Jack Bevan and Yannis Philippakis were originally in cult math rock band The Edmund Fitzgerald, which did not gain much media interest. The group was disbanded after they claimed that things had become “too serious” and they wanted to have more “fun making their music”.
Guitarist Jimmy Smith is the only one of the band members to have completed his degree, at Hull University: each of the band members quit their respective universities including Yannis and Edwin leaving their English courses at Oxford University, when the band signed to Transgressive Records by Ben Mackereth.
The lead singer of Youthmovies, Andrew Mears, originally formed the band Foals, playing as guitarist and lead vocalist. He was present on the band's debut 7” single “Try This On Your Piano/Look At My Furrows Of Worry”, but left shortly afterwards to concentrate on Youthmovies debut album Good Nature.
The band’s musical influences are varied, with the band members citing minimal techno, Arthur Russell, Kraut rock bands such as Harmonia, Talking Heads and marijuana as their main sources of inspiration. Their musical style however, can be more directly linked to various genres such as indie rock, dance-punk, math rock, post-punk revival and techno.
In early Summer 2007, the band began work on their debut album. It was produced by Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio and socialite Wendy Jane. The band, however, decided to mix the album themselves in the end, stating that Sitek made the first master copy of the album sound like “it was recorded in the Grand Canyon”. Yannis has stated multiple times during various interviews that Foals and Dave Sitek are on good terms, even when the copy by Sitek was rejected by the band. Foals released their debut album, entitled Antidotes on 24th March 2008 in the UK and 8th April 2008 in the USA. The album was a commercial success in the United Kingdom, debuting at #3 in the UK Albums Charts. The album was a minor success in other countries, charting in Japan, France and in the Netherlands.
Total Life Forever
The band's second album, Total Life Forever, has been described by the band members as sounding like “tropical prog” and “like the dream of an eagle dying”. Neither of these descriptions is thought to be accurate. In August 2009, Foals started recording their album at Svenska Gramofon in Gothenburg, Sweden. The band have described the album as being “a lot less funk” than they had originally planned. A number of new songs have been debuted at recent concerts including “Total Life Forever”, "Alabaster", “O-Funk" and “Spanish Sahara”
According to Play.com and zavvi.co.uk, Total Life Forever will be released on May 10, 2010. This was confirmed by the band on their Facebook and MySpace blogs where they also mentioned a new song from the forthcoming album being played on the radio. On March 1, 2010, the promotional single "Spanish Sahara" was first played on Zane Lowe's show Radio 1 at 7:30pm (GMT). Foals' new website was updated that night with the release of a video for the track.
On March 6, the Total Life Forever site was officially launched where jigsaw puzzles revealed images, lyrics, and sound clips of songs from the album with a new one added each day. The last clip appeared on Friday, March 12, and resulted with a password entry for the Foals' new website. The site was opened on March 13 and presented the whole new art concept and media including samples of songs, photos and videos.
Lead single "This Orient" is expected to be released on May 3, 2010.