that, he picked up as many secrets as he could. "I learned every trick there was," he says. "I did so much magic that you learn to discern what is good and what isn't. Over the years, my repertoire has changed, but I still love playing cards and I do a lot of great card tricks, and I love using coins, rubber bands, things like that. The more organic things are, the better they play in terms of magic. You know, everyday items."
And so it is that we found ourselves with Lovering and a few everyday items. Specifically, a rubber band, a couple of coins, and a nut and bolt. In the three exclusive videos below, Lovering performs some very simple -- yet absolutely mind-boggling and captivating -- magic tricks for us.
Two Rubber Bands
The Penny and the Dime
A Nut and Bolt
"Magic has built up my confidence. That's the one thing I could say about it," Lovering humbly admits. "I love doing magic, love doing it when people enjoy it. What it gave to me in return as far as confidence, it's been immeasurable."
And as far as his favorite trick, it might not be one that's suitable for the camera. "It's called 'Card From Rear.' What I do is, I have a card selected by someone and they have to remember the card, then put it back in the deck," he explains. "I wave my hand over the deck of cards and their card is gone. I ask them where they think it went. So, to help, I try to use my mind to find it. I say it's in my pants, and most people think it's in my fly -- that's a trick called 'Card From Fly.' But I go beyond that."
How far beyond? "I stick my hand down the front, then I go around the back, and I actually pull out a rolled up tissue-laden card out of my pants," Lovering says, with a chuckle in his voice. "People run out. It's very psychological. They're either laughing their ass of or they're really offended by it. I unroll it and it's their card, and then I put it in a bag and give it to them as a souvenir. It's very funny, it's a fun trick. I have a ball with it."
Magic is something that instantly impacted Lovering, and it's not something that he'll soon stop loving. "It captures you and you don't experience it anywhere else," he says. "You can create wonder and awe with magic. You can do the same with music, too. The difference, though, is magic brings you back to an emotion that only kids experience. If you're an adult, it will bring you back to your youth. That's a wonderful thing it can do. But on an even deeper level, it shows the impossible is possible. It's magic -- I love everything about it."
The Pixies' 'Doolittle 25: B-Sides, Peel Sessions and Demos' is out now. The new reissue celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Pixies' second studio album -- and major label debut -- 'Doolittle.' It is available on digital, triple-CD and double-LP formats. Get your hands on a copy of 'Doolittle 25' right here -- and stay up-to-date with everything going on in the world of the Pixies at their official website.