Neon Rider - We love the eighties!

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Neon Rider - We love the eighties!

NEON RIDER from Argentina surprise with a stunning AOR record. The two guitarists Hernan Cattaneo and Marcos Nieva Green, the main songwriters, take some time to have a video call around the world. It seems that there is a lot of passion for this very kind of music across the Atlantic, at least in the guys of NEON RIDER. So here we go…

How and when did the debut album come into being?
Marcos: We played together in another band for years but always wanted to start an AOR band. We released an EP in 2023 as a way to get in contact with the world, to make a first approach to the international music scene. Over the last twelve month we slowly transformed from a project into a real band. We actually played a festival in a stadium two weeks ago, which was really fun. We can’t wait to do it again. It would be a dream come true, especially international gigs. In Neon Rider we live more or less in the same area, just one member has to go by car, so working on songs and rehearsing is managable, even in a huge country like ours.
Hernan: Yes, it was soon after we got in contact with Pride & Joy Music that we finished the album in the second half of 2023. Most of the songs were already finished by then. Marcos and I wrote the songs and he also worked on the lyrics. I used to play in a power metal band and this album is the first one to come out in this particular AOR style. But I always loved bands like Survivor, Journey or Def Leppard, so this feels very natural and pleasant to work on Neon Rider songs. When I was young, my older sister brought tapes, which were fashionable back in the day, with AOR and hard rock bands and played them to me. I didn’t know the bands or even the name of the genre actually, but I loved it, played them over and over again and that somehow influenced and inspired me from an early age on.

How did the name Neon Rider came about?
Hernan: The rider is central to the artwork and represents a futuristic guy who saves the world from harm.
Marcos: So the name for the band was more or less an obvious choice…ha ha ha.

How did you find Bruno Sangari, your singer?
Marcos: Originally, Neon Rider was supposed to be just a project of Hernan and me with me singing because I sing in another band but then we decided to take it to another level. The original bass player and drummer left due to personal reasons and with this current line-up we have found the right constellation. We were introduced to Bruno by some friends and it turned out to be a great match.

My favorite at the moment is “One Night In The Big City“. What can you tell me about that song in particular? It’s not really a ballad but nevertheless kind of a slow song…
Marcos: This song is a bit different and will actually be our next video. We like the album to have some different flavors, different sound but within the genre, of course.
Hernan: Wasn’t it sung in Spanish in the first place, Marcos?
Marcos: Yes, it was written for an old band of mine some years ago and we decided to give it a try in English and turn it into this eighties kind of style of Neon Rider. And the new version worked out fine.

“Feel The Magic“ is one of the more AOR sounding tracks with lots of keyboards, a fine hookline whereas others don’t hide their obvious hard rock roots…
Marcos: We know that you should always have a few more simpler tracks, songs to sing along, songs that you can easily remember. And “Feel The Magic“ is one of those.
Hernan: The composition and the way an album is arranged is very important. We spent some time figuring out the best way.

The song “Riders In The Night“ showcases a children’s choir. It’s actually kids from several band members singing at the end…
Hernan: Yes! That song was not supposed to be on the album but Marcos suggested to have it on the record as the recordings turned out absolutely great. It’s a cool way to end the record.
Marcos: We are happy to have this track on board. It’s a connection to our families.

A word on the beautiful but pretty cliche-ladden artwork…
Hernan: We love cars, we love the eighties - both musically and also the whole looks and everything, the neon colors and the typical visuals and elements. We decided to make it look as much eighties as possible. This retro wave theme, which we love, too, suits our music very well.

Argentina might not the be the first country you think about when it comes to melodic rock music. What can you tell me about the situation for a band like yours in your home country?
Marcos: This country is crazy about music, although not rock music for the most part. But, of course, we are having difficult times right now with the economic crisis and all of that. Buying records and going to see live concerts might not be the top priority for the majority of people.

The last words have to be from you, Marcos and Hernan…
Hernan: Thank you so much for the opportunity. We appreciate the time you spend with our album. We want to thank Pride & Joy Music for the trust in us, too. We know there are many great bands out there even in a small genre like this. We feel very fortunate to be given this chance.
Marcos: Yes, it’s hopefully just the beginning of something great. The first responses, for instance on social media, have been very positive.

Martin Stark