Pixies drummer Dave Lovering has opened up about his heartache after bassist Kim Deal quit the band.

Deal announced in June (13) she had left the group she helped to create in 1986, and she was later replaced by The Muffs star Kim Shattuck.

Frontman Black Francis revealed Deal broke the news to him and guitarist Joey Santiago in a coffee shop during a break from recording new tracks, and now drummer Lovering has told how he found the news "distressing".

He tells NME magazine, "It was sad and tough when she left, but we wish her well and she has a welcome back if she'd like to. When she said she was leaving it was distressing and there was a lot of panic and we were like, 'What are we going to do?'. We were in the studio and it was all paid for, so we're thinking, 'Do you break up the band?'. We thought the correct thing is to go forward. So we did."

Deal has given no reasons for her departure, but Francis hints she might have quit because she did not want to record new tracks following the band's reunion in 2004.

He says, "I think it could be that she was only willing to do a limited amount of stuff. That was the impression I had... I don't know what issues she had about doing new material but maybe it had nothing to do with us at all, but to do with her own life. Ultimately it didn't matter what the reasons were."