Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 10th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Long Way Up

music ThreeMileThree Mile Pilot revels in uncertainty on new EP, ‘Maps’

San Diego, Calif.-based indie rock band Three Mile Pilot put fans at ease in 2010, when it re-emerged after a 13-year silence with an emotionally stirring 12-track LP, entitled The Inevitable Past Is the Future Forgotten.

The album closer, “The Premonition,” has left a somewhat spooky impression to this day, not simply because of its booming piano and organ, but because of singer/guitarist Pall Jenkins’ pensive final lyrics: “I miss the sun.”

Those words couldn’t ring more falsely now, as Jenkins—whose first name is pronounced “Paul,” or, as he explains, “Pall Mall, like the cigarettes”—gets ready to discuss the band’s latest five-track EP, Maps, released in July.

Before he is able to begin, Jenkins goes on a scavenger hunt inside of the studio, in search of his sunglasses. Minutes later, he’s still empty-handed, forced to either look the mid-July sun dead in the eye, or squint.

Despite the faint glimmer of hope left by The Inevitable Past, Jenkins seems to prefer embracing the darkness, or the unknown, as demonstrated on Maps. The EP marks a first for 3MP, in that the title is reduced to a simple monosyllable, rather than a baleful one (see The Chief Assassin to the Sinister), but the lyric content and melodic elements are just as introspective and gloomy as ever.

In the magnetic first track, “Long Way Up,” for instance, Jenkins’ gritty vocals are heard singing, “there’s no road to this town/there’s no map to the underground.” Meanwhile, singer/bassist Zach Smith chants sweetly, “it’s a long way/it’s a long way up.”

“The concept of the lyrics is kind of [about] getting older and moving along into different things,” explains Jenkins. “People seem to think they have a map, [yet they’re] struggling to find a way. [The concept] also has to do with the band a little bit. Building it back up again has been this map to find out where we’re going, who we are.”

The band—which formed in 1991, when Jenkins, Smith, and drummer Tom Zinser were finishing high school—began working on material for Maps at the tail end of crafting The Inevitable Past, and split their recording time between Stereo Disguised Recording Laboratories in San Diego, Smith’s house, and Jenkins’ house.

Asked about the inspiration behind the abstract lyrics on songs like “Blu”—“I climbed down to the bottom of the sky/inside, outside, upside-down”—Jenkins said, “I think a lot of lyrics writing is a weird, unconscious, cerebral moment. They just come, they float into your head, [and] you write ’em down.”

On Thursday, Aug. 23, 3MP will head to the Catalyst Atrium, where they will perform some of their new material off Maps, with Chris Fulford-Brown on keyboards. The show is one of seven that make up the band’s West Coast summer tour.

While the last time Smith was scheduled to rock the Catalyst for The Rob and Zach Show, he was unable to make it because his wife went into labor, Jenkins assures fans that none of the band members are expecting a baby this time around, and that a live listen to the new EP is the only thing that’s due for Santa Cruz. 

Three Mile Pilot plays at 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, at The Catalyst Atrium, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $15. For more information, call 423-1338.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Hot in Here

This ain’t no Burning Man—the MAH’s GLOW festival flames on


Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of October 9

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Seoul Food

Santa Cruz’s new Sesame Korean is a great introduction to an ancient culinary tradition


Is there evil in the world?

Yes, some people don’t think right because they have been treated badly. Milo Robbins, Scotts Valley, Second Grade


Dos Aguilas Olive Oil

Aptos company is letting locals pick their own olives in October


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist