The Phoenix Foundation get 'cosmic' on new album

By Scott Kara

The Phoenix Foundation's Samuel Flynn Scott and Luke Buda talk about their "cosmic" new album

Wellington band The Phoenix Foundation.  Photo / Supplied
Wellington band The Phoenix Foundation. Photo / Supplied

Why a double album?
Luke Buda: Once it got to that length [around 67 minutes] we thought it was important because [if it was on one disc] you're never going to get to the last song, I reckon. If it was on one CD we wouldn't want it to be any more than 45 minutes, because that's a pretty good length of time to listen to music.

It's probably sacrilege, but I went straight to the 17-minute last track [Friendly Society] and listened to that first. It's great because it's not a jam, it's a song.
Samuel Flynn Scott: You've got to be in the right headspace, where you're not jamming in that kind of turgid, 1970s Freebird kind of way. You're jamming in the sense that you're trying to get into a cosmic headspace where you're creating a dynamic and energy shift and building-towards thing.

LB: It started out about nine minutes long, and we had a bit of a listen to it; it was quite intense, and we had a talk about it and the thing we talked about was not rushing to the change [within the song] and just relaxing, and that's what happened.

There's a lot of seeing where the songs take you on this album. Is that right?
SFS: Even though we like concise music, we feel like we've done that and we wanted to stretch out. We needed a fresh approach and that was by building things in a cosmic way and creating a head space where you can lose yourself.

LB: We tried to relax and accept the fact that actually we are slightly proggy.

What is Thames Soup about?
SFS: It's a weird song. There are drug allusions, this waster vibe, but really what it's about is being away from your family and needing to Skype your family. And it's about wanting to come home, cook your family dinner and go to open homes on the weekend, which is more in reference to our manager Craig, who looked at open homes every weekend for six months.

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