Neon Trees On How That Cough Got Into “Everybody Talks”

In the first five seconds of Neon Trees’ hit single “Everybody Talks” a peculiar thing happens: singer Tyler Glenn coughs.

There is a long history warming up with a cough in pop songs, from Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” to DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat” (best known as the theme music for Yo! MTV Raps) to the original version of Oasis’s “Wonderwall.” Just like Neon Trees, they all started innocuously.

Glenn says, “The beginning of ‘Everybody Talks’ was inspired by the Bowie song, ‘Let’s Dance.’ And I accidentally coughed in the rough take of that vocal. Now it’s all over. Whoops.”

He’s right: the song just wouldn’t be the same without that cough.

“The video for ‘Everybody Talks’ takes place at a drive-in. When movies were fun and youthful,” Glenn explained.

“They were events,” bassist Branden Campbell interjected.

Glenn continued, “You could go to drive-in and see a movie with your friends, make-out and watch the parts you like.”

“And then have a memory attached with the movie,” drummer Elaine Bradley said.

“And probably a baby,” Glenn added.

Bradley exclaimed, “Whoops!”

-Courtney E. Smith, CBS Local

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