A Talk with Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees

A Talk with Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees

A Talk with Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees

The band releases their new single "Used to Like."

The band releases their new single "Used to Like."

Photography: Jen Rosenstien

Photography: Grace Pickering

Text: Cullen Ormond

It’s been four years since Neon Trees released an album.

That’s the amount of time between leap years or the average duration for a teenager to graduate high school. While the time out of the spotlight was positive: Tyler with his solo album Excommunication and Broadway debut (Kinky Boots, 2018) and Chris, Elaine and Branden’s focus on family—it’s safe to say fans are ready for their reunion. V Man sat down with lead singer, Tyler Glenn, to discuss the band’s new chapter.

And fans are in luck, today, the four musicians have released their new single Used to Like. The song is reminiscent of their past hits, a pop-rock, eighties synth bop that encourages movement but has a twist: it’s weaved with strokes of wisdom only learned from sadness and desperation.

“It’s that kind of uncomfortable moment of feeling desperate in a relationship and feeling desperate to make it work,” said the band’s lead vocalist and pianist, Tyler Glenn. “The song [Used to Like] sort of encapsulates going to the extremes of whatever we have to do to kind of shake each other back to whatever we liked about each other in the first place.”

This dichotomy between light and dark, happiness and sadness, dance bop and emotional ballad, or “yin and yang,” as Glenn puts it, was born out of the band’s decision to be authentic to themselves. The vulnerability within the new single was a product of Glenn’s personal growth throughout the past couple of years. He reflects on his experiences coming out and leaving behind Mormonism, the religion that he was raised in, and how this is reflected in the band’s new music.

“I think I’ve had really positive steps towards discovering life without that filter or lens and it’s been really nice to do that the past couple of years,” Glenn said.

Photograph taken by Grace Pickering

Used to Like is just the beginning of the band’s comeback. In May of 2020, Neon Trees is slated to release a ten-song album with some songs that stray from their classic upbeat hits. Glenn admits that there will be some different sounds within the album specifically some “mid-tempo” songs and “definite moods that Neon Trees hasn’t done before.”

But after almost a decade of playing together, four albums, two double-platinum hits, and several tours, the band has the license to try something new. Glenn wishes to “draw a line in the sand” between the band’s past and future, but not because he doesn’t appreciate and admire the music made in the past – he acknowledges that each album is a snapshot of where the band was at a current time. It’s because he believes that this record feels wholly like the band.

Neon Trees is signed to a new label and anxious for the release of their long-awaited album, especially Glenn, remarking that he has to remind himself to be patient. However, he knows that the release of this single is the right place to start and can assure fans that the band will not be disappearing anytime soon.

“I’m just excited to be turning the lights back on in Neon Trees,” said Glenn. “And starting the engine again. I don’t think we have any plans to put this record out and then take two or three years, I think we are really eager to be a part of music again and be a part of our fan’s lives again.”

 

 

Credits: Cover photo taken by Jen Rosenstien.

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