‘We put Edward Snowden on our guestlist,’ says Foals’ Yannis Philippakis

Frontman says the whistleblower is 'verging' on being a hero

Foals‘ Yannis Philippakis has revealed that they put whistleblower Edward Snowden on the guest list for a recent gig in Moscow.

The man who leaked information about US intelligence today left Moscow airport, where he has been staying since June after being granted temporary asylum. The US has charged Snowden with leaking details of the NSA’s electronic surveillance programmes. Russia’s decision to grant him asylum is likely to put a strain on its relationship with the US.

“We recently put Edward Snowden on our guestlist for a gig in Moscow – with no plus-one of course,” Philippakis says in this week’s NME, which is on newsstands now or available digitally. “He’s quite alone right now. I wouldn’t call him a hero but I think he’s verging on it. American commentators who call him a traitor, they’re just self-serving. The best thing about somebody like him is that we can debate the rise of the internet, the intrusion of technology into our lives, but no-one really gives a shit until someone like him exposes the reality and the tentacles of that power reaching throughout Europe.”

He added: “I think the best thing about the situation is that it’s raising a basic awareness that there are things that are going wrong: they’re dark and they’re tyrannical, and yet they’re not presented as that. ‘America’s your buddy, it’s your mate’ – really, fuck no, it’s not. And Snowden’s just proven that and he’s put his life on the line. He’s sacrificed everything.”

Foals played their biggest festival headline slot to date at Latitude on July 21 and are now midway through a run of summer festivals across Europe, North America, Japan and South Korea. The band will be back in the UK for sets at Reading And Leeds Festivals on August 23 and 24.

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