TAP Exclusive Interview: Chris Guanlao of Silversun Pickups


Silversun Pickups are one of the hotter alternative rock bands coming out of Los Angeles, California. We recently had a chance to chat with the band’s drummer, Chris Guanlao. We asked Chris about the band’s upcoming tour with Muse, hanging out at Club Spaceland in Silver Lake, if he’s as good a drummer on Rock Band and Guitar Hero as he is in real life, being nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy, the band’s love of whiskey and a whole lot more. Check it all out below and go to www.SilversunPickups.com, www.MySpace.com/SilversunPickups, and www.twitter.com/sspu for the latest news on the band.

1. You’re going on tour with Muse soon. As a band that was playing small clubs as recently as 2006, are you nervous at all about playing a tour of 20,000 seat arenas like Madison Square Garden?

2. Silversun Pickups recently did a really cool unplugged set for MTV. Would you ever consider doing a mini acoustic tour?

3. You could even do two nights in one city: one night electric and loud, the next night acoustic

4. Does the band still reside in Southern California?

5. Do you still go to shows at Spaceland and other clubs in Silver Lake?

6. Have you seen any bands lately that have impressed you?

7. We saw The Henry Clay People with The Airborne Toxic Event recently.

8. A lot of successful bands still have day or side jobs. Do you still have one?

9. What were you last doing before the band?

10. The band’s music has been in Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Have you ever tried playing “Lazy Eye” in the video games and are you as a good video game drummer as you are in real life?

11. That must’ve made you appreciate how good you are at your real instruments.

12. The band’s music has a bit of a melancholy tone. Does that ever carry over with you after a concert?

13. The band draws a lot of comparisons to a lot of different rock bands. Do any of them bother you?

14. You’ve been nominated for Best New Artist Grammy. Do you like your chance of winning?

15. If you don’t win, who do you want to win?

16. If you do win, you can put one of those “Grammy Winner” stickers on your CD and flaunt it.

17. When they’re showing the nominees for your category and show Silversun Pickups on screen, you should hold up the CD for Swoon. It’d be good extra promotion!

18. Even better, hold up a sign with your twitter and website. It’ll get so many hits.

19. Since the name of the band was inspired by a local liquor convenience store, is it safe to assume that the whole band likes to drink?

20. Do you drink before the show or after? Or both?

21. After this tour with Muse, will you be playing a headlining tour to hit cities that you might’ve missed on the initial run behind Swoon?

22. Will Silversun Pickups be playing any of the summer festivals this year as well?

23. If you were putting on your own festival for a day, where would it be and who would play? Would Silversun Pickups play?

(Photo credit: Jason Kempin)

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