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Foals: We don’t want to play unreleased new songs live because of ‘crappy phone versions’ on YouTube


One of the more exciting upcoming releases on the summer music calendar is the new LP from British pop-rock group Foals. But in the weeks before the band releases What Went Down via Warner Bros on August 28, don’t expect to hear many of the new tracks performed live.

Why? Because Foals don’t want your first taste of the new music to be via “crappy phone versions.”

Singer Yannis Philippakis tells the NME recently that unreleased music recorded on smart phones while performed live and posted to YouTube serves to “ruin the surprise” of hearing a new song.


“We’ve got some festivals booked in over summer, we’re itching to start playing this stuff,” he says, “but thanks to YouTube I don’t wanna ruin the surprise so we’ll probably keep a bit of a lid on it. If it was up to me, we would have been playing new songs already for ages but you just can’t do that anymore because then you get some crappy phone version of a song that gets thousands of views and it spoils everything because you get this whole commentary on whether the album version is better than the phone version in this 2bit quality. I’d rather not spoil the surprise of a record we’ve worked hard to make sound a certain way by jumping the gun.”

With about a dozen European shows between now and the release of What Went Down, playing new music is rather inevitable. “We will obviously play some songs live but maybe not as many as we’d like to,” he adds. “When the record comes out, the new live set will just be the cream of the crop, it’s exciting for us to see what the new shows will be like.”

Meanwhile, Foals’ first single off the new record, also titled “What Went Down,” will premiere tonight on BBC Radio 1 during Annie Mac’s show. Look for it online right afterwards, and let this quick-hit album teaser hold you over until then…