Blackfield come to Athens to present their first album

When Steve Wilson, the moving spirit behind the Pink Floyd-inspired Porcupine Tree quartet, first met Aviv Geffen, a successful Israeli pop star, neither of them would have thought that a few years later they would be joining forces to form yet a third band, Blackfield. Their first album, «Blackfield,» was recently released in Greece and this week the band comes to Athens for a live performance at the Rodon club on Saturday. Kathimerini caught up with Wilson to find out how the two came together and what kind collaboration they aspire to. Could you describe Blackfield’s music to someone who has never heard it? It’s a classic rock sound with references to the 1970s. One of the things that brought Aviv and me together with was our shared love for ’70s music, along with that of the ’60s. We wrote songs based on classic arrangements, featuring several melodic phrases, acoustic guitars and piano. Perhaps this may sound a little bit on the old-fashioned side, yet along the lines of other bands such as Coldplay, we are trying to make all this fashionable again – and give it a contemporary spin. How did you and Geffen meet? We received an e-mail in which he mentioned that he was a well-known artist in Israel and inviting us to perform there. Our first thoughts were: «Yes, sure, we’ve heard this one before,» but then we found out that he was indeed a very important artist, though largely unknown outside Israel. So we went to Tel Aviv to perform, we met up and that’s how our friendship began. You have formed various collaborations. What is different about this one? The most important thing is that Aviv taught me how to be disciplined, in other words, to say exactly what I want to say in no more than three minutes. Until then, I had been experimenting with long songs and long guitar solos. Another important aspect of our collaboration was the fact that we recorded the album in the old style. We both wanted to get away from the 21st century trend of writing music on the computer. We went back to all of us gathering in one room, exchanging ideas and trying different things on the piano and guitar. The album features Porcupine Tree elements. It’s inevitable, considering that the things that inspire me and which I love are still the same. You know, people of my generation – people now in their mid-thirties – lived musically mainly in the ’80s. That’s a decade which had nothing to say to me. So I was forced to go back to the ’70s, to Pink Floyd, the Doors and the Beach Boys, and even before that, to jazz, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Otherwise, what kind of choice did I have from the 1980s? Duran Duran? In any case, I must say that the album also features a lot of elements from Aviv’s music. But no one will recognize these because his work is largely unknown – apart from in Israel and Jewish communities around the world. What would you pick from the contemporary rock scene? I’m very surprised that the British scene – I don’t know if that’s the case in Greece as well – gets really excited by bands such as the Stokes, The Libertines or Franz Ferdinand. There is nothing new about their music. Perhaps one can detect different influences in their work, yet my feeling is that behind all this there is no one single powerful personality. Take Morissey for instance, there are those who like him and those who don’t, but one way or another he is unique. There is no one in the world like him, while there are dozens of bands like The Libertines. The good news, however, is that there’s new talent with a lot of potential emerging from the underground scene. Are you planning another album with Blackfield? Yes, of course. We believe that it will be ready next summer. What about Porcupine Tree? The new album is nearly ready. It will likely be released in the spring and the first ones to listen to it live will be my Greek friends! Rodon Club, 24 Marni, tel 210.524.7427. The interview was translated from the Greek.