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Phoenix Biography

Home > Music > P > Phoenix > Biography

Birth Place: Versailles, France
Years Active: 1999–present
Genres: Alternative Rock, Indie Rock

Phoenix is an alternative rock band from Versailles, France. Vocalist Thomas Mars, bassist Deck d'Arcy, and guitarist Chris Mazzalai started as a garage band based out of Mars' house in the suburbs of Paris. In 1995, Laurent Brancowitz, Mazzalai's older brother, permanently joined the band on guitar.

The group got their touring start on the French bar circuit doing Hank Williams and Prince covers. Two years later the band took on the name Phoenix and pressed 500 copies of a single on their own label, Ghettoblaster. Shortly after, they were signed to the Paris-based Source Records.

Phoenix released their debut album "United" in 2000. Singles released from the album included "Too Young," "If I Ever Feel Better" and "Funky Squaredance."

Their second album, "Alphabetical," released in 2004, saw the band reach more mainstream success, with the singles "Everything Is Everything" and "Run Run Run" reaching some alternative rock airplay charts.

Following "Alphabetical," the band toured three continents, playing 150 dates. This tour was followed up with a live album, "Live! Thirty Days Ago," released only 30 days after the end of the tour.

Phoenix then spent time in Berlin during the summer of 2005, making use of Planet Roc studios to produce their third album, "It's Never Been Like That." The album featured the single "Long Distance Call" which was later covered by popular American rock band Paramore.

Their fourth studio album, "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix," was released in May 2009. The album was recorded in Paris by Cassius's Philippe Zdar who co-produced and mixed the album.

"Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in January 2010. Shortly after, the single "1901" peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot Alternative Songs chart. The album marked their first entry on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, peaking at #37. The album’s second single, “Lisztomania” went to #4 on the Alternative Songs chart and #5 on the Rock Songs chart.