Neon Trees is an American alternative rock band from Provo, Utah, with origins in Murrieta, California. The band received nationwide exposure in late 2008 when they opened several North American tour dates for the rock band The Killers. Not long after, the band was signed by Mercury Records and released their first full length album, Habits, in 2010. Their first single “Animal” climbed to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Alternative rock Chart.
Formed initially by neighbors Tyler Glenn (vocals, keyboards) and Chris Allen (guitar, vocals) the band made its first home in Provo, eventually adding Branden Campbell (bass guitar, vocals) and Elaine Bradley (drums, percussion, vocals) to the lineup. David Charles also plays with the band as touring guitarist. They first started playing under the name Neon Trees in late 2005 with five original members. The band’s name originates from the lighted trees on the In-N-Out Burger signs, which inspired Tyler Glenn. In a strange twist of fate, it was later learned that Branden Campbell’s father, who designed neon lights in Las Vegas, helped design the very lights that inspired Glenn. The band is well-known throughout Provo and Salt Lake City, Utah, where it was formed. All four members of Neon Trees are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
They released an EP called Becoming Different People in 2006 during the time of their first tour through California. The EP featured promising songs like “Snap the Flash”, “Sister Stereo”, “Modern Romantics”, “Ashley Stevenson”. They also recorded other unreleased tracks during the “Treehouse Sessions” in 2006.
The band’s lineup soon narrowed down to four members with Branden Campbell and Elaine Bradley joining the group on bass and drums, respectively. Shortly thereafter, The Killers’ drummer, Ronnie Vannucci Jr., went to watch the band play at a small club in Las Vegas as he had been in a Ska band called “Attaboy Skip” with Neon Trees bassist Branden Campbell prior to joining The Killers. Ronnie was impressed, and as a result they were chosen to open for The Killers for a string of dates on their 2008 North American tour. Vannucci later helped the band sign to major label Mercury Records, which was announced in late 2008. Additionally, the group was voted Band of the Year in 2009 by City Weekly, a popular Salt Lake City publication.
Although they had several prior independent releases, the band released its debut album at Mercury/Def Jam, Habits, on March 16, 2010. “Animal” was chosen as the lead single and was shortly thereafter featured as the Free Single of the Week on iTunes in March 2010. They performed the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live on March 23, 2010, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on May 14, 2010, Lopez Tonighton October 18, 2010, Live! with Regis & Kelly on November 4, 2010, and TBS’ Conan on November 24, 2010. They performed second single 1983 on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on January 13, 2011 and another stint on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Jan 18, 2011. They performed third single “Your Surrender” on Late Show with David Letterman on May 5, 2011 and a third appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Jun 10, 2011. Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 selected Animal as his Spin Magazine Pick of the Week. The song has also been featured on a commercial for Las Vegas and remixed by popular American DJ, Kaskade. The group has also released a digital EP of four remixes of the song, one of which by Tyler Glenn.
In 2010 the band covered Justin Bieber’s song “Baby” as well as Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” Throughout the Spring of 2010 the band, along with Mutemath and Street Drum Corps, opened for the 30 Seconds To Mars tour Into The Wild. Subsequently, they headlined the Summer 2010 Bang The Gong Tour with Paper Tongues, MeTalkPretty, and Civil Twilight, performed a set to 7,000 at Lollapalooza, and are heading back out on tour with 30 Seconds To Mars in the Fall.
In November 2010, the band released a Christmas single called “Wish List”. It was available for free on iTunes the first week it was released.
In November 2010, Tyler and Elaine appeared as Neon Trees on Daryl Hall’s monthly Internet concert series Live From Daryl’s House. They performed four songs from “Habits”, including “Animal” and “1983”, as well as the Fleetwood Mac hit “Dreams” and Hall & Oates songs “Head Above Water” and “Adult Education”.
Bassist Branden Campbell also features on every track of indie folk group Parlor Hawk’s debut album Hoarse & Roaring which was also selected as an iTunes “Best of 2010” Indie Spotlight Album.
Neon Trees released a live album “iTunes Live From SoHo” in November 2010 featuring eight live tracks: Calling My Name, Animal, Your Surrender, Never Tear Us Apart, In The Next Room, 1983, Love And Affection, and Sins Of My Youth.
In February 2011, they embarked on a European Tour opening for the alternative rock band Angels and Airwaves.
From March 31, 2011 to April 23, 2011, they are also expected to open for My Chemical Romance during the North American leg of their World Contamination Tour.
The band’s song “Animal” was also performed by the cast of Glee in season two, episode fifteen, entitled “Sexy”.
On May 14, 2011, their song “Your Surrender” debuted at #19 on the Sirius xm Hits 1 Weekend Countdown making it only the 6th time a song debuted on the top 20.
Neon Trees performed at a “live x” at the studio of Atlanta alternative station 99x (97.9 FM). The all acoustic set was performed in front of a live studio audience on May 4 and consisted of the songs “Animal”, “Your Surrender” and “Sins of My Youth.” In 2011 at the Billboard Music Awards Neon Trees won their first award winning Alternative song of The Year for the song “Animal”. They beat Mumford & Sons, Train, and Linkin Park.
A sudden love for Neon Trees has arisen when I listened to their “Animal” when I first heard it in The Glee Project where Samuel had sung it. So here’s the video:
Oh, Oh, I want some more
Oh, Oh, what are you waiting for?
Take a bite of my heart tonight
Oh, Oh, I want some more
Oh, Oh, what are you waiting for?
What are you waiting for?
Say goodbye to my heart tonight