Silversun Pickups began in 2002 as A Couple of Couples, as the band was literally a couple of romantically linked couples. However, this was before they got serious and went through a lineup change. Their current name is derived from a liquor store across the street from the Silver Lake Lounge, a bar the band would frequently play in their early days in L.A.
In 2010, Silversun Pickups was nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy award. The nomination drew some controversy, however, as many fans argued that the band was very well known prior to the 2008-2009 nominating year. The band lost the award to Country/Jam rockers Zac Brown Band.
Silversun Pickups' hit single "Panic Switch" almost didn't make it on their 2009 album Swoon. The song was a last minute addition and several members considered it an afterthought or filler track. Singer Brian Aubert says the song is partly about having a nervous breakdown, a common theme on the entire Swoon album.
Silversun Pickups' breakout hit "Lazy Eye" has been featured on a number of TV shows and video games. The track has appeared on the shows The O.C., Criminal Minds, and Reaper, as well as the games Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero: World Tour.
Silversun Pickups bassist Nikki Monninger says she doesn't mind that her band is constantly compared to the Smashing Pumpkins because she considers the Pumpkins to be "a great band." Monninger even says she happened to run into Pumpkins' frontman Billy Corgan while eating Sunday brunch in L.A. Monninger introduced herself, told him she was a big fan, and said Corgan was "very nice."
Before making it with Silversun Pickups, bassist Nikki Monninger worked at record labels, including Warner Brothers and Epic Records. Her last position before quitting to join the band full-time was at Rhino Entertainment, where she worked on DVD production.