When members of Los Angeles’ Silversun Pickups checked their phones the morning after what they thought was a triumphant late-night set at the Coachella Festival, they were greeted with the headlines that cast them as “the most hated band at Coachella.”
“That was so rad,” says frontman Brian Aubert. “We woke up the next day and saw something about that. We were with a lot of people and everybody was rolling on the ground because it’s one of those rare things – by absolutely doing nothing you are inadvertently really cool.”
Apparently fans around the world tuning in to watch a presumably live stream of a Guns N’ Roses reunion set were upset to find Silversun Pickups on their screens. Gn’R’s set actually wasn’t streamed live at all. Two songs from its show earlier that night were scheduled for the wee hours.
“I imagined a lot of metalheads staring at their computer and going, ‘There’s a girl in the band!’ ” Aubert says with a laugh.
Silversun Pickups returns to the Fillmore on Thursday.
The music industry has changed a lot since Silversun Pickups first played Coachella after the success of its debut album in 2007.
“Back then it seemed more Wild West-y. It’s now this huge structured thing and there are so many celebrities with their outfits and publicists,” Aubert says. “It’s fun when we have our friends and loved ones. They love watching people. The one thing we do trip out on is, we never feel like we’ve been around that long. We feel new, but when we play festivals it does make us think back to the previous times we played and who isn’t around anymore.”
With catchy guitar tracks bathed in fuzz and male/female vocal interplay, Silversun Pickups has crafted a signature sound over the course of four albums. Its latest, “Better Nature,” features some of its catchiest, yet most experimental, tunes.
“For some reason, this record oozed out of us,” says Aubert, who adds that producer Jackknife Lee pushed the group. “When you’re demo-ing things, you feel really free. It’s good to let (producers) know about that. It does come up when you start chickening out. The (inner) critic starts to get a little louder and Jackknife says, ‘Here’s what you want to do and you’re going to do it.’ You need to keep from trying to criticize yourself into blandness or similar ground.”
Charlotte is one of four North Carolina dates during a time when other artists are canceling concerts here because of HB2. Aubert says Silversun Pickups took its cue from a friend, Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace, a transgender frontwoman who opted to play in Durham.
“Laura Jane Grace summed up how we felt. We’re not big enough for it to have an impact on anybody,” he says. “I understand why (Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam) are canceling because it’s a big form of protest. For us, we’re going to work with the LGBT community and follow what Laura is doing to bring awareness to it.”
“This isn’t the North Carolina that I know and hang out in,” he adds. “There’s no doubt in my mind this thing is going to disappear. Equal rights are always going to happen, however it inches along.”
When: 8 p.m. Thursday.
Where: The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd.