When the Silversun Pickups Broke Out With ‘Carnavas’
A lot has changed in the world of the Silversun Pickups since they released their debut full-length album, Carnavas on July 25, 2006. In that period of time, frontman Brian Aubert and the band have gone from up-and-coming indie rockers to bona fide alternative rock stars -- if you need proof, witness the No. 6 debut of their third album, Neck of the Woods, their second Top 10 premiere in a row. There's no doubt about it: The Pickups are here to stay, and Carnavas has a lot to do with their ongoing success.
That said, the album wasn't exactly a pleasure to make. "I’m so glad it’s out and done," Aubert told the Red Alert soon after Carnavas dropped. "It’s more that the creation of the record was a long, really difficult process. We really worked our asses off. One of the reasons it was so hard is that we put [2005's 'Pikul'] EP out, and we didn’t expect it to do as well as it did." The success of the EP forced the Silversun Pickups to play more shows and focus less attention on the album, ultimately putting more stress on the band when it finally hit the studio.
But the Pickups had planned ahead, saving some of their favorite songs for Carnavas instead of putting them on the EP -- and lucky for them, one of those tunes, "Lazy Eye," turned out to be a No. 5 Alternative Songs hit, providing just the spark needed for the band. "The only [song] that is truly old school is 'Lazy Eye,'" Aubert said. "We didn’t do much to that. That one is sort of a standard of ours and we were saving it for the record and we didn’t really change it."
Silversun Pickups frequently got compared to the Smashing Pumpkins back in the day -- both bands certainly shared a dream pop sound rooted in shimmering/crunchy guitars, and Aubert's emo voice reminded many of Billy Corgan's nasally whine. But, ironically enough, it was the success of the Pumpkins-esque "Lazy Eye" and its follow-up hit, "Well Thought Out Twinkles," that broke that association in listener's minds and allowed the Pickups to be their own band. These days, the Pumpkins comparisons rarely come up.
Carnavas has moved more than 350,000 copies, which is the Pickups' best-selling album to date, despite the band only growing in popularity since its 2006 release. That makes sense -- albums don't sell as well as they used to -- but it also is evidence of the long-lasting importance of Carnavas.
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