Mar 02, 2012 12:00AM

Interview: Neon Indian

One of my main criteria for picking a place to live is whether or not it has good Mexican food.

Mexico-born and Texas-raised Alan Palomo – of chillwave, synth-pop four-piece, Neon Indian – is not only a big fan of Mexican food (der!), he also admits to geeking out at the prospect of working with The Flaming Lips and names one of his most formative musical experiences as that time he was listening to New Order as an adult and realised, "I'd heard it my whole life and never realised it was my favourite band." All in all, he's a really cool guy – and he appreciates the fact that Australia isn't all about kangaroos.

Rosie Dalton: Hey Alan, how's your evening going?
Alan Palomo: Hi! Yeah, pretty good. I'm in my new apartment right now, I only just moved in so it's been a bit crazy. That's cool, was it a big move. Well it's only three doors down from my old apartment [laughs]. It's good though because I needed some more space so I can start recording at home more. So yeah, it's a fun little set up.

Do you prefer recording at home than in a studio?
I think so. It's kind of this alien feeling, being in a studio, where you're constantly aware that you're burning daylight with dollars. I like working in my own space and being a bit less concerned about the output of a day's work.

Are you excited about visiting Australia?
Oh, super stoked! You know, it's become a thing for us where we get to come down once a year and it always makes for a really amazing time. I've been to Australia a couple of times now. The first time I went was to record with Miami Horror and I was actually there all of June, for the wintertime. I'll never forget going to Ben [Plant]'s place outside Melbourne – way out in the bush – and waking up, opening the curtains and seeing like ten kangaroos sitting outside. I was like, "Wow, I really am in Australia!"

You know we try so hard to dispel the myth that kangaroos roam the streets, so you're kind of ruining it.
[Laughs] Yeah, I mean that's the thing, because it's not like I've seen one since. It was just that this introductory experience strangely involved me opening the curtains and seeing a whole bunch of them.

So what's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Australia, aside from kangaroos?
[Laughs] Kangaroos are definitely not the first. I would probably say disco music. I mean, pretty much everything I've listened to since I was 17 or 18 has come out of there and it's nice to know that while I'm sitting inside and it's freezing here – it was snowing yesterday – there's probably some amazing disco party happening out there in the Southern Hemisphere somewhere.

Yeah, although we've had a bit of a bummer summer to be honest.
Really?!

Yeah. Don't worry though, the disco always lives on.
Oh for sure.

So can you tell me a bit about the process behind Era Extra