Foals on capturing ‘nightlife frenzy’ in post-quarantine album

WHEN the Foals hit The Other Stage next Friday for a performance at the Glastonbury Festival, it’s going to be a very special night.

And it’s a show that the band’s frontman Yannis Philippakis is more than looking forward to.

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The foals will take to The Other Stage to headline the Glastonbury Festival next Friday.Credit: PR MATERIAL
On Friday, the band releases their seventh album, Life Is Yours.

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On Friday, the band releases their seventh album, Life Is Yours.Credit: PR MATERIAL

“Yes, I think that Glastonbury this year will be even more powerful than usual. He will be emotional.

“And this is the perfect slot for us. I can’t wait and I think it will be a real event for us.”

In the past, Glastonbury have been seen playing second to Muse at the headline at The Other Stage in 2016 and performing a secret set at The Park stage in 2019.

It will be a double celebration for the Foals – Philippakis, drummer Jack Bevan and guitarist Jimmy Smith – who today release their brilliant seventh album, Life Is Yours.

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Post-pandemic party is the perfect album to go out and have fun.

And meeting the Oxford band in Brighton before their Glasto headlining show, in the midst of a sold-out tour, Philippakis is in good spirits.

“We recently played in Birmingham (Utilita Arena), the biggest indoor show we’ve ever played,” Philippakis says.

“It was just amazing and we turned it into a club. We turned the arena into a bouncing dance floor – it was amazing.”

While Foals’ 2019 album What’s Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1 (followed by Part 2 seven months later) was dark and almost a harbinger of a pandemic, Life Is Yours is full of color and energy.

“Yes, anything that is not saved will be lost,” Philippakis says.

“Recording this record, we felt melancholy.

“Back then, with the pandemic, there was enough darkness and bad news from day to day, and the last thing we wanted to do in the imagination was explore those topics.

“The last two years have been deeply unnatural. It was a rather strange circumstance anyway, so we wanted these songs to take us anywhere but where we were.”

The album Life Is Yours has been described as a “rave rock” album by Foals. The sister album to their 2008 rhythmic debut Antidotes.

“I don’t know how I would describe it,” Philippakis says. “I definitely think this is our dance record.

“When we first signed the contract, the new rave was a big deal. It was all about the Klaxons and we were part of that scene.

MAKE PEOPLE COOL

“So, in a way, this record looks back to when we first started.

“We used to have crazy house parties. It brings us back to just making people relax.”

Philippakis, 36, says it was important to approach this album as a single project and not as a series of individual songs.

He says: “We tried to make it really cohesive so that the whole album goes on the right journey.

“Sometimes in our records we prioritized writing a lot of different songs.

“And really explored the ways we can write songs, but sometimes that means there are more contours when listening.

“It goes up and down and throws you from one end of the room to the other.

“With this record, we wanted to make a record where if you turn it on early in the night, you don’t skip a track or change the flow too much.

MADNESS OF THE NIGHT

“It’s all about the crazy party – that’s what we’ve all been missing in lockdown.”

The first song that started it all was 2am, a dazzling track that reminds you of Kristen Bell Tattoosset after a hedonistic evening when you’ve lost your friends and need to go home.

Other tracks include the functional Wake Me Up, the call to arms on the dance floor and the rave up The Sound.

The final track Wild Green is hands in the air, pure joy. This is an album that you can’t sit down to.

The 2am video was directed by Ukrainian director Tanu Muinho and featured the band traveling to Ukraine to film party scenes shortly before the Russian attack on the country.

“Honestly, I didn’t think there would be a war,” says Philippakis.

“There was a discussion about whether we should go, because it became a real problem.

“But we worked for three days and the video was amazing.

“The sad thing is that the people who worked on the video, I’m pretty sure they’re fighting right now.

Life Is Yours marks a fresh start in many ways for the Foals, who have dwindled to a trio after keyboardist Edwin Congreve decided to leave the band to pursue a master’s degree in economics from the University of Cambridge and focus on helping fight the climate change crisis.

