Neon Indian Was Going to Be a Movie Director

Alan Palomo, a.k.a. Neon Indian, wanted to make films before he fell in love with electronic music.
Neon Indian at Red Bull Music Academy
Neon Indian © Carlo Cruz/Red Bull Content Pool
By Elliott Sharp

Alan Palomo, the artist behind Neon Indian, got his start in Denton, Texas's music scene, which wasn't initialy welcoming to people making electronic music. But Palomo fought his way up the ranks and people quickly learned that a Neon Indian show was the place to be if you wanted to dance and have a blast. He has since released three Neon Indian albums, including 2015's "Vega Intl. Night School."

But there is a possible world out there where Neon Indian never happened, because Palomo's initial creative ambition, which he talks about in his new interivew with RBMA Radio, was to make movies.

"Originally, [my creative oulet] was visual, just because when I started making stuff for fun, it definitely happened in high school," he says, "buying a camcorder and just working on fun little short films with my friends. The reason why I got into music was that, when I started the film program at UNT [University of North Texas], I realized that, it wasn't until the third year that they would let you check out a camera. It was incredibly frustrating to me. I realized it was gonna be a good long while before I get out of these film theory classes and eventually started doing stuff, so I started making music. I knew I had a laptop and I had Reason 3 and GarageBand and I could just start making stuff. And that was kind of empowering."

Listen to Neon Indian's Fireside Chat interview on RBMA Radio Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. EST. 

"Then, from there," he continues, "I met a community of like-minded individuals in Texas, which, now there's definitely a pretty strong electronic music scene, but back then, it was pretty isolated. You kind of felt like you were on your own island. You knew the people in the other cities that were doing similar stuff and everybody was kind of trading production tricks and mutually growing from there."

Be sure to tune into RBMA Radio for the full Neon Indian interview, in which he also discuss the Denton noise scene, living in Brooklyn now that it's a tourist trap, life on the road and more.

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