Neon Trees lead singer Tyler Glenn was not happy. There were personal issues. There were other points of contempt with the band, maybe not with any of its members but certainly with the rigors of a touring musician on a major record label.
Glenn began to identify the problems and how to resolve them, or at least how he did not want situations to play out moving forward.
“I started writing these songs in therapy,” Glenn told “Ralphie Tonight” via telephone about the band’s third studio album, Pop Psychology. The LP was released last month. “I also felt like, if I was going to put this record out, I didn’t want to do another cycle of press where I was kind of glazing over some of the themes.”
Struggles with fame and personal relationships are two of the topics that Glenn tackles on Neon Trees’ latest effort. So in March, the lead singer came out as gay in Rolling Stone magazine.
“For me, it’s fun to be able to talk about some of that personal stuff because I think it adds a weight and a humanity to it,” he said. “Where people who enjoy the band now have another context to listen to the record in.”
Glenn does not feel like he is a new person, nor does he believe this changes the band – known for its up-tempo sing-a-longs “Animal” and “Everybody Talks.”
“At the heart of it, the record is just a fun, energetic celebration at the same time,” Glenn explained. “I think it serves dual purposes and I’m proud of it.”
If you are looking for any change in the band, return to the aforementioned context and “Everybody Talks.”
“I say, ‘And that was when I kissed her’ and I kind of stop and say, ‘It was a her at the time,’” he reveals. “Because it was. I was seeing a girl at the time. But to be able to sing these songs, there’s kind of more of an anthemic quality to them.”
Glenn will be leading those sing-a-longs, of tracks old and new, on the band’s forthcoming summer headlining tour. The trek kicks off Monday in Nashville and ends June 13 in Washington D.C. The second to last date is on June 12 in Philadelphia. The concert will be held at the Piazza at Schmidt’s, an outdoor venue near Festival Pier.
“It’s really cool to be able to say what I’ve always said which is, ‘Self acceptance is important and you should be okay with the flaws that you have.’”