Interview: Phoenix

  Photo by Shervin Lainez

Photo by Shervin Lainez

By Ben Doy

The wait is almost over as Auckland City Limits is set to take place this Saturday (March 3rd) at Western Springs Stadium. Included on the bill are one of France’s most famous four-piece band's Phoenix. I caught up with the band's guitarist Laurent 'Branco' Brancowitz last week; just before their performance at Sydney City Limits

How are you enjoying Australia?

It’s perfect! Australia has always been very good to me, very sweet. I’m pleased to be here, and we are very much looking forward to playing in New Zealand next week. Tomorrow we play the Sydney festival and it should be fun. The line-up is good, the weather is good, and we’re ready! We know the songs, we know the lyrics, so it should be fine.

What artists are you looking forward to seeing perform?

We are very happy to see Beck. It’s been a while. Then we will see our friend Justice. But if they are playing at the same time, we’ll be happy to hang out with them in the dressing room (laughs).

Good stuff! Then you’re heading to Auckland for the NZ leg of the festival…

Yeah. Every time we play for the very first time in a country something special happens. Usually it is a show that we never forget. We hope that the weather is like this (in Sydney)… but the weather can be a bit of a mystery. But we have high expectations.

We’ve worked a lot the last month to create the show the show that we had in our mind. So it should be alright (laughs). No, we work hard. Not every night but sometimes when you reach a particular frequency something magical happens. We do not succeed every night, but the ratio isn’t too bad!

Do you have a favourite track to perform live?

It depends on the night. Some songs are a bit subtle, some are fragile, and some that are a bit of a challenge… those are my favourite. So I would say songs like ‘Love Like A Sunset’, or from the last album it would be a song like 'Fior di Latte' . Those songs I prefer because they double challenge you because they are something that could collapse. That’s the most fun.

When you arrive in New Zealand are you going to have a chance to have a look around?

Yeah! We don’t have a lot of time because unfortunately we’ll have to fly to America. But we always manage to catch the atmosphere of the city. It’s very important and you need to connect to the people. So now we’ve been doing it for quite a while and we know it is very important create this connection.

You released your latest album Ti Amp last year. Do you have any new recording plans in the pipeline?

Last month we were in Brazil and we began working on new stuff. So that was the first session. We rented a house in Brazil, so we can say the dice has already been thrown (laughs). Hopefully something good will come out of it.

And following Auckland City Limits, what’s next on the agenda for Phoenix?

We’ll be playing some shows on the West Coast of the USA, and then we’re going to go back to Europe where we are playing a few shows in some smaller venues. We do like a residency in Paris, trying to create something more intimate. Because the last shows in Paris have been in a huge place, so we will do something a bit different this time. Then we’ll be doing something a bit similar in New York. So we are excited, because we always trying to have a different angle.


Auckland City Limits

Saturday March 3rd: Western Springs, Auckland

Tickets via Ticketmaster 

Auckland City Limits Full Line Up:
BECK, JUSTICE, FUTURE, GRACE JONES, PHOENIX, PEKING DUK, TASH SULTANA, GEORGE EZRA, THE LIBERTINES, THUNDERCAT, THE HEAD AND THE HEART, THE AVALANCHES, OH WONDER, THE D4, CAR SEAT HEADREST, THE STAVES, SIGRID, SCIRBE & P MONEY, AARADHNA, HEAD LIKE A HOLE, KATCHAFIRE, SWIDT, DRAX PROJECT, JESSB, ALIEN WEAPONRY and the return of the GOLDEN DAWN @ ACL WITH FABULOUS/ARABIA, DISASTERADIO, SCOTT MANION (TOKEY TONES), MAGIC FACTORY, THE BETHS, JON LEMMON, HEAVY, TOURETTES AKA DOMINIC HOEY, DJ TINA TURNTABLES, DJ LINDA T AND MC PAUL AMOS & THE TALK SHOW, TELL COMEDY GANG and Auckland Kiddie Limits including; CLAUDIA ROBIN GUNN, CHANELLE & FRIENDS, CHRIS LAM SAM’S MUSICAL MAYHEM, CAPTAIN FESTUS MCBOYLE’S TRAVELIN’ VARIETY SHOW, LE CIRQUE DE JP – CIRCUS & MAGIC SHOW AND ITTY BITTY BEATS