IF YOU GO
What: Silversun Pickups, with opener Minus The Bear.
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 19.
Where: The Fillmore Philadelphia, 29 E. Allen St., Philadelphia.
Info.: www.thefillmorephilly, (215) 309-0150.
California indie rockers Silversun Pickups are still hard at work touring to promote their 2015 album “Better Nature.”
They have a scheduled Sunday night stop at the Fillmore Philly Nov. 19, plus a few make-up dates. According to drummer Chris Guanlao, the band had to reschedule shows when guitarist and frontman Brian Aubert broke his arm. “We were playing a show and he fell off the stage. We were playing (signature song) ‘Lazy Eye.’ He’s a trouper; he had surgery and a day or two later he was playing a show,” Guanlao said.
“Philly’s wonderful. They’re really rowdy, which is great. We get our Philly cheesteaks after the show,” said Guanlao, adding that this is their first time playing the Fillmore.
Also on their to-do list is a Hurricane Maria benefit concert at the Ace Theater in L.A. the weekend after Thanksgiving. “All proceeds go to Puerto Rico, and it’s something we really wanted to do,” he said.
In the midst of it all, Silversun Pickups released a stopgap EP of remixes and acoustic versions, “Better Nature (Revisited).” Despite getting his drum tracks dropped out in the remix process, Guanlao says he liked them all. “I’m a big fan of Jr Jr (who remixed ‘Circadian Rhythm’). That MNDR one (a remix of ‘Nightlight’), I really, really enjoyed that one,” he said.
Once all their concert commitments are fulfilled, the band will start developing new music, due out a year from now on the band’s New Machine Recordings. Guanlao said being in charge of their own record label is harder in a lot of ways; but with the state of the music industry as it is, “it was a no-brainer for us. We enjoy that idea that we’re still indie and still DIY, rather than jumping to a major (label), and who knows what they would’ve wanted from us. It gives us a lot of freedom — not only creative freedom, but financial freedom. We keep our (recording) masters and we own our music.”
Combining ethereal, shoegaze melodies and rumbling sonic force — with hints of New Order, Joy Division, My Bloody Valentine, Ride, and ‘90s grunge and alternative — since their first EP in 2005, Guanlao joined Silversun Pickups in 2002 after founding drummer Elvira Gonzales and Aubert ended their romantic relationship. “To be in a band with your closest friends means a lot,” he said, noting that keyboardist Joe Lester joined six months after he did.
Thanks in part to having their music on the Rock Band and Guitar Hero: World Tour video games, Silversun Pickups were nominated for the 2010 Best New Artist Grammy Award, along with Keri Hilson, MGMT and The Ting Tings. The trophy went to The Zac Brown Band. “Those things were really big at the time, so it was a big deal for us to get on (the games),” said Guanlao.