Phoenix's Thomas Mars on Filipino Audiences: 'We Love to Hear Them Sing Along'
French indie rock band Phoenix have been to Manila twice before, and both times it was a solid show. I should know because I was in the crowd for both of them. The energy at a Phoenix show is one-of-a-kind and needs to be experienced by any self-professed fan at least once.
Thankfully, Thomas Mars, Deck D’Arcy, Christian Mazzalai, and Laurent Brancowitz are coming back for a third time in the country in March this year to play in the return engagement of Wanderland Music Festival.
We chatted with Mars via email and asked him about an upcoming tour with alternative rock icon Beck, which album or artist he’s really digging these days, and what fans can expect at their headline set next month.
Wanderland Is Back On, And Tickets are Already Available
Phoenix Is Headlining Wanderland 2023
Esquire Philippines: Where are you now and what can you see outside your window?
Thomas Mars: New York City. Blue sky, squirrels, and no leaves.
You’re going on a co-headlining North American tour with Beck this summer. How did this tour come about? How long have you known Beck and how would you describe him?
We have known Beck since maybe 2006 I’d say. I remember his Odelay tour when it came to Bataclan in Paris. His shows have always been inventive, with a bunch of analog tricks and interesting scenes that made us think he’d be fun to tour with and he seemed into the idea of performing together in a very collaborative way. He’s been touring for a while so like us he’s into finding new ways of playing shows.
You’ve been to Manila at least twice before. What are your best memories performing here?
The crowd! We love to hear them sing along and be so into it.
You’ve been touring almost nonstop for years. How do you keep things fresh and interesting when you play almost night after night in front of adoring fans?
New songs. Even old songs sound different in every country.
What album or artist are you really liking these days?
I like Mac Demarco's new album. Porches has a new one coming soon and we heard a few things while on tour with him which was exciting.
If you had an entire month off from anything related to music, how would you spend it?
That happened during the pandemic. I had four months without music. I went to Belize. I got better at chess (but still not that good). I read by the sea, watched movies in the morning and at night, and visited the country. Oh, and bird watching!
If something strange suddenly happened and you suddenly forget to play any instrument or know how to sing, what do you think would you end up doing as an alternative career?
Anything fans can expect from your set at Wanderland?
As much as we expect from them! Love and Gravitas.
Wanderland Music and Arts Festival is happening on March 4 and 5 at the Filinvest City Events Grounds in Alabang, Muntinlupa. For more information, visit the official site.