David Lovering (born December 6, 1961) is an American musician and magician. He is best known as the drummer for the alternative rock band Pixies, which he joined in 1986. After the band's breakup in 1993, Lovering drummed with several other acts, including The Martinis, Cracker, Nitzer Ebb and Tanya Donelly. He also pursued a magic career as The Scientific Phenomenalist; performing scientific and physics-based experiments on stage. When the Pixies reunited in 2004, Lovering returned as the band's drummer.
The Scientific Phenomenalist and other projects
Following the Pixies' breakup, Lovering drummed with several artists, including Nitzer Ebb, but turned down an invitation to join the Foo Fighters. Lovering then joined Santiago's band The Martinis, appearing on their song "Free" on the soundtrack of Empire Records. However, he soon left the band to become a touring drummer for Cracker. Lovering moved from band to band, drumming with Tanya Donelly's group on 1997's Lovesongs for Underdogs and with Boston band Eeenie Meenie. After facing difficulty finding new work, Lovering gave up the drums and moved into a rented house that banned drumming.
Towards the end of 1990s, Lovering's friend Grant-Lee Phillips took him to a magic convention. Lovering was very impressed by some of the illusions, and later said "I had to learn how to do it". Mutual friend Carl Grasso invited them to a show at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles. There Lovering met Possum Dixon's frontman Rob Zabrecky, and the pair soon became friends. Zabrecky convinced Lovering to apply for a performers' membership to the Magic Castle. After gaining his membership, Lovering reinvented himself as "The Scientific Phenomenalist". His act combined his electrical engineering knowledge with his stage performance experience. His decision to pursue a career in magic was influenced by the fact that as a musician, he "couldn't top the Pixies".
As the Scientific Phenomentalist, Lovering performs science and physics experiments in a lab coat while on stage. He shuns traditional magic tricks, and prefers "things that are more mental, using mental powers".
Lovering became part of The Unholy Three, a trio of magicians that resides at the Magic Castle, and performs "a new wave, alternative, avant-garde kind of magic". He toured his act across the United States as the opener for Frank Black (the new stage name of former Pixies band-mate Thompson), Grant-Lee Phillips, The Breeders and Camper Van Beethoven. He performed his act at the Shellac-curated All Tomorrow's Parties music festival in 2002. He later commented that his performance at the festival was "perhaps my greatest achievement".
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