Members: Thomas Mars, Deck D'Arcy, Laurent Brancowitz, Christian Mazzalai
Genre: Alternative Rock
Hometown: Versailles, France
Awards: Grammy, Best Alternative Music Album, 2009
Albums: United, Alphabetical, It's Never Been Like That, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Hits: "1901", "Lisztomania"
The alternative rock band Phoenix found its origins in Versailles, France. A relative newcomer to the forefront of the rock scene, Phoenix has been using their roaring guitars, fist-pumping stage antics and spirited songs to draw fans from across the world into the arena.
Though the band first formed in 1995, its most recent album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, was the record that officially cemented Phoenix's place among the elite rock and rollers of the day. Since then, the rockers have appeared on Saturday Night Live, received a Grammy for the best alternative album and drawn crowds to high-profile music festivals like Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee, and Cochella in Indio, California.
With strobe lights glinting on all sides of the stage, the rockers break into tight, polished tunes that are steady in pace and emotion, but are edging on the brink of madness and noise.
Phoenix got its start as a garage band that practiced at the house of lead vocalist Thomas Mars in a suburb of Paris. Joining Mars were bassist Deck d'Arcy and guitarist Christian Mazzalai, whose older brother Laurent Brancowitz later joined on guitar as well. After turning out "If I Ever Feel Better" and "Too Young" as singles, the band released their debut album, United, in 2000. Their second album, Alphabetical, was released in 2004, giving Phoenix a taste of mainstream success in the U.S. The singles "Everything is Everything" and "Run Run Run" received airplay on a few alternative rock channels.
After touring several continents for a few years, Phoenix recorded Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, launching the band members to widespread fame. The album was released on May 25, 2009, eight months before it would win the group a Grammy Award. The hit single "1901," recorded as a tribute to early Paris, has been featured in commercials, movie trailers and prominent television shows since its February 2009 release. Earlier this year, 1901 reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot Alternative Songs chart.
After gaining fame in the U.S. by performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, Phoenix joined the lineup for the 2010 Bonnaroo Music Festival and Lollapalooza Music Festival in Chicago as well as small venues around the nation.