Neon Trees Put Overseas Stardom On Their 'Wish List'
World conquest is on Neon Trees' mind these days.
The Utah quartet has been riding high on the success of "Animal," the Alternative Songs chart-topping single from its debut album "Habits," and it recently returned from its first trip to the U.K. to play a round of shows in the U.S. through mid-December. Bassist Branden Campbell tells Billboard.com the group plans to spend more time across the pond in the new year.
"We have dreams of going all across the world, and maybe the success we've had here so far can pave the way to that," Campbell says. "The song 'Animal' is just being released overseas, so we're kind of starting up in all these different regions."
Campbell says he's also confident that Neon Trees "has a couple more single-worthy songs on this record," including its new offering, "1983." The track is named after the year in which singer-keyboardist Tyler Glenn was born, but according to Campbell, it's "not about the 80s or pop culture or anything like that. It's about going back to an age of innocence in our lives where relationships were so much easier with...younger siblings and family and how much everyone cares about each other and how easy it is, most of the time, for everyone to get along. It's about going back to that place in your life."
Video: Neon Trees perform "Animal" at the Billboard studios
Neon Trees has another new release to coincide with "1983," meanwhile. The group recorded a holiday song called "Wish List," which was released as a digital track earlier this month. "It's very Neon Trees," Campbell reports, "but it sounds like we've been listening to a lot of Spoon and old Phil Spector or something. The song's lyrics, about longing to be with loved ones during Christmas, was inspired by U.S. troops. "When you're in a band, you go out on tour and think, 'Oh, I've been gone for three weeks, boo-hoo,'" Campbell says, and then there's people like that who are gone for so long. I could just imagine that if they could have anything, especially at that time of the year, it would be those people they love."
Campbell says a holiday song may well become a Neon Trees tradition, too. "The way I see it is if we did one of those each year, and if, heaven forbid, the band survives a decade, then after a decade we'd have 10 of them and we could just compile the songs and finally release a digital Christmas (album) or something like that. That would be cool."
Campbell -- who recently contributed to a new album by the Lower Lights while Glenn will guest on the first album by Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz's new band Black Cards -- says Neon Trees is not yet thinking about its sophomore album. That said, he adds, "we don't want to all of a sudden be like, 'It's time to start recording the second record.' We've got to write some songs!' So we're always writing. We just want it to come naturally and be ready when it is time."