Silversun Pickups: Wikis


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Silversun Pickups

Silversun Pickups at Coachella 2009
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California,
United States
Genres Alternative rock
Indie rock
Dream pop
Years active 2002–present
Labels Dangerbird Records
Brian Aubert
Nikki Monninger
Joe Lester
Christopher Guanlao
Former members
Jack Kennedy
Elvira Gonzales

Silversun Pickups is an Alternative rock band from Los Angeles, California, comprising Brian Aubert (lead vocals, guitar), Nikki Monninger (bass, vocals), Christopher Guanlao (drums) and Joe Lester (keyboards).

The band released their debut EP, Pikul, in July 2005, and their debut full-length album, Carnavas, on July 26, 2006. Their second full length album, Swoon, was released on April 14, 2009.



The band members are friends who had played together previously or in mutual friends' bands. They got their start in many of the most important L.A. clubs, most often at Silverlake Lounge or nearby Spaceland, and began to draw a strong following upon the release of the Pikul EP.

The band originated in L.A.'s Silver Lake music scene, home of Elliott Smith, Rilo Kiley and others[1].

The band was originally called A Couple of Couples. Their current name comes from a liquor and convenience store across from the Silverlake Lounge and near their house at Sunset and Silverlake Blvds in Los Angeles. In interviews, however, the band often say their name is more of "a state of mind,"[2] supposedly from living so close to everything an L.A.-based indie rock band would need late at night. For Pikul, fellow Silverlaker Tanya Haden was enlisted to play cello.[3] The band is currently on tour supporting Muse.



On September 26, 2006, the band released their debut full-length album Carnavas. Two of the album's four singles, "Lazy Eye" and "Well Thought Out Twinkles," would hit the top 10 of the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart in 2007. The band finished a three-week tour opening for Australian rockers Wolfmother on December 9, 2006, and later toured with OK Go and Snow Patrol on their U.S. spring tour, which ended on April 10, 2007. The band also played at the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California on April 27, 2007 and would play various concerts for Modern Rock formatted radio stations in the US throughout the year.

The band also toured the UK and Ireland while Carnavas was released there on May 28, 2007. They opened for Foo Fighters in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Dublin, Ireland. They also opened for the Kaiser Chiefs during their European tour.

"Table Scraps", the b-side from the "Future Foe Scenarios'" single, was featured on the compilation album Give. Listen. Help. Volume 5, which was released on October 14, 2008.

A remix of "Lazy Eye" by Adam Freeland was featured on his compilation Global Underground 032: Mexico City.[4]

"Lazy Eye" is playable in the video games Guitar Hero World Tour, Rock Band 2, and Rock Band for the iPhone. "Well Thought Out Twinkles" is featured as downloadable content in both Guitar Hero World Tour and the Rock Band series, as is "Melatonin" in Rock Band. "Well Thought Out Twinkles" is in the soundtrack for the Tony Hawk's Proving Ground.

"Little Lover's So Polite", a radio-only single, is featured on the soundtrack to black comedy film Jennifer's Body.

"Rusted Wheel" is on the soundtrack for the Afterdark Horrorfest film, Dread, based on the short story by Clive Barker.


It was announced through Alternative Press Magazine Issue #243 that the band's second album would be titled Swoon. It includes 10 tracks and, instead of having a straightforward mid-tempo sound, "Some songs are very quiet and delicate, [while] others are just fucking loud." (Brian Aubert)[5] The album was released on April 14, 2009 to positive reviews. It debuted at #7 selling over 42,000 copies.

The first single released was "Panic Switch", which quickly aired in heavy rotation on VH1 and MTV music video shows. The song also received worldwide rotation on the radio airwaves. Silversun Pickups was confirmed to play the 2009 Voodoo Music Experience Festival over the Halloween weekend.[6]

In 2009, the band performed "Catch and Release", "Panic Switch", "Lazy Eye", "Well Thought Out Twinkles" and "Kissing Families" for MTV Unplugged.

Also in 2009, bassist/vocalist Nikki Monninger provided guest vocals on the song "Two Can Play" on the album Here Anonymous by fellow Dangerbird Records band Eulogies.

Brian Aubert (left) and Nikki Monninger (right) warming up in Copenhagen.

"Growing Old is Getting Old" was featured in an episode during season seven of the CW television show, One Tree Hill, and "Sort Of" was featured in the pilot episode of the TV show The Vampire Diaries.

"Panic Switch" is a downloadable song on Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero: World Tour. The song "Sort of" is also downloadable on Rock Band 2.

