Yannis Philippakis reveals new Tony Allen project & discusses new Foals album

We talk to the Foals' frontman about what 2017 holds

Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis has provided an update on the band’s new album, as well as revealing a new project with Fela Kuti‘s Tony Allen.

Fans have been speculating as to whether or not a new record from the band is due, after Philippakis has spent much of the past few weeks sharing Instagram stories of him at work in the studio.

However, speaking to NME before a DJ set at The Maccabees’ Felix White’s latest London YALA clubnight, Philippakis said that he had not been working on a new Foals record.


“I’ve been writing with Tony Allen, Fela Kuti’s drummer,” he told NME. “I started doing some tracks with him last year and then I was on tour. So I went back to finish them in Paris. So he’s writing a record and hopefully some of the tracks we’ve been working on will be on that album.”

Asked what he was like to work with the legendary Allen, he replied: “It was awesome. He’s 76. He smokes hash all day. He drinks whiskey. He basically invented a genre with Fela Kuti. He’s like an octopus on the drumkit. He’s an incredible drummer. It’s been nice just to be creative. I really want to have a bit of a break before we start writing for Foals, so it’s the perfect cross point. When I’m in my house and I’m not writing anything I start to go a bit mental.

“I have to do something so this is the perfect thing to do that isn’t Foals. It’s been a real honour to get to write with him. That’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been writing bits here and there, but I don’t know if it’s for Foals yet. We’re not in a hurry.”

Foals to headline Citadel Festival 2017

The band currently have a handful of tour dates confirmed for 2017 – including London’s Citadel Festival. When asked if they would showcase new material at the shows, Yannis told NME: “I think yeah, it’s more likely to be that. I can’t tell if we’ll have written anything new by then. We haven’t played London all that much in the last few years. We did Wembley and Village Underground and I think that was it. We did the festivals and stuff, but not in London.

“So it’s a chance to play London again and it’s a really good line-up. Over the last few years it’s been really great and I know it’ll be great again this year. It’s close to home so we don’t have to rent a bus, we can just get the tube.”


Their Citadel set at Victoria Park on Sunday July 16 will be a UK festival exclusive from the Oxford five-piece. Other acts performing at Citadel 2017 will be announced at a later date. Tickets are on sale here.

The band previously revealed that they planned to head back into the studio in Hong Kong in winter 2016.

Writing on Instagram last year, Foals said: “It’s actually the end of the tour, time to batten down the hatches and go off the radar for a while. Thanks so much to everybody that worked on this tour, and also thanks to all of you that came along and gave us the good time vibes, couldn’t do it without you. See you soonish.”