Silversun Pickups kick off a summer tour tomorrow (June 8) with an appearance at Metallica's Orion Festival in Detroit. While the Los Angeles alt-rock outfit may stick out on the lineup, the quartet are versed at playing with a diverse collection of artists—this summer Joy Formidable, Surfer Blood, Southern indie rockers Mona and others will join as opening acts.
"We're lucky that we're not labeled in a certain scene, so all kinds of different bands can open for us," says singer-guitarist Brian Aubert. "You want everything to be different so it feels really broad."
The band will be touring in continued support of their 2012 release, Neck of the Woods: "People seem really excited about hearing songs from the new album, which is great," Aubert adds.
Aubert and drummer Chris Guanlao also dish on keeping the tour fun and sociable backstage between bands: "At the beginning of the tour we try to have a party and force them to not be shy, and drag them kicking and screaming into the room," says Guanlao. "It's good to have the party on the first day as opposed to the last day, because the last day it's like, 'Oh wait, you guys are so nice, and we're ending now—nice to meet you!'"
The band also discuss lineup changes, with their friend Sarah Negahdari replacing bassist Nikki Monninger, who is out on maternity leave, and recall opening for Metallica at SXSW: "We thought [Metallica's] fans would hate us," Aubert says. "It's the only show we've ever played to that many 50-year-old bald guys banging their heads."
Watch the full interview above.