Foals on their secret Glastonbury 2019 set, headlining in future, and “fucking banger” new album on the way

Get ready.

Just after they stepped off stage at Glastonbury 2019 following a raucous secret set, Foals caught up with NME to talk about what the festival means to them, potentially headlining in future, and what’s in store from their upcoming new album ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 2’.

Watch our full video interview with the band above

After being rumoured for some weeks, the Oxford band took Worthy Farm by surprise yesterday when they appeared on the John Peel stage in the afternoon for a secret set that the saw the area closed down due to the rush of fans trying to enter.

“It would have been a lot more secret if people weren’t Tweeting about it from our band account hours before it came out,” drummer Jack Bevan told NME. “They had spanks on their bottom because of that.”

Quizzed on this being a signifier that they could be returning to headline the festival next year, frontman Yannis Philippakis replied: “It’s early days. That would be amazing, if we ever got to do that. It would be beyond our wildest dreams. We figured out that this is our fifth time playing.

“On the ride up here we were talking about how on our first main tour as Foals on ‘Antidotes, we didn’t realise how many shifty and shady people we were surrounded by and how vulnerable we were. We were surrounded by the predatory aspect of the music industry. To be 10 years down the line and to still be going strong and to be better than ever feels good. It feels like we’ve overcome certain things and it felt good today.”

Foals Glastonbury secret set

Paying tribute to the festival, frontman Yannis Phillippakis said: “Glastonbury has been good to us since the beginning, and it is genuinely the best festival in the world. There’s nowhere else like it – even to the point where I’ve got in trouble elsewhere for saying that. It’s true, Americans don’t like to hear it, but Glastonbury is the best festival in the world.”

Of the festival’s vibe and ethos, Bevan hailed Glastonbury as a world entirely unto itself – one “with a moral compass” and where “people look after each other”

“The thing I like best about Glastonbury is that people from the ages of 16 and onwards come to Glastonbury,” he said. “I know a lot of people who come to Glastonbury who are 14-years-old or 15-years-old. You just go to escape your life for a few days. Phones don’t matter, work doesn’t matter, nothing really matters. If the weather is good and you’re with your friends then nothing fucking matters. It’s a really nice thing to do.”

Yannis agreed: “We need that more than ever at the moment. To escape. It’s so bleak out there. It’s always been a precious release – particularly for British society, which can be quite high pace, you work a lot, it can be quite up tight and stressful. This is an important year.”

Yannis stalks the crowd…

If Foals should return to headline, they’d be honoured to sit alongside previous artists that have made real landmark moments in culture.

“It isn’t about getting the biggest and trendiest artists,” said Bevan. “It’s about making a cultural impact. I think booking Stormzy to headline was an audacious move. “In terms of Glastonbury headliner size, you get people like Fleetwood Mac who have literally sold hundreds of millions of albums. It’s what the world needs. It’s pushing new artists and the culture forward. I think that’s amazing; taking risks on people and them paying off. It’s also about taking a stance.

“I remember when I was younger and it was a controversy to book Jay-Z. It’s ridiculous to look back on it, but it was a turning point. Glastonbury is all about that.”

Foals live at Glastonbury 2019

Meanwhile, Foals fans can await the release of the follow-up to 2019’s acclaimed ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1‘, with ‘Part 2’ due in the Autumn. The band claim that it’s a lot heavier than you may be expecting.

“What’s been nice about is that we’ve been off touring and I haven’t listened to it that much,” said Bevan. “I listened to it from start to finish when we had it mastered and it’s a fucking bangsman. It is a proper banger. I just don’t think that people will expect that of ‘Part 2’. To me, as a cynical bastard, if someone was going to put out an album in two parts then you’d top-load it on the first one and then have all the boring stuff on the second one. Actually, we’ve flip-reversed it.

He added: “We’ve got maybe the biggest single that we’ve ever made maybe as the lead single, then there’s another one that I forgot about that’s maybe even bigger.”

The crowd for Foals at Glastonbury 2019

On their latest tour, the band have been playing a new song from ‘Part 2’ called ‘Black Bull’ – described by NME as a track “with a razor-wire riff and the rhythm of the best getaway music, it already sounds very much like the paranoid but evolved sequel to ‘Inhaler’ and ‘What Went Down’. How representative is that of the direction that they’re heading in?

“It’s probably on the nastier end,” replies Yannis. “I think we’re gonna put that out first just because we love it. It’s fairly representative of the album, I’d say.”

Watch our full video interview with Foals at the top of the page, where the band also share their best advice for surviving a festival. 

After a day of action that’s seen Kylie Minogue slay the legend’s slot with Nick Cave, Jeff Goldblum bringing the jazz and a star-studded set from Miley Cyrus, Glastonbury 2019 concludes tonight with headline performances from The Cure, Christine & The Queens, Janelle Monae and many more. Check back at NME for the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos and more from Glastonbury 2019.