Arcata Eye Scene

A-town art, music, theatre. Mostly music. Updated Wednesdays.

Josh Duke talks to Rob Crow – Feb. 5, 2008

Pinback plays in the Kate Buchanan Room, Monday, Feb. 11. Info here.This week afforded me a rare opportunity to chat with Pinback’s Rob Crow. My first-ever interview required some steadying of hands as I nervously dialed his telephone number and had a nice, prescribed, 15-minute chat with him through the comfort of his very own cell phone. I thought long and hard as to what questions I would ask him. And while I tried to think of the most natural and easy conversation I could have with him, it still turned into this vending machine-style interview where I asked questions, and he popped out answers. I wonder if I’m cut out for this kind of gig; prying to glean bibs of pop culture phenomena. Well, here’s pretty much what happened: Josh Duke: Thanks for taking the time to chat for a while, Rob.
Rob Crow: Thank you for wanting to talk to me.

JD: Your band is named after a character in John Carpenter’s first film, Darkstar, can you tell me why you chose to title your band after Sargent Pinback?
RC: He was just a character I most identified with, I act like him, even sorta look like him.

JD: So, you’re going to be on a West Coast tour for our new album, Autumn of the Seraphs, what’s different from this album as opposed to something like your last album Summer in Abaddon?
RC: Well, we wanted this album to have more of the feel of a live set as possible. We brought in drummers to record for most of the tracks instead of using a drum machine as we’ve done in the past.

JD: So you pretty much ditched the drum machine on this album?
RC: Mostly, yeah.

JD: I also read that you’ve recorded all your albums at home. That still happen, and has anything in the process changed with this album?
RC: Yeah, we still record at home. The only thing different is that we brought in real drummers.

JD: What would you say is the difference between your live set and your recorded material?
RC: The lives shows are typically faster, more energy. There’s a full band on stage.

JD: I kinda felt that Autumn of the Seraphs had a little bit of a Police feel to it. Any credit to that theory?
RC: Yeah, that’s one of the few bands that both Zach and I mutually like.

JD: Oh, so you and Zach have rather varied tastes in music then?
RC: Actually Zach doesn’t really like music.

JD: I see. So what do you do to occupy your time on tour?
RC: Well, I bring my family with me on tour, so there’s the whole being a husband and father thing. But most of the time on tour when I’m not on stage, I’m usually just trying to find a place to use the bathroom, or shower, or getting food. You’d be surprised how hard that is to get sometimes when you’re a band on tour. Especially the bathroom part.

JD: I heard that you’re a Star Trek fan.RC: Me? Nah, that’s more Zach. I mean, I’m familiar with that universe and its continuity and setting. We could talk about Star Trek if you want.

JD: Well, I’d rather talk about what sci-fi you are into.RC: Um… Well, let’s see. I like Space: 1999, Quarks, Red Dwarf, Battlestar Galactica, Logan’s Run, Star Command, stuff like that.

JD: No Doctor Who?
RC: I’ve got like every episode ever aired on my computer.  Takes up like 40 gigs on my hard drive.

JD: That’s awesome, even though some of those old episodes in black and white got a little dry after a while.
RC: Yeah, but I still think it’s one of the greatest pieces of television written.

JD: Definitely.  Well, Rob, once again thanks for taking time to chat, and we’ll see you on the 11th.
RC: Thank you.

So there you have it.  No sarcastic jabs, no caustic cynicism; just a friendly conversation about science fiction television, and the challenge of finding a bathroom.  But I would recommend seeing them at the Kate Buchanan Room, Monday night.  I’ve done nothing but listen to their stuff for the past three weeks preparing for this interview, so there’s no way I’d miss an opportunity to get their songs unstuck out of my head.  But that’s just me.

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