Since the release of their breakthrough LP, Habits, in 2010, Utah’s Neon Trees have refused to slow down. The band members continue to write and release songs — too impatient to wait and put out a proper album — and though they tried to take the year off from touring, they realized that wasn’t possible.
“We got a little stir-crazy,” says guitarist/cofounder Chris Allen, “and we just needed to do another tour just to keep from going crazy.”
We caught up with Allen while the indie-pop quartet (made up of committed Mormons) was in Austin supporting 2014’s Pop Psychology. We spoke to Allen about uncomfortable bus beds, what it’s like to be a workaholic, and the upsides of vocalist Tyler Glenn’s coming out.
New Times: Neon Trees released “Songs I Can’t Listen To” recently. Is that just a one-off kind of thing or is it a sign of a new record in the near future?
Allen: We felt like it hasn’t been too long since we released our last album, Pop Psychology, so we didn’t want to go in and do a full album. We did write and record a couple of other songs, and we were thinking maybe it’ll be an EP, but then it ended up just being a single, and I don’t know if we’ll ever release those other songs or not.
Why don’t you think you’ll release those other songs? You know your fans will want to hear them.
A lot of it has to do with the label, whether or not they’re ready for us to release something. I think they like albums better than EPs. Also, it doesn’t fulfill our contract by releasing EPs. I think they have to have a minimum number of tracks.
How has your life changed since the release of Habits?
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We’ve been busy ever since, and I think we’ve been trying to play catch-up the whole time. We never really realized what we were in for. Fortunately, ever since the beginning, when our first single [“Animal”] had success, I don’t think any of us could have planned this. I think we kinda have to get used to this, get used to working. I mean, we were already working hard, but we weren’t traveling as much. We were just in a van, and before we knew it, we were in a bus, and then we were having to hire a crew and make budgets for these big shows and coming up with production and stuff. It feels like we’re always one step behind, having to hustle.
Shifting gears for a second, during the time that the band has been on tour promoting Pop Psychology, has there been any weird or unexpected backlash against Tyler’s coming out from either fans, the Mormon community, or elsewhere?
Actually, everybody’s been really supportive, to my knowledge. I haven’t heard of Tyler receiving any negative feedback, and even from the Mormons, he’s gotten a lot of support. I think it’s been very positive for everybody. He’s really happy now. He can finally be himself, and the fans have been great. He talks about it a little bit at the shows, telling people how they should not wait, and accept themselves, and just live your lives without being afraid. It’s pretty cool, pretty empowering for people.
Neon Trees plays at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 9, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $35.25. Call 954-449-1025, or visit jointherevolution.net.