Any creative type knows the feeling. You have an idea and before you can write it down, record it or tell a partner, it disappears. Anyone who's ever been betrayed by their technology crashing before they could backup a big project knows the feeling: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost.
It's the title of the new double-album by Oxford, England-based rockers Foals (Part 1 is out now), and it speaks to the fleeting nature of any blood, sweat and tears enterprise. It also may be a reference to how Foals went about meticulously preserving all the band's ideas over 18 months and wound up with a double album when all was said and done.
Foals front man Yannis Philippakis says he and his band mates were just trying to make one good album, but when they began jamming again, the ideas didn't stop for a year-and-a-half. All those ideas were saved, which presented its own challenge.
"It was a lot of work, and we didn't know what we were getting into when we first started," Philippakis tells Q104.3's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke. "We finished touring What Went Down (2015) and then we had a nice, healthy break. We kind of replenished the white blood cells and the liver got a rest. Then we tentatively started making music again."
The dynamic in the jam room was different, this time. Longtime bassist Walter Gervers split amicably with Foals after its previous tour to raise his family and pursue other interests. Philippakis took up the bass as the band set about writing new music.
Foals hit the record button every time they set up in their rehearsal space. Phillippakis says the task of combing through all those sessions fell on him. When it was time to step back and take inventory, the band realized it had 20 new songs with two convincing album openers and closers.
"We relished the challenge of sequencing an album — two albums — that have their own individual art, and they've got their own journey, but then they relate to each other and the artwork can relate to itself. It's just a richer project for it," he tells the show.
The album's themes deal with global struggles but on a personal level.
“This record, lyrically, for me, I didn’t feel like I had to travel very far from myself at all," Phillippakis explains. "There weren’t big imaginative leaps. I felt like everything that was there was ripe for writing lyrics about. We’re in the same boat, globally. And we’re so connected in so many ways that whatever is resonating with me is likely to be resonating with you."
Watch the full Out of the Box interview in the player above.
Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost is available everywhere now!
Here's the official music video for "Exits" from the new album: