First, an explanation of the name. Armistead Burwell Smith IV is Zach’s birth name given to him to appease grandparents. Zach is the name his mother gave him because that’s what she wanted to call him. Zach is what everyone calls him.
Smith plays bass in Pinback and also has many side projects, including Three Mile Pilot.
The Eureka Reporter: Why the dark imagery in your album titles? “Summer In Abaddon”? “Autumn of the Seraphs”?
(Abaddon, from Hebrew “avaddon,” meaning “destruction.” In biblical poetry (Job 26:6; Proverbs 15:11), it comes to mean “place of destruction,” or the realm of the dead, and is associated with Sheol. Abaddon is also one of the compartments of Gehenna. By extension, it can mean an underworld abode of lost souls, or hell. Source: Wikipedia)
Zach Smith: I think it’s imagery. I know Rob is pretty anti-religion and I think that’s part of it. It’s imagery for me and how it makes me feel. Those two albums are yin and yang, so we wanted a theme.
ER: Where do the nerdy references come from? You or Rob?
ZS: We’re both pretty idiotic and nerdy. The first two albums had their own sort of theme, and it was fun to do this other thing with summer and autumn, and who knows what we’ll do next. You never know until you sit down and start writing, and it all comes together, hopefully.
ER: After this tour?
ZS: Started a solo thing, and finishing up an album and working with Three Mile Pilot. We are also writing another Pinback album. We thought it would be fun to try since it normally takes us three years. Hopefully this one will come out early next year.
ER: Why are you coming to Arcata?
ZS: We’re lazy and we don’t want to tour the whole U.S., so let’s do the West Coast and go places we don’t normally go. It will be nice to stay on the West Coast and keep it mellow.
ER: Do you plan to stay with Touch and Go? Or sign to a major record label? Do you think you are big enough to sign with a major record label?
ZS: We’re just kinda doing our own thing. As far as labels go, there’s no better label than Touch and Go. I’ve been on major labels before. The people at Touch and Go — it’s like I’m talking to a human being! They’re really good at what they do and we’re really happy.
ER: You’ve added some Japanese tour dates to your show.
ZS: We have four shows in Japan. It’ll be fun. I need that culture shock. This will be the first time with Pinback over there.
ER: Do you like sushi?
ZS: I just got done eating sushi.
ER: This will be your second tour for this album.
ZS: We already did a U.S. tour, so this is our second tour promoting “Autumn.”
ER: I know Rob has a kid. Do you have any kids and does that make touring harder?
ZS: I don’t have kids. Probably will someday. It can get a little crazy with kids running around. Rob takes his kid on tour.
ER: Do you prefer playing bar shows or all-ages venues?
ZS: We prefer playing all-ages. The thing with bar shows is you can play really bad and people like you because they’re drunk. The thing will all-ages is people are usually there for the music. I don’t like putting restrictions on stuff. I guess there’s an alcohol restriction on the kids, but I don’t like having an age limit for music. There’s been so many kids that have been really bummed, you just feel really bad that people can’t see you because of their age.