It was the early 2010s when the fountain of indie and alternative bands touring Eugene started to run dry. The new decade instead spewed more touring hip-hop, rap and pop artists until the floodgates finally burst with the eruption of the EDM scene.
The tail end of this mass exodus of alt and indie music was around 2012 — the last year Silversun Pickups performed in Eugene. But the Los Angeles-based band — acclaimed for its grungy, shoegaze-inspired alt rock, and more specifically for the hit song “Lazy Eye” — hasn’t been phased by changing musical tastes.
“It’s a whole other world, honestly,” says Silversun Pickups frontman Brian Aubert about participating in an industry that seems newly dominated by genres like EDM. “I never see things like that in music as a competitive thing. In our world, we didn’t notice anything.”
Reasonably so, because in the world of Silversun Pickups a lot has been going on. Now, 10 years and three albums since its first full-length in 2006, the band has toured both nationally and internationally and last year formed its own record label on which the group released its newest album, Better Nature. But years passed and successes gained haven’t affected the group much.
“Sometimes we feel it, but a lot of the time we feel new, sort of like a brand-new band,” Aubert says. “[But] once in a while an adult comes up to us, like, a full-grown adult, and says, ‘I loved you in junior high.’ Like, holy shit!” he laughs.
For Aubert, the band mostly focuses on staying level-headed and keeping expectations realistic. “We feel like at any moment everything could unravel,” Aubert says. “You kind of have to keep yourself in that uncomfortable space. We’re always worried that if we feel comfortable, it would affect the music and the art.”
In a similar sense, it’s hopeful to think that the return of bands like Silversun Pickups might mark the resurgence of a new era of alt rock in Eugene. But realistically, it might just be too soon to tell.
Silversun Pickups will be performing with Joywave 8 pm Wednesday, June 8, at McDonald Theatre; $29.50 adv., $35 door, all ages.