In early December 2009, the band was nominated in the Best New Artist category for the 52nd Grammy Awards. Their nomination drew some controversy, due to the fact that the band was already moderately successful before the 2008-2009 nominating year, although this was mainly due to misunderstandings involving the selections of Best New Artist nominees[7]. However, they lost to the Zac Brown Band. They supported Placebo on their Winter 2009 European tour. Also, in spring 2010 the band will be touring with Muse for their extensive US tour. [8]

Musical style and influences

The band's sound, often encompassing multiple overdubs of distorted guitars, is frequently compared to that of The Smashing Pumpkins[9][10][11][12], while the band members have said they are heavily influenced by artists such as My Bloody Valentine, the Velvet Underground, Elliott Smith, Sonic Youth, Sweet, Modest Mouse, and Secret Machines as well as numerous other artists with lesser publicity.

Band members

Brian Aubert, vocalist. Bassist Nikki Monninger is seen to the far right (behind the head)
  • Brian Aubert - guitar/lead vocals
  • Nikki Monninger - bass/vocals
  • Chris Guanlao - drums
  • Joe Lester - keyboards/samples/sound manipulation

Former members




  • 2005: Pikul (Dangerbird)
  • 2007: Remixes (Dangerbird)
  • 2007: Live Session (iTunes Exclusive)
  • 2007: The Tripwire Session: Live in Chicago


Year Song Chart peaks Album
US Alt[16] US Pop[16] CAN
2006 "Kissing Families" Pikul
2007 "Future Foe Scenarios" Carnavas
"Lazy Eye" 102 5 91 44
"Well Thought Out Twinkles" 9
2008 "Little Lover's So Polite"
2009 "Panic Switch" 92 1 86 Swoon
"Substitution" 17
2010 "The Royal We" 20
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Music videos

Year Title Director
2003 "Kissing Families" Susie Vlcek
2006 "Lazy Eye" Susie Vlcek
2007 "Well Thought Out Twinkles" Philip Andelman
2008 "Little Lover's So Polite" Joaquin Phoenix
2009 "Panic Switch" James Frost
"Substitution" The Malloys


  1. ^
  2. ^ Video at YouTube
  3. ^ "Pikul [EP"]. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Rolling Stone Review by Evan Serpick. "...things take off with 'Well Thought Out Twinkles,' a surge of guitar squalls and male-female vocals that sounds like what might have happened if the Smashing Pumpkins had driven their ice cream cart out West."
  10. ^ NPR Song of the Day. Review by John Richards. "Silversun Pickups brings to mind a sort of alternate-universe Smashing Pumpkins."
  11. ^ McGonigal, Mike. "Carnavas Editorial Review". "Their music updates the anthemic but gauzy heavy rock sound that Veruca Salt and the Smashing Pumpkins had down pat." 
  12. ^ Pitchfork Media review of Carnavas by Rachel Khong. "Those nostalgic for Smashing Pumpkins tunes of yesteryear will find them nestled inside the minutes (and there are so many minutes) of 'Lazy Eye'."
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ "Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles - Lazy Eye" Retrieved on April 14, 2009.
  16. ^ a b [2] Retrieved on April 14, 2009.
  17. ^ "Canadian Hot 100 - Lazy Eye" Retrieved on April 14, 2009.

External links

Simple English

Silversun Pickups
File:Silversun Pickups at Coachella
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California,
United States
Genres Alternative rock
Indie rock
Dream pop
Years active 2002–present
Associated acts When Reason Sleeps
You Me At Six
Website The Blackout Website
Brian Aubert
Nikki Monninger
Joe Lester
Christopher Guanlao

Silversun Pickups is an American indie band from Los Angeles, California. Silversun Pickups has four members in the band; the current band members are Brian Aubert, Nikki Monninger, Joe Lester, Christopher Guanlao.



The band was formed by four friends and was originally called, A Couple of Couples but was changed to Silversun Pickups because it was an off licence across from the Silverlake Lounge and near their house at Sunset and Silverlake Blvds in Los Angeles. The band currently has Brian Aubert on Vocals and guitar, Nikki Monninger on bass and vocals, Chris Guanlao on drums and Joe Lester on keyboards, samples and sound manipulation.

Band members

  • Brian Aubert – guitar/Vocals
  • Nikki Monninger – bass guitar/vocals
  • Chris Guanlao – drums
  • Joe Lester – keyboards/samples/sound manipulation
  • Jack Kennedy - Rhythm Guitar
  • Elvira Gonzalez - Drums


So far as of 2011, Silversun Pickups has released 4 EPs and two albums.


  • Carnavas (2006)
  • Swoon (2009)


  • Pikul (EP) (2005)
  • Remixes (2007)
  • Live Session (2007) (iTunes Exclusive)
  • The Tripwire Session: Live in Chicago (2007)

Other websites


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