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Silversun Pickups Order Romney Campaign to Stop Playing Their Music

Silversun Pickups
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is under fire for playing the Silversun Pickups song ‘Panic Switch’ at his campaign events without obtaining the band’s consent. According to a press release, the Pickups’ attorney has sent the Romney camp a cease and desist letter to prevent them from using the song in the future.

“We don’t like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don’t like the Romney campaign,” said frontman Brian Aubert. “We’re nice, approachable people. We won’t bite. Unless you’re Mitt Romney! We were very close to just letting this go because the irony was too good. While he is inadvertently playing a song that describes his whole campaign, we doubt that ‘Panic Switch’ really sends the message he intends.”

Taken from the group’s 2009 album ‘Swoon,’ ‘Panic Switch’ was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart, but lyrically, it’s not the kind of song you’d expect a presidential candidate to embrace. Aubert described it as “a very bizarre song,” telling MTV, “Hopefully it conveys a theme on the album, which is basically a nervous breakdown. It’s pretty chaotic, and of all the songs on the record, that one represents that [theme] the best.”

The Silversun Pickups can now take their place next to Tom Petty, Talking Heads, Heart and other rock acts who have found politicians using their music without permission. The most recent notable example was M83, who expressed “horror” that a right-wing French political party had used ‘Midnight City’ in an online ad.

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