Neon Trees Ready to Practice Pop Psychology

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The Provo, Utah-based pop outfit Neon Trees released its third major-label album, Pop Psychology, to a widespread international fanbase today, and the band’s public excitement was encapsulated nicely in its Twitter feed.

Not only is this release a significant milestone for the rock quartet, the level of stardom and worldwide acclaim they’ve been lifted to in the four years since their debut effort Habits hit the shelves is astronomical. During that time, the band—comprised of four members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—has risen from primarily local recognition west of the Rocky Mountains to, well, a billboard in Times Square.

What catalyzed their swift climb to the top of the billboard charts? It could just be good marketing, and an original, tight pop vibe fueled by the voice and keyboard of front man Tyler Glenn. But there’s something else unique about the group—while they don’t consider themselves a “Mormon rock band,” by any means, their Latter-day Saint roots have set them apart from the rest of Hollywood.

Collectively, the band has agreed to abstain from drugs and alcohol, and the track “Hooray for Hollywood,” from their sophomore release Picture Show, contains a lyrical and satirical reminder against the danger of romanticizing drug use in the form of the names of prominent figures whose lives were cut short by overdose.

In an interview with the Mormon Women Project, drummer and backing vocalist Elaine Bradley spoke her mind about the apparent relationship between the fast life of fame and potentially lethal drug use:

“The idea that drugs are synonymous with rock ‘n’ roll is an assumption and an unnecessary connection. Not to say that rock ‘n’ roll musicians don’t do drugs. Many do. I’m just saying that it’s not necessary to do drugs in order to produce good music and to be successful in this business.”

Bradley also spoke about her personal perspective on the band’s success, and the change in priorities that has helped her achieve personal and professional success:

“I really try to include God in my decisions about music and the band. I ask Him to open doors or close doors as necessary. Before, I was too afraid to talk to God because I didn’t want to get a ‘no’ answer. I think I’ve learned through my life’s experiences to be more honest with Heavenly Father.”

While they don’t affiliate themselves as a band with Church organization, and the messages in their music aren’t necessarily Church-related, it’s evident that Neon Trees stand apart—in more ways than one—because of the way they choose to live and represent themselves.

Pop Psychology is available on the iTunes Store and at retail locations April 22.

Bradley’s personal testimony of Jesus Christ, the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is available in her profile on www.comeuntochrist.org.

Seth has been an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since the age of eight. In his youth he tried to kill his poor parents by deliberately involving himself in more extracurricular activities than either of them had time or mortal energy to drive him to. Luckily for him, his parents are superhuman. Seth played soccer, hockey and any other team sport that involved arms, legs and fast-moving rubber spheroids, wrote short stories, poetry and music, and was far too involved in his High School's drama and mock trial programs for his social life's own good. Ice hockey stuck. So did writing. Seth doesn't know everything--but he knows that God and Jesus Christ live, that They love us, and that They always keep Their promises.