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11 Feb

Neon Trees Unleash Their Inner ‘Animal’ at Spinner HQ

The members of Neon Trees have come a long way since their days playing clubs in Provo, Utah. Though they established a reputation for themselves back home with their high-energy, New Wave pop sound, it wasn’t until late 2008 that the group caught their big break — being handpicked by the Killers for an opening slot on their North American tour. The national exposure led to a record deal with Mercury and a tangible buzz among music bloggers.

During a recent visit to our New York office, Neon Trees treated the Spinner staff to acoustic renditions of some of the songs from their forthcoming LP, ‘Habits,’ including the infectious lead single ‘Animal.’ They also did their best to sell us on the luxuries of their hometown. “We’re also members of the Utah Travel Bureau,” drummer Elaine Bradley quipped. “There’s hiking!”

For a band with this much chemistry among members, it’s surprising that their official lineup is relatively young. Frontman Tyler Glenn and guitarist Chris Allen met in Southern California after their fathers realized they both had similar aspirations (or lack thereof). “We were both just kind of deadbeats,” Glenn told Spinner. “[Our dads] were like, ‘Our sons should meet. We could put the deadbeats together!'”

After a move to Utah for college, the band needed a rhythm section and Glenn was at first hesitant to choose Bradley. “I’m not sexist at all, but girl drummers, they’re kind of the token pretty face and I never wanted to use a girl for that kind of marketing,” he explained, before clarifying “but she doesn’t have a sex when she plays — she just plays. She’s sexless.”

After a few lineup changes, the group snagged Branden Campbell on bass, a choice that literally brought Bradley to tears (of joy, that is). With their official band roster now firmly in place, Neon Trees are poised to be one of 2010’s biggest bands to keep an eye on. Have a look at their ‘Animal’ video below, and flip through some photos from their Spinner office visit.