August 15, 2012 6:55pm PT by David Greenwald, Billboard
Silversun Pickups Send Cease and Desist Letter to Romney Campaign
Silversun Pickups don't want Mitt Romney hitting the "Panic Switch."
The Los Angeles band's attorney issued a cease-and-desist on Wednesday over the Republican presidential candidate's use of the 2009 hit in recent campaign events.
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"We don't like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don't like the Romney campaign," singer/guitarist Brian Aubert said in a release. "We're nice, approachable people. We won't bite. Unless you're Mitt Romney!"
The indie musician added that the group had been "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," he said.
The Romney campaign issued a statement in response the letter on Wednesday: "The song was inadvertently played during event set-up before Gov. Romney arrived at the location. As anyone who attends Gov. Romney’s events knows, this is not a song we would have played intentionally. That said, it was covered under the campaign’s regular blanket license, but we will not play it again.”
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The musical controversy is the latest case of politicians butting heads with unhappy artists over their campaign soundtracks -- during the 2008 presidential campaign alone, the Foo Fighters, Jackson Browne and John Mellancamp asked Republican candidate John McCain to quit using their songs.
Silversun Pickups' latest album, "Neck of the Woods," was released in May.