The louvre

Phoenix on new album Alpha Zulu, recording at the Louvre and remaining friends forever

Their world has changed in subtle but significant ways. Everyone is married. Rock music is less popular culturally than it used to be. Their French contemporaries have moved on: Daft Punk, with whom Brancowitz played in the short-lived band Darlin’, officially disbanded in 2021; Air remains active here and there, but hasn’t released a new album in over a decade. A few years ago, Mars’ parents sold their house in Versailles, where the band recorded the demos of United in the basement. They came together to clean up the rest of the gear and artifacts they had left behind, evoking ruminative feelings about how far the group has come — and no.

“We still feel exactly the same as when we made our first album – even when we made our first four-track,” Mazzalai says. “Nothing has changed between us. Now what has changed is that we are starting to lose friends and relatives. Long-time collaborator Philippe Zdar died in 2019 following an accidental fall. Zdar, who co-produced United and Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenixwas a particularly significant and powerful presence in the group’s cosmology, so it’s no surprise that Alpha Zulu remind him Wolfgang his, or that Mars compares him to United. “He guided us through the album,” Mazzalai says, a little sadly. “There are many more Philippe than the previous one.”

However, there is no question of calming down. The group thinks short-term about their life together, and as long as the friendship remains fruitful and active, there is no reason to stop. They are ready to play live again; by the end of the Ti Amo tour, Mars felt they were operating on autopilot, but the pandemic-enforced hiatus has renewed their enthusiasm to perform. “When the world is always at a standstill, it’s not very inspiring,” he says. “It’s a survival instinct, that we’re good at it.”

In conversation, Brancowitz introduces himself as the most playful member of the group. He always wears a conspiratorial smile that suggests he’s having the best time of his life, and he sometimes lets out a surprised laugh after he makes a remark – whether it’s because he finds it funny or because he doesn’t. can’t believe he said it, it’s hard to say. But he gets serious when he talks about the past few years and what has changed for him. If he’s honest, not much.

“You know, we’ve been doing this for a long time,” he said. “For me, it’s such a part of my life that I find it hard to think about it. Many people ask us how it is possible that we are still together, and I don’t have a clear answer. He smiles a little, because there is nothing to say about the unimaginable. ” I have no response. I don’t know what it would look like, you know?

Photographs of Kevin Buitrago
All clothes The talents belong
Hair by Sacha de Carteret
skin by Elodie Barrat
Special thanks to Decorative Arts Museum