The Breeders' Kim Deal Says It’s 'a Big Deal' Olivia Rodrigo Tapped Her '90s Alt-Rock Band for the “Guts” Tour (Exclusive)

The iconic '90s group will play four nights of the pop-rock superstar's tour as it comes to New York City's Madison Square Garden on April 4, 5, 8 and 9

<p>Tim Mosenfelder/FilmMagic; Lionel Hahn/Getty</p> Kim Deal of The Breeders performing at Austin City Limits 2023; Olivia Rodrigo at the 2024 Grammys

Tim Mosenfelder/FilmMagic; Lionel Hahn/Getty

Kim Deal of The Breeders performing at Austin City Limits 2023; Olivia Rodrigo at the 2024 Grammys

Olivia Rodrigo once said that she thinks of her life before hearing “Cannonball” by The Breeders and after.

Flash forward to 2024 when the pop-rock star, 21, is out on her first-ever arena tour in support of her sophomore album GUTS — and now the ‘90s alt-rock group fronted by Kim Deal is joining her for four sold-out shows at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on April 4, 5, 8 and 9.

One can imagine that it’s exciting for the three-time Grammy winner to be playing alongside one of her favorite bands — but as for Deal herself, she’s simply in disbelief that it’s happening at all.

“We’re just from Dayton, Ohio!” jokes Deal, 62, of herself and her bandmates. “We’re really excited. It’s a big deal.”

<p>K. Rector</p> The Breeders

K. Rector

The Breeders

Related: Olivia Rodrigo's Daring Guts Tour Wardrobe Boasts Hot Pants, Crystals and a Nod to Gwen Stefani

The Breeders frontwoman explains that it was sometime last fall that the band’s management team revealed that the “vampire” singer wanted them to join her at MSG. “I was just like, ‘What?’ It was odd!” she recalls.

“Then she began doing more stuff for this album, and you find out she knows Annie Clark [of St. Vincent] and she listens to all sorts of different music from Billy Joel to Sheryl Crow and it's like, ‘Oh, she's just really into music,’” Deal continued. “Knowing that, it made more sense. She just really liked us!”

While notes of the Last Splash band’s alternative sound is all over GUTS, Deal is also known for being a source of inspiration to young women in rock. After all, she launched the group (also featuring her twin sister Kelley, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson) as a creative outlet when she felt underused as the bassist in her former band The Pixies.

Still — despite being an indie music legend who was hand-picked to open for Nirvana in 1992 — the rocker admits the scale of Rodrigo’s live show and MSG has been a bit intimidating as she and the band rehearsed for the upcoming shows.

“I have played Madison Square Garden before. It was in 1992 [with The Pixies] and we opened for U2 on the Zoo TV Tour,” the singer/guitarist reflects. “I don’t remember it. I remember the shows that weren't good — those burn into my mind — and it must've been a good show since I can't remember.”

<p>Kevin Westenberg</p> The Breeders in the '90s

Kevin Westenberg

The Breeders in the '90s

Related: Nicole Kidman Approves of Olivia Rodrigo's Recreation of AMC Theatres Ad: 'Won Me Major Points with My Girls'

While The Breeders joined Foo Fighters out on the road last year where they largely played outdoor amphitheaters, MSG’s capacity of nearly 20,000 and the “get him back!” singer’s production feel “huge” to her. “I told my friend, ‘I just don't know how to get that big,’” Deal says. “He goes, ‘Act like you're yelling at a cop!’ Like, I don't think so. No. He goes, ‘I know! You're Mel Gibson in Braveheart, just stand there and yell, ‘Freedom!’’ and then you'll be that big.”

While Deal says that she also became somewhat concerned about how the younger contingent of Rodrigo’s audience might react to their “loud guitars,” she admits that she thinks it’s “thrilling” they’ll be playing for their most junior crowd to date.

“There are very young girls there, so we’re excited about [that],” she says, mentioning that she thinks it’s pretty special how Rodrigo is imparting her taste and the cult-loved indie band onto a “new generation.”

