When he’s not commandeering the stage as the boisterous bassist for SoCal punks Blink-182, Tweeting wisdom to more than 1.6 million followers, or handling album production duties for bands like Motion City Soundtrack and New Found Glory, you’d think Mark Hoppus would turn down the music.
In our continuing series, Hopp on Pop, Hoppus shares his favorite acts, culled from his incessant pursuit of all that rocks. (Click here to discover Mark’s previous picks: Pop punkers We the Kings, British buzz bands Two Door Cinema Club and Mumford & Sons, and many more.) Check out his new entry below, and come back to SPIN.com every Wednesday for Mark’s latest discovery.
SXSW EDITION: NEON TREES
When guitarist Chris Allen moved from Southern California to Utah for college, vocalist-keyboardist Tyler Glenn followed him, and soon they formed the foundations of Neon Trees. Their peppy, synth-fueled sound should appeal to fans of OK Go’s bubbly guitar pop and the Killers’ first album. It even piqued the interest of an actual Killer: Drummer Ronnie Vannucci heard Neon Trees and talked them up to his label, Island/Def Jam, who eventually signed the young upstarts and will release their debut, Habits, on March 16. They’re scheduled for a handful of gigs at this month’s SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, before hitting the road with 30 Seconds to Mars and Mute Math, starting April 9 in Las Vegas.
WHERE HOPP HEARD THEM FIRST:
“A journalist pal sent me a list of SXSW bands to check out, and this one hit me right away. Listened to it four times in a row, then watched the video.”
WHY THEY ROCK:
“Any song with bass as the lead instrument in the first verse gets my vote for super awesome.Very catchy and dance-y, with the vocals crazy high in the mix. Great chorus,tasty breaks and drops. Keyboard synth coolness. And, oh yeah — handclaps! I dig the timbre of the singer’s voice, and I may cop his unstable haircut. Can’t wait to hear what else this band has up its collective sleeve.”
HOPP’S TOP TRACK:
WATCH: Neon Trees, “Animal”