Neon Trees’ Tyler Glenn talks group’s musical range, coming out to his mother, self-centered exes, more


Andrew Zaeh / Zaeh LLC

From left, Branden Campbell, Tyler Glenn, Elaine Bradley and Chris Allen of Neon Trees, will play the Hard Rock Live on Tuesday, May 27.

After decades of hiding his true sexuality, Tyler Glenn ー lead singer of pop-rock band Neon Trees ー decided to come out as gay in March. A month later, the group would release their third album, “Pop Psychology,” and earn their highest-charting debut at No. 6 on the Billboard 200.

Glenn, 30, announcement to come out shocked many since it went against his church’s traditional religion beliefs. Like Glenn, the other three members of Provo, Utah-based band Neon Trees were raised Mormon.

The Valencia Voice got in contact with Glenn to talk about his mother’s reaction to him coming out as gay, sharing singing duties with Elaine Bradley, the guy who thinks all of Tyler’s lyrics on “Pop Psychology” are about him, and more.

Ty Wright: Talk about a big year. On top of releasing an album, you make a big announcement. How has everything been since coming out?

Tyler Glenn: Quite seamless actually. I didn’t miss a beat, and was very appreciative of how many people cared. But the music is the center of everything for me, and It’s remained so.

Wright: You stated in previous interviews that you are a big momma’s boy (me too, I understand). She was really excited for you just to hear your song on the radio, what was her reaction when you decided to share the news with her about coming out, and how supportive has she been?

Glenn: She didn’t really know if I was joking or not, which I actually found endearing because she never gave my sex life too much thought. I respect that. She’s been very very supportive. No difference, if anything a wall has been taken down that perhaps she didn’t even know existed.

Wright: Almost all of America’s bans on same-sex marriage are being contested in court. Coming from a Mormon background, what has been the reaction from the community?

Glenn: It’s quite a dynamic. But I think something that gets confused is that all Mormons feel hate or contempt towards homesexuals, and that just simply isn’t the case and something I have experienced first hand now as I’ve come out. I feel it’s definitely unfortunate the way a lot of faith based organizations have made it so homosexuals have to choose between faith and sexuality. I am here to say both are doable. Sadly though we have a long way to go with equality. I don’t have those answers.

Wright: I hear you are big fan of the Michael Sam story; did you happen to catch his NFL Draft selection?

Glenn: Yes, very cool. I just like that he’s breaking another stereotype. Besides the fact that he’s a happy person doing what he feels is right, I like that he’s doing it in a very graceful way and I look up to that.

Wright: Let’s talk new album: Is their a specific friend that you were sleeping with? And if so, why do you love them, but hate their friends?

Glenn: Yes there is a guy, and yes I sing about him on a couple of the songs. I thought they were fascinating topics and applicable because I’d experienced them. He’s not in my life really anymore, but I did hear back through the grapevine that he thinks all of the songs are about him. Which is just self centered if you ask me.

Wright: “Unavoidable,” is that the next single? Please say yes.

Glenn: Thank you. I don’t think it’s planned to be the next, but we love the flavor of it. It’s also a cool moment in the show.

Wright: Could you possibly see the group focusing on more tracks with you and Elaine Bradley sharing the spotlight?

Glenn: I like that this band has range, and her and I also had a song called “Mad Love,” that we dueted on on our second record “Picture Show.” She sings backups on the the songs too.

Wright: Celebrities like Katy Perry have already admitted to using dating apps like Tinder, can someone expect to possibly get you to swipe right on their photo in the 21st century?

Glenn: I don’t use Tinder, but there’s gay app for “bearish guys and the guys that love them” called Growlr that I occasionally go on.

Wright: With all the recent changes to your personal life, how do you make it so that news doesn’t overpower the bands success and album spotlight?

Glenn: Like I said, the music is at the center of all I do.

Neon Trees play the Hard Rock Live on Tuesday, May 27. Tickets range from $20 to $38. (Prices may not reflect ticketing service charges.) They will be joined by indie pop rock band Smallpools, and five-piece Los Angeles rock band Nightmare and the Cat.

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