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expecting it at a gig… Can you elaborate on what Alex might have meant by that? Well, it’s got kind of quite a fierce ending to it, which is a sort of fun, meathead riff, which is the sort of thing that, as a band, we always play around with almost light-heartedly, you know, playing heavy, stoner riffs or quite rocky kind of things. It kind of shows our confidence coming through really. Tat was kind of a product of being in the studio with Flood and Moulder, who have these backgrounds in making big rock and industrial records, you know.

You mention using Flood and Alan Moulder as producers – when I spoke to Jack all those years ago, you were producing ‘Antidotes’ yourself, and now you have those guys! Tey have such a breadth of experience – what knowledge did they impart on you, or give you the confidence to do? Well it’s funny, because they both adopted quite different roles, which I assume is what they’ve done before as co-producers as well. Flood is very, very hands-on in the room, up to his elbows in the actual structures of the songs and he won’t worry about the sonic details because in the other room is Alan Moulder sitting behind his desk worrying about that kind of thing. So as a duo it’s really great, and you have the confidence that anything you’re doing in the room that’s being overseen by Flood is being recorded in the next room by Alan in the right way! It was definitely a perfect combination to work with them; it was a real joy.

You were saying earlier that you had a tendency to overthink things, but I read another Yannis quote that said for this one, “we wouldn’t analyse it or intellectualise it, we just wanted to strip all the waffle away”. Do you feel like you’ve been guilty of this before? We pick faults in our own last records, and I think that’s natural, but yeah, I’d say that what he means is that not taking yourself too seriously and realising that actually not everyone needs to play on every song, or not every instrument needs to be used. It’s very easy, in a band, to just slip into your natural roles and actually, you need to break away from that a little more and certainly, a couple of tracks on the record, particularly at the end, ‘Stepson’ and ‘Moon’ are the products of not requiring the whole

band to be playing and they benefit hugely from that. And then there are other songs that need the five of us all there as the ingredients. So yeah, we’re just learning how to do that a lot more now I think, you know, this is only our third album and each experience is so uniquely different that you take different things away from it.

I’m interested in how your travels might have influenced the album; I know lyrically, the different towns you took in crept in to the writing, but musically… did they have an effect on the musicality too? Er yeah, I think everywhere we go on tour, when we’re picking up bits and pieces of what we’re hearing around – especially being able to see other bands as well – bands that we tour with influence us, or that we’re doing festivals with, or whatever. You just kind of take little bits and bobs, even if they’re not direct influences you just pick up stuff and learn things really fast on the road, rather than listening to new music on your laptops. I’d love to say that yeah, we went to some amazing place in Africa and heard this particular rhythm on some drums, but it doesn’t work as specifically as that, you know what I mean?! [LAUGHS]

[LAUGHS] Yeah, what I was after from you was, ‘Yeah, we visited Norwich once and experienced this wave of musical inspiration…!’ If it’s

not Norwich, I’m just not interested. Yeah, of course! Tat’s just the Norwich way, right?!


Foals come to the UEA on March 8th. Tickets are available from uk. Read the uncut version of this interview on

Something I was warmed by, when I saw the pre-sale of the album is that you have a beautiful looking vinyl box set on sale. Do you think it’s important to celebrate the album as a format when it’s getting increasingly difficult to buy them on the high street nowadays? Yeah definitely and I think the only thing, or the only sales if you were to look at it bluntly, that are on the increase is vinyl, so that’s really positive to see, especially with HMV about to close down. But yeah, you definitely have to celebrate it. We actually saw it for the first time the other day and it’s really beautiful – it’s like an actual thing it itself. You just get that excitement of buying something in your hands and getting home and unwrapping it and leafing through everything, which is good.

Now lastly, I just wanted to talk to you about a certain video that I’ve been watching this morning; it’s the Village People’s

‘Sex Over the Phone’ video, with your track ‘My Number’ overdubbed on top. Is there a certain Village People member you identify with Walter? Yeah, definitely the Indian, because if I had to dress up as one, that’d be the most ridiculous.

Emma Garwood / March 2013 / 29

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