franz ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand's Nick McCarthy (left) and Alex Kapranos at an unnanounced show at Glasslands in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23, 2013. Photo by Frank White.

Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy discuss their utter disregard for technical playing, their penchant for quirky old gear, and how everything from Angus Young to Talking Heads to classical compositions informed the dual-guitar approach on their new album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.

When a new band strikes it as big as Franz Ferdinand did in 2003 with their danceable post-punk radio hit “Take Me Out,” hardcore guitarists can be dismissive, ignoring subtleties like the intro’s deceptively simple tempo changes, or how brilliantly the lean, snarling dual guitar parts shift and slither within the relentless tide of the band’s lockstep rhythm section.

Such attitudes don’t hurt the feelings of Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy, Franz Ferdinand’s guitarists, one bit. The two Scots are completely out of the guitar-ego loop. “I tend not to write parts to show off my skill or new techniques,” Kapranos says. McCarthy is a bit more lighthearted about it, recounting how, while the band was tracking their latest album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, he tried to master a fast picking technique. “I had to stop,” he says. “I was laughing too much.”

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