Neon Neon - Biography
By Marcus Kagler
Leave it to the eccentric minds of Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys and indie electronic artist Boom Bip (aka Bryon Hollon) to collaborate on an 80’s Top 40 inspired concept album about the turbulent life of automotive engineer John DeLorean. The subject matter may seem obtuse but Neon Neon pulls it off effortlessly. Rhys met Hollon when Boom Bip supported SFA on the U.S. leg of their Rings Around The World tour. Eager to work together, Hollon invited Rhys to lend his vocals to the track “Do’s & Don’ts” from Boom Bip’s sixth full length album Blue Eyed In The Red Room (2005 Lex Records), jump starting Hollon’s desire to form an actual band with a like-minded collaborator. Although Rhys resides in Cardiff, Wales and Hollon makes his home half way around the world in Los Angeles, Rhys was still the best candidate for the job. The duo began recording in 2006 with the stipulation that both artists must be physically present in the studio in order to achieve maximum results. Since Rhys was already recording a new SFA album and supporting his second solo release, Candylion (2007 Rough Trade) the recording of Neon Neon’s debut album was over a year in the making.
Relying on cheesy vintage synthesizers mixed with modern recording techniques Neon Neon’s debut full length, Stainless Style (2008 Lex Records) is a remarkable blast back to the future. Rather than make a carbon copy of 80’s synth pop the duo merely imbue the material with an 80’s tone while mixing things up with a modern pop style and contemporary guest artists ranging from hip hop’s Spank Rock to indie rockers The Magic Numbers. Although the band is primarily a studio project both Hollon and Rhys have insisted there are more Neon Neon albums to come with each successive release tackling a different lyrical concept and musical genre.