Interview with Aviv Geffen (Blackfield),
Interview with Aviv Geffen (Blackfield)
PS: It’s only days left till the release of the third album by Blackfield, called „Welcome to My DNA”. I had the opportunity to get acquainted with almost the entire album, thanks to the promotional material, and I have to admit the two of you are still in a great form, not going beyond the stylistic frames that you adopted in the beginning. Still, I believe this time I can hear your voice more often in the solo parts than on the previous albums. Does it mean that your writing input was also bigger this time?
AG: Well I wrote most of the songs and we both think it's our best work so far, it was the first time we brought a real orchestra to play along with us .
PS: What gives you more artistic satisfaction – the very writing of music or the act of presenting it on stage?
AG: Both, I love the stage but the creating moment is the nearest place next to God for me.
PS: In your country, you’re known to be a pop rock singer/songwriter, while your partner from Blackfield, Steven Wilson, is mainly associated with prog rock. And yet, your band is about to release the third album with radio-friendly songs. Was it the original idea for Blackfield to be a project just like this, or did you consider extending the band’s stylistic profile?
AG: For us Blackfied is the blend between our both worlds in a way we very similar, I'm not a big prog fan, I think on this album I took Steven back to his early work to albums such as Signify when it's more about songs and less technics.
PS: You’ve often written songs concerning political and social issues, which can also be heard on „Welcome to My DNA”. Music, as other arts, is a great medium for expressing emotions concerning views on the world and its threats, but do you think such songs can also make the world a better place?
AG: I think that music is more deadly then and tank or gun, I believe I changed a lot with my songs.
PS: Political commentary present in your songs is just one of the proofs of your fascination with Bob Dylan. Could you tell me something about your other influences?
AG: David Bowie, Jim Morrison, Roger Waters are up the list and they are the reason why I choose music.
PS: You’ve been a big star in your country for years. I think, thanks the appearance of Blackfield, also the Western world got the chance to get to know you. What do people of Israel think of your English-language works? What I mean are Blackfield albums, as well as your last solo effort.
AG: One of the main targets for Blackfield was to expose my music outside of Israel and thank for that today people knows who is Aviv Geffen.
PS: It’s no secret that European and American music is very popular in Asia. The best example for this could be Japan. How is it in Israel with art rock or prog rock? Are these kinds of music popular in your country?
AG: Tel Aviv is one of the most amazing cities at the moment you can get here everything you want including prog, electro, metal etc… there is a big underground scene.
PS: I don’t think there is one Steven Wilson fan who hasn’t heard about Steven’s aversion to the iPod culture. What is your opinion on this matter? Do you think such a way of „exploiting” music distorts the whole idea of an album, taken up by artists while recording their works?
AG: I think it's all about the songs, Steven is more sensitive for the sound side because he is really one of a kind, he can work on Blackfield mix for weeks, I think when you really really adore band or artist you will end up buying the real album with the artwork and lyrics, it's not one off hit, especially not Blackfield.
PS: Could you tell me something about the time when you met Steven Wilson? What did your gigs with Porcupine Tree look like?
AG: We had some good shows and some crap shows but at the end me and Steven decided that we need a real band which can create a new sound for us, to take the best pieces in each one of us to create this great thing that called Blackfield.
PS: Your name can be seen on the inner-sleeve of Porcupine Tree’s “In Absentia” album. What did your contribution to recording of this album look like?
AG: I was just helping Steven in Some vocals and harmonies. Don't forget we're best friends at the end of the day, he also play most of the guitars on my solo album.
PS: I’m sure “Welcome to My DNA” is going to gain a lot of admirers, both among people fond of simple pop songs and art rock followers – your collaboration with Steven Wilson is very fruitful. Have you ever considered some other interesting cosmopolitan collaborations as well?
AG: Not really... Blackfield is once in a lifetime, the best school for me and Steven I don't think that both of us can compete with Blackfield.
PS: You’ve visited Poland a few times already. What are your memories of those visits?
AG: I'm half Polish… after the last show in Krakow I end up in some fan house and I was shocked how update in music you are, I love pierogi as well...
PS: Soon, Blackfield is going to go on tour. You’re going to play two gigs in Poland. What can we expect of those?
AG: Hopefully the best shows you're gonna watch in 2011.
PS: Thank you for the interview.