When Rob Crow and Armistead Burwell Smith IV's named their project Pinback, a reference to an obscure science fiction movie of the 1970s, only the nerdiest of film nerds got the joke.
The San Diego indie rock stalwarts were paying tribute to a key character in John Carpenter's low budget debut Dark Star. In 1974, the future director of Halloween and Escape From New York put together a direct descendant of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey but with a wacky sense of humor. Informed by the Cold War hysteria of the time, the film followed a small group of interstellar adventurers from Earth on a mission to destroy unstable planets... Until one of their spaceship's talking bombs gains self-awareness. Co-writer Dan O'Bannon played Sgt. Pinback.
New Timesspoke with Crow last month about the band, a mutual appreciation for sci-fi, particularly an appreciation for the genre's game changer Star Wars, could not be avoided.