Silversun Pickups 2013 Tour

Oct 1, 2013 9:00 AM, By Matt Gallagher


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photo of Silversun Pickups

Silversun Pickups onstage at The Paramount in Huntington, N.Y.

The Silversun Pickups—Brian Aubert (singer/guitarist/songwriter), Nikki Monninger (bass), Joe Lester (keyboard) and Christopher Guanlao (drums)—have been touring the U.S. in support of their 2012 release Neck of the Woods (Dangerbird Records), which was produced by Jacknife Lee (U2, Weezer, REM, Snow Patrol). This past summer, the band visited festivals, amphitheaters and mid-sized venues, supported by Delicate Productions, based in Camarillo, Calif. Mix caught up with the quartet in August when they visited The Paramount in Huntington, N.Y.

Front-of-house engineer Fritz Michaud first met the band members in Los Angeles’ Silverlake neighborhood, where they all live. "We've known each other for years," Michaud says. "I worked with an amazing band called Autolux and Brian [Aubert] came to all their shows. He would often ask me about doing sound for Silversun Pickups and eventually it worked out. I started working with them during the last few legs of their Carnavas tour."

photo of Fritz Michaud

FOH engineer Fritz Michaud at an Avid Profile console

Michaud says that the NOTW tour is carrying the most production the band has ever carried, including audio and lighting packages. FOH and monitors each have matching Avid Profile consoles. The tour is also carrying a two-way split, sub snakes, microphones (the band endorses Shure products), stands and cabling. P.A. and power systems are house provided.

"I chose the Profile for FOH mainly for the plug-ins and the power that the scenes can provide, along with its ease of setup," Michaud says. "I'm using the Eventide plug-ins and I love them. We've been doing a lot of one-offs and fly-in dates and it's so great to just roll up with a USB stick and an iLok rather than dragging a heavy rack through airports and festival crowds."

Silversun's Neck of the Woods album showcases a range of subtle studio production techniques, including ambient effects, numerous overdubs, vocal mixing and panning techniques, and acoustic instruments blended with electronic sounds; this poses certain challenges to the band and the engineers when performing the recorded songs live.

"I think the band approaches the live version of their records in an honest way, accepting that they can't totally reproduce the sounds while embracing the challenge of trying to get as close as possible," Michaud says. "The four of them can make a lot of sound!"

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