Franz Ferdinand Have a New Album and a New Mantra

Scottish art-rockers Franz Ferdinand return with a new album featuring Todd Terje and cheddar cheese

The kings of art-rock are back with a fourth album
The kings of art-rock are back with a fourth album© Andy Knowles

Franz Ferdinand stormed the charts in 2004 with their debut album, which skilfully and casually melded references to the Russian avant-garde with jagged new-wave drums and catchy melodies. Nine years and 3 million album sales later, the kings of art-rock are back with fourth album 'Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action' (on Domino). Drummer Paul Thomson lets loose with Red Bulletin scribe Florian Obkircher.

Describe your new album with one word.

It's "forward," I think. Maybe that's what the arrows on the cover signify. Just moving onwards, we're not going back.

Some songs are reminscent of your debut release...

It's always going to sound like us. Maybe this time the four of us were more involved. It's a reflection of the four of us as supposed to the second and third one. We're all on board for this one. Also, we didn’t get a producer involved, because it’s one less opinion to ignore. Maybe that's why it has more of the character of the first one. Our debut was made with no expectation at all because nobody knew who we were. And the second and the third ones were made under more stressful circumstances. With the new one we put that aside.

Why did it take four years for you to make another record?

We took a break, just by the way that we work. We work in really intense bursts. When you go away on tour, you go for the best part of 12 months. So you need to take a break and experience normal life, because life on tour is a bit of an artificial life, really. Just basically having some real-life experiences to draw from, to inspire music that isn't like, you know, hotels or sitting in a fucking airport.

You collaborated with Norwegian neo-disco wizard Todd Terje. How did you get him on board?

When he was in London to DJ at Corsica Studios, we invited him to the studio and had a jam with him. He's an amazing, accomplished musician, which I didn't realise. You listen to his records and you think it's all sequenced, but it's him on an ARP playing those arpeggios freehand. Todd had never worked with a band before. He took the sessions away to Oslo and did some more work on them, then Alex [Kapranos, lead singer] went up there to meet him and they recorded the second half of Stand On The Horizon.”

© Andy Knowles

Do you follow the vital scene in your hometown Glasgow?

Sure. Glasgow is a huge club music city and it always has been. There’s Soma Records, Sub Club, the record shop Rubadub, just to name a few. I used to go to Sub Club every weekend. I don't do it as much anymore – I have two kids.”

Can you explain the title Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action? It sounds like a manual for better living.

It is definitely some sort of slogan or mantra. But it means something entirely different to each person.

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