Neon Trees: A new wave revival
MANILA, Philippines - At first glance, the uncanny name "Neon Trees" could be mistaken as a hippie nature-loving advocacy group rather than an '80s inspired pop-rock band.
But perhaps what gives the band its edge is exactly that — you never know what to expect.
With their eclectic sound, the band has, in a sense, created a class of its own. But the question remains: what in the world are neon trees?
Vocalist and keyboard player Tyler Glenn coined the name from the lighted trees in the In-N-Out Burger signboards, which inspired him during their early days. Coincidentally, the signs were said to have been installed by bassist Branden Campbell’s father.
Modern new wave
Neon Trees is composed of Tyler Glenn (vocals, keyboard), Branden Campbell (bass, vocals), Chris Allen (guitar, vocals), and Elaine Bradley (drums, percussion, vocals). Their music is a hodgepodge of electro, pop-rock, alternative, disco, and new wave perfectly woven together to create catchy rhythms that bridge past and present genres.
In an exclusive interview with Rappler, Branden Campbell talked about the band’s inclination towards music of the bands Led Zeppelin, The Smiths, Fleetwood Mac, and Depeche Mode.
The band’s music is fruit of a collective effort. They write together at band practice or develop songs from Tyler Glenn’s demos. What Campbell put emphasis on is that they create music the band enjoys playing. They are first and foremost a live band before they are recording artists.
“We work hard to make songs we know we won't get sick of playing live. In the end, we're a live band that makes records,” he explained.
As their name suggests, the band aims to stand out and catch attention, all the while remembering that their music comes first.
“We’re not afraid to be more than a t-shirt band. We have fun dressing up,” Campbell said.
“Having said that though, we always put the songs first. There are some bands that think it’s enough to have a look and sound, but where's the song?”
Listen to Neon Trees's '1983' here:
Neon Trees has gone a long way from playing in their hometown Utah, to breaking the scene as an opening act in The Killers's North American tour in 2008. The band’s first album, “Habits,” features Billboard chart toppers “Animal,” “1983,” “Your Surrender," and "Everybody Talks."
Neon Trees’s second album “Picture Show” brings back their signature non-conformist sound with dashes of new tunes.
“It's a good extension of our first album,” said Campbell. “We did spend extra time building keyboard sounds than usual. Nothing was a stock sound. All unique for our record.”
Listen to their newest release off 'Picture Show' here:
Neon Trees will be coming to the Philippines for the Wanderland 2013 music and arts festival on May 18. - Rappler.com