In promotion of A Thousand Suns, Mike & Phoenix recently took to Germany for press and interviews. Check out video clips from Gamescom, and read a translated text interview with RTL below regarding A Thousand Suns, living in LA and... asparagus?
Mike & Phoenix Interview With RTL
Hi Mike and David, nice to meet you! First of all, congratulations on the new album! It differs in style so much from its predecessors. Is such a change of style a risk?
David: That was certainly our concern. This album is an attempt to expand the creative process and to bring things to the studio which have never been tried before and never heard. That was the decisive and exciting aspect here. All albums are snapshots yes, but that does not mean that we do not find good in them, but everything was fresh and new to this recording. But if one makes only the same thing and always stays just the same way, you're losing part of the art, as it is always less exciting and ... so boring.
You have a huge following - but how is it the other way around, what music would we find on your iPod ?
Mike: We hear a lot about different things. If you are on my iPod and you press "play", you can hear some songs for five days, without that one being repeated.
And what songs are these?
Mike: What I hear at the moment is a lot of music from the 60's and 70's. The Who, Beatles, Jimi Hendrix. This is certainly not the first thing that comes to people's mind when they hear Linkin Park ... but in ten years you might think not only of a certain style, but a sound where "Linkin Park" only comes to mind. I hope so!
Speaking of Beatles: You've actually sung with Sir Paul McCartney at the Grammys together ... It looked kind of spontaneous, but it was not, I guess ...?
Mike: Oooh no, that was all very planned. With Paul McCartney, he is not as spontaneous with his times on stage (laughs)... It was an honor for us. Man, that was so great...
David (smiles): Well, frankly, that was a little scary. Especially for me, I was a nervous wreck when I met him. You do not know how he will come in on the song, we just have to run as it is, I just knew we were performing a song with him. And the guy is Paul McCartney! (Laughs) We started to do the "Yesterday" rehearsal, and there was a moment where I was afraid to play with the band because he could be hearing us. My head was just "Oh boy! Who knows if he can hear you, just play ... you hope you play your part well enough ... otherwise you are thrown out of the band - by Paul McCartney - what do you do then?!" But he was a really nice guy, gave me compliments for playing, one of my greatest moments.
What makes a really good song for you?
Mike: If I challenge one song, it does not mean that they have to be complicated, but good, like in a film. I want as a spectator - and in music as a listener - are to be taken seriously.
David: You can easily communicate with music, it's almost as if people can share an experience with someone. Whether classical, pop, rock, you understand when listening to the person who wrote it. Any music that transports the emotions, is good for me.
Mike: (Interrupting): Okay, stop, wait. I trade my answer.
Celebrities are under pressure a lot, especially in Los Angeles, constantly by paparazzi. Many have their own way to deal with it, how do you?
Mike: We do not have that many paparazzi around us, as you might think! We thank God for allowing us to keep in a position that gives us a little distance.
Is LA a Celebrity Mecca?
Mike: Oh yes, to live there definitely helps. You know, if you are on one side of the road and go across on the other, Denzel Washington will be there running, Then they all go over to that side all at once. And I can go to a restaurant alone and no longer they will bother me. Exception is, for example, in Japan ... We look different, we are bigger - there you draw the attention much more on ourselves.
Do you read yourself over in the press and the gossip pages?
Mike: Sometimes. Everyone in the band is in there, but I think it's good to know what people say about me. But I rate it not too much, but have a more "clinical" view of what is written so.
David: I avoid things to read about me (smiles). I'd rather read the gossip about Mike's life!
You are now on tour. Do you see differences between the American and European audiences?
David: Yes, we start in Germany where they have more shows planned than in any other country which is our response to the large fan base here and also we have been having a lot of fun. Well, that, with the difference ... funny, it always seems to interest many people! No matter where you go there, the audience is different every time. People move differently in each country, sing differently, express their enthusiasm from completely different ways! Especially in England that is funny, because to get there in some stadiums is like in a football game. The crowd's singing football songs, until we come out...
Is your love for Germany the same as the asparagus?
Mike: Ha, yes, this is something of a joke in the band ... we have found out recently, even though we've been coming here for so long. (Both can't stop laughing) For the past year or two, we would come here, to have this "asparagus time"! The times you have to imagine we have been coming here, for over ten years and then have found out "hey, something like this did not exist and the..." Man, that stuff tastes really good!
Fans will now have the last word: Do you want your fans to say something?
Mike: Yes! It is very important to tell them something ... Many people do not listen to CDs in one piece, using the motto "a song here, a song there." Sure, you can also do that with our album, if you will, but we have designed it as a whole. What a journey, we bring you! If you can hear it as such, you will notice that. This is our advice to all fans. So to all out there: Be curious and try it out!
We will! Thank you for the interview.
Source: RTL via TLC