As guitarist Edwin Congreave turned his head to avoid laughing on camera, Foals frontman Yannis Phillippakis explained, in gory detail, the band’s experimental use of animal bones as instruments during the recording of Holy Fire.
What started as a joke, explained Phillippakis, quickly became the chore of the band’s intern who would find himself visiting numerous butcher shops near their Oxford, England, studio.
It was the intern’s job to “collect bones for us that we wanted to use for percussion,” Phillippakis told Radio.com. “It was kind of a chore. Then we had to order specially-sized cooking pots for these huge like cow shoulder blades and then we had to spend some time boiling all the gristle and meat off the bones.”
And the end result? Phillippakis confessed, “at the end of this long protracted procedure, when we actually got onto hitting the bones in front of a microphone it was one of the most underwhelming sounds you’ve ever heard. It was like two paintbrushes being hit together.” The sound was so boring that they didn’t end up using any of the recordings. The intern’s bone collection was in vain.
“I was impressed by our own effort in a way to actually see that through,” Phillippakis explained. “Cause it was kind of a joke. ‘Why don’t we just get loads of bones as percussion?’ And then we actually went and did it. It wasn’t an easy thing to do.”
Foals’ willingness to get bloody was never clearer than in their latest music video for “Late Night.” The NSFW video take viewers on a disturbing look at several sexual scenarios going on simultaneously in a Romanian apartment building.
The band has mapped out an extensive North American tour in support of Holy Fire, its third studio album. (More on Foals’ new album in our interview.) Slated to open the majority of the shows are Florida’s Surfer Blood. Foals are also on the bill for both weekends of the sold-out 2013 Coachella festival, though a small supply of tickets for the second weekend (April 19-21) were recently released and are available for purchase here.