Three Mile Pilot

Last updated
Three Mile Pilot
Origin San Diego, California, United States
Genres Alternative rock
Math rock
Noise rock
Years active1991–present
Members Armistead Burwell Smith IV
Pall Jenkins
Tom Zinser

Three Mile Pilot (often shortened to 3MP) is an American indie rock band from San Diego, California, United States, formed by Armistead Burwell Smith IV (a.k.a. Zach Smith) from Pinback, Systems Officer, Neighborhood Watch (Chula Vista)) on bass and vocals, Pall Jenkins (The Black Heart Procession, Dark Sarcasm, Mr. Tube) on vocals and guitar, and Tom Zinser (Neighborhood Watch (CV), Pinback) on drums.




The group released their first album, Nà Vuccà Dò Lupù in 1991. It was recorded and mixed in three days, composed only of bass, vocals, and drums, and released on Cargo/Headhunter. Their next record, The Chief Assassin to the Sinister , came out (also on Cargo/Headhunter) in 1993, with a vinyl version released by Negative Records and then later by Goldenrod Records. It was significantly darker and introduced Jenkins on guitar. Geffen Records took an interest in the band, re-issued Chief with three new tracks produced by Tchad Blake, backed three months of touring and set them up at Seattle's Bear Creek Studios to produce a new album with Steve Fisk. Because of internal strife over the belabored new album Another Desert, Another Sea, Geffen dropped 3MP, allowing them to keep their masters which were later released by Headhunter. They added Tobias Nathaniel (The Black Heart Procession, The Young Destroyers, A Day Called Zero, Struggle) on piano/keyboard and released Another Desert, Another Sea in 1997. Several seven inch releases followed on various labels, as well as a self-titled EP released on Gravity Records the following year. Songs from the seven inch releases and other unreleased tracks were gathered in a two-CD compilation titled Songs From an Old Town We Once Knew , released on Cargo/Headhunter in 1999.

3MP's early releases often referenced the cult sci-fi computer game series Star Control, as evidenced by album and song titles such as Star Control Out, "Chenjesu", "The Ur-Quan Destroyer", "Androsynth Guardian", and "Ilwrath", simply because they liked the names.


After years on the backburner writing material intermittently, Three Mile Pilot partnered with indie label Touch and Go Records working toward a new album and played the uber-weekend extravaganza Touch and Go 25th anniversary festival in Chicago in 2006. Following the downsizing of Touch and Go the band moved on and is now partnered with Temporary Residence Limited. Pinback and Blackheart have also both moved from Touch and Go Records to Temporary Residence Limited.

Three Mile Pilot played three sold-out shows at Tim Mays' The Casbah on January 18, 19, and 20th of 2009 as part of the venue's 20th anniversary celebration. The line-up included Pall Jenkins, Armistead Burwell Smith IV, and Tom Zinser, as well as Kenseth Thibideau (Sleeping People) on keyboards, and Brad Lee (Mr. Tube, Comfortable for You) on bass and guitar.

The band toured the west coast in July 2009, their first tour in over ten years, and re-released their earlier work as a handmade six CD box set titled Three Mile Pilot: 1991 - 1999. They announced that a new album was nearly finished and that in October 2009, a seven inch with two new songs ("Planets/Grey Clouds") would be available. Their latest album entitled The Inevitable Past is the Future Forgotten was released on September 28, 2010 to much critical acclaim. This was their first album in over a decade.


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<i>Nà Vuccà Dò Lupù</i> 1992 studio album by Three Mile Pilot

Nà Vuccà Dò Lupù is the debut studio album of Three Mile Pilot, released on November 16, 1992 by Headhunter Records.

<i>The Inevitable Past Is the Future Forgotten</i> 2010 studio album by Three Mile Pilot

The Inevitable Past Is the Future Forgotten is the fourth studio album by Three Mile Pilot, released on September 28, 2010 by Temporary Residence Limited. It was the first full-length album the band released since 1997's Another Desert, Another Sea.

<i>The Chief Assassin to the Sinister</i> 1994 studio album by Three Mile Pilot

The Chief Assassin to the Sinister is the second studio album by Three Mile Pilot, released on September 27, 1994 by Headhunter Records.

<i>Starcontrol Out</i> 1995 EP by Three Mile Pilot

Starcontrol Out is an EP by Three Mile Pilot, released in 1995 by Negative Records.

<i>Songs From an Old Town We Once Knew</i> 2000 compilation album by Three Mile Pilot

Songs From an Old Town We Once Knew is a compilation album by Three Mile Pilot, released on January 13, 2000 by Cargo Music.

<i>Maps</i> (EP) 2012 EP by Three Mile Pilot

Maps is an EP by Three Mile Pilot, released on July 24, 2012 by Temporary Residence Limited.