Phoenix On ‘Trying To Be Cool,’ Chimps & the Strong Possibility Of Reuniting With R. Kelly

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lolla portraits 22 435 Phoenix On ‘Trying To Be Cool,’ Chimps & the Strong Possibility Of Reuniting With R. Kelly

Phoenix (Jeremy D. Larson/Radio.com)

A band headlining practically every major American music festival in one summer tends to have thoughts on the circuit. Phoenix‘s cause for favoring Lollapalooza is admittedly “a very selfish reason,” notes guitarist Christian Mazzalai.

“A beautiful skyline, it’s unbeatable.”

Mazzalai’s brother and fellow guitarist, Laurent Brancowitz, took it one step further.

“The countryside gives me anxiety attacks,” he explained, noting that most festivals put up fences to barricade you in. “It’s a bizarre concept when you think about it.”

Hours before Phoenix headlined the final night of Lollapalooza this past weekend (Aug. 2-4), Brancowitz (feeling very Zen) and Mazzalai spoke with Radio.com about how Michael Jackson influenced the video for “Trying To Be Cool,” the possibility of working with Sofia Coppola (and others!), and why the phrase “mint julep testosterone” got its own t-shirt.

We also left the interview with a sneaking suspicion that the band is going to be recording something with R. Kelly really soon. Maybe.

Radio.com: You guys surprised everyone at Coachella by bringing out R. Kelly to perform a few songs. How did that come together?

Laurent Brancowitz: We just asked. We are big fans and we asked him in a very simple way and explained what we had in mind and he just said yes.

Christian Mazzalai: We wanted to do something special because it was our first big show for this album. The idea came to us one week before the show, very late. Before going onstage we always put on R. Kelly’s music, which is very far from our music, but we love his art. So we created a mash-up between our music and his music. We sent it to him and he said yes. The funny part is he arrived late so we didn’t see him before. We met him onstage. We didn’t rehearse so there was a beautiful tension.

Are there any plans to record with him in the future?

Mazzalai: Yeah, maybe. Maybe. [Lifts sunglasses and winks] Maybe. Maybe soon you will know. Maybe.

What’s up with the monkey in their new video? Find out at Radio.com.

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