Trying To Be Cool

Album: Bankrupt (2013)
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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."

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