Neon Trees shot up the charts in 2012 with their party-ready songs “Animal” and “Everybody Talks,” but the tracks on their most recent album “Pop Psychology” are a bit more melancholy. We talk with lead singer Tyler Glenn about the crazy stories behind the songs, plus how his song writing has changed after coming out as gay in 2014.
The band’s new single “Songs I Can’t Listen To” is about a breakup, but not of the romantic variety. “My best friend of nine years said she was getting married and didn’t think we could be friends anymore,” Glenn tells us. “It broke my heart in a way that’s different from a romantic relationship.” While he says the two haven’t spoken since the sad talk, he did just receive an invite to her wedding, though he hasn’t decided if he’s going to go or not.
Though the song is about a friend breakup, the music video is about a gay romantic relationship, noteworthy since Glenn, 31, just came out last year, in an interview with Rolling Stone. “I totally forgot it would be something people would comment on,” Glenn says of the same sex relationship in the video. “It wasn’t meant to be click bait or shocking.”
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Glenn wasn’t out when he was working on “Pop Psychology,” but that doesn’t mean the songs aren’t about experiences he had as a gay man. “’Sleeping With A Friend’ is about a guy who is straight and married to a woman,” Glenn tells us. “So that’s kind of awkward for him.” Glenn and his ex-hookup are no longer in touch, yet another friend breakup that inspired his lyrics.
Finding his happy place
The next Neon Trees album will be the first one where Glenn is openly gay, and Glenn says the songs will be talking about his relationships even more. “Half of my life in my 20s was a secret, so now I’m way honest to a fault and having a good time because I can,” he says.
He says fans can expect the band’s new songs to be happier, since he’s in a good place right now. “I usually feed off of being heartbroken or a negative situation. It’s been interesting writing more when someone good is in your life.”
If you go:
July 21, 7 p.m.
Theater of the Living Arts
334 South St, 215-922-1011
New York City
July 22, 7 p.m.
17 Irving Pl., 212-777-6800
July 26, 7 p.m.
Paradise Rock Club
967 Commonwealth Ave., 617-562-8800
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence