The Black Heart Procession, an indie band from San Diego, California has released six full length albums; their debut, ‘1’, was released almost twenty years ago this year and as such, they’ve returned for a 25-date European tour. Formed after the indie rock band, Three Mile Pilot began an open-ended hiatus in 1997, singer/guitarist Pall Jenkins and multi-instrumentalist Tobias Nathaniel embarked on a more somber journey with The Black Heart Procession. In the years since the line-up has gone through many changes, but Jenkins and Nathaniel always remain. We’ve last heard new music from the band in 2010 with their ‘Blood Bunny/Black Rabbit’ EP.
In 2013 The Black Heart Procession went on hiatus, and last year, 2016, you reunited for two shows, now you’re back in the throw of things… How did you decide to reform?
Well Toby moved to Serbia and we thought why not a European tour and play the whole first record.
Your debut album, ‘One’, was released via Headhunter Records at the very beginning of 1998. Now, almost twenty years later, you’re performing the album beginning to end. Do you grow tired of playing the same songs over the years? Or are they still as new as ever?
It can get old sometimes but a lot of the songs we haven’t played in many many years so they feel new. We also have a new line up so that is fresh.
‘Blue Water-Black Heart’ is probably my favorite song off of ‘1’ – though this selective favoritism changes to a different song off the album as soon as I’m listening to it. Could you tell our readers a bit about it? What’s the story behind it, if there is one?
They are absolutely it the innocence of love, maybe a first love then the waters get rough.
Speaking of favorite songs, is there a song of your own that holds a special meaning to you over the rest? Or would that be like picking a favorite child?
I really like ‘A Cry For Love’ I also like ‘Iri Sulu’. It changes from time to time. It’s difficult to say.
Are there any bands or artists you’re digging right now? Anything local to your area, even?
I like The War On Drugs and Bohren & Der Club Of Gore.
How do you separate your different bands and projects from each other creatively?
Somehow they are just different writing styles. When you bring the different people together these influences just happen.
What are your musical inspirations? Whether artistic or mundane?
I am inspired by sitting in my back yard and listing to the silence of nature and clearing my thoughts. Music is like rain and you must wait.
As a huge fan of the band Fugazi, apologies, I have to ask, what was it like opening for them back in the day?
It was amazing, they super nice people and very generous.
You have two upcoming shows in Greece: one at Fix Factory of Sound in Thessaloniki on March 30th and one at the Fuzz Live Music Club in Athens on March 31st. What can concert-goers expect from The Black Heart Procession live?
We will play the first album in its whole beginning to end and select songs from the albums for the encore. We have two Serbian musicians playing with us. On drums, violin, keyboard and accordion. Toby on piano, and me on guitar etc.
Do you have any plans for new music? A full-length or an EP? What’s next for The Black Heart Procession and for you both as solo artists?
We have talked about a possible new album or maybe something live. We are still talking.