The Phoenix Foundation: Raw fare

18:48, Jun 05 2014
phoenix foundation
FANDANGO: The Phoenix Foundation's Luke Buda, left, and Samuel Flynn Scott.

D alston Junction, a musical tale loosely about Lawrence Arabia selling books, rhymes "shitty function" with "junction" and "exaggeration" with "casual public masturbation".

Fans would expect nothing less from The Phoenix Foundation.

The standalone single doesn't feature on the Wellington band's latest EP, Tom's Lunch, but you may just hear it tonight when they play at the CPSA.

After seven radio interviews and two live-to-air radio performances, founding member Luke Buda confesses that he's possibly talked about himself enough for one day.

The most common question asked of him mostly related to food.

"What have you been up to this year?" Buda says. "They ask, ‘What's in store?' They ask also ‘Wow, so Tom's Lunch, what's that about?' "


If you are wondering, the food pictured on the cover of the somewhat obviously titled Tom's Lunch was a lentil dahl, which emerged from bass player Tom Callwood's lunch box.

Last year's album, Fandango, was the end of an era, of sorts.

The Phoenix Foundation have stopped searching for "pristine production perfecto-land".

"It makes sense really," Buda says. "We've made five highly produced studio albums and it is in no way dishonouring previous work or that legacy to want to do something a bit different. For Tom's Lunch we decided to do something more immediate.

"We just want to put out lots of stuff while we've still got some inspiration. While the music's still flowing, we might as well go for it."

The EP features two songs - Bob Lennon John Dylan and Asswipe - mixed by David Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT, Tame Impala).

"They were finished first and we got in contact with him through Neil Finn, who has always been a good friend to our band. David had a couple of days free in his schedule. He is our No 1 person that we wanted to work with and we managed to work with him, so that was definitely exciting.

"Bob Lennon John Dylan is just a band take, essentially the sound of the band live. The same goes for Asswipe. It's about doing something which is, rather than studio fantasy, it's more of an exciting and immediate representation of the chemistry or whatever the band have playing all together."

Asswipe was always destined to be Asswipe.

"I was making so many demos for the band and having ridiculous names for all of them. When I played this one the band really liked it. I said ‘I called this session Asswipe' and they thought it was a great name for a track.

"It was a three-guitar part with bassline but it wasn't feeling quite right, so we all played the bass. So what you're actually hearing on that track is four basses; Conrad, Sam and I are all playing the bass.

"We were just trying to have a bit of fun and just go to some places we haven't been to before."

It's "highly likely" Asswipe will be played at tonight's show, which features a supporting set by Christchurch band Doprah.

"It's nice to have a young fresh band. They are youth. They sound like trip-hop in a funny way. I met them last night - very enthusiastic, and I mean that in a nice way."

What's in store?

There are preparations for the next album and, hopefully, a British tour early next year.

"We also have four brand-new songs to play on this tour which we are working on for our next album which will hopefully be another surprising departure again.

"This time I think we made more of an effort to do something different. That's the motto at the moment - follow the fun and keep pushing to new territories. USS Enterprise it."


The Phoenix Foundation, with support from Doprah, play at the Bedford at CPSA, 5 Madras St, tonight. Tickets $30 from They play tomorrow and Sunday at Chicks Hotel, Dunedin. 

The Press