Friday, December 6, 2013

Bonus Q&A with Foals

photo by Steve Gullick
Here is more from my interview...

Q: The band is part of the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas concert #1 lineup on Dec. 7 in LA. Are you looking forward to it?
Yeah. Real excited. The lineup looks great. We just like to come back to the States. We were there for a few months this year. I think we feel more comfortable in the States than we have been before. It’ll be nice to be back. 

Q: It only took five years, but KROQ is finally giving Foals some decent radio play. Do you get a lot of attention from UK radio?
We do. It feels good. Obviously, being from Britain, we’ve had that kind of attention from the start. We were always aware of what it’s like for British bands trying to make their way in the States. It definitely feels good to be playing the KROQ party and playing in the OC. It feels like we’re making headway in the States; connecting with more people. 

Q: When you go out into the crowd with your rare Travis Bean TB1000S natural and TB500 black guitars, do you ever worry about damaging them?
They’re indestructible. I think even if I tried to break them, I couldn’t. I’d make a fool out of myself and be there awhile. They’re built like tanks. 

Q: How did Jimmy playing more Rhodes piano on the new album affect the sound?
I feel like Jimmy came into his own on this record. We never knew he could play piano as well as can. He just sort of pulled it out. It expanded the parameters of what the band could do because we weren’t just relying on guitar interplay the whole time. I think it brought a kind of soul to a lot of the songs. 

Q: These are some of the most open lyrics you’ve penned to date. 
They made me cringe at the time. That’s kind of what I was going for. It wasn’t like a subsequent thing where I regretted it. I kind of wanted that. I don’t know if I would do it again.

Q: Did taking the trip to Greece midway through writing help you open up? 
Yeah. I got a little bit stuck after being in the studio for a long time with certain songs...I find that going to Greece is good for me. 

Q: Holy Fire is one of your most successful albums to date. What feedback have you gotten from fans? 
The response has been overwhelming. I think we’re at our most intent at the moment in the band. The shows are bigger everywhere. The most rewarding aspect of what’s been going on this year – and this is kind of a product of making the lyrics more direct in certain songs – is the fact that in the shows, there’s more emotional intensity. I feel like the words and the music’s connecting in a more visceral sense with the audience. It’s not as intellectual. 

Q: Were you honored to win Best Live Act at the Q Awards recently? 
Yeah, it felt good. It was a surprise. Hopefully, it shows people that we’re a good live band. I guess that’s the point, isn’t it? 

Q: The “Inhaler” video is quite intense, especially the scene where people seem to be convulsing. 
[The director] wanted it to be British street, skate youth culture. Channeling angst and stuff like that. The kind of emotion in that song releases angst. Teenage frustration. And it was an excuse to hang out with skater friends of ours from Oxford. It’s a pretty homegrown video, that one. A lot of the people are our friends. 

Q: Where did you shoot and record the CCTV performances that were featured on various video segments on your website and whose audio was included on the recent Black Friday/Record Store Day release? 
That was done in the studio we wrote a lot of Holy Fire in. A tiny room in Oxford. It’s also where me and Jack used to practice when we were 15 years old and just learning [our instruments]. To be honest, that was one of my favorite things we’ve done this year. We went in and did them all in a couple days. It felt right and pure. It was nice to go back in the studio where we’d written the songs, having already recorded them. I really enjoyed doing that. 

Q: Early next year, after the sold out UK run of shows, you’re heading to Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and South Africa. Have you been there before? 
No, it’ll be a first for a lot of those places actually. We’ve been to Japan quite a few times, but never to [the other places]. We’re excited about playing some places we haven’t done before and seeing what it’s like.

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