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Brian Aubert (guitar/vocals), Nikki Monninger (bass), Christopher Guanlao (drums), and Joe Lester (keyboards) comprise the swarthy indie rock stylings of Silversun Pickups. The quartet's textured melodies capture the hypnotic dream pop threads of My Bloody Valentine and pop bittersweetness of Earlimart, and such a blend has wowed their native L.A. since 2005. Silversun Pickups issued their debut release, the six-song Pikul EP, that same year while shared show dates with the likes of Brendan Benson, Dead Meadow, Two Gallants, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club followed into 2006. Produced by Dave Cooley (Rolling Blackouts, Citizen King, Smash Mouth), their full-length debut, Carnavas, arrived in July. The group got the word out with some intensive international touring throughout 2006 and 2007, supporting OK Go and Snow Patrol in the U.S. and Foo Fighters and Kaiser Chiefs in the U.K. and Europe. Their second full-length, Swoon, hit the shelves in 2009 and made a strong showing with its first single, "Panic Switch." Also out in 2009 was the five-track sampler Connect Set. The quartet tapped Grammy-winning producer Jacknife Lee (U2, R.E.M., Weezer) for its third studio album, 2012's Neck of the Woods.
Silversun Pickups is an alternative rock band from Los Angeles that was formed in 2002. The band currently comprises Brian Aubert, Nikki Monninger, Christopher Guanlao and Joe Lester.
The band released their début EP, Pikul, in July 2005, and their début full-length album, Carnavas, on July 26, 2006. Their second full-length album, Swoon, was released on April 14, 2009. Neck of the Woods, the band's third full-length album, was released on May 8, 2012.
Early years, Pikul EP (2002-2005) 
The band members are friends who had played together previously or in mutual friends' bands. They began their career in Los Angeles 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 Rilo Kiley and others.
The band was originally named A Couple of Couples, as the original line-up was composed of a pair of romantically involved couples-- Aubert was dating Monninger and Kennedy was dating Gonzales. This was before Gonzales and Kennedy left the band and Guanlao and Lester joined. Their current name is derived from a liquor store located across from Silverlake Lounge. One of the friends would often arrive at the store late at night to buy liquor, and would be as such making the "Silversun Pickup". In interviews, the band has said their name is more of "a state of mind".
Brian Aubert met Nikki Monninger in 1994 on a flight from Los Angeles to London. Both of them were headed to Cambridge for a school exchange program. Aubert noticed Monninger sitting across the aisle from him sneaking alcohol from the drink cart by distracting the flight attendant.
For the Pikul EP, fellow Silverlaker Tanya Haden was enlisted to play cello on the track "Kissing Families".
On September 26, 2006, the band released their début full-length album Carnavas. Two of the album's four singles, "Lazy Eye" and "Well Thought Out Twinkles", made the top 10 of the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart in 2007. Lazy Eye is also featured in the video games Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour, one of only 13 songs to be featured in both franchises. The songs Melatonin and Well Thought Out Twinkles from the Carnavas album are also available as downloadable content for the Rock Band series. The band finished a three-week tour opening for 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 played various concerts for modern rock-formatted radio stations in the US throughout the year.
The band also toured Great Britain and Ireland while Carnavas was released there on May 28, 2007. They opened for Foo Fighters in Edinburgh and Dublin. They also opened for the Kaiser Chiefs during their European tour.
Carnavas peaked at No. 80 on the Billboard 200 and has sold 435,000 copies since its release.
Swoon (2008-2010) 
The band's second album Swoon includes 10 tracks, and instead of having a straightforward mid-tempo sound, Aubert said: "Some songs are very quiet and delicate, [while] others are just @#!*% loud."
The album was released on April 14, 2009, to positive reviews. It debuted at No. 7, selling approximately 43,000 copies in its first week. Swoon has sold 285,000 copies.
The first single released was "Panic Switch", which aired on VH1 and MTV music video shows and radio stations worldwide. Silversun Pickups played the 2009 Voodoo Music Experience Festival over the Halloween weekend. Panic Switch is also featured on "Rocksmith".
In 2009, the band performed "Catch and Release", "Panic Switch", "Lazy Eye", "Well Thought Out Twinkles", "Growing Old is Getting Old", and "Kissing Families" for MTV Unplugged.
In early December 2009, the band was nominated in the Best New Artist category for the 52nd Grammy Awards. Their nomination drew some controversy, because 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. They supported Placebo on their Winter 2009 European tour. Upon the release of Swoon, they toured with Manchester Orchestra as main support. In spring 2010 the band toured with Muse for their US tour. They toured North America again in summer 2010 with Against Me! and The Henry Clay People. They toured with Australian rock band Birds of Tokyo in September 2010 and ended an 18-month tour in support of Swoon at Austin City Limits.
The songs "Panic Switch" and "Sort Of" from the Swoon album are available as downloadable content for the Rock Band series.
Neck of the Woods (2011-present) 
On May 8, 2012, the band's third album Neck of the Woods was released. It opened near the top of the iTunes top 100 albums and moved into the number one spot the following day. Around the same time, they announced that they would be playing a number of high profile summer music festivals.
The band released a three song 10" vinyl single for Record Store Day's "Back to Black Friday" event on November 25, 2011 titled "Seasick". It was composed of three previously unreleased songs; "Seasick", "Broken Bottles" and "Ribbons and Detours". They are songs left over from the Swoon sessions, and will not be put on their third studio album.
The band also contributed a cover of Bob Dylan's "Not Dark Yet" for the tribute album Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.
On February 7, 2012, it was announced that the band would be playing the main stage at the 2012 Sasquatch! Music Festival.
On March 7, 2012, Aubert confirmed via Twitter both the name of the album - Neck of the Woods - as well as the release date - May 8, 2012. Shortly afterward, the album artwork was posted to the band's Facebook account.
On March 25, 2012, the first single from the new album, "Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)" was released. The pre-order for Neck of the Woods also started.
On May 30, 2012, the video to "Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)" was released and announced on Twitter.
On July 24, 2012 the band announced plans for a North American Tour beginning in September 2012. The tour took place on the West coast, midwest and western Canada with supporting acts including School of Seven Bells and Atlas Genius. Beginning in August 2012, Sarah Negahdari, the singer and guitarist for The Happy Hollows, replaced Monninger while she was on maternity leave.
Musical style and influences 
The band's sound, often encompassing multiple overdubs of distorted guitars, is frequently compared to that of The Smashing Pumpkins. Brian Aubert's alternately soft and then screamed vocal style is frequently compared to Coheed and Cambria and Kill Hannah.