WATCH: Foals’ Yannis Philippakis tells the story of ‘What Went Down’

Foals’ recent album What Went Down is easily one of the strongest indie-rock records of 2015. Title track, and the opening single on the album, What Went Down, is an explosive, brash single that I’ve probably listened to a couple hundred times since it was released. Now, in an interview with NME, frontman Yannis Philippakis has shared the story of its origin.

The track was written in Oxford at Foals’ recording studio, so small that the band could barely fit inside.

“The song came out of a jam,” he says. “We started riffing on the opening, this drone, and we started puncturing it with the big guitar hits.”

In terms of lyrics, he explains, “I remember thinking I wanted to write a song that was set in a weird city, where I was this droog, this dystopian, weird, skulking character, this menace who was both heartbroken and vulnerable, but also threatening and with a big ego, wanting to burn everything down.”

Explaining that the lyrics came from “the same place dreams come from,” he can’t exactly recall their origin – but he can recall that he was left with so much energy that he wanted to physically smash up the recording room.

Watch here:

Foals will be in town across the New Years period to headline Falls Festival, as well as two sideshows:

Tues January 5: Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
Thurs January 7: Festival Hall, Melbourne

Click here for our full list of Falls sideshows.