Thomas Mars and Laurent Brancowitz of the French band Phoenix were asked about their influences by Melena Ryzik for the March 7 installment of The New York Times's Playlist feature. Here are two excerpts:
Mars: He's just the coolest artist alive. Whenever you hear him talk about art, his approach to it is very contemporary, it's very pop, and that's something we've always wanted to do. That's why I put Us Weekly in there [too]. Why you want to create music can be because you hear something beautiful, and you're thinking, I could be inspired by this. But sometimes you see something disgusting, and you think, O.K., I have to make something better than this.
Ryzik: How do you hold on to ["teenage abandon," as Brancowitz calls the recurring theme in Phoenix's music] as adults?
Brancowitz: It's not hard. I mean, it's not related to age—I say teenage because it's something you experience with the most force when you are young. You know this emotion you have when you see a movie that's so beautiful or you hear a piece of music that sounds perfect? It's this kind of anxiety and joy. So it's very easy, actually. You just have to see the right piece of art.