This song attacks the way society and the media romanticize the idea of taking your own life by glorifying those who die by suicide.
Neon gravestones try to call for my bones
The lyric plays on the idea of "neon lights," which draw people off the streets to the attraction they're advertising.
Frontman Tyler Joseph explained to Kerrang that the song's powerful anti-suicide message is an important part of the Trench album. "There are certain moments which don't happen very often - at least for me as a songwriter - where it's like, 'This is a moment where I need to be black and white,'" he said. "I had a lot of things stirring that I wanted to get out, and I think that - not to judge the past - it's hard to say 'suicide.' It's hard to talk about suicide."
During the song's inception, Tyler Joseph was concerned about the sensitivity of the song, so he played it to his band mate Josh Dun. "When I first started writing it, you wanted to make sure that it was coming across correctly," he said. "And that, in itself, gave me a huge heads-up on the importance of the topic that I was talking about. When Josh was like, 'Yes, this feels right, I can get behind this,' at that point I knew, 'Now this can go.'"
The Trench album is a concept record that follows a young man named Clancy as he tries to escape from an oppressive and mysterious organization named DEMA. Asked how this song fits into the narrative, Joseph explained: "'Neon Gravestones' is a view into the deeper reasons of what's going on in Dema that feels like I have to leave."
Tyler Joseph tried hard not to offend anyone with the lyrical content. "I was afraid of that song. I knew that it was a sensitive topic, the last thing I needed was for someone to misunderstand what I was trying to say," he explained to NME.