by Andrew Dansby on November 28, 2006
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Silversun Pickups arrive in town Nov. 28 after perhaps their most rock-star moment to date: ditching a tour date with Wolfmother in St. Louis Sunday to fly to New York and tape The Late Show With David Letterman, which will air Friday.
"It is kind of a rock-star moment, isn't it?" frontman Brian Aubert says. "I'm working on finding the biggest rock-star sunglasses I can find."
The buzzed-about band is plugging its creepy and exciting debut album, Carnavas, released this year to glowing notices for its bristling sound, fuzzy guitars, moody electronics and Aubert's voice, which jumps from whisper to scream with little notice. Here are five fun facts about Silversun Pickups, who play the Meridian with Wolfmother tonight.
1. Silversun Pickups is a Los Angeles band. But it's not sunny.
On the EP Pikul (2005) and the LP Carnavas (2006), the band puts contrasting elements against each other: Quiet verses are followed by loud choruses, organic instrumentation is sometimes engulfed in electronics. It's some lovely but gloomy stuff. "There's a lot of darkness coming out of Los Angeles," Aubert says. "There always has been. The weather doesn't determine how dark things are."
2. That said, the group is friendly and lovable.
There has been a little lineup tinkering, but for the past three years Aubert's been joined by bassist/singer Nikki Monninger, drummer Christopher Guanlao and keyboard/electronics guy Joe Lester. They seem to get along swimmingly, despite the dark songs. "The hardest thing in world is to write happy songs, so we don't," Aubert says. "But we're happy. We're just very uncool goths."
3. Aubert says he can't force himself to write.
"I've tried that: Sit down with my four-track, my guitar, got my whiskey sitting there ... nothing happened," he says. "It's literally when I'm doing something boring, if I accidentally find myself at the mall, or it happens to me driving around Los Angeles a lot. The mundane sorts of things in life are really inspiring to me."
4. He says the band doesn't like to repeat itself.
Such has certainly been the case during the past two years. Pikul and Carnavas show two quite different sides of the same band. "It would've been terrible if Carnavas came out and it was just Pikul with four more songs," Aubert says. "Pikul was more acoustic and warm. We wanted Carnavas to be more metallic and shiny. In that kind of sense, I'm already thinking about how the next one will go."
5. The band will be on the road for the foreseeable future.
In addition to their current tour with Wolfmother, Silversun Pickups will play some shows around Los Angeles during the holidays before heading out with Snow Patrol in 2007. "Recording never feels like a job, but sometimes touring does," Aubert says. "It has similar, long boring spells and then this big block of stress that comes out of nowhere." The Snow Patrol/Silversun Pickups tour hits Houston in March.
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