Paz Lenchantin bass player of Pixies and A Perfect Circle

Paz Lenchantin

I confessed my love for the Pixies a long time ago when writing about their bassist, Kim Deal. At that moment, I unfairly didn’t mention the reunion of the truly cult band, which took place in 2014, and their new bass player, Paz Lenchantin. Next year marks 10 years since she became the band’s full member, so it’s time to set the record straight and talk about this versatile artist.

Although I’ve been long following her as part of the Pixies, it was while writing this article that I learned she was also closely cooperating with my other favorite band, Tool, or rather, with A Perfect Circle. I don’t know how, but that information passed me by.

Paz Lenchantin playing with the Pixies

Some facts about the “new” Pixies bassist

Paz Lenchantin was born in 1973. She is of Armenian descent and grew up in a musical family. In particular, her father, Mario Medriosyan, taught music at famous universities in Argentina, Peru, and the USA. When she was four years old, her parents moved permanently to California.

So, Paz has been a multi-instrumentalist since childhood. She primarily plays violin and piano. As she admits in an interview with Bass Musician Magazine, she prefers the bass guitar in the studio and on stage, but at home, she switches to the violin and keyboards.

young Paz Lenchantin photo

In the 1990s, Paz earned money by teaching piano lessons and writing music for television shows and even video games. She has always dealt with creative activities and the music industry, but the main impetus for her career, in her own words, was participation in A Perfect Circle.

Bassist of A Perfect Circle Paz Lenchantin

Among other things, Paz Lenchantin is actively working on creating music videos. She once worked on Tool’s video for Ænema. And as you know, Tool’s videos are real art handled by their guitarist, Adam Jones. At that time, she was Adam’s assistant working on this video.

During that period, Tool’s members were in some state of suspended animation. Adam’s guitar technician, Billy Howerdel, decided to implement his musical ambitions and apply the accumulated material. Adam Jones knew Paz was a bass player and introduced her to Howerdel. Thus began A Perfect Circle, and Paz’s career expanded beyond the Los Angeles clubs. Moreover, Billy’s neighbor was Maynard Keenan (Tool’s vocalist). He heard the material and immediately asked to become a vocalist, although the songs implied the use of female vocals.

A Perfect Circle — «Judith»

The director of the video is no less than David Fincher.

My favorite moment is at 1:53 when she manages to put her hair in a bun during a pause and then starts playing again. It is a perfectly captured moment.

With A Perfect Circle, Paz Lenchantin recorded all four albums working as a bassist, keyboardist, and backing vocalist and toured throughout the band’s existence.

In the Pixies

For some reason, Kim Deal, one of the founding members and longtime bassist of the Pixies, refused to join the band in 2014. Then Paz Lenchantin became a concert member of the cult band and was soon announced as its permanent full-fledged member.

Of course, that caused some stress. Unlike APC, the Pixies already had an established fan community with a clear idea of the band’s golden-era lineup. Besides, there was a repertoire of cult songs with parts written by Kim.
But today, when Paz has been with the band for 10 years, perhaps even longer than Kim Deal, I would say she fitted in perfectly. At the time of writing this article, she took part in the recording of four albums:

  • Indie Cindy (2014)
  • Head Carrier (2016)
  • Beneath the Eyrie (2019) 
  • Doggerel (2022) 

Instruments and equipment

Paz Lenchantin’s main bass guitar, and to some extent her calling card, is a 1965 Fender Precision in vintage condition. She has been performing with this seasoned bass on most of her concerts and recordings since A Perfect Circle.

Paz Lenshantin's bass guitar Fender Precision aka "Sunflower"

… When I got it in Chicago, they sold it to me as a 1970 Precision. It needed some work, and I had a dear friend help me set it up. He took apart the neck and body. And there was a stamp that said June 5th, 1965. He showed me and told me that the bass instantly went up in value. 
… I do like naming things… About 12 years ago, I was playing in San Francisco with the Entrance Band. And the bass player of the opening band was so high that he didn’t bring his gear. I’ve never ever had anyone play my bass because it’s very intimate to me… Anyway, I let this guy use it, and his name was Sunflower, so because he’s the only one who has played it, I named that bass Sunflower

Paz Lenchantin, in an interview with Bass Magazine

In addition, according to various sources, she uses:

  • Looper – Boss RC-30 Loop Station
  • Amplifier – Ampeg SVT-VR
  • Distortion – Pro Co RAT
  • Bass Guitar Strings – Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Bass Strings (50-105)
  • DI box – Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI

Also, a small custom shop brand, Luna Guitars, used to produce a personalized bass Luna Guitars Paz Lenchantin Signature model “Henna” P-Bass. However, at the moment of writing (2023), I didn’t find that bass on the official website, which seems somewhat abandoned.

I sincerely hope you’ve been interested in learning new things about this multifaceted, talented musician. If you love the Pixies as much as I do, here’s a concert video for Gouge Away. Enjoy!

Pixies — «Gouge Away»
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