The Grammy-winning super group from France known as Phoenix has been taking the US by storm over the last 5 years. Touring globally and performing at most of the biggest music festivals in the world, Phoenix will being stopping through Arizona before continuing on to their Saturday Night Live performance followed by a headlining slot at the world renown Coachella music festival. Their last album ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,’ released in 2009, put Phoenix on the map as one of the most popular alternative bands in the world; one of the albums most well received tracks, ‘1901,’ was even featured during Super Bowl XLV, a huge milestone for any artist at any level.
Four years later, Phoenix is back with a new album titled Bankrupt! and it’s one of the most anticipated albums of 2013. The group has been releasing tracks to the public one at a time through social media leading up to the actual release which is set for April 22, 2013. Some are calling it ‘experimental,’ others, revolutionary. Vocalist Thomas Mars took some time to sit down with us and discuss the new album, tour dates, and put the daft punk rumors to rest. Enjoy!
AFM: What is the meaning behind the fruit artwork on Bankrupt!? We can’t quite figure out the connection between a Peach, and having no money :p
Phoenix: We wanted to find things that were not necessary elegant, something common but not if transposed in the music world.
AFM:The tracks on the Bankrupt! album seem more matured and fleshed out, what was the mindset or thought process when it came to writing new songs for Bankrupt?
Phoenix: We started to write all the songs at once and they were pretty much finished all at the same time. It was a long process to gather a lot of material, way more than we’ve ever produced and then keep the best of it. Something like distillation.
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AFM: Daniel Glass, the founder of Glassnote Records, stated in relation to your new material, “It’s very hard to beat Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, but this could be revolutionary. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
Phoenix: When you have a successful record you know that the next one is going to get more attention. You can either be frightened to lose what you’ve won and be in this never ending race to please as many people as possible or you can just not care about it and focus on making new music. We tried the second option.
AFM: Which tracks off Bankrupt! are you most proud of? Most excited to share with the world?
Phoenix: Right now it would be the Real Thing.
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AFM: Where and how do you guys discover new music? Anything you’re listening to right now that you’re particularly fond of?
Phoenix: I like Mac deMarco. You can hear the acoustics of his bedroom
AFM: You’ve played at most of the major of festivals the world has to offer, is there one festival, or one experience at a festival that stands out as the most memorable? Are there any festivals you have not performed at that you would really like to?
Phoenix: Oh yes many! Never played on mount Fuji….
AFM: You’re going back to SNL for the second time, performing live on April 6th, so you have an idea of what to expect, any plans to get in on any sketches? What is it like to be a part of their shows production?
Phoenix: French people can’t act. there are a few exceptions of course but that’s the truth…
We are very honored to play SNL. It is the finest TV show I know.
AFM: Your songs get remixed by electronic artists a lot, what are your thoughts about doing a few shows as a DJ set as some other bands have done?
Phoenix: We are terrible DJ’s… I tried when i was 18 and I emptied the dance floor.
AFM: The burning question on everyone’s mind…will you have any ‘guest performers’ join you on stage at Coachella?
Phoenix: No. We have to do this one on our own. It’s important. We have to climb the north face this time.
AFM: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us! We cannot wait for your show in Arizona and we’ll be looking forward to your performances at SNL and Coachella! Cheers!
3/29/13 Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theater
3/30/13 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
4/2/13 Davis, CA @ Freeborn Hall
4/8/13 Phoenix, AZ @ Marquee Theater
4/9/13 Tucson, AZ @ AVA Amphitheater
4/13/13 Indio, CA @ Coachella
4/20/13 Indio, CA @ Coachella
5/4/13 New Orleans, LA @ Jazzfest
5/5/13 Memphis, TN @ Beale Street Music festival
5/8/13 Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
5/9/13 Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
5/11/13 Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion (Sweetlife Festival)
5/12/13 Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center (Radio 104.5 Birthday Show)