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Page last updated at 09:26 GMT, Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Franz Ferdinand set for Tonight
By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand will embark on a full UK tour in March 2009

Franz Ferdinand have been speaking about their new album Tonight.

The record - the band's third - and follow up to 2005's You Could Have It So Much Better will be released on 26 January.

It's produced by Dan Carey - after aborted sessions with production team Xenomania - and sees the group move away from their guitar-led sound.

Bassist Bob Hardy said: "There's a broader pallet of sounds, a lot more electronics and atmospherics."

'Essential difference'

Hardy added: "The essential difference is that there are a lot more synthesisers on the record than guitars.

"That was kind of in reaction to the second record which was quite guitar heavy.

"We'd picked up a lot of synthesisers and keyboards on tour over the previous couple of years but never had the chance to play with them.

"It's got more rhythm to it - it's much dancier than the second album."

The four-piece initially began work on the album with successful pop production team Xenomania [Brian Higgins] who have previously worked with Girls Aloud, Sugababes and Pet Shop Boys.

However, the sessions were quickly shelved.

Hardy: "The way that Xenomania operates is that they are like a band in themselves, they have someone who works on rhythms, and they have someone who works on keyboards, and someone who works on melodies.

Franz Ferdinand
Alex Kapranos took time out to produce the last Cribs record

"And that's kind of what we do within ourselves - I don't think it was necessarily going to meld together for a whole album.

"We'd also done some things with other producers. Erol Alkan we did a song with, worked with James Ford for a bit but it was all just testing people out."

Eventually they settled on dubstep obsessive and Hot Chip and CSS producer Dan Carey.

Playing live

Meanwhile, the foursome continued to play sporadic live shows once they began demoing for Tonight in order to help shape new material.

"We were doing things in Glasgow like odd gigs in pubs that we'd book and just invite friends along too and play some songs to see how they were going," says Hardy.

"The way an audience reacts to a song you can see its strengths and its weaknesses - they become a lot clearer."

The recording process steadily came together throughout 2007 and 2008 - but the final jigsaw piece proved to be the album's title.

"We knew for a long time that we wanted a name that was very blunt and just very short.

"Paul commented that a lot of the songs were set at night time and had a night time feel to them."

Despite the extended sessions Hardy admits he hasn't returned to listen to the LP a great deal since its completion.

"A couple times," he says. "Not obsessively - I don't wake up in the morning and put it on. It's more like when we're getting ready to play live - it's not on my most top played on my iPod."

You have to leave that bubble of the band and lead real life or you end up in a very strange place
Bob Hardy, Franz Ferdinand

Essential break

All this came after Kapranos and co decided to take a lengthy break following You Could Have It So Much Better having worked non-stop since writing sessions for their debut album in 2003.

"Personally I took a lot of downtime," explains Hardy. "I went out to New York to stay with friends, hung out over there and went to gigs.

"Alex was working on that Cribs album, Nick was doing a lot of travelling and Paul was being a father - we were all doing very different things on our own continents.

"It was essential that we did that. You have to leave that bubble of the band and lead real life or you end up in a very strange place."

Franz Ferdinand have now returned from an early year stint in Australia.

They have confirmed plans to headline this year's Benicassim festival in Spain in July and will play London's O2 Arena on 26 February alongside The Cure.

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