Last month, when the Silversun Pickups invited MTV News into the studio, they were putting the finishing touches on their new album [url id="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/silversun_pickups/albums.jhtml?albumId=2401972"]Swoon[/url] and gave us a listen to a pair of completed songs: "Growing Old Is Getting Old" and the first single, "Panic Switch."
The songs show the Pickups hitting their stride, fleshing out the loud/soft dynamics they explored on 2006's breakout debut Carnavas and distancing themselves from all those Smashing Pumpkins comparisons. It's still [url id="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/silversun_pickups/artist.jhtml"]the Silversun Pickups[/url], only tightened and emboldened from nearly two years of touring behind their first album.
Of course, that's just our take on them. And though Swoon is still pretty far off on the horizon (it's due April 14), we've decided to give you a listen to one of those songs and to let frontman Brian Aubert tell you the stories behind them ... tracks born out of tireless touring, a little bit of studio trickery and one seriously profane robot.
"Growing Old Is Getting Old"
"It was inspired by performing live for so long. It actually started out as an intro to 'Well Thought Out Twinkles' [from Carnavas], and we played around with it, liked the feel of it, and started building on it. There were certain places we wanted to go as a band, but we hadn't quite got there yet, and this song puts us there, sonically. They call it a trumpet track: It begins small and keeps building and building and getting bigger. It's a pretty optimistic song, surprisingly. On the record, it feels pretty sweet ... not like 'Sweet!' but sweet. I like the bass sound. It takes a really long time for the drums to kick in too. There's almost two songs going on in that one."
"For some reason, when we were mixing it, we kept playing around with this visual thesaurus that had a computer voice, and [bassist] Nikki [Monninger] and I kept typing up weird words, trying to find the dirtiest ones we could. So every time I listen to that song now, I just keep hearing this computer voice saying all these dirty words. ... Anyway, it's our dance song. We wrote it later on in the process — really close to the end, because we were seeing how the album was shaping up. I remember coming into the rehearsal space and just told everybody, 'OK, we're locking it down,' because we had a lot of songs to work with. And then the next day, I came back like, 'Hey, hey, wait, there's one more song to fit in.' And it's a very bizarre song. There were no verses in it. ... Hopefully it conveys a theme on the album, which is basically a nervous breakdown. It's pretty chaotic, and of all the songs on the record, that one represents that [theme] the best."