Alt-rock group varies essence, tone of albums

Neha Aziz


Silversun Pickups have become a staple of the alternative rock scene since the release of their freshman album, Carnavas, in 2006. The band got their start in East Los Angeles and had no idea at the time that they would become famous.

“We were just messing around. It was nothing serious at the beginning, but then we kept playing, and we focused on creating a musical identity through a lot of experimentation,” front man Brian Aubert said.

Silversun Pickups has toured with a slew of talented acts such as Snow Patrol, Foo Fighters, OK Go and Muse.

“Being on tour is a very humbling experience. [But] the reactions you get from people are really amazing,” Aubert said.

Stubb’s holds a great memory for the band because they opened for Metallica at the venue during South By Southwest 2009.

“I remember this show was one of the first shows we did after Swoon [the band’s sophomore album] was released, and when we got on stage, we all looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s do this!’”

The tone and essence of Swoon differ from those of Carnavas.

“I think for the first album, it was all about making it cohesive. We wrote a lot of different songs at different times. For our current album, it had a more romantic feel. It was definitely moodier, and some of the songs reflected life events,” Aubert said.

Easily, the most famous song that Silversun is known for is “Lazy Eye,” a track from Carnavas. The song has been featured in Guitar Hero World Tour, Rock Band 2 and popular television shows “The O.C.” and “Criminal Minds.”

“‘Lazy Eye’ has become an anthem of sorts for Silversun Pickups. It’s the song that we are known for. It’s untouchable.”

The band cites The Pixies, Sonic Youth, The Secret Machines and Modest Mouse as some of their musical influences. Aubert said that they often listen to Radiohead and Neil Young, as well, and they have also been widely compared to the Smashing Pumpkins.

“When we first heard this, we were tickled in a sense because that meant that people considered us to be a real band,” Aubert said. ”All of the comparisons to the Smashing Pumpkins made us listen to their earlier stuff and totally reawakened our liking for the band.”

Silversun Pickups is currently on tour with The Henry Clay People and Against Me!. Fans can also see the band at this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival.

WHAT: The Silversun Pickups with The Henry Clay People and Against Me!
WHERE: Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
WHEN: Tonight; Doors open at 8
TICKETS: Sold out