I fell in love with Neon Trees in 2010 when they played a festival in Lansing, MI called Common Ground.
I loved their music, I loved that they were different, and I loved what their singer Tyler Glenn stood for (I still do).
I got to chat with Tyler over the phone in 2011 and besides being hella nervous to do my first ever phone interview, I was excited that it was with him.
Looking back it was one of the best interviews I ever did; Tyler was so true to his answers and although I was scrambling to write down everything he was saying while still trying to listen intently, I'm still glad to have been able to do it.
Neon Trees have blown up since then and I feel like I've lost touch with Tyler, but I'm really happy for all their success and I've been able to photograph the band a couple times!
I'm copying and pasting the interview from examiner.com but if you want you can click over and read the full article.
About a year ago you guys toured with Civil Twilight and the Paper Tongues. What was your favorite thing about that tour?
The tour comradery; ya know, all the bands were near and hungry and ready to play, every night was a surprise. We all became really good friends and it was great touring with other young bands; we're still good friends with Civil Twilight.
What’s the story behind the name “Neon Trees?”
I grew up in Temecula, CA and me and my friends would hang out after school at the In-N-Out, and they had a neon palm tree light, so “neon palm trees” evolved to “Neon Trees.” It's funny, we actually found out later that our bass player Branden's dad installed that palm tree light.
Aren't you a vegan? What did you eat an In-N-Out?
Well, back in high school I was a vegetarian and they have an awesome veggie burger.
Do you have a favorite song to play?
Yeah, actually. We usually play "1983" earlier in our set; in kinda puts a spark in the audience and they just light up; sometimes I don’t even have to sing! We’ve also been playing a new one, well it’s actually an old one from our old ep - called "Attraction;" its really become a cool part of our encore.
Do you do most of the writing?
I write all the lyrics; we have a couple co-writes. Before Habits I was writing darker (but not really more negative) music, but when I was writing Habits I was kind of experimenting, and it opened a door in my head.
Neon Trees - The Majestic Theatre[click to open gallery]
Who are some of your favorite artists/bands? Like what do you like to listen to when you're not writing, or on the road?
Well Branden’s been getting out his old punk records, like the kind of music I used to listen to when I was 13 & 14. I just got the new Lady Gaga record and I've been listening to that – and I've been saying that she writes dance music, don’t think too hard about what she’s creating. And in the summer I like to listen to the carefree mindless stuff that reminds me of my youth. When we’re on the road I like to listen to music that gets me hyped, not depressed.
Since you released Habits you guys have come so far; so where do you hope to be in the next year or so?
I hope it’s just a steady progression. "Animal" got us in front of a lot of people. I mean we’ve been touring off an album that’s a year and a half old, and I just wanna continue that climb instead of reaching a plateau. “Your Surrender” is our next single. It’s a good feeling when you’re a new band and you establish yourself with a name and not just a song; that's our dream and we feel like it’s gonna happen. And we’d just like to continue to reach people and entertain the fans that we have, and get new ones, and be respectable about trying to come off too cool.
Finally, is there anything you want to say to your fans in San Diego?
Yes! I miss you all and I’m really excited that we’re part of the fair! I’ve never been able to go because when I was 4 my family and I would go to the Del Mar fair; and I fell in the parking lot getting out of our family van and I fell on a glass bottle and actually have this scar on my knee still. The Del Mar fair is a memory of my childhood, hopefully I’ll get farther than the parking lot this time!
Neon Trees - The Palace of Auburn Hills[click to open gallery] Neon Trees - San Diego County Fair Neon Trees - San Diego County Fair