Foals are a band from Oxford, England. The band are signed with Transgressive Records in Europe and Sub Pop in the USA. A full length album—entitled Antidotes—was released on 24 March 2008 in the UK, and 8 April in the USA. It was produced by socialite Wendy Jane and Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio though the band chose to mix the record themselves.
Guitarist and vocalist Yannis Philippakis was voted 45 in music magazine NME's 2007 Cool List. He was also voted 27 in NME's 2008 Cool List. He is an avid collector of analogue tape echoes and a believer in the Evil Eye. Despite the dance-punk sound, the band is heavily-influenced by math rock, techno, post-rock and minimalism.
Childhood friends Jack and Yannis were previously in a cult math rock band named The Edmund Fitzgerald but this was disbanded after they claimed that things had become "too serious" and they wanted to have more "fun making their music."
Smith is the only member of the band to have completed his degree — the other four members all quit their respective universities (including Yannis and Edwin leaving their courses in English language and literature at the University of Oxford) when the band signed to Transgressive.
Lead singer of Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies (now Youthmovies), Andrew Mears, originally formed the band, playing as a guitarist and the lead singer. He was around for their first single release on Try Harder Records, "Try This on Your Piano/Look at My Furrows of Worry", but left after several months so he could concentrate on Youthmovies' forthcoming album Good Nature. With the addition of Edwin who plays keyboards, and who Yannis met while working at a cocktail bar in Oxford, the current line up was complete.
The band's influences are varied: they cite minimal techno, Arthur Russell, Kraut rock bands such as CAN and Harmonia and marijuana as major sources of inspiration whilst it is also noted that certain members of Foals believe that influential minimalist composer Steve Reich is "the best musical act of all time". In addition, Yannis has stated "we're definitely fans of the Talking Heads", a band whose influences can be heard in Foals' recordings. However, the band has said in an interview that they “would never describe [themselves] as indie.” Vocalist Yannis Philippakis was arrested after a fight broke out 19 July 2008 at a festival in Barcelona. Media reports indicated that he and other members of Foals and Kaiser Chiefs were involved in breaking up an alleged racist attack on Bloc Party singer Kele Okereke that also involved the entourage of Sex Pistols singer John Lydon. Philippakis was arrested in the aftermath.
Foals' debut album Antidotes was voted by writers of the New Musical Express the 5th best of 2008 in their end-of-year list of their Top 50 Albums, which placement appeared in the December 8th, 2008, edition of that magazine.
They have recently said they have started work on their next album which is being composed in The House of Supreme Mathematics a communal house where members of Foals and fellow Oxford musicians Jonquil both live. The record, in its inception, has been described variously as sounding like "tropical prog" and "like an eagle dying".Neither of these descriptions is thought to be accurate. The House of Supreme Mathematics is said to contain a large amount of ammunition, an abundance of original artwork by band artist Tinhead and fully functioning analogue studio. In 2007 a fruitful improvised collaboration with Four Tet's Keiren Hebden lead to the reworking of three tracks of which only Balloons and Cassius has been released.
The band recently supported Bloc Party at the London Olympia in 2009, and are also set to perform at the 2009 All Tomorrow's Parties festival. They have been invited to perform by festival curators The Breeders. The band have also been confirmed to play the 2009 T in the Park festival and are main support to Blur's reunion show at Hyde Park.
Foals have appeared on several television programmes, including an appearance in a mini-episode of Skins in August 2007, shown exclusively on MySpace. The episode mimicked their tendency to play house parties. The band recorded a 5 track live session for MTV UK's Spanking New Sessions in January 2008, featuring "Balloons", "Red Sox Pugie", "Cassius", "Olympic Airways" and "The French Open". The band has also appeared on Later With Jools Holland, playing their songs "Balloons" and "Red Socks Pugie", as well as T-Mobile's Transmission (Channel 4), The Album Chart Show (E4), and The Culture Show. Philippakis appeared in an episode of Never Mind The Buzzcocks. They also featured at Glastonbury in 2008 and a live performance of their song, Cassius, was shown on BBC2 that night. Cassius also appeared alongside Balloons in the 2007 independent Canadian film 'The Tracey Fragments'. They played at "Reading Festival" 2008 in the "NME" tent on the Saturday of the festival. Their music is also frequently used for idents on TV channel More4. On 9 October 2008, they played on Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC Television in the United States.
On 28 July 2008, Foals were guests on Colin Murray's show on BBC Radio 1. They played four songs; "The French Open", "Red Socks Pugie", "Olympic Airways" and "Balloons", accompanied by two brass musicians who are 'friends of the band' and the drummer from Brooklyn Afro-beat group Antibalas, as well as Foal's own drummer Jack Bevan. The session also included an interview with Yannis and Edwin, in which they talked about the incident on 19 July, earlier that month where the band were involved in a brawl at a festival in Barcelona, and Yannis was arrested as a result.
Foals regularly perform DJ gigs (Edwin is the main DJ in the band) and as well as playing V Festivals and nights such as Field Day After Party at The End; they also launched new club night Vice Versa at Last Days of Decadence in East London.
- Antidotes (2008) #3 UK
- Live EP (Transgressive Records, 26 February 2007)
- Gold Gold Gold EP (Transgressive Records, 09 September 2007)
Biography from Wikipedia