French popsters Phoenix explains July 14th --The Sofia Coppola-approved band tells EW about Bastille Day

By EW Staff
Updated June 18, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

The 14th of July* is like the Fourth of July — but French! Bastille Day is the national holiday of our freedom-loving friends, celebrating the Parisians’ storming of the royal prison in 1789. For tips on how to mark this auspicious date, we spoke with Laurent ”Branco” Brancowitz, a guitarist for the Sofia Coppola-approved French popsters Phoenix (whose new CD, ”Alphabetical”, hits stores this month).

What do you usually do on Bastille Day? We try to hide somewhere! It’s really a pain. It’s only bad fireworks, bad music played by 50-year-olds, and it smells like sausage everywhere.

Sounds just like Independence Day! It’s exactly the same. There’s no feeling of patriotism. It’s about getting drunk.

How should we Americans celebrate Bastille Day? You should sing our national anthem, which is actually very rock & roll. The lyrics are heavy; it’s a punk rock song. For the French mood, drink very cheap red wine — the one in boxes.

*Oh, yeah, Lollapalooza also starts today in scenic Auburn, Wash. ( Keep your eyes peeled for the change in audience reaction when Modest Mouse play songs other than ”Float On.”