Pinback coming back for redemption

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Chatting with an artist before their tour is always fun. They are getting ready, rehearsing and pumping themselves up to tour the US, which is not exactly a small country. But when Armistead Burwell Smith IV, aka Zach Smith, the bassist for Pinback picks up the phone to talk, you can tell he’s most comfortable at home.

Smith was eating snacks with his 4-year-old when he reluctantly recalled the disastrous gig they played in Downtown Phoenix’s CityScape earlier this year. It was during Viva PHX, when dozens of musicians played at different venues and apparently not enough sound engineers were available. Smith recalls the show with a defeated tone.

“Oh yeah, that outside show that we played down there? Our nightmare show,” he says. “It wasn’t the right scene for us, but we were in and out.[We] had some technical issues and was like, ‘Well, okay! That was that. Let’s go home.’ We also had a show in Tucson the following night… that was a little better.”

But now Pinback is coming back to play their own headlining gig at Crescent Ballroom, a venue known for it’s excellent sound system. They are touring for the tenth anniversary of their third and probably most beloved album,
Summer in Abaddon.

“That saying time flies is pretty true,” Smith says.

The idea to bring the album on the road came from their booking agent and is something they band is not too
familiar with. Having around 80 to 100 songs in their catalogue usually keeps their set list busy.

Smith says he recalls the time spend writing and recording the album as a transitional period.

“Rob (Crow) and I use to record in my old place. The first album we ever made, This Is A Pinback CD, was at once place of mine and then the second album we did, Blue Screen Life, we did at another place of mine. And then Summer in Abaddon… my dad’s an architect and he designed a studio for us that we were lucky enough to have. That was a big change,” he says.

Smith says now more than ever, Pinback is something that is driven by passion and the desire for a new sound. But Pinback is only one of the many musical ventures both Smith and Crow have going on at any point in time.

“If we didn’t have other things to use as outlets, I think we wouldn’t come back to Pinback,” Smith says with a
chuckle. “We like to dabble in other things and then you come back and it kind of feels like home. Rob and I can sit at any time and just write. It works, and that’s a rare thing to find.”

Pinback w/Tera Melos, Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Avenue, Phoenix, crescentphx.com, September 3, 8 p.m., $18-$21

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