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Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand had planned on keeping their second album, like the first, self-titled. While they were putting the songs together, one of the members suggested the title You Could Have It So Much Better, and it stuck.

Franz Ferdinand were touring and collecting awards (Ivor Novello, Mercury Music, Brits, MTV awards etc.), when they decided to make this album, and so, they packed up their equipment and stopped touring to sit down and create YCHISMB, and it’s first single Do You Want To was recorded in Scotland.

The group doesn’t really like recording in a studio and reckon a studio is a place with a fancy tape recorder and other gadgets. They wanted it to be like it used to when they’d hang out at each other’s places and play different things and decided they’d record wherever they liked. They moved into the countryside, lived together, talked about the things that excited them about music and life. They played each other everything they found exciting, jumping from Johnny Dangerous to Lil’ Jon to Syd Barrett Public Enemy to Bowie to Pulp to Dylan and anything else that caught their fancy.

Franz Ferdinand was an Austro-Hungarian Archduke whose murder sparked off World War I. When asked why they’ve named themselves Franz Ferdinand, bassist Bob Hardy said they liked the alliteration. Singer/guitarist Alex Kapranos likes the name because the Archduke was “an incredible figure.” Drummer Paul Thomson had a burning ambition to become so popular that the mere mention of Franz Ferdinand would make people think of the band and not of the guy in history who they’ve been named after. Looking at the sales figures and their popularity levels, they’ve very nearly achieved that.

This rock group hails from Glasgow and features Hardy, Thomson, Kapranos and guitarist Nick McCarthy. How the band formed is a quirky story, and begins around the end of 2001 in Alex’s kitchen when Bob was given a bass on the condition he did something useful with it. The first time Alex met Nick was when Nick tried to steal Alex’s vodka. Alex was about to punch Nick’s face in, but asked him if he played the drums. Nick didn’t want to get pummeled and replied in the affirmative. He lied. Nick is a classical pianist and double bassist while Paul was the best drummer in Glasgow. But Paul thought that the drums hid him from the audience and wanted to play guitar. Eventually they played the instruments they could really play, but Paul insisted that he get to sing and didn't use rack toms.

Then came the question of practice space. Nick’s mansion was not large enough and they set out to find a new place. This is when they stumbled upon a deserted warehouse, christened it ‘The Chateau’ and made it their home. They held wild rave-like parties and also hosted art exhibitions. But the police soon tracked them down because of all the noise and Alex was arrested and charged with a series of crimes including running an illegal bar and breaking the noise law.

You can read the rest of our feature on Franz Ferdinand in the November 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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