"THERE'S DEFINITELY MORE of a chilled-out feeling to Pinback," bassist Zach Smith admits. "But [guitarist Rob Crow] and I aren't that way completely. At some point we're like, 'Okay just go, put the drums on loud and just go.' We like that."
This, of course, is not news to fans of the San Diego duo. Though they've spent a decade together recording albums that burble and hum with pop hooks in a bedtime register, both of Pinback's core members have done time in bands with a sharper edge (notably Crow's Goblin Cock and Smith's recently re-formed Three Mile Pilot). It's not news, but it can feel like a bait and switch to those who come to one of Smith and Crow's shows expecting to be swayed to sleep, not get their faces rocked off. "When we're onstage with our friends we just want to be... loud. And we'll get flak for that from certain fans. Some will be like, 'It was awesome to hear [single from 2001's Blue Screen Life] "Penelope" 20 times faster,' and others will say, 'That sucked!'"
In a way this summer's tour, Pinback Presents: The Rob and Zach Show, is a way to satisfy those fans who felt burned by the band's volume-heavy ways. Through playing together with only backing tracks for support, Smith and Crow are aiming to both celebrate and investigate the core of Pinback's identity before reentering the studio and recording their fifth LP.
Smith says that reinterpreting the band's catalog for two people is a challenge they both needed before they could move on. "We've been doing this for 12 years and I'm about to have a baby. I'm going through a lot of transitions. It's nice to just see where you came from and retouch the past and that's part of this. Rob and I have always just sat down together and wrote these songs and that's how it's always been. It's just us saying, 'We're the guys who wrote it and we want to do it this way now. For fun. For us.'"