Tyler Glenn

My 5 Minutes with the President

Tyler Glenn is the charismatic lead vocalist and songwriter behind the platinum-selling Neon Trees. Glenn grew up in Southern California until his early 20s, when he made the move to Provo, Utah, for what eventually became the start of his music career. Neon Trees has allowed Glenn to tour the world, sharing stages with bands he grew up admiring. He has become a veteran of late-night television after performing on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” three separate times in the course of a year. He also has appeared on “The Late Show With David Letterman,” “Conan,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” and “Regis and Kelly.” Beyond his musical creativity, Glenn also has conceived all of the band’s music videos from its debut, “Habits.” Glenn is no stranger to the fashion scene, as he was singled out as one of the most fashionable men seen at New York Fashion Week in September 2010.

Robin Bronk: If you had five minutes in the Oval Office with President Obama, what would you discuss with him? What issue would you like him to know about?

Tyler Glenn: First off, I’d commend him and his campaign on getting young people interested in voting again with this last election. While I am on the subject of youth, I would want to bring to light and find out his thoughts on the intense wave of bullying that seems to worsen more and more in this country. I’d want to know how we could get real awareness on the subject of bullying, and spread real love to these kids, before another one takes their life. I’d tell him about the young people I meet every day at shows and the deep emotional hurt they tell me about. I’d tell him how important this subject is, especially since he has two young girls of his own.

RB: If you could give President Obama one piece of advice, what would that be? 

TG: It’s difficult for me to imagine giving the president advice! What a job that must be. As an entertainer, and one that is polarizing at times, I’ve found it’s impossible to please everyone, even my greatest fans and supporters. I can’t imagine running a country. I guess my advice would be perhaps to continually keep a focus on his family, his wife and two kids, and be a great father. I know that because I have great parents and a great family, I have the support to conquer any fear and to overcome anything in my life. It should always come back to family.

RB: If you could ask President Obama one question, what would that be?

TG: What kind of music he listened to as a child. What records did his parents play, and what were his first records? Music is the other language I know how to speak, really; I’d love to have a conversation about it with him, not only to entertain me, but to find out more about him. I find out so much more about a person from the music they love.

RB: What book would you offer to lend President Obama? Why? 

TG: I’d rather give him a couple albums I love, like The Smiths’s “Louder Than Bombs,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town” and Peter Gabriel’s “So.” I’ve learned more from music than any other form of media. Plus, I don’t think me lending him Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea would help his situation. It might just distract him.

RB: If you were going to send the president to one place in the United States for one day, where would that be? Why? 

TG: I should probably send him somewhere where he could be directly impacted by something … But I’m really curious, so I’d send him to Bess in New York City, just because I want to see what he’d look like in those clothes.

 RB: Would you ever consider a political career?

TG: I’ll stick to writing pop songs and being loud on stage. In my own right, music can be a force for change. Plus my power-tie would probably be too bright and shiny for those C-SPAN speeches.

Bronk is a seasoned Capitol Hill strategist and advocate. She started her career at The Creative Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group for the arts and entertainment industry, in July 1998. During her tenure as CEO, Bronk has taken The Creative Coalition from a New York-based entity to a national organization. www.thecreativecoalition.org