Despite the name of their band and the tone of the music they write, Tobias Nathaniel and Pall Jenkins of The Black Heart Procession are not unhappy guys. In fact, the former actually sounded quite perky when Flagpole spoke with him on the phone.
“I think a lot of people have the wrong impression of us—like we’re these totally depressed, gloomy, bummer, morose guys,” Nathaniel says. “The reality is, we play this kind of music, and it really helps us to get [those feelings] out of our system.”
Born roughly 10 years ago out of San Diego band Three Mile Pilot’s ridiculously lengthy hiatus, BHP has crafted a sound far different from its source. Often described as dark and, sometimes, even creepy, the band’s goth rock tendencies suggest an adolescence spent listening to early Cure in a poorly lit room. And according to publicity information, the lyrical themes on the band’s new record, Six, will do nothing if not usher in the next generation of Cash, Cohen and Waits.
Those comparisons, deserved or not, sit just fine with Nathaniel, even though he would rather be appreciated as The Black Heart Procession and not as an heir to earlier despairing prophets.
“They are legendary to me, but I think we’ve established our own sound, the type of thing we do. I think we both try not to be too concerned with people’s perceptions of us,” he says. “We just do what we do, and if it happens to resonate with other people, we’re grateful for that. We’re not really concerned about comparisons and parallels that people draw.”
The band will shower its doom and gloom on the 40 Watt Club on Oct. 27 along with apparent ’60s/ragtime/Velvet Underground worshippers The Mumlers. Bring eyeliner and flowers.
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