Shortly before taking the Outdoor stage at the Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival in 2010, French alt rock-pop sensation Phoenix joined KROQ’s Nicole Alvarez in their very cozy trailer for an intimate interview and acoustic jam session of their hit single “Listzomania.”
The band talked about their origins, why they admire Prince and Hank Williams, why they primarily sing in French and their experience playing big festivals like Coachella.
Minutes later, two surprises ensued: the Grammy-award winning band didn’t hesitate to play “Listzomania” and the trailer got a surprise visit from The Strokes‘ Julian Casablancas.
Phoenix, who used to perform Hank Williams and Prince cover, told Alvarez that it was because they are “two artistes that know the secret of art. The alchemical secrets. We wanted to discover that, so that way we tried to find it.”
Going from that idea, Alvarez asked the French pop stars when they found their own sound, their own “art” as a band.
“We keep on searching for it; looking for it,” said Phoenix in response. The band then talked about how when they first wrote Phoenix songs, the songwriting demanded English.
“Well, first, no one wanted to sing,” continued the band. “I was playing drums and he sang and I sang and every time it was in English. I don’t know why. The music dictates that language.”
When asked if they would ever write a song in English, Phoenix said, ”No, because we wouldn’t be here.”
Nicole Alvarez talks to Phoenix in the KROQ trailer:
Phoenix performs Listzomania live in the KROQ trailer: