Artist profile: Franz Ferdinand

Disco died a long time ago -and most people would say- with good cause. But Scottish band Franz Ferdinand have resurrected the genre, proving it’s as cool as ever. Since their self-titled debut album unleashed the hit single “Take Me Out,” they have gained a reputation as a dance-floor-friendly band.. Franz Ferdinand played an 85 minute set at the Moore Theater, April 13.

The band officially formed in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2002, after drummer Paul Thompson and singer/guitarist Alex Kapranos combined their creative efforts in the band Yummy Fur. Soon after that, Kapranos taught friend Bob Hardy to play bass, completing  the band’s driving rhythm section. The final addition, guitarist Nick McCarthy, was a definitive element of their sound joining the band after returning from Germany where he studied jazz  technique.

New Musical Express, a highly regarded UK music magazine, named the band’s first studio album as the best of 2004, and the success of “Take Me Out” elevated the Scots to stardom. The song’s popularity earned them a performance at the 2005 Grammy Awards and a spot on the first Guitar Hero; and once you’ve made it onto Guitar Hero, you’ve truly become a success. To date, the album has sold 3.6 million copies worldwide.

The following year they released You Could Have it so Much Better. Reviews were mixed due to the phenomenal success of their debut album. Hardy commented on their new sound in Rolling Stone saying, “There is more to life than disco-beat guitar music”. The album was slightly more successful in the UK, confirmed by a record-breaking four consecutive sold-out shows at the famous Alexandra Palace in North London.

A heavy touring schedule has meant fans have had to wait four years until their latest album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, which has been critically acclaimed. The first single “Ulysses,” brought a sort of electronic touch to their sounds which began to emerge during their previous album.

Franz Ferdinand has had their sound described in many ways, everything from dance-punk to indie rock and even new wave. Their  retro sound harkens back to the days of disco, and the guys from the band acknowledge that. This sound, created by syncopated beats and funky riffs, has become a signature of the energy the band has.

There is nowhere to go but up for these savvy Scots and things are looking good for their future. On April 17 they will play at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, one of the biggest gatherings of its kind, and certainly one of the biggest audiences this band will ever see.

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