Friday, May 23, 2014

A Chat With Foals Lead Singer Yannis Philippakis

Indie Music,
Foals At Fox Theater In Oakland

I had the opportunity to have a little chat with Yannis, lead singer of one of the most popular bands in the world after their big success over the years, having their latest album as one of their best albums they have recorded so far called Holy Fire. This casual conversation took place at a bar in San Francisco a few days ago.

Yannis and the rest of the band were drinking and I happened to show up at the bar, and the band was there in a corner with a group of friends. I decided just to have a drink and head over to say hi to them. Yannis Philippakis said hi to me, and I introduced myself. He then said: "Hi my name is Yannis I play on a band called Foals." He began to introduce band members from Cage the Elephant; Matthew the lead singer, and Brad the guitarist.

So then we started talking for a while and Yannis treated me to a drink. I certainly accepted and realized how cool this guy was. So as we talked, I began asking him about everything. I told him that I enjoyed all of their music and loved their latest album Holy Fire. Yannis asked me what song was my favorite and I answered "Late Night" and "Out of the Woods.” He nodded and told me that he loves playing "Late Night" & "Providence." Yannis said that his favorite song to play is "Providence." I asked him if he ever gets tired of playing the same songs, he answered of course and that's why he tries to play different songs during their sets, but he also said that there is one song he will never get tired of listening and playing to... "Spanish Sahara."

I asked him if he prefers to play at big venues & music festivals or if he rather play smaller shows. He responded that he prefers the smaller shows because they are more intimate and they go with his personality. He gets to interact with his fans at the shows jumping, crowd surfing, making everyone scream and dance to the lyrics.
While talking about music I asked him about his biggest music influences. He said that Nirvana, The Pixies, Placebo and a lot of underground bands. And that he hates bands like the Sex Pistols or bands that are too mainstream. He explained to me that he has an appealing taste for underground bands. He is constantly on the look for up-and-coming-bands.

As we were talking, I told him that I own almost all of his vinyls, and some of them are really rare and expensive, and that I love buying records and CDs.
He also confessed that he is addicted to shopping for records online, and that he tends to buy unique vinyls at ridiculous prices. He also told me how he loves playing in Mexico and UK, he stated that fans are the craziest when they are at their shows. He loves their energy and said that they sing like there is no tomorrow. He asked me if I ever seen them play in Mexico or London. I, unfortunately, haven't seen them there, but that it is on my bucket list. He smiled and said that his favorite place to play is London, he loves London culturally and loves living there. He began to tell me how beautiful London, Manchester, Oxford and some other places are, and that I should visit. He said that he loves playing here in America for the fact that they can go out freely and not many people know them.

Something that I couldn't resist asking was how he likes meeting people and being asked for pictures and greeting fans all over the world. I told him that he seems so down to earth and that I really appreciated the fact that he is very friendly and very easy to talk to, unlike other bands like Arctic Monkeys, who are not so eager to meet and greet with the fans. He smiled and said, “you got to understand that Arctic Monkeys since their early beginning, they have been successful and they are rich.” He said that he has questioned a few times Alex, and then Yannis said to me "When you work on this industry you got to prepare for these things, is something natural, as natural as someone asking for a picture or media getting on them all the time." Talking about Arctic Monkeys; I asked him what band or album he has been listening to recently. He said that he barely has time to listen to new music because of the constant touring and the busy life he is living, but the latest album was AM from Arctic Monkeys. He said: "such a great album, definitely the best album from them." Then he smoked a cigarette and said that his favorite song was "I Wanna Be Yours" song which was based on John Cooper's poem and converted this into a masterpiece.
We talked about so many things, and I even managed to score some info about the new album. He said that they need to finish their tour, go back home and relax and bit, and then they will focus on a new album. They already have some songs in the works, but have a long way to go.

I thanked them all Yannis (Foals), Jimmy (Foals) and Matt (Cage the Elephant) for hanging out with me, and for the chat – safe to say that it was one of the best nights of my life!

Guest post by: Adrian Jusue

Adrian is a music fanatic who always scores meeting band members, he is also a freelance photographer. 

You can check out some of his work HERE, or follow him on twitter.

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