Bassist Walter Gervers also left the band in 2018.

Philippakis, who dropped out of English literature at Oxford University after just a year to devote himself to the band, says: “During the tour, Edwin was getting his degree from the Open University – we were finishing the show, getting on the bus. and he opened books while we all drank tequila at the front of the bus.

“So, kudos to him.

“Then, when the tour stopped due to the pandemic and we started writing a new album, we had to discuss: “Is it worth it to start recording if you are not going to tour.”

The singer admits that this did not come as a shock to him, unlike Gervers’s departure from the group.

“We didn’t expect this when Walter left. I thought we’d be five forever, so Edwin left sadly.

hanging out with the pirates

“And we live very close to each other, and he came to the show in Birmingham, so we are still friends.

“Even though me, Jack and Jimmy were the main writers on the last two albums, Edwin was still in the room.

“He took part and wrote something. So this album is really for the three of us and it took a little bit of adjustment and a little bit of getting used to.

“And one of the reasons we were able to continue working as a threesome is because we had to expand the roles. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy, but also fun to keep fresh.

“Jimmy also moved to the States, so I sent him music all the time.

“Now we have more space to try different ideas. It’s also more intense as three is a strange number.

“It took some time to go from a five to a three.

“Edwin and Walter were a bit lighter characters than the three of us, which is probably why we now have these three vertices of the triangle. It made the Foals interesting.”

Getting back to playing live is where Philippakis enjoys life at Foals the most.

“What gives me the most pleasure at the moment is just amazing shows,” he says.

“When the pandemic hit, we were in Asia and then flew to Thailand as the whole tour was falling apart.

“Game over, so we flew to Boracay Island off the Philippines – so we were tourists for a while and even hung out with some pirates there.

“But there was no live music for a long time. Even the pubs were closed.

NO RESPONSIBILITY.

“So this tour is what we put together and now it will take us through the next couple of years.

“In the beginning, there was a lot of work – the scene, the film, everything, but everything works, and it was, frankly, amazing.

“The only thing I can’t handle like when I was younger is the wild nights on tour. I can’t hit as hard as I used to.

“I still definitely overdo it, but they are definitely more painful.

“And I need to take care of my voice a little. I need to be more aware because I don’t want it to stop and I don’t want to let anyone down on the show.”

On the party side, Philippakis is furious over the Partygate political scandal after photos were released showing the prime minister drinking at an event during the Covid lockdown.

“I think the behavior of those involved is just disgusting,” says Philippakis.

“I am not going to add anything new to the discussion, but there are people who were not at the funeral, were not allowed into maternity hospitals when their children were born, were not able to say goodbye to people. .

“It’s ‘we surpass you’.” And you won’t know. And now we know that they will not be punished. There is no responsibility. It’s disgusting”.

It’s been 17 years since the Foals formed in Oxford, and with each album, there are more and more of them.

“I’m lucky that we’re here and we’re playing the way we do now,” says Philippakis. “I feel like it has to do with the music, but part of it has to do with us.

“We played the Spanish Sahara on a ten year old tour. And we get that kind of reaction to old and new songs.

“Many people write good music, but we are really loved. And I think it’s because we approach every album the same way.

“This is us in a dirty little studio with no amenities. We are devoid of any ego and make these brilliant records.

“I’m proud of myself and I’m very lucky.”

  • Life Is Yours came out today. The foals will play the Other Stage at Glastonbury next Friday.
Frontman Yannis Philippakis says it was important to approach this album as a single project and not as a series of individual songs.

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Frontman Yannis Philippakis says it was important to approach this album as a single project and not as a series of individual songs.Credit: PR MATERIAL
Foals formed 17 years ago in Oxford, a year later Philippakis dropped out of English literature at Oxford University.

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Foals formed 17 years ago in Oxford, a year later Philippakis dropped out of English literature at Oxford University.Credit: PR MATERIAL

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