fresh no ads
Neon Trees gears up for Wanderland |


Neon Trees gears up for Wanderland

Shinji Manlangit - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Wanderland 2013 is set to become the first annual music and arts festival in the Philippines that aims to bring the same feel of an international summer music festival that previously was only largely concentrated in Europe and the US.  On its first outing, Karpos Media has managed to wring in six foreign and five local acts for a day of creativity, dancing, and a whole lot of fun.

Starting this week, Supreme will feature the artists who are set to rock the hell out of the Globe Circuit Event Grounds on May 18.  We’re kicking off this week with an exclusive interview with Neon Trees vocalist Tyler Glenn about his band’s unconventional rock and roll lifestyle and what they have in store for their music-hungry fans in Manila.

Starting with a whisper

Neon Trees’ name may have started with vocalist Tyler Glenn’s fascination with the electric neon signs of In-N-Out Burgers that lingered in the night back in his home state of Utah. Back in 2005, along with his neighbor, guitarist Chris Allen, Glenn formed Neon Trees with three other guys in hopes of bringing their own flavor of mixing rock and new wave to the public. It wasn’t until 2008, amidst a series of line-up changes, which brought bassist Branden Campbell and drummer Elaine Bradley into the equation, that Neon Trees garnered the attention that they deserve.

Playing a show at a small club in Vegas sometime in 2008, Ronnie Vannucci Jr. of The Killers ended up in the same room and was blown away by Neon Trees’ musicality. Sure, Ronnie was in the same band as Campbell before he joined The Killers which some might point out as a form of nepotism, but it was largely the band’s musicality that landed them a major label deal with Mercury Records, the lauded subsidiary of The Island Def Jam Music Group, which includes a whole battalion of artists ranging from Kanye West to Katy Perry, and U2, undoubtedly the biggest band in the world.

In 2010, the band released their debut album “Habits” with the first single Animal climbing on top of the alternative rock chart. “Habits” featured the band using an interesting mix of electronica and rock to render a New Wave feel that harkens itself far back to the ’80s by means of reinventing it for the digital age.

Last year, they released their second album, “Picture Show” with an even better set of reviews that seemed to stem from the fun and reckless abandon that Neon Trees peppers their music with. After a year of countless touring with acts like Maroon 5 and Owl City, and with strong performances and a strong turnout, they kicked off their own headlining tour this month which would take them across America and Australia before they land in Manila.

Rocking out Manila

“Manila is our only stop in Asia,” Tyler Glenn said over the phone, putting an important stress to the word “only” probably to entice us to check them up on their Philippine debut. “I haven’t been to the Philippines before, but I have friends who are so excited that we’re coming over,” he adds excitingly.

The Philippines, being a country that has a lot of avid music-lovers is definitely a great place to perform. Recently, with locals flocking to neighboring countries just to catch foreign acts, the idea of putting up a local festival with a similar vibe to Laneway or Coachella proved to be a good one.

Animals and their latest locally released single Everybody Talks are being heavily played on local alternative radio stations, and the catchy pop-rock tunes that blare out of the speakers would definitely sound eons better when they finally perform on a massive stage here on May 18. “We would love it if the crowd would just go wild and dance,” Glenn said about their expectations for the Manila crowd.

Although Tyler isn’t that much familiar with the local acts that are set to perform with them, he’s ecstatic to hear what the OPM acts have to offer. As for the foreign acts they’re headlining with, Glenn said that he’s excited to work again with The Temper Trap who they previously toured with. “I’m also a huge fan of Nada Surf, and it’s the first time we’re playing with them. It’s going to be awesome.”

Moving forward

Manila wouldn’t have a hard time catching to Neon Trees’ vibe. Much of the band’s energy comes straight from Tyler’s ability to create a stage presence that he attributes to his idols David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. It’s evident in Glenn’s image that he’s trying to channel the space oddity and the infectious frontman of Queen, but don’t let the band’s eclectic fashion sense fool you: They’re straight-edged lads who are all members of Utah’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Meaning: no drugs and alcohol for these ones.

“After the show, we usually would just catch our breath and talk about the events that happened,” Glenn said about their goody ways.

While rockers are largely expected to be drunken buffoons that snort and smoke anything and everything that comes their way, Neon Trees would much prefer to chill out and revel in the moments of their performance.

A year after “Picture Show” came out, their sophomore album that showed no sign of slump, Neon Trees is still riding the waves of success. As of now, they’re currently carefully laying down the foundations of what would become their third album. Glenn and the rest of the band are taking it slow and enjoying the scenery before they trot themselves in the studio to work on new material.

Hopefully, the Wanderland crowd could bring them enough inspiration to make a kick-ass third album. “We just want to have a blast,” Tyler noted. And with Neon Trees on board, what a blast it would definitely be at Wanderland.

* * *

Tweet the author @JunellHernando.

vuukle comment









Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with