Tyler Glenn is the lead vocalist and keyboardist for Neon Trees, a band whose musical roots lay in Provo, Utah. Along with Chris Allen [guitars], Branden Campbell [bass], and Elaine Bradley [drums and backing vocals], Tyler has taken the industry by storm, with recent appearances at SXSW [South by Southwest] and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. The band’s first single, “Animal,” has also been featured on VH1’s Secrets of Aspen and CW’s Melrose Place.
On April 10, 2010, Neon Trees embarked on a 25-city tour with 30 Seconds to Mars and MUTEMATH. [The complete tour schedule has been appended at the end of this feature.] In support of the tour, as well as the release of the band’s debut album, Habits, Tyler Glenn managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on the band’s Webisodes, “musical agenda,” and penchant for practical jokes.
After watching the music video for “Animal,” as well as the band’s Webisodes, I get the sense that all of you are practical jokesters to a certain degree. Who is the wildest out of the bunch? And what is the craziest moment all of you have shared together?
The wildest? I don’t know, man. I think we all share that pretty well. We kind of pass it around like a disease! [laughing] We’re pretty wild! [laughing continues] The only thing that comes to my mind, right now, is one time we were all in the van and Brandon dared me to run into a Chinese restaurant, take off my shirt and scream, and then run back into the van. He said he’d give me $5.00 for it. And I totally did it. Everyone was stunned. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind.
I have to be really up-front, when I look at your band, and tell you that I think it’s really, really cool that you have a female drummer. Elaine is a beast, and she slays the drums! I know that she started off as a guitarist and then transitioned into the drums. Do you know what inspired the change?
Well, Elaine is multi-talented. She is a guitar player, a drummer, and a singer, and she’d love people to know that. She could totally front the band! [laughing] In the band before Neon Trees, she did half-duty on drums and guitar and singing. And she’s been in other bands where she’s been the front woman. With this particular set-up, we needed a drummer and she’s fantastic. It was never a thing of like we need a girl drummer to make it cool. She’s kind of a sexless drummer, in a way, and she plays like the best of them.