Your favorite French indie-rock band is set to make its second Saturday Night Live appearance. As they say in French, hourra!
The last time Phoenix played SNL, back in 2009, they treated viewers to three songs — a rare deviation from the show’s typical two-performance format.
Funny story, though — they definitely didn’t want to do it. EW recently sat down for drinks with the band, whose fifth album Bankrupt! is due April 23, to chat about their memorable SNL appearance, among other things. (You can read the full interview in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, available on stands now.)
Read on to see what the band — Thomas Mars, Deck D’Arcy, and brothers Laurent Brancowitz and Christian Mazzalai — had to say.
EW: So on your last trip to SNL, you got to play three songs, which rarely happens. How’d that come about?
Thomas: Actually, we didn’t want to!
Laurent: We didn’t have enough equipment to play more songs.
Christian: They asked us one hour before the show. So we said, “No, sorry we can’t!” And they said, “Please!”
Deck: And then we realized that saying no was not an option for these people.
Christian: So we said, “Okay, well then we need this very specific kind of keyboard.” And then twenty minutes later, a guy came and was like, “I found it!” So then we had to do it.
Laurent: Unfortunately, you can find anything in New York City.
Thomas: And we actually played four songs — we played one more afterward.
Any chance you’ll do three again this time?
Thomas: Well, if it becomes a common thing, it’s not that exciting. But we’re just looking forward to the final hug, the end music where they start playing the piano and you get the relief of knowing the pressure is off. You hear the saxophone, you can be happy. Maybe this time we’ll want that more than the first time.
Laurent: But SNL is still a lot of fun. You can feel that we are all on the same level — everyone involved [with the show] walking on the tightrope.
So, are you sufficiently excited about the band’s return to Studio 8H tomorrow? Us too. Until then, though, let’s rewatch Phoenix’s performances of “1901” and “Lisztomania” from their last SNL visit: