For a band that has been around for about fifteen years and has written some of the biggest hits, Franz Ferdinand is surprisingly super down to earth. A few weeks ago, Baeble visited Domino Records in Brooklyn to talk to frontman Alex Kapranos and drummer Paul Thomson. When we sat down on the couch, the two started talking about what they had for breakfast -- pain au chocolat. It was silly and interesting but didn't catch me off guard, however what did catch me off guard was when Kapranos then asked me what I had for breakfast. Any journalist knows that the chance of an artist asking you a question like that is slim to none, so this just proved how humble this band is. Sometimes it's not even that -- they're just really, really cool.
I was afraid to ask the Scottish dance-rockers if they ever get sick of playing their 2004 hit "Take Me Out," but luckily, like with every question, Kapranos and Thomson welcomed it with open arms. "It's a banger, people love it! [Robert Plant] never got sick of singing 'Stairway To Heaven' did he?" Later I told the two that I caught their set at last summer's Governors Ball and Kapranos quickly recounted, "I wore my leopard skin jacket!" Thomson had to take a second to remember which festival I was talking about, because they are rock stars who tour a lot after all.
As the conversation continued, I asked the band about their latest album Always Ascending. "For a band to continue, you really have to do something fresh and new and surprise people with every record you put out." On the record, the band strived for new ideas, "Every song... There was something at the heart of it that felt like we haven't done it before," Kapranos shared. "If it feels like we've done it before then it tends to bore us... it's all about having this hunger to actually make something and discover what it is afterwards and just enjoy the process," Thomson added.
In addition to discussing the new album, we also chatted about watching musical trends come and go, working with producer Philippe Zdar, and the influence that Grecian music has on their writing process.
Franz Ferdinand is a band that is not crippled by their success, and that fact was only further solidified during this interview. When asked what the meaning behind the album title, Always Ascending, is, their answer was simple, "It's what every band should be."
Franz Ferdinand are a Glasgow-based indie rock band formed in 2002. The band is composed of Alex Kapranos (lead vocals and guitar), Bob Hardy (bass guitar), Nick McCarthy (rhythm guitar, keyboards and backing vocals), and Paul Thomson (drums, percussion and backing vocals). The band first experienced chart success when their second single, "Take Me Out", reached No. 3 in the UK Charts, followed by their debut album, Franz Ferdinand, which debuted on the UK album chart at No. 3. The band went on to win the 2004 Mercury Music Prize, and two BRIT Awards in 2005 for Best British Group and Best British Rock Act. NME named Franz Ferdinand as their Album of the Year. From the album, three top-ten singles were released: "Take Me Out", "The Dark of the Matine", and "This Fire".