Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Mar 29th
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

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015

In 40 years of publishing, Good Times has seen a lot of “bests.”

 

Spring Triangle: Three Spring Festivals—Aries, Taurus, Gemini

The Spring signs Aries, Taurus and Gemini constitute a triangle of force that sets the template for the nine signs that follow and the template for the entire year (Spring 2015 - Spring 2016) ahead. Aries initiates new ideas, Taurus stabilizes the new thinking of Aries and Gemini takes the initiating stabilized ideas of Aries/Taurus and disperses them to all of humanity. It is in this way that humanity learns new things, with the help of Mercury, the messenger. As Spring unfolds, three elements emerge: the Fire of Aries (initiating new ideas), the Earth of Taurus (anchoring the ideas of God through Mercury) and the Air of communicating Gemini. These three signs/elements are the Three Spring Festivals. They are the “triangle of force” forming the template (patterns) of energy for the upcoming new year. After these three we then have the soothing, calming, warming, nurturing and tending waters of the mother (Cancer). Cancer initiates our next season under the hot suns of summer. Planets, stars and signs create the Temple of Light directing humanity towards all things new. March 29 is Palm Sunday, when the Christ, World Teacher, was led into Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (humility). Palms waving above His head, signified recognition of the Christ’s divinity. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before the Easter (Resurrection Festival). Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, the week of capture, imprisonment, passion, sacrifice, crucifixion, death and resurrection of the christ. All events in the Christ’s life represent events (initiations) that humanity experiences through many lifetimes. We turn our attention to these holy events this week. Their concepts portray and reveal to us greater spiritual understanding. Then, Aries, the “light of life itself” shines through us.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015 Editor's Picks

BEST NIGHT CAP WARSAW MULE AT SHADOWBROOK
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Spring Spirits

Sean Venus’ gin straight up, remembering Rosa’s and a tasting of Hungarian wines

 

What’s your favorite most recent outdoor discovery in Santa Cruz?

A hike that’s across from Waddell Beach. I didn’t realize you could go across the highway and do a super simple loop, and it’s beautiful. You can see the coastline. Liz Porter, Santa Cruz, Community Outreach

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Muscat 2012

 

Front Street Kitchen

Pop-up spot attracts paleo crowd with locally sourced low-carb meals