Neon Tetra tell us about bringing back the sax in their new single The End Begins Again

Adelaide’s Neon Tetra continue to finesse their combined love for groove, funk and soul music, in their beautifully produced new single, ‘The End Begins Again’.

Taken from their forthcoming EP Pollen, ‘The End Begins Again’ shines with synth-pop grooves lush with sounds that throw back to golden days of late 70’s, early 80’s pop.


We chatted to Oscar from the band about their influences on this song and bringin saxaphone to the forefront!



1. You have a glistening sound i liken to hall and oates, prince and chicago. Did these bands influence you at all? What are some of your biggest influences.


That’s a huge compliment! We definitely draw a lot from artists in that spectrum. We’ve recently been influenced by genius from the golden era of pop, throughout the late 70s - early 80s. Artists like Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston and Curtis Mayfield are major players that we drew from for our latest single and forthcoming EP. Staple listening for us is anything by Phoenix, Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Kevin Parker and Vulfpeck but the list goes on.


2. The saxophone features quite prominently in this song, do you think artists like Donny Benet and 80s inspired bands are bringing that instrument back into the forefront of pop music?


Dan is definitely influenced by a bunch of old jazz records from artists like Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, John Coltrane - sax was actually his first instrument, and he mostly played jazz music before playing synth with Neon Tetra, so the horn lines are something that Dan really likes to write! We have a bunch of friends in the Adelaide jazz community who come in and play horns live with us, bringing a lot of energy and creative ideas which is what we’re all about. Having a lot sax in our music no doubt harkens back to that classic 80’s pop-rock sound - which we all love and embrace.


3. With such a polished slick sound do you find it hard to replicate that in a live setting?


We do spend a lot of time together in the studio working on our tracks, getting them to sound the best we can. And sometimes that does mean it’s hard to get it to feel as polished and crispy live as we get it on the recording. On the other hand, some songs that we record don’t come into their own until we start playing them live, where they sometimes take on a whole new life, which is exciting - all part of that creative process! We like to re-write and re-shape songs we’ve recorded as we play them live - so we often end up with a studio and a live version of each song to suit the context.


4. Tell us about playing with Robbie Williams?


It was probably one of the best days we’ve shared together as a band. Being able play before him and then be out the front for his set was indescribable. Robbie is a true entertainer. It was an amazing time for us all! The opportunity was made possible by Music SA who handpick bands each year for the chance to support some big names at the after race concerts. We lucked out this time. Our live show is pretty large as an octet and it doesn’t feel tasking to translate between spaces. We had a lot of fun including plenty of sax solos and big drum fills in hope of energising a packed crowd of V8 fans and it seemed to do the trick.


5. Who are some local bands you're really digging and why? 


Ollie English is so slick and talented.  A super mellow guy with a heart and voice of gold.

Mane is killing it nationally at the moment and is one of our favourite Adelaide artists by a mile.

Mildlife is another band we are digging right now. Jazz, funk and real gooey laidback grooves is where it’s at for us.


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