Rolling Stone caught up with Phoenix’s Deck D’Arcy and Laurent Brancowitz just days after the French rockers received their first Grammy nomination in the Best Alternative Album category for their fourth album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. The nod is a rare accomplishment for a band from France — so rare, in fact, that the group were clueless about its significance. “We were playing a show in New York when suddenly the head of our label came in the dressing room and looked very serious, so he told us with teardrops in his eyes.” D’ Arcy tells RS. “We don’t really realize how important it is, but seeing him so happy made us happy.”
Phoenix aren’t exactly celebrating, however, as Brancowitz jokes, “We didn’t win anything yet. Now we want to know how you win this fight to the death.” The band will face off against albums by Brian Eno & David Byrne, Death Cab for Cutie, Depeche Mode and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on January 31st, and Phoenix plan to attend the ceremony as long as no scheduling conflicts arise.
Phoenix also answered questions our readers submitted to the @rollingstone Twitter, revealing their favorite songs on Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix to rock live and the story behind their hit “1901.” Brancowitz and D’Arcy also discuss the difference between American and European fans. “The level of expertise of the audience is good in America. In Europe, sometimes, people don’t really clap when they should,” Brancowitz tells RS. “Here, you go to a karaoke bar and every singer is better than us. Here is a pro audience, and we’re semi-professional. Maybe that is why you like us. ‘Cause we’re amateurs.”