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Interview:
Silversun Pickups makes its own way on latest album
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Silversun Pickups made a little bit of band history during the past year -- but unintentionally so, according to bassist Nikki Monninger.

The Los Angeles rock quartet's fourth album, "Better Nature," marks the first time Silversun Pickups have ever recorded a song that's under four minutes long. And there are two of them to boot. But Monninger says the rest of the world is making a bigger deal out of that than the band members themselves.

"I don't think we ever consciously think about that," she explains by phone from Houston. "We never thing, 'Oh, we want o make a long song' or a short song. We just want to make the songs how they turn out. I just think we always are more comfortable with long songs; Sometimes they're so long a producer or someone we work with has to say, 'Hey, guys, let's hone it in a little.'

"I'm sure our management was probably happy there are a couple of short ones, but that wasn't really a conscious effort. That really was how those songs turned out."

Shorter songs, of course, are preferred by radio stations as well. But that's never stopped Silversun Pickups from issuing edited versions of its songs as singles. "We just say, 'Cut it however you want. We don't want to know,'" Monninger explains. "The song we want is the one that's on the album, and after that they can do what they want with it."

"They" are actually the band these days, however. Silversun Pickups has launched its own label, New Machine Recordings, and funded "Better Nature" partly through a PledgeMusic campaign whose perks include personal postcards from the road. Monninger, 41, says the group left is previous label, Dangerbird Records, without rancor but is enjoying being completely responsible for its own destiny now.

"Our contract ran out so we thought we'd give this a go, just going completely DIY with the help of our management," she says. "Now we only have ourselves to blame if anything goes wrong.

"But it is interesting. Decisions get made a lot quicker. Even though it was never a big machine before it feels like it's even more intimate now. So far everything's gone well. We're not necessarily planning on putting out other bands but it's a good way to get our music out right now."

89X Birthday Bash with Silversun Pickups, Foals and Joywave

Sunday, May 8. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.

Tickets are $20-$45.

Call 313-961-5451 or visit thefillmoredetroit.com.

Web Site: www.thefillmoredetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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