Phoenix Using Reverse Psychology To Advance In MTV’s Musical March Madness

'We'd prefer to lose,' Phoenix say of their hopes for MTV's Musical March Madness tournament.

MTV’s Musical March Madness tournament is well underway, and as we head towards the end of the first round, there is no shortage of matchups that seem destined to go down to the wire.

In the Midwest , #1 seed the Black Keys are locked in a tight battle with upset-minded #16 Twenty One Pilots, and #2 Foo Fighters can’t seem to put any distance between themselves and #15 Walk The Moon. In the West , #8 No Doubt and #9 Red Hot Chili Peppers have been trading leads all week, and in the East , #1 Mumford & Sons currently trail #16 Japandroids … to say nothing of all the, uh, interesting developments in the Tokio Hotel/My Bloody Valentine tilt (play nice, kids).

But none of those matchups can compare to the epic, back-and-forth battle currently being waged between #4 Phoenix and #13 Arcade Fire, which has been as close as three votes, and has seen both bands seize the lead. Right now, it’s Win Butler & Co. in front … though that might change: Because the guys in Phoenix are about to employ a little reverse psychology.

“We’d prefer to lose. We’d like it,” guitarist Laurent Brancowitz laughed. “In sports, we’d prefer to lose. [We'll take the] Silver medal. We cannot win against Arcade Fire; it would be wrong. Vote for them.”

Boom. Expect the inevitable voting swing to happen any second now. Of course, it occurred to us that perhaps Phoenix had no idea what MMM was all about — they are French, after all — so we explained that the tournament pits the 64 biggest bands in rock against each other, and that fans vote for the winners in all matchups. And, well, let’s just say that didn’t help matters any.”

You are talking about basketball? Because Arcade Fire are pros at basketball, I think Win is a basketball pro,” frontman Thomas Mars said. “We have never played basketball. I must have thrown the ball, I think once or twice, that’s as much basketball as we’ve played. So if we would win, it would be a nice encouragement.”

There you go … a nice encouragement. That’s the talk of a true champion.

MTV’s Musical March Madness tournament is back! Voting is now open in all first-round matchups and polls close Monday, March 25 at noon ET, at which point we’ll move on to the second round of action. All winners are determined by your votes, so if your favorite act made the cut, it’ll be up to you to guide them to glory! You can spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #MMM — but get ready, it’s gonna be a war.