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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Neon Legion Interview

This is the exclusive interview with the band Neon Legion.


1. The first thing I noticed about your band was the number of people in it. How did you get the cast of sixteen you have now?

I travel a lot and I have lived in many different places. Therefore I have not had the chance to start a firm band in one single place. I have made Neon Legion a band of international musicians in different cities that I go to regularly. Normally, you grow up with friends in one city and you get together and play music. I have basically done that in multiple places, like Buenos Aires, Toronto and NY. We all play the same songs but with different sets of musicians, depending on where I am. Thats why we are a Legion. A Legion of musicians.

2. Phillip, how did you come up with the tones for your band? Who inspired you the most?
I started playing classical guitar when I was 12 and soon started playing metal music. Later on, I discovered  the more classic rock from the 60´s and 70´s. Parallel to that, I was introduced to electronic music and later on to classical music composition, while I was studying music in London. Neon Legion is the culmination of all these things. However, the immediate inspiration comes from influences that are not directly music related. Life, movies, current issues, personal events.

3. You did a few shows in Buenos Aires. How was it? Did most of the people there know you?
I started my career in Argentina when I lived there for two years and toured the country under the name Kirt. I am somewhat known in the underground scene but as a Indie band every concert feels like you are starting all over again, trying to win people over to what you do. It takes time and repetition. I feel that with Neon Legion this process has become much easier and more enjoyable. 

4. Have you ever made the a crowd eat their initial reaction to you? I must say, you look a little like Bob Dylan did when he was young. Have you ever been satisfied with the redemption you get from seeing people's faces once they hear you?

Ha! Thank you. I have played a festival in Argentina in front of 15,000 people and someone in the crowd shouted insults to me after a song and I picked it up. I insulted him back and realized that no one else heard him, but 15,000 people heard me countering his insult. I could feel the mood change instantly and it was scary. From both views. I realized that I have incredible power on stage and also that the audience has incredible power as a spectator. It is real time communication. I resolved it by making a great joke. It was in spanish and its impossible to translate. I realized I must act responsibly with this power. I get some kind of abuse once in a while but I let it pass. I do what I do and if someone does not like it, they have the freedom to leave or not listen. And the freedom to say that they don´t like it. Even though its can be rude at times.

You can Listen to Neon Legion by visiting Here.

5. You have a very catchy sound. How did it develop?
I have been very busy making complicated music in the past, but complicating things is easy. Its harder to reduce music to its core and make it speak directly to emotions. That is what I have been focusing on in "La Revolucion". I suppose "catchiness" is a byproduct of that process. 

6. "Time To Feed" is by far my favorite of your songs. Was there an experience in your life that mirrored the lyrics in that song? 

I often write about things in my life before they happen. This was the case with "Time to Feed". I was thinking about my mother when I wrote this song and at the same time I was thinking about mother Earth.
My mother became very seriously ill. I am happy that she is ok again. However, our planet is still suffering and if we aren't careful it will turn against us. It is the sign of our times. We (humans) don´t know when to stop....when the party is over and its time to clean up the mess.

7. Why Neon Legion? 
"Neon" represents the modern and "Legion" the classical. That is the influence...the past and the future. Its retro-futuristic.

8. Who comes up with the themes for your songs? Do all of your band mates have input in the direction of each song?

I write the basic framework, the harmonies, melodies, lyrics and some of the synth lines and then the band mates put their ideas forward for the arrangement of the songs. I am forever thankful to the amazing musicians I get to work with and their input. They come up with things, I would have never come up with on my own and it is because of the collaboration that the band sounds as it does. Everyone puts a piece of themselves in, and in the end you get the final puzzle image that is Neon Legion.

9. Your songs make me think of so many movies. Have you ever been approached to be on a motion picture sound track?

I have written music for short films. One of them was nominated for several things and won a series of awards and possibilities opened up. I studied music and film parallel and I love both mediums. When I write music, I have images in my head, and when I see images that inspire me, I hear music. I can see myself working on soundtracks at some point again. I had to stop as it was also a hellish process.  At this point of my career, I can´t give myself to every whim of a director. This is what happens sometimes. You have to extract the music from someone else´s mind. Someone, who does not know much about music. It is very psychological and exhausting. The result can be that you end up almost like an actor, who is so immersed in his role, that it is difficult for him to find himself again. I needed to concentrate on what I really want to do and this is how Neon Legion came about. 

10. What's next for Neon Legion. I know I'd like to see more of you on youtube. Do you have anything planned?
I am planning a series of music videos and obviously releasing the album "La Revolucion". I can´t wait to make the images that I see become reality. And to play as many concerts as I can. Next up, we will be playing shows in New York. Ideally, I want a weekly residence and make it an amazing night of music together with other great bands and musicians. I am close to making that a reality.

You can find Neon Legion on facebook, twitter, and their own site by following the links below.

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Thank you for reading. 


Virgil Allen Moore

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