ALT Interview: Yannis from Foals Details New Album 'Anything Not Saved Will Be Lost'

February 20, 2019

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Over the past decade, Foals have emerged as one of the more prolific and difficult UK acts to pin down in the alternative space.  Emerging via legendary grunge outlet Sub Pop records, it wasn't long before the band made the jump to majors with Warner Brothers Records and similarly leapt from critcal darlings to festival mainstays.  Earlier this month, we sat down with frontman Yannis Philippakis to discuss the themes of their forthcoming, ambitious 6th body of work, entitled 'Anything Not Saved Will Be Lost', which will span a pair of albums. 

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"We spent a lot of time sequencing each record so they have their own unique character", Yannis shares, adding that the band had albums like Smashing Pumpkins 'Melloncollie and the Inifinite Sadness' in mind when they decided to split the offering into entirely separate halves.  "They exist on their own, but they orbit around the same things thematically" he thoughtfully elaborates, explaining the decision to carry the name between the two LP's.  Those themes aren't necessarily the lightest either, with Yannis unpacking the lyrics as "a kind of backdrop of confusion and anxiety that's meant to reflect the times that we’re living in.  Things are at stake, there's something perilous happening at the moment and action needs to occur."

Though the shadow of Brexit and post-Trump America certainly loom in the albums air, it's not so much a political record as a commentary on a modern existence in general, a subtext which is reflected in the album's sonic presentation.

"There's hints about the social fabric that we exist in largely through the changes in technology and how that's effected us, in senses of isolation.  Musically though its upbeat, its dance-y, its rhythmic, and one of the things we were attracted to was this contrast between music that felt vital and energetic, but where the themes would be thought provoking.  The songs were almost like Trojan horses, so you’re partying and having a good time but the lyrics will seep in and there’s messages."

Our first taste of the 'Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost', comes in the form of single, "Exits" a jerky, loop driven, electronic offering that finds Foals off-kilter timing ever present, yet now with touches of Phil Collins and Tears for Fears.

"It was one of the early bits of music that we had" Yannis explains, continuing, "we got really into that groove, and we would play it for hours on end. It was a song that was important in terms of the musical direction, and I had a quite clear vision of what the lyrics should be about... Where you're living in this kind of parallel surreal world where everything is upside down topsy-turvy".  

It would be the track's music video that would truly bring this world to life though, which includes a cameo from a familiar face.  "We were lucky enough to get Isaac, who is Bran Stark from Game of Thrones, in it" Yannis says with a smile, adding with a laugh "We actually hang out with Isaac quite a bit and I'm lucky enough to have not heard any spoilers. But every time at the pub when he’s had a few pints, he wants to tell us."

Foals will hit NYC for a trio of shows at Brooklyn Steel mid April, and "Exits" is this week's Ctrl + Alt + Delete pick. Check out the video for yourself below, and tune in around the 11a, 2p, 6p, and 10p hours to get your votes in.

Enter to win tickets to the April 12th show HERE.