Published Aug 16, 2013On August 27, Franz Ferdinand will release their fourth album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action on Domino Records, but to hear guitarist Nick McCarthy tell it, the path leading up to it wasn't exactly easy. When the Scottish band wrapped up their tour behind 2009's Tonight, there were no concrete discussions of the future. The Glasgow four-piece were growing weary of each other and needed a break.
"After spending every day of my life with them, for eight years, it starts to wear thin a bit, just like any relationship," McCarthy tells Exclaim! "We'd fall out every now and then, but we're back at a point where we can make fun of each other and go out. We want to hang out, and it doesn't feel like this big machine that's moving us."
After a year apart, McCarthy and frontman Alex Kapranos linked up again in McCarthy's new home of London, England, and decided to give songwriting a shot again. When asked if a new album was even considered, post-tour, McCarthy admits that writing was the last thing on anyone's mind.
"I think we all kind of fell into a big hole after touring for so long," he explains. "We never said what we were going to do, but we just wanted to stay at home. It was important to stay in one place for a little while."
An initial batch of songs was written, but when the band took it to the studio, they realized that it wasn't going to be that easy. McCarthy describes those tracks as "terrible" and says that "it sounded like we were singing in armchairs."
"We had to change, we had to stand up. We just really, really wanted to write some good songs, simple as that."
With some more writing, recording and a short stint on the road performing at music festivals last summer, the dust was eventually shaken off, and a confident collection of songs were completed that harken back to the band's earliest sounds of hooky guitar pop, driven by singalong choruses and the band's signature wit.
And even though being stationed in one place gave the band the rest they needed, they didn't hesitate to take a trip to Sweden to work with producer Björn Yttling of Peter, Bjorn and John.
"That was the most organized collaboration we did for this album," McCarthy admits, noting other guest appearances by members of Hot Chip and Veronica Falls to be spontaneous hook-ups.
He also points out a great statement Yttling made to sell the band on recording with him, in which the Swedish musician asked them, "So, you want something along the lines of Dr. Feelