When alterna-idols Thomas Mars, Deck D’Arcy, Christian Mazzalai and Lauren Brancowitz showed up to perform a secret concert in a sleepy high school on the outskirts of Austin, Texas the bleachers of LC Anderson High School were full to the brim. Behind the stage, a basketball hoop acted as a backdrop. The walls were plastered with blue and gold emblems of the team mascot, the Trojan. A volunteer squad of parents, teachers and school monitors supplied the show’s security staff. Just before Phoenix took the stage, Lucky caught up with guitarists Deck D’Arcy and Christian Mazzalai about the band’s adolescent influences and the style rules they swear by. See what the guys have to say here, check out a sneak peek of the show, then to watch the concert in its entirety, stay tuned to theartistsden.com.
Last night you played for a huge audience at Austin City Limits. Tonight you’re going to play in a tiny room for 300 teeange students. What does it mean to you to play for this gymnasium full of kids, as part of the Artists Den series?
Christian Mazzalai: For us it’s a return. We come from touring tiny clubs.
Deck D’Arcy: We love playing big shows now. When we used to play festivals it was always in the afternoon and now it’s better because the dark is really important for us. Whether in a tiny gym or on a huge open stage, we like to hide behind the dark and keep the mystery going.
Speaking of mysteries, tonight is a huge secret, a clandestine show…even the students are still in shock. Everyone here from the principal down to the kids in the halls wants to know: why LC Anderson High?
DD: It’s hard to say why, this school in particular, except that this one is very very iconic.
CM: We’ve just had this huge desire to play in a school and we liked the idea of coming off the heels of a huge show to playing in a tiny out-of-the-way place like this. For us, the contrast will be so strong. Same city, totally different conditions.
An informal poll of the students at Anderson reveals that their top 3 favorite Phoenix songs are: “Lisztomania”, “S.O.S. in Bell Air” and “Entertainment”. If you went back to your teen years, what song would you say defined your adolescence?
DD: We were huge fans of My Bloody Valentine. We loved all of their songs, so it’s hard to say which one.
CM: “You Made Me Realize.”
DD: "You Made Me Realize!" Yeah, totally. That’s their oldest one.
CM: We were traumatized by this song. It changed our way of seeing music. Its punk attitude: no compromises. And the great level of songwriting. You could feel all the work behind the song and at the same time, the sound and attitude were done with total purity.
DD: My Bloody Valentine’s very strong aesthetic rules really made an impression on us.
CM: Especially as a teenager, you need rules to break them.
So, it’s My Bloody Valentine, musically. What about on a style level?
CM: That changed so much, back then!
DD: Every three months we would have a new crush.
CM: At some point, we all had The Stone Roses haircut, so that’s probably the biggest influence.
Is there an item of clothing from those days that any of you have hung on to or that has remained a staple?
CM: French boots are very important to us. When we put on our boots – that’s the only way we can play.
DD: Actually, I only own one single pair of shoes, my boots.
CM: We all have the same boots, from the ‘60s, from the South of France. Equestrian boots. We never play without them.
Are you superstitious about the boots? Do you believe in luck?
DD: No. We only believe in cool.
What’s your definition of cool?
DD: You can’t define cool. You can only be it.
Is there a band motto?
CM: Un pour tous. Tous pour un. One for all, all for one. From The Three Musketeers.Read the next article
Shop the Party People Issue
Get the looks before they're gone!
As Seen In
Check out LUCKY BRAND