We chatted with Kendall James of Neon The Bishop about the story of Neon and their attention to detail.
CRAVE: To start off the interview, I would love for you to share with readers a bit about the Origins of Neon the Bishop.
KENDALL JAMES: Absolutely!
NTB started as a group of friends just jamming and writing songs last winter. Though it was a dream of mine, we didn’t originally have the intention to become a “band” or a “project”, but it soon became apparent that we had something fresh to bring to the scene. We all felt that. So next step was choosing a name. Through the combination of online band name generators and throwing out random thoughts we landed on Neon the Bishop. At the start, it literally meant nothing to us except for that it sounded cool. Now he’s become a full-fledged character with a story and everything. We played our first show on May 11th at Lincoln Station in Lone Tree. A little venue that holds 95 people... we squeezed in 150. I think it was the start we needed to inspire us and kickstart what this project could be. It exceeded all expectations we had. So we’re having a lot of fun. Friday will be our 5th show!
CRAVE: You have definitely grown as a band very quickly which we will get into later. Will you share how the character Neon the Bishop has evolved into a full story?
KENDALL JAMES: Well, that story will begin to be played out over the next few months. We are holding tight on details right now, but as we release new music and content Neon’s story will start coming to the light. I can tell you this, Neon hasn’t always been this way and he does have a purpose, a destiny if you will... though I’m not sure even WE know what that is yet. His story isn’t finished.
CRAVE: Are there any concept artists or bands that have inspired you throughout this journey?
KENDALL JAMES: Absolutely, and more than just musicians. I mean, bands like 21 Pilots and Coheed and Cambria have been incredible at building narratives around their music. But even the art of film has been VERY inspiring to me in my writing process. Especially some of the horror films being put out by guys like Ari Aster, James Wan, Robert Eggers. No, our music isn’t “scary” and we don’t write in that way, but it’s inspiring to see how these guys have taken what something means to them and communicated it in the absolute best way they know how. And they have made a mark on that genre of film, and arguably on film itself because they were true to their own creative process. They are completely, originally them. The same goes for the bands mentioned above. It takes balls to do that!
CRAVE: It is very clear that you’ve put a lot of work into creating such a unique project. The mask that represents Neon is incredible, what was the process of creating that?
KENDALL JAMES: Haha, you know how people say they enjoyed the journey in creating something. This was not one of those. It was very tedious work that took me about a month and a half to finish, and I would mess up and get frustrated, but the end product was worth it. It’s made out of card stock paper and LED lights.
CRAVE: The Neon mask is just one of the things that makes your live performance so unique second to your stage presence. What show that you’ve played stands out as your favorite?
KENDALL JAMES: Moe’s was an incredible show, and the first time I feel we really came into our own both with stage presence and show flow. It carried over to the Battlefield Drums relaunch party. Great energy at a really cool space called the Ironworks.
CRAVE: What can readers expect to see from Neon The Bishop in the upcoming months? New music or shows?
KENDALL JAMES: We are working on our first single in the studio next week that is slated for release with a music video late September. And we are currently booking a few Midwest dates in November, starting with Moe’s in Englewood on November 14th.
CATCH NEON THE BISHOP LIVE: 8/16 at Lost Lake
FOLLOW NEON THE BISHOP: @neonthebishop