Franz Ferdinand: Great Scots!

source: Andy Knowles

They have taken us out, to the dark of the matinee, might we add. Then, they say that we could have it so much better, and sweep us off our dancing feet with the right thoughts, right words and right action. Before the Scottish indie rockers go down the right path towards us for Urbanscapes 2013 later this month, JUICE speaks to drummer Paul Thomson about all the right things they have done so far, from the 2003 breakthrough hit ‘Take Me Out,’ to their latest album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.

Franz Ferdinand, alongside other artistes like Artic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs, have been said to be the pioneering bands in the mid-Noughties for post punk revival. What do you think of playing such a pivoting role for the music industry?
To be honest, we have never specifically set out to be a post punk revival band. We were pretty much just doing our own thing, and we didn’t even know who those other bands were. It wasn’t until we got a little bit of success, when people just sort of took what we’re doing and made a connection with all those other bands.

For Franz Ferdinand’s latest album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, there is a digital download release, a CD release, a vinyl release, and the entire album is even available on Spotify for free. How do you think this ever changing technological era has affected Franz Ferdinand as a band, in terms of making music and promoting music?
I don’t think it has really affected us, as much as the effect of the indie wave did when we first started. I’d have to say that things have definitely changed in this time and age. Our music has reached more people than it has been able to in the past, and half of these people may not be necessarily paying for our music. In return, yes, with platforms like Spotify at the ready right now, what we reap from the music that we have sowed is minimal compared to how it was in the past, when people would actually go out and buy your records. But you know, I use Spotify as well, especially when we’re on tour. I can pretty much just listen to all kinds of music online, instead of lugging around physical copies of CDs with me. The commencement of Spotify definitely works for us right now, now that we are a more accomplished band. However, if it were any earlier, like when we were a more unknown band, we would have felt the sting there.

Let’s go back to Franz Ferdinand’s very first breakthrough single, ‘Take Me Out’, released a decade ago. Till today, everyone is still pretty much into it like they were back when it was first released. Personally, what do you think it was that made ‘Take Me Out’ such a hit song?
(Laughs) I’m not entirely sure, really, but I do believe that it has a lot to do with the time it was released. During the period when it was first released, there wasn’t anything that sounded like ‘Take Me Out, and I suppose, people just sort of gravitated to it, and making it the hit that it was. I mean, we don’t really jump on a hype-making machine in the studio and work to create a hit like that. Most of the time, the outcome is based on how the fans respond to the song, and also how often and far the media decides to promote our music. Sometimes, we don’t have anything to do with the hype at all!

So, Franz Ferdinand’s latest album is titled Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.
What then are the right thoughts to have, the right words to say, the right actions to take?
(Laughs) Well, I don’t suppose I should be going around telling people what are the right things to do, so on, so forth. We’re not a preachy band. However, the gist of it, it’s whatever you feel like thinking, saying or doing. It’s basically just being honest with yourself. It’s an album that vibes on positivity, and people can interpret it however they see fit.

Franz Ferdinand will be performing at this year’s Urbanscapes, happening on 23 and 24 November at MAEPS, Serdang.