Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Star Struck: My Convo With Neon Trees



It started with a whisper, and ended with a marriage proposal?

I had the honor of interviewing the Neon Trees’ bassist and singer Branden Campbell last Friday. For those of you who don’t know, Neon Trees is coming to D.C. this weekend to perform at the 9:30 Club! Commence freak-out.

Many people remember them from their hits “Animal” and “Everybody Talks,” a.k.a. the classic songs of my teenage years. Well, now the band is back with a more mature sound and even more to love! And yes, their music videos and style are still crazy awesome.

The name “Neon Trees” actually comes from an unlikely source, an In-N-Out Burger sign.

“Looking back, I wish we could change the name,” Campbell said.

You just choose something to call yourself while practicing in your garage, he told me, you never think you are going to see the name on a huge billboard one day. That is the necessary evil of choosing a band name.

Ahhh the “Neon Trees”— finally it makes sense.

The title of their tour, “An Intimate Night with Neon Trees,” gets to the heart of their new sound.

“We stop the show and everyone gets a hug,” Campbell joked.

Hey, 4E would be into that. In reality, the tour is about smaller venues, the music and fans, more than anything else. For a fan, what could be better?!

tumblr_mbz6nyLx5V1rx5p0mo1_500Naturally, I asked Campbell about the band’s hits “Animal” and “Everybody Talks.” You wouldn’t even know that they were huge songs, he acted so casual about them and their popularity.

“A good song is a good song,” he said, as simple as that.

As someone who still sings “Everybody Talks” in the shower, I can completely attest to that.

I made sure to ask Campbell if he would perform at Georgetown and I think he is considering it. So @GPB get on that, ASAP. He did tell me to let everyone at Georgetown know, “Don’t party too hard and stay in school.” You can’t fight with a musical star, so I guess I’ll be sticking to the books from now on (Note: Completely kidding. Forever Coca Loca).

In typical The Hoya fashion, I asked Branden one of the office’s most heated debates, even though he thought I was asking to marry him (Note: He is married so that was out of the question): Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?

After going through all levels of confusion, Branden went with 100 duck sized horses, claiming he could go all “zombie slayer” on them and reenact Game of Thrones. Not the way I would have gone, but I’d love to see him try that.


Whether you like his answer or not, you should not miss the opportunity to hug this musical genius. Neon Trees will be in D.C. this Monday at the 9:30 Club. 4E will see you there.


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