Tyler Glenn talks Neon Trees, new tour and how his writing has evolved

Neon Trees
Ashley Osborn

Ahead of their Philadelphia show this week, Tyler Glenn from the Neon Trees sat down with Metro to talk more about the band’s latest album, single and tour, ‘Favorite Daze.’

Neon Trees

I often wonder why certain singles are released first from albums. Why put out ‘Favorite Daze’ first?

With ‘Favorite Daze,’ it honestly just felt like the right tone setter for this next chapter of ours. It’s not necessarily to me the biggest song on the record, or however you want to sort of measure it, but it felt like it had everything in the song that I wanted to communicate clearly. It felt like it was a nice line in the sand from what we had been doing the last couple of years and really defining a new body of work and a new chapter in our history. I feel really proud of a lot of the lines in the song. It feels very radical. A lot of the songs from the album are big questions that I’m asking… [and] I’m not necessarily coming with all the answers, but I think it’s important to ask questions. 

What about the album as a whole—what went into writing and recording it?

Half of the record was started in 2020 when we were all locked in. I turned to music and to Zoom and whatever we could to continue to write. I had a couple of writer friends, we spoke a language where I felt really comfortable to say and try things. [It has] a bit of anxiety and an angst that is woven through a lot of the record, but I think at the end of it, there is a real injection of hope and sort of personal entendre. In past records of mine, I’ve talked about depression, and I think in this album and this body of work, it’s very much me digging myself out of that and ending up with a breakthrough of personal choice and sort of rejecting things that maybe seem status quo. And I’m also still talking about experiences. So, as much as I think there’s a bit of new approach on some of these songs in the album, there’s still a classic quality [of ours] that fans will love.  

You’ve written for the band for solo efforts, and even for other outlets. How has your writing process evolved over time?

I think that it’s only become more honest, and I’ve always claimed or felt like I’ve written what I know. I’ve had some developments, because I came out sort of later and in my thirties, a little later than a lot of people do these days. But there’s a lot of catch up for me in terms of I still really live a very inner life… but I think I’ve been really able to merge the life that I was living in my head. I had to build walls, so it’s taking that framework down and becoming a more whole person. I also feel increasingly supported in the band. Not that I wasn’t free prior, but I think when you’re young you build protections to make yourself feel safe, and I think that I have less and less of those walls. So I just feel like a free writer and that there are way less rules, and I think it shows in the way I’ve written and the way I sing. 

Neon Trees

What went into creating the ‘Favorite Daze’ tour? 

Physically with the stage quality, there’s a real design to the show. But I will say, at the end of the day, the real change comes from the performance and the crew and the team in place—we’re all really energetic right now. I keep saying this about the band, but we found each other again, and there’s a real gratitude that we still get to do this. It felt like [at one time,] there were scenarios that touring would never come back. I think we’re really ready to get back out there.

And you know, we’re not the same size act that some other acts are, so, it’s been great to watch some of these monolithic acts tour last year and prove that people are coming to shows. [For us,] it feels like a second act and a second chance. You don’t always get that, and you don’t get a chance to always relive summer camp or hear that perfect set. 

Are there any song moments from the show that stand out to you for this tour?

Obviously ‘Favorite Daze,’ but we have a new song coming out called ‘Losing My Head.’ We put a record out called ‘I Can Feel You Forgetting Me’ in 2020 in the middle of the height of all of the craziness. And for better or for worse, it was a really hard record to promote, and we didn’t get to do a proper tour or barely even a cycle in it. It’s music that we’re all really proud of, so we’re bringing a bunch of songs into the set which feels like it kind of just elevates it. We’re very excited to have some of those moments. 

Catch Neon Trees at Theater of the Living Arts on Sept. 26.