Adelaide band Neon Tetra are a force to be reckoned with having a massive 2017 releasing singles Telescopes and Reflections as well as supporting the likes of The Belligerents, Ecca Vandal and Miami Horror. Now the focus is on new single Run From The Ruins is a fuzzy rock marshmallow, filled with celestial synths, big drums, catchy guitar hooks and the band’s rhythm section locking down the pace with lazy summer feels. The track is full of earthy psychedelic textures crossed with 70s rock tones and an early Strokes x Tame Impala x Led Zeppelin sonic force that hits you right in the groove muscle. The band talk to Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about 2017 and their new single.
Great to see an Adelaide band doing great things, is the band looking to stepping things up again in 2018?
Thanks! There is so much talent in Adelaide currently, 2018 is going to be a really big year for our little city.Neon Tetra has spent 2017 making mistakes, learning from them, learning about ourselves, and learning about music. 2018 will be our opportunity show ourselves and everyone else how much we’ve learnt.
We have some really fun music to release next year in which we dive head first into the Motown/70s Funk influences heard in Reflections. The first half of 2018 will be getting very groovy on our end.
What has been the biggest highlight this year?
The release of Run From the Ruins and the overwhelmingly warm reception it received has blown all of us away. That song is a very genuine expression of our psych-rock influences, and it is beautiful when a piece of music of such personal significance engages with people in such a positive way.
Has it been hard to keep a lid on the excitement and not think too far ahead?
I think it’s safe to say the thinking too far ahead began when we each listened to our first rock record. Getting to chase and live out your dreams is such an important part of this crazy musical trip we’re all on and we’ve learnt that it takes equal parts love and labour to make it any kind of reality. We are blessed and humbled to be getting any kind of attention and we’re all keenly focussed on enjoying each step of the process.
How did the band get together and where did the name Neon Tetra come from?
Neon Tetra began as a jam project as people searched to find out what kind of music they had inside of them, and how best they could externalise and express it. The line-up ebbed and flowed in the early stages until the vision stabilised with the four of us.
The name Neon Tetra can be traced back to the aquarium in our favourite Chinese Restaurant. A very adorable little fish with a fluorescent strip down the side, which we all felt rather attached to for some bizarre reason. It made sense at the time.
Sonically, how would you describe yourselves?
We seem to be writing music in two different modes. One of which is psych-rock with strong 60s pop influences and sentimentalities. The other is something along the lines of a Marvin Gaye who fell in love with analogue synths. Run From the Ruins definitely falls into the former, but we’re moving strongly towards the latter for the first half of 2018.
Biggest shared influence as a band?
A really strong respect for the way Kevin Parker of Tame Impala has drawn upon and distilled so many different genres and influences a unique musical vision has shaped a lot our collective thoughts and approaches towards writing music this year.
In terms of release schedule with think what the King Gizz team are doing is incredible, we love how much music they send out into the world, and it is enormously motivating.
What can music lovers expect at your shows?
Groovy and warm psych instrumentation that lays the bedrock for our vocal and horn sections to soar over the top. We’ve put a lot of time into making sure our performances ebb and flow in all the right places and I can guarantee we’ll be jumping around and having an absolute ball on stage.
Have you learnt a lot playing with the likes of The Belligerents, Ecca Vandal and Miami Horror?
Watching those amazing artists perform has been so important in shaping our approach to our live set. We’ve learnt how important it is to mould your set into one big smooth musical organism, a non-stop experience from start to finish.
Are there plans for an album in 2018?
Our constant oscillation between styles has made plans for a full LP difficult. However, we will be releasing our Motown/70s Funk inspired EP early 2018 which we are completely over to top about. We are getting groovy and we are getting joyous, it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Interview by Rob Lyon
Check out Neon Tetra on the following dates…