One of the perks of having Kathryn as your BFF is that she can make incredible things happen. Like an interview with Franz Ferdinand‘s bassist Bob Hardy.
The epic Scots -whose album “You could have had it so much better” may very well be one of my favorite albums ever, have long admired the ’70s sophisti-pop cult stars Sparks’. And after years of talking about it they went and merged with them.
F R A N Z F E R D I N A N D + S P A R K S = F F S
And along they went with their new eponym album, touring and touring and touring. To be honest, although the new project (phase?) is interesting in terms of new sounds and features some pretty cool songs like ‘Dictator Son’ and ‘Call girl’, I just find it a bit too circus-like. It may be Mael’s vibrato, the comedy declamations in ‘Piss off’, the symphonic harmonies, the music hall vibe… Many have seen their song ‘Collaborations Don’t Work’ as a humoristic wink to the fusion’s success. I for one miss the good old FF. With Alex’s pure strong voice. I mean do you remember ‘No you Girls” swagger? ‘You’re the reason I’m leaving’s all-rock feel? ‘Walk away”s witty light-your-lighters-at-the-concert feel?
More rock, less glam.
I hope they have fun. The sheer explosion of joy boasted on scene sure points that way. But when the parade is over, can you please ‘Take em out’?
In the meantime, here’s the interview with Bob Hardy, Franz Ferdinand awesome bassist, some pics of the aftershow brussels’ beer tour and a couple of their new songs. See what you think.
You’re now a different band. How has your creative process changed now that you are FFS?
This record was written largely via email over a distance of six thousand miles. This is very different from how Franz Ferdinand have written albums in the past and I’m pretty sure it’s different from how Sparks have worked, also.
FFS is intended to be a new band in itself, not just FF featuring S or vice versa… And to do that, to some extent you need to relinquish a bit of your band’s “soul”. Is that so and is it hard?
I think FFS still contains the essence of both bands but fused together to make something new. Perhaps certain arrangements would have been different if either band were working independently, so perhaps small compromises were made by each band, but largely I think we both retained our identities.
If you could go on any music concert (past or present), which one would it be?
Maybe that one the Beatles did on the roof for the Let It Be record.
There’s so much irony, humour and even sarcasm in your lyrics. Do you think that the music world needs to lighten up a bit?
There’s definitely humour but I’m not sure there’s sarcasm. We’re all hilarious funny so it’s inevitable that humour finds its way into the songs.
FFS can also be read ‘For Fuck’s Sake’. Is that intended?
I had no idea.
FF went through an “identity” crisis some years back. And at the “Orkney” Summit, you pressed ‘reset’. Set the priorities straight. What you wanted to be, why you wanted to be a band and that you should be ‘odd’ and ‘quirky’ and play by your own schedule. Is that still so with FFS?
Yes this is still so with FFS.
Is there a Belgian artist on your playlist?
I really like Deus.
So, Brusselsprouts…. How do you have yours? (Both Bob and Alex are chefs!)
I like to steam them and then fry them a little to add a bit of crunch.