Silversun Pickups, which includes lead vocalist and guitarist Brian Aubert, bassist Nikki Monninger, drummer Christopher Guanlao & keyboardist Joe Lester, have always considered their sonic density a source of pride: The Los Angeles band's four studio albums reveal additional sonic gifts with each subsequent spin. Their fifth album, Widow's Weeds, is no different.
For the album, Silversun Pickups enlisted a long-time friend: producer Butch Vig. He and mixer Billy Bush helped Silversun Pickups craft a confident, extroverted album, and recording with Vig surpassed the band members' already-high expectations. "It was very collaborative with him,” Monninger says. “He's such an easygoing person, and he put everybody at ease."
Despite the halcyon studio time, the band members were wrestling with challenges in their personal lives. Aubert found himself in an extremely dark place. As a result, he fell into a deep depression. "I didn't know how to get out of it," Aubert says. His solution was getting treatment and getting sober, which immediately improved his mental health and creative outlook.
Unsurprisingly, Aubert also had a much different perspective on his Widow's Weeds lyrics post-treatment. "The record does have a mourning vibe, but it's not sad," he says. "It's change. It's growing up and moving on and letting go of things.” Widow's Weeds ends up being about rebirth and renewal, facing darker elements of the soul head-on, and choosing to either engage—or leave them behind.