JOE meets...Jimmy from Foals
The guys from Foals will be gracing our shores soon enough at Longitude, so we caught up with guitarist Jimmy to have a chat about gigging, human bones and buying a laptop
It's not that long until the Longitude festival hits Marlay Park on the 19th of July, so we managed to get a chance to chat to Jimmy Smith, the man behind the guitar and synths, to have a chinwag about playing at new festivals, being on tour for a long time, and trying to get your hands on human bones being more difficult than it sounds.
JOE: You guys are going to be here for Longitude, it's a brand new festival, does that make a difference to how you view it?
Jimmy: It's great fun to play any festivals, but I think we haven't really played any festivals that are new like this. Maybe Field Day a few years ago was the only one, we just hope they have the public amenities sorted out for Longitude better than they did at that one.
JOE: Are you looking forward to catching any acts yourself?
J: I'd like to see Phoenix, we ended up missing them at Coachella, and they were apparently pretty brilliant. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs is playing too, we're mates with him so always great to catch him live, and Petite Noir will be there too, it's shaping up to be a pretty good day for us!
JOE: What a out playing at your own gigs versus playing at festivals, are they different?
J: I'd say they're completely different, and at festivals it's great because you're playing to such a huge demographic of people, probably to a lot of them that have never heard your music before. When you're playing your own gigs though they tend to be indoors and it's not raining, which is also a pretty nice aspect.
JOE: You guys have been on a pretty mammoth tour, are you shattered?
J: We just finished the first big chunk of the longest tour we've ever done it was three and half months of constant touring. We were in the UK, Europe, South America and the United States. There was a point where it felt like it was never going to end and we thought we'd be stuck just touring around America forever! But it finished really quickly, and by the end of the whole thing I actually felt healthier than I had at the beginning.
JOE: Talk to us about your latest album Holy Fire, apparently you sent some poor interns in search of cow bones?
J: Yeah, we wanted to make percussion out of bones, maybe to cure boredom or see what it sounded like, but originally we were trying to get our hands on human bones. It was harder to do that than I thought it would be, it turned out to be actually impossible to get them.
The next best thing was to send the interns to the butcher shops to go and get a few cow bones and stuff, then they had to scrub them and boil them, and the whole process ended up taking about a month and a half. When we finally got to play them, they sounded completely awful so it was a waste of time!
JOE: You also sampled bees and flies on your latest album, what were you hoping for with that?
J: There's this German band called Einstürzende Neubauten that we were listening to that used a sample of bees in a jar, and it sounded really amazing, and we wanted to replicate that. They gave this really great ambient bedding, and it gives certain tracks this certain sort of, uneasy feeling. It was another of our experiments.
JOE: What's in your CD Walkman...is that too retro?
J: I wish I still had my CD walkman actually, that would be great! I'm listening to Kanye West's new album at the minute. Thee Oh Sees have a new album out too called Floating Coffin, it's pretty good. Our pal Jagwar Ma has a good album out at the minute too, they're all in the rotation this week.
JOE: What's your least favourite question at interviews?
J: I think it's 'describe your sound', I hate that one.
JOE: Describe your sound for us then
J: I normally just say rock, and move on.
JOE: What's the most rockstar thing you've done?
J: This is my second least favourite question. We once batted beer bottles out the window of a tour bus when we were in America, I suppose that qualifies.
JOE: And finally, have you bought any incredibly flashy rockstar purchases?
J: If this was the '80s I might have bought a yacht by now, but seeing as it's not, I've considered buying a new laptop, but it's a bit too expensive at the minute! I might buy a synthesizer, a Sequential Circuits Pro 1, that's pretty rockstar since it's an instrument!