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Page last updated at 07:01 GMT, Friday, 25 July 2008 08:01 UK
Franz go 'disco' on third record
Alex Kapranos

Franz Ferdinand have told Newsbeat their third album, out next January, will be "wilder" and more "disco driven" than their previous records.

Frontman Alex Kapranos says the band are putting the finishing touches to the follow-up to You Could Have It So Much Better in their Glasgow studio.

There's no title yet but Alex said the record was "inspired by whatever was round about me".

The band have already road tested some tracks during a series of club shows.

Despite early indications that the album took an afro-beat direction following their recent Africa Exprez gig with Damon Albarn, the band denied they would be adopting that sound.

Some of the songs are kicking about on bootlegs and YouTube which is really cool
Alex Kapranos
Franz Ferdinand
"The album has more of a disco dance floor sort of tempo," said Kapranos. "While the music is not necessarily disco music, it is around about that tempo and it makes you move in that kind of a way.

"There's definitely a different feel. I've been noticing the audiences moving in a different kind of way to the way they might have moved to the older songs."

He went on: "I think the African thing got a little exaggerated because we did the Africa Exprez gig a wee while ago and I think drummer Paul (Thomson) and I mentioned we'd been listening to some Ethiopian bands.

"Suddenly everybody thought we were making an afro-beat album. But we're not really. I think we're incapable of making an afro-beat album. It's always going to sound like a Franz Ferdinand album."

Girls Aloud

Initially the Glaswegian four-piece roped in Girls Aloud producer Brian Higgins to produce the record.

But the sessions were later scrapped and he was replaced by Hot Chip and CSS knob twiddler Dan Carey.

Girls Aloud
The band initially roped in Girls Aloud producer Brian Higgins
"We have been doing a lot of experimenting in the studio with Dan and he's been fantastic. He's made us record the album in a much wilder way than we're used to and it's different from the usual clinical, scientific way we work.

"We did this thing in the studio called the Doppler Effect which is like when you are on the high street and you hear an ambulance go past and the sound of the siren pitch kind of changes when it passes you.

"We were doing something similar on a track called What She Came For.

"We were recording the guitar in this big hall next to our studio and Nick climbed into the ceiling and fed a microphone cable down through the rafters above the guitar speaker.

"Then when we were recording Dan was swinging this microphone above the guitar amp and we got this incredible sound."

'Creative energy'

The singer also explained that the band have taken their time over their third album because they wanted to take a break and "amass their creative energy".

"I think a lot of bands are creatively knackered when they come off tour," he explained.

Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand play the Connect Festival in Argyll on 31 August
"They come off this period of a year and a half of their lives where they do nothing but get onstage and play the same songs in the evenings and during the day they do interviews and talk about themselves and say the same things again and again.

"If that's not going to sap your creative energy I don't know what is. So it's important for bands to take a break and step away from that situation."

Other tracks slated to appear on the album include Kathryn Kiss Me, Ulysses and Turn It On.

The band have a few rules about recording.

They like to play the tracks live, all together, instead of the other way of recording each instrument separately.

"If you do that, you end up with these sonically perfect but emotionally flat records," said Alex.

Plus they have a "first take rule" where you're not allowed to practice too much before that crucial moment when a track is performed for the first time.

It worked out well for them on Katherine Kiss Me.

"I did the vocal a few months ago and it was supposed to be a demo that we were doing it for," Alex explained.

"And I hadn't quite worked out the words in my head, but I just did the vocal on the first take and the words came out and they just made sense and they're a bit jumbled up and almost nonsensical, but rhythmically and performance-wise it's the best."

Future plans

The band are still busy but Alex Kapranos would like to produce for others in the future, as he enjoyed The Cribs experience.

He produced the band's third album, Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever.

"There are loads of bands I'd love to produce," Alex told Newsbeat.

Ryan Jarman from The Cribs
Alex Kapranos worked on The Cribs' third album last year
"If I went back into the studio again it would probably be with the same attitude and it would be with bands that I like, that turn me on.

"Recently we were touring round the UK with Panico, a Chilean band who are now based in Paris, and Paul and I were saying we'd love to get them into our studio.

"Or Sons and Daughters, I'd love to record with them I think they're an amazing band."

"Yeah, if I get the time together then fantastic but we've got to do some gigs first as well!"

While the band are keen for fans to hear live tracks of their new material ahead of its release on the internet, Kapranos said it would be "silly" to give the album away for free.

He added: "Some of the songs are kicking about on bootlegs and YouTube which is really cool because you get to hear the songs before you hear the album.

"But it seems a silly idea to give it away. Domino have released some great records so to give our record away for free would be taking the p***.

"It's because of labels like Domino that there are so many bands that are able to survive.

"If you take away the living of those bands, they are going to disappear. It's not cool."

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