neon tetra

Run From The Ruins

The new single is a combination of everything we are trying to achieve production-wise with our first demos.

Neon Tetra

Hi and thanks for taking the time out to speak with us at Musicology.

It’s a pleasure, thank you for reaching out to Neon Tetra.

There is a real confluence of styles and genres in your own brand of music from fuzzy desert rock, through to 70’s stadium anthems and washed out synths. The balance you strike is a harmonious one and presumably draws upon an assorted collection of musical tastes amongst all band members?

You’re right. The four members of the band do have broad tastes. We all love current acts like Phoenix, Daft Punk, Pond, Tame Impala and Mac DeMarco, while also connecting with artists such as New Order, David Bowie, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, to name a few. It probably comes from being exposed to a diverse selection of sounds growing up. Josh was in the school’s barbershop quartet and played first trumpet. Daniel was a James Morrison scholar on saxophone at the Sydney Conservatorium of Jazz a few years ago and started experimenting with synthesizer patches in his room between classes. The synth makes up such a big part of our audio. It’s a strong link to the energetic funk grooves that Oscar and Liam lay down in the rhythm section.

The video clip for Run From The Ruins directed by Mickey Mason and is amazing collage of Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women & Soviet cinema Planeta Bur. In piecing this together for the song was there a specific brief for the clip to have a sci-fi flavour or Mickey was allowed to have free reign and presented to you what we see?

Thank you. The only brief we send to Mickey is the music itself and then his imagination runs wild. It’s always conceptualised, shot, directed and produced by him. He’s a real gem and has churned out a lot of great local music videos over the past year.

Following on from your earlier releases which are quite varied in comparison to your latest single, the eclectic nature of your music is something of your signature sound would you agree?

We love so many different styles of music that it’s just a blast to be able to write and create whatever we are feeling at the time. Sometimes there’s parts for horns and it gets really soulful and other times we just want to bang our heads and jump around on stage. The new single is a combination of everything we were trying to achieve production-wise with our first demos. We are really happy with the way it’s turned out.

On a technical level, what equipment and FX make up are your weapons of choice for carving out your indie/electro vibe?

Dave Smith’s Prophet 06 polyphonic synth makes up the bulk of our arsenal. It’s responsible for all the celestial effects and sub bass energy. Guitar and bass tones are all by Fender with a Frankenstein array of effects pedals. Oscar is sponsored by Turkish/Australian brand Zilli cymbals and creates beautiful colours around the analog synths. We’re always looking for more interesting bits to include in our set. Our cowbell player sometimes makes an appearance to really set things off.

Your artwork for Run From The Ruins and Reflections are really interesting pieces. Do you try to align the artwork with the sentiment of the track happily take on board some creative suggestions from fellow artists and designers when pairing the singles to the cover art?

We have made some pretty awesome friends recently and we always try to include them in whatever we’re doing. Like with Mickey, our mate Hebe Sayce did those two pieces you’ve mentioned and actually comes to every show. She was a finalist in the SA Music Awards for her artwork on Reflections. We just roll with what they dream up. It’s never let us down.

You have a run of shows coming up in early January 2018. Going from punters to performers, what live lessons have you taken away from watching musicians on stage and elevating that through your own live shows?

Keep enjoying yourself. If you are living every moment in anticipation of the next time you get to play, when it’s time, that energy comes oozing out. We like to see people dancing, so we’ll try to keep the set ticking along without many lulls.

Will you be road testing a few tracks during these shows and gauging if they likely make the final cut on an upcoming LP?

We’re currently working on a new live set for summer 2017/18, which includes two of our mates on sax for the whole tour. The new material extends our current playlist to over two hours and we’re really excited to share it from December 23rd at The Grace Emily. We have an EP out next March, which is bringing back more of the sounds that were on Reflections.

If you could play one festival (local or international) which one would it be and why?

Definitely at one of the first Burning Man events. We really enjoy collaborating with other artists on projects and this is a mecca of sonic and visual arts colliding. Attracting the kind of people you’d want to be around as complete strangers, at a massive party. That’s where we’d like to be.


Saturday 23rd December Grace Emily Hotel Adelaide
w. It’s a Hoax + Encarta/Colonel Kernel

Friday 5th January Brighton Up Bar Sydney
w. Joint Ventures + Hector Gachan

Saturday 6th January Vinyl Revival Melbourne
In store appearance

Saturday 6th January The Gasometer Hotel Melbourne
w. SWAMP + Joint Ventures

Saturday 20th January The Exeter Hotel Adelaide
w. Joint Ventures + Mercs

Run From The Ruins