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Nick McCarthy

How does Tonight: Franz Ferdinand depart from your first two albums? I don’t think it’s a huge difference. We had to try and play differently, but mainly for ourselves. We were bored of the way we were playing so we had to rebel against that… but it’s not as if we don’t sound like Franz […]

Samar Grewal May 20, 2009
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How does Tonight: Franz Ferdinand depart from your first two albums?

I don’t think it’s a huge difference. We had to try and play differently, but mainly for ourselves. We were bored of the way we were playing so we had to rebel against that… but it’s not as if we don’t sound like Franz Ferdinand anymore.

How do you mean bored?

We’re still playing dance music, but there’s a lot of music on the radio in the UK these days that’s extremely dated. It’s a certain way of playing… I think we were playing that way as well and I think it’s just not the right way to do things anymore. It was just no fun, so we had to change that. It took us a few months to find a new way of playing dance music.

What are the influence that shaped Tonight? Alex [Kapranos, vocalist/guitarist] has cited Sixties soul, Jamaican dub and Ethiopian compilations at different times in the lead-up to the release.

I don’t want to say, really. It’s too broad… I don’t want to pin it down. These are just what we might’ve been listening to at the time.

At the same time there are changes in the sound. There’s ‘Lucid Dreams,’ which is quite an uncharacteristic Franz Ferdinand song, the keys are louder…

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Yes, the keyboards are more prominent but that was a conscious decision on our behalf. We’re all composers and we all write the music and then whoever can play whichever part the best plays the part. We all write and we all have fun doing it, so there’s no point either one taking the credit.

How did you come to use human bones in the recording?

Me and Alex had bought this skeleton in an auction. One day we were searching for some percussion and we looked over at it and thought it would be fun. It’s quite dark and something you wouldn’t do, but still it’s quite exciting and funny.

Where can we hear that on the album?

Like with the other instruments, we did a lot of experimenting and recorded a lot of tracks, but the only bit that made it is the few moments before the third chorus on ‘No You Girls.’

What were the main instrumental changes on Tonight?

We used a lot of old Korg and Yamaha keyboards from the Seventies instead of guitars, because we were just bored of guitar music and the way guitars were used… especially my rhythm guitar. I played a lot of lead lines and the bass took over the rhythm. I think the change from the guitar to the bass was the big change for us. The bass was the main instrument after the singing, like any good dance tune.

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Is the Franz Ferdinand sound up for another reworking on the next one?

It took us a while to work out this new way of playing. It’s a bit slower, a bit groovier, a bit sexier and I think now that we feel comfortable in this, we’re just going to pursue it for a bit and see what we can do with that kind of relaxed feel.

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