Black Francis can no longer ''justify'' making solo records away from The Pixies.

The 'Debaser' hitmaker went solo when the group disbanded in 1993 and though he initially continued working alone when they reunited in 2004, he insisted he did that to ''keep proving'' himself as a songwriter but now it wouldn't make sense to get into the studio without the band.

He told The Sun newspaper: ''I feel that albums like 'Bluefinger' (2007) and 'Svn Fngrs' (2008) could easily have been Pixies records.

''I felt a degree of frustration but they were a creative outlet and I was able to keep proving to the band that I could still write songs.

''Now with Pixies, we earn a pretty good wage, much more than during our first incarnation.

''I have family, I have kids and tours take me away from them. I couldn't really justify one for some solo record that is probably only going to break even.''

But away from the 'Monkey Gone to Heaven' group, Francis has another outlet for his creativity in painting.

He said: ''It's great because there are no other people involved. I even stayed up late last night painting in my room, very abstract stuff.

''I don't have to answer to anyone. I can do it for hours and hours. I can listen to music or not listen to music. I can be alone and I can do it all day every day.

''If this music thing doesn't pan out, or if I take a sabbatical, I would totally just do painting.''

Kim Deal only returned briefly to the group, and was replaced by two female bassists, Kim Shattuck and Paz Lenchantin and Francis admitted he and his bandmates, drummer Dave Lovering and guitarist Joey Santiago, prefer the dynamic of having a woman in the band.

He said: ''If you're going to write new material, it requires emotional commitment. Kim (Deal) wasn't up for that. She was fine playing the old stuff and doing a tour once in a while...

''For about a minute, we considered hiring another male but we're used to the sexual dynamic of male/female.

''We're not particularly crass in our maleness but a woman brings politeness to the affair.

''Anyway, the band make-up just feels right. It suits my personality. Even my friends out there in the world don't tend to be all male. I like hanging out with women!''