French indie rock collective Phoenix were among the acts performing at a benefit concert for the GRAMMY Foundation's GRAMMY in the Schools music education programs on Aug. 11 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. Prior to the concert, Phoenix participated in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview, discussing their support of the GRAMMY Foundation, their first GRAMMY win and the pressure of recording each new album, including their latest, Bankrupt!, among other topics.
"We were very relieved to go back in the studio," said Phoenix guitarist/keyboardist Laurent Brancowitz. "The pressure is always there but it's just the pressure of us facing our limits."
Formed in Paris, Phoenix comprise Brancowitz, Deck d'Arcy (bass), Thomas Mars (vocals), and Christian Mazzalai (guitar). After touring the French bar circuit, the quartet released their debut album, United, in 2000, and followed with Alphabetical (2004) and It's Never Been Like That (2006). In 2009 Phoenix released Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, which peaked in the Top 40 on the Billboard 200 and garnered a GRAMMY for Best Alternative Music Album at the 52nd GRAMMY Awards.
Bankrupt!, Phoenix's fifth studio album, was released in April. The 10-track set peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and features the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks hits "Trying To Be Cool" and "Entertainment."
Joining Phoenix on the bill for the GRAMMY Foundation's benefit concert on Aug. 11 were singer/songwriter LP and Los Angeles-based band Grouplove. Phoenix will kick off an international tour at the Leeds Festival on Aug. 23 in Leeds, England, with dates scheduled through November.