Trying To Be Cool

Songfacts®:

  • When asked by Billboard magazine whether this song is about the band feeling "cooler" than they did before Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix raised their profile, vocalist Thomas Mars replied that it's "about the total opposite." He explained: "It's about failing. When you're in a rock band, you transform yourself into a hero, a kind of god-like figure. But the really great artists are more clever than that ... Being cool is boring."
  • Phoenix debuted the song as part of a two-track suite along with "Drakkar Noir" on the April 6, 2013 edition of Saturday Night Live.
  • Thomas Mars told the story of the song to Artist Direct: "That one started with a very simple theme that was really light," he said. "The few lyrics attached to that song were like a collage. All of these words were glued to that song. They made it more complex and interesting to us. We had a song on our first record that seemed up-tempo and fun, but the lyrics were pretty sad and there was something else to it. In that way, those songs are pretty similar in the way we wrote them."
  • Phoenix released a remix of the song with added vocals by American R&B singer, R. Kelly. The collaboration followed the French indie-rockers headline set at Coachella in April 2013, which saw Kelly join them for a mash-up of his "Ignition (Remix)" and "I'm a Flirt" with Phoenix's "1901" and "Chloroform."
  • The song's one-take music video was a collaboration with The Creators Project and was inspired by the Ramones' punk musical Rock'N'Roll High School. "There are mistakes, which is great," said a grinning Thomas Mars to NME of the clip, which was filmed completely live. "There are a couple of moments where it cuts to black."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Zac HansonSongwriter Interviews

Zac tells the story of Hanson's massive hit "MMMbop," and talks about how brotherly bonds effect their music.

Songs About MoviesSong Writing

Iron Maiden, Adele, Toto, Eminem and Earth, Wind & Fire are just some of the artists with songs directly inspired by movies - and not always good ones.

70s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

The '70s gave us Muppets, disco and Van Halen, all which show up in this groovy quiz.

"Stairway To Heaven" Lawsuit: A TimelineSong Writing

Untangling the events that led to the "Stairway To Heaven" lawsuit.

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.

Gary Louris of The JayhawksSongwriter Interviews

The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.