Aviv Geffen on why Blackfield must tour – with or without Steven Wilson

A press shot of Aviv Geffen

Blackfield were formed in 2001 as a partnership between Steven Wilson, then of Porcupine Tree, and Israeli singer/songwriter Aviv Geffen. Wilson’s commitment to the alt.rock-progressive project has ebbed and flowed, but despite resuming an equal partnership with Blackfield’s new album, V, he’s sitting out the their forthcoming tour. Geffen reveals why.

The reviews of the new album are hailing it as a significant improvement on 2013’s IV.

I believe that it’s the best Blackfield album so far. It could take us to the highest level.

It must have been a dream come true for you to work with such a seminal figure as Alan Parsons?

Oh, of course. Those brilliant albums he produced – Abbey Road and Dark Side, and his solo work – created me. I’m still struggling to believe a guy like that produced my songs.

Steven Wilson won’t be part of the upcoming tour. Why not?

He came back to be a full partner with V but is very busy with his solo career. I want to be free to play where I want to. If I’m offered festivals and shows in the States, those are opportunities I can’t turn down. I can’t be controlled by his schedule, I need to play.

Is Steven okay with you going it alone?

Yeah, of course he is. We’re still the best of friends. He knows that I must tour, and I’m doing this with his blessing. I can’t just wait till the summer or even next year, people are already committed to these new songs.

And just for clarity, Steven hasn’t left Blackfield, he’s just stepping back?

Yeah, that’s it exactly.

You were a judge on the Israeli edition of The Voice. Given that rock music fans are pretty scornful of TV talent shows, how would you defend doing that?

Israel’s Voice is different to the rest of the world. When I agreed, I wasn’t thinking about music, I wanted to express my views of the government, about settlements and God. It was a great place to share those opinions.

For those who have never seen Blackfield, what will the show be like?

It’s very dark. It reflects my way of thinking. The vinyl of Blackfield is good at home but the show is something very different altogether.

The first of the four UK dates is in Birmingham on May 23.