When word broke that Pinback was releasing a new album — the band's first in five years — the relief amongst fans was palpable. We had credible reason for anxiety, given that their last album — the exquisite Autumn of the Seraphs — was released in 2007. The long-overdue reunion of Zach Smith's previous band, Three Mile Pilot, did nothing to quell fears of a potential Pinback breakup. But such concerns were always mitigated by the fact that the band never stopped touring, each year holding court at Bimbo's 365. Far from being passive affairs, the annual return of Pinback to Bimbo's saw significant audience participation, and offered the band the opportunity to tease out the finer details of their 15 year output.

During the intervals between Pinback albums, Rob Crow has either helmed or worked on projects that offer object lessons in how to name a band (Goblin Cock being a favorite of this writer), not to mention crafting some supremely heavy metal.

In spite of his busy schedule and the start of a tour in support of the new album, Crow was kind enough to answer a few questions about venue hegemony, comics, and what pleasures the Bay Area holds for the weary traveler. [Ed. note: links added for clarity]

SFist: Something we’ve always wondered about is why you always play Bimbo’s? Is it because there's the "girl in the fishbowl" potential?

Rob Crow: It's a pleasant place to play and people like to see us there.

SFist: Do they know you at Kennedy's Irish Indian Pub across the street yet?

RC: I am very familiar with its palak paneer and a Trappist Rochefort 10 on the side.

SFist: What do you enjoy in San Francisco? I'm hoping you get to spend some time in the rest of the city.

RC: I love the place. I always try to hit Aquarius, Amoeba, Golden Era, Lane Splitters, Jay's Cheesesteak, and Millennium if it's a special occasion.

SFist: Have you come to regret asking fans to do karaoke before shows?

RC: Naw, I just don't have as much free time to set it up anymore.

SFist: What’s going on with side projects?

RC: So far in the chamber I've got 3 Goblin Cock records (Dragonfucker-A Cock-Opera, The Soundtrack to Paul Thomas' The Graduate, and Necronomidonkeykongamacon), Optiganally Yours (OY in HI-FI, which is perhaps the best record I've ever made), The San Diego Music Awards (ex-Creedle), a new solo album (You're Doomed, Be Nice!), and who knows what all.

SFist: New favorite comic books right now?

RC: Just finished the Hickman Fantastic Four/FF run which was pretty great. I don't have as much time/money to read as I used to.

Pinback plays yet another sold out show at Bimbo's this Saturday, January 19th. Oakland's Judgement Day opens.