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I was reviews editor for SouthScene, wrote reviews for Reverb magazine and am currently a reviewer for London arts website RemoteGoat.

This interview with singer Yannis Philippakis from Foals was done just as they were breaking into the mainstream.

Still, that was then, this is now. Foals have come a long way in a very short time. In less than a year since they formed, they are happily signed to Transgressive, have flown over to industry talent show South by Southwest in Texas, have released their first single, Hummer, and are soon flying out to New York to record their first album with the producer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

You'd hate them if you didn't love them so much. Their music, while a bit too full of Atari beeps for my taste, is full of energy, catchy hooks and, if you could hear them through the constant guitar assaults, lyrics that are actually trying to say something. They are also famed for their pounding, frenzied live shows. But don't make the mistake of calling them indie. "We would never describe ourselves as indie," I am told when I dare to mention the word, "We're different to the other bands out there. We're trying to do something fresh that doesn't just set out to rehash music from ten years ago. Well, we might have a go at ripping some techno off, but translating that into guitars is something that not many other people are doing.

Read the full interview...

The noise surrounding Oxford band the Foals is growing almost as loud as their storming live sets. Maxine Gallagher meets Yannis, the driving force behind this energetic fivesome, to find out the secrets behind their rapid success. And what's with the tennis outfits?

Betraying his dark and broody appearance, Foals' singer Yannis begins by telling me that he likes to talk, "a lot". I set the recorder rolling and, true to his word, he doesn't stop talking for over half an hour. So much so that he takes an untouched bottle of beer with him when he leaves.

This is one Foal with something to say.

He starts by taking on Oxford University. Two Foals (including him) made it into Oxford only to leave several months later to pursue a musical career. The other three also dropped out of university at the time. Yannis, who studied English literature for that brief time, peppers his speech with plenty of multi-syllabic words, but it's clear that a life of academia was not for him. He talks of the embarrassment of handing naïve, badly written essays to highly knowledgeable dons and his despair with the type of pompous Oxford student that goes there just to use the name as a badge.