Armistead Burwell Smith IV - AKA Zach Smith (Pinback, Three Mile Pilot) launched this side-band with the announcement that “Systems Officer songs are all about ships.”
After an EP, they released a debut full-length, Underslept, in November 2009, written, produced, and performed by Smith in his home studio. In summer 2011, he filled out the band with new recording and touring members Chris Prescott (drummer for Pinback) and Kenseth Thibideau (Pinback, Goblin Cock, Thingy).
Smith began posting old songs on the music-streaming site SoundCloud in 2011, calling them the Systems Officer Vault Series.
“I thought it would be fun to share a Systems Officer song from time to time that for whatever reason I never completed,” Smith writes on the website. “These songs are often just thoughts or the beginnings of songs or ideas I’ve recorded that have sat for many years in my personal collection of unreleased material.”
The band hit the road for the first time in September 2011, with the 41 year-old Little Italy resident Smith accompanied by new members Prescott and Thibideau. After that, they were essentially dormant for the next four years.
Smith formed a new incarnation of the band in 2015 with guitarists Jason Hooper (Mr. Tube) and O (Fluf), along with drummer Ely Moyal (Octagrape), making their concert debut that September.