Phoenix Interview

Jefrodesiac, local SF heart-throb and soon to be superstar with his band The Paradise Boys (album out now on Princehouse Records), very kindly did an interview for betterPropaganda with latest French sensation Phoenix who have just signed to Astralwerks. Nice one Jeff!

betterPropaganda: So I just wanted to start off by telling you guys a story about your music. This one night I was at a party and I had never heard your music before, it was about two years ago, before your new album. Me and two friends of mine went into a small closet with a boom box and just listened to your music and did drugs and made out, all three of us, and it was really fun, and that was my first introduction to your music.

Phoenix: Made out?

bP: uh...

P: What is that?

bP: Oh - like kissing and stuff. Not sex, but everything else.

P: oh, yea. cool. ok.

bP: so that's how I first heard about you guys, and I've liked you ever since and I just wanted to let you know.

bP: So - what are you guys all about? What's your thing? What do you do? What do you want people to know about Phoenix?

P: Nothing actually.

bP: Nothing?

P: yea, that's the mystery. You know in wrestling, the most famous wrestler is always mysterious, you know, 'The Mystery Wrestler'...

bP: uh, so... ok. Well, how has the tour been in the United States?

P: We cannot say... haha. Just kidding. No it's been really cool actually. Stopping at the gas station, you know, it's exotic. You find a croissant on the floor and it's like a dream come true - not like in France. Everything is just exotic and cool...

bP: Is this your first time in the states?

P: No, no. But this is not like before, you know. We're touring, we're not tourists. It's just different.

bP: So, anyway, about your music... what are your influences? I feel like you guys have a lot of light rock kinda going on with some electronic.

P: Light rock? um, no. Not really. We like style over rock. You know? Style over substance. haha. I saw the film, Dogtown & Z-boys, and style is everything.

bP: oh, about skateboarders, yea.

P: but it's not completely true though.

bP: right.

P: We love stylists though. All rock n' roll. Style is everything.

bP: I think most French music is lyrically based, is that pretty accurate?

P: yea, kind of. Because in terms of sound, French music is not very flattering, so yea the lyrics are important.

bP: so the lyrics are important to your music?

P: yea, but we are more fascinated by the sound texture, the rhythm, the poetry of the language that is not ours.

bP: right, well that's what I was going to ask you - would you consider doing your songs in French or only English?

P: we could do some in French but it wouldn't be Phoenix.

bP: Why not?

P: Because it doesn't fit with us, it's not right.

bP: So why do you choose English for phoenix?

P: We don't care about being in only one place. We know are music talks to a lot of different people, so we have to talk to the whole wide world.

bP: Internationally?

P: Yea, and economically too. To sell records, for a big market.

bP: How is that going for you? You guys are on Astralwerks in the United States - do you like that label?

P: Well we don't know exactly.

bP: Do you like any of the other artists on astralwerks?

P: I'm not sure I know any of them. Do you like them?

bP: Well, I like VHS or Beta.

P: Yes, I saw that name, it's very interesting.

bP: There are a few other things - but not everything on Astralwerks I like. So what about girls in the United States? Do they scream for you at your shows?

P: I don't see.

bP: Is it similar in the United States as it is abroad, what is it like here?

P: I love New York.

bP: Yea, New York is great. There are a lot of people that say it's sort of like San Francisco, New York, L.A, and the rest of the country is the same. What was the Midwest like for you?

P: We had a great night in Milwaukee.

bP: Milwaukee?!

P: We went to this club, there was only bluegrass and it was really cool.

bP: Yea, there are a lot of weird little places in the Midwest. Did you go to Cleveland or Philadelphia or any places like that?

P: Chicago was cool, we met Urge Overkill. We met the singer in Chicago and we are fans.

bP: Is there enough wine for you in the United States? Every time I have friends visit from France, they're always like 'where's the wine?!'

P: cheep beer...PBR. Pabst Blue Ribbon.

bP: Working class beer. What about Budweiser?

P: I love the budlight. I love it. Don't ask me why.

bP: Do you guys have any crazy tour storie? Does your band fight, or like do any crazy rock n roll stuff, like drugs, sex, orgies? Or are you more straight laced?

P: uh....

bP: These are the things people wanna know about Phoenix!


bP: When I first heard your music I was doing cocaine and making out. I have to admit, it's not my everyday thing.

P: you know I don't really like it when it's all expected. I prefer when it's not expected.

bP: I can imagine.

P: Doing drugs. It's all been done before.

bP: One more thing I wanted to ask is that you guys involve a lot of electronics in your music. And in the United States that's pretty exceptional. And in France I assume that's not very big. So where are you guys coming from with that? Here in the United States that's sort of new, it shouldn't be, but it is.

P: we like De La Soul. House music, you can always find something, but with rock it's really boring. No style! Nothing new. Dance music, what we really like about house music is that they are really into the texture of the sound and that was a really important. We like the idea of sound.

bP: Are there any DJs or producers you guys like?

P: Todd Edwards we love.

bP: What about Joa Kin? He's French right? He's on Versatile Records?

P: Oh yea, we like him. What about DJ Falcan? Do you know him?

bP: yea a little bit. Yea, it's like a harder electro sound? Or maybe I'm thinking of someone else? Is all that stuff pretty big?

P: Daft Punk is big.

bP: But rock is becoming more popular right now.

P: Yea it's really fresh.

bP: Well what's popular over there right now?

P: No more questions about France.

bP: What's on the CD player right now?

P: Van Morrison.

bP: Cool, well thanks for your time. Is there anything else you want to talk about?

P: uh, no. thank you.

bP: thanks.

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