Foals’ Yannis Philippakis on Recording Bees and Boiling Bones for ‘Holy Fire’

Photo: Steve Gullick

When Foals set out to make their third album, Holy Fire the project took them around the world, flavored by locales as varied as a desolate street in Detroit, a river house in Australia, and frontman Yannis Philippakis’ hometown village in Greece (“It’s my sanctuary, basically. I go there to write.”). They explored funkier, heavier terrain (“Inhaler”) and more personal lyrical themes. And while songs such as “My Number” and the propulsive “Providence” pulsate with rhythmic, dancy vibes, they made a concerted effort to move past their indie disco beginnings into sonic experimentations that included late-night outdoor recording, bones, bees and foliage. While that may sound kinda trippy, as Philippakis explained to Hive, it was the absence of mind-altering enhancements that fueled their instinctual approach.

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