When iconic indie band Pavement wound down at the close of the century, it was seen as the end of an era.

In reality, things are never that simple. Lives and art intersect in messy, productive ways, and as Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus confirmed the band's breakup, things were already underway with his new band the Jicks, who have since spent the next decade-plus churning out breezy, inventive guitar rock. The band's latest album, "Wig Out at Jagbags," came out in January.

Central to the band's appeal is the input of bassist Joanna Bolme, who anchors the band's jams.

amNewYork spoke with Portland, Ore., native Bolme.

How did you join the Jicks?

Pavement had done some demoing for [1999's] "Terror Twilight" in the studio where I worked, so that's where I spent ? time with [Malkmus]. I was in another band called the Minders at the time, and when Pavement broke up, Steve started playing with [drummer] John Moen. They wanted to make a record, and John said, "Hey, we should get Joanna!" I don't think that we knew if we were going to be a real band when we started ? and here we are, 14 years later.

What's the secret to keeping a band together?

We try to make each other laugh a lot and keep it light. Also, apologizing. You can't keep all your [expletive] in and be passive-aggressive, it eats your soul. We fight sometimes, but it's usually a burst, and then "Oh, I'm sorry."

The Pacific Northwest scene seems to have a culture of band swapping, right?

People are really quick to start a side project. People have this band, and you maybe put out one record that's really popular and ... instead of the sophomore album, they just start another project. ... In my mind, you're just doing one-record bands, not really a side project.