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Talking with Phoenix guitarist Christian Mazzalai

Phoenix, featuring Christian Mazzalai, right, performs at the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool on October 8.

Phoenix with Sza. October 8, 9 p.m., $35. Boulevard Pool, 698-7000.

Where am I catching you? In a park in Paris. I am outside. It is a beautiful day. Where are you?

I’m in Las Vegas. Ah, I was there two days ago. We played a festival, iHeart Radio Festival.

What do you think about Las Vegas? I’m not sure if I like Las Vegas. It’s a very fascinating city. I have mixed emotions with Las Vegas, but it’s a unique, unique place, so we are always fascinated by this place in the middle of the desert.

The band’s sound seems to progress with each album, recently from rock to pop with Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix to this new synthy sound on Bankrupt! How does that progression happen? It’s a very long process. It takes us around two years to do them. We experiment a lot. And we try to start from scratch, so it’s very hard. We are like scientists trying to find a new formula—we are experimenting, doing tests. … We don’t control it at all, and that’s what we are looking for.

On the album commentary, singer Thomas Mars says a mass gathering in North Korea inspired the first single, “Entertainment.” What’s that about? As I told you, what we love is when we don’t control things and when we are going to areas we would have never expected. For example, we had this Asian melody coming to us, but we didn’t know where it came or how it came. We wanted to express the feeling of … in North Korea, when you see these crazy videos of these huge [gatherings] of people. There are so many, and you can see the loneliness inside of them. They are doing, like, entertainment, but inside of them you can see the loneliness in their eyes. And it’s something we wanted to express in the song.

You’re at the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool this week. What can the crowd look forward to? We are going to do something, I hope, very unique. … There are going to be surprises I’m very excited about.

When you’re in Las Vegas, what do you like to do? I’m going to try to experiment some restaurants. Good restaurants, that’s what. We love food. And that’s all good, I think. That will be what we’ll do. I’m not a gambler.

Or a drinker?A drinker, yeah! But I like good alcohol. They have good alcohol in Las Vegas?

We have lots of good alcohol, this is Las Vegas!

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