“When you tell your friend, ‘You should listen to this band,’ I think she's just like that,” Deal says of the pop-rock superstar. “‘You girls and guys need to hear this! This is a good band, and I'm going to have them play for you, so you can see what a good band is.’”

“Maybe that's what she's doing,” the “Divine Hammer” singer adds. “She didn't have to have us!”

<p>Christopher Polk/Billboard via Getty</p> Olivia Rodrigo performing on The 'GUTS' Tour at Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs, California in February 2024

Christopher Polk/Billboard via Getty

Olivia Rodrigo performing on The 'GUTS' Tour at Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs, California in February 2024

Related: Olivia Rodrigo Joined by Sheryl Crow to Perform 'If It Makes You Happy' at 'Guts' World Tour in Nashville

Deal also notes that she has loved to see how the Sour artist has been distributing contraceptives at her shows, advocating for abortion access and donating proceeds of her ticket sales to her non-profit Fund For Good. “The announcement about her giving out condoms? Yes. I loved it. Plan B? I loved it. I was like, ‘Oh, f--- yes, you go girl!’” she explains.

It’s been fulfilling to see in part because “she doesn’t have to do that,” but also because Deal remembers how the alt-rock and riot grrrl scenes that have inspired Rodrigo were using their platforms similarly in the ‘90s. “When we were playing [Lollapalooza in ‘94], there were get out the vote booths, Right to Choose booths … gay rights. There has been a lot of activism for voting and for women's rights and women's health and reproductive rights for decades within [the scene].”

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Deal describes The Breeder’s appearance on The GUTS Tour — which revels in Rodrigo’s feminine take on teenage rebellion and emotion — as especially exciting, since the group came out of a music landscape when women in rock were really beginning to carve out their own lane.

“I do remember there was a loneliness back in the day when I was out with The Pixies and I was the only girl on tour,” Deal recalls, sharing that there were times where “oppressive, menacing” encounters out on the road made her feel unwelcome.

<p>Jason Squires/FilmMagic</p> Kelley Deal, Kim Deal, & Josephine Wiggs of The Breeders performing at Riot Fest in Chicago on Sept. 15, 2023

Jason Squires/FilmMagic

Kelley Deal, Kim Deal, & Josephine Wiggs of The Breeders performing at Riot Fest in Chicago on Sept. 15, 2023

Related: Olivia Rodrigo Is 'Obsessed' with Boyfriend's Ex in Music Video for New Deluxe Album Single: Watch

Bands like Sonic Youth, Bikini Kill, post-punk outfit L-Seven, alt-rockers Throwing Muses, the British group Th' Faith Healers and Danish band Bettie Serveert, as well as hip-hop stars like Queen Latifah and Salt-N-Pepa, were sources of inspiration for Deal and The Breeders.

“I can be told so many times that there just weren’t a lot of women back in the day. And that's not true. There were tons of women back in the day,” she says.

Deal also reminisces about the riot grrrl movement and scene leaders like Kathleen Hanna who were advocating for women to feel seen in and outside of music. “She was out there up in the Northwest saying things like, ‘Make room for us in the front!’” the musician says of the Bikini Kill frontwoman, now 55.

“It was really a good way of looking at things that nobody was looking at before. And they were cool bands, cool people saying, ‘Give us some room. This is ridiculous,’” she adds, recalling queues of people waiting to crowd surf and stage dive, and countless Doc Martens being thrown on stage and hitting concert-goers in the head.

While Deal might be rather humble when she’s been called an inspiration herself, it all but makes sense the alt-rock icon is taking the stage with Gen Z’s own riot grrrl-inspired rockstar. Even months ago, Rodrigo expressed how much wisdom she hopes to absorb from the Pod group when they cross paths at MSG.

“It really is exciting that I think it's just Olivia,” The Breeders vocalist reiterates of how the hitmaker tapped The Breeders for The GUTS Tour bill. “I think everybody will be cool about it, obviously, because we're the act that she chose.”

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