PROVO â€” When Tyler Glenn was growing up, he always assumed hed end up in a big metropolitan area. Not Provo, Utah.
But now the transplant from Temecula, Calif., wouldnt change a thing.
Glenn and his band, the Neon Trees â€” featuring Chris Allen, Branden Campbell and Elaine Bradley â€” list Provo as their home base.
The rent is super low compared to everywhere else, Glenn joked.
The Neon Trees have had a remarkable year. They released their major label debut album in March, Animal, and their first single of the same name has been at or near the top of Billboards rock, alternative and pop charts.
It was a slow, beautiful climb to where it is now, Glenn told the Deseret News. Were very proud of our album. We have an album that has a lot to say and is also very fun and uplifting.
The original viral video for Animal was shot on a beach near Lake Powell.
Since that song has climbed the charts, the band has opened for 30 Seconds to Mars, played this years Lollapalooza and will embark later this year on its first tour of the United Kingdom.
The biggest feat is our fan base has grown so much, Glenn said.
The members of Neon Trees still live in various parts of Utah County, including Provo, Orem and Alpine. The name of the band came from Glenns frequent trips to an In-and-Out Burger in southern California during his youth, where the light from the restaurant reflected off the palm trees, catching his attention. He thought Neon Palm Trees would be a great name for a band.
When he met his future bandmates and they were trying to think of a name, Neon Trees came up again.
It fit the aesthetic, he said. It harkens upon a nostalgia from our youth.
All four Trees are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But just as important to Glenn, Were all human.
Were proud to be where were at. We discovered our beliefs through our own choices, he said.
Glenn grew up in an LDS house in Temecula and served a Mormon mission in Nebraska.
He grew up with Allen, who later moved to Utah to go to school. When Glenn was finished with his mission, he joined Allen.
I never imagined living in Utah, he admitted. I was a California boy through and through.
But once he got to Utah County, Glenn said he was very surprised and excited about what he found, particularly the youth scene and the music scene.
There was a great youth culture. There was a lot going on in 2005, he said. Theres a great independent music scene. Im glad were a pop band giving Provo some notoriety. We always claimed Provo as a cool place to be. Theres a lot of great music coming out of there.
The Trees started booking numerous shows and played clubs four to five times a week. The band commuted back and forth between Provo and Temecula and got a fan in Ronnie Vannucci Jr., drummer for The Killers, who helped further their career.
It was in Logan where a representative from Mercury attended a show and afterward offered to sign them to the label.
The Neon Trees will play a Rock The Vote show on election night at Salt Lake Community College.
Our drummer, Elaine, is very passionate about politics. She votes every year. I think being heard and having an opinion heard is important and finding out different views on voting. Its important to have your voice heard, especially young people.
Glenn talked to the Deseret News during a recent road trip from California to Las Vegas to play a 1 a.m. gig.
The group was originally scheduled to fly to Vegas but literally walked out of the airport at the last minute, climbed into their car and started driving.
We decided to take a road trip to Vegas to clear our minds, he said.
One thing Glenn wont be doing on the trip is driving. He has never owned a license or attempted to get one.
I love being active, riding a bike, walking around, he said. Right now, I enjoy not being behind the wheel.
If you go:
What: Rock the Vote with Neon Trees
When: Nov. 2, 8 p.m.
Where: Salt Lake Community College, 4600 S. Redwood Road
How much: $15 for general admission, $7 with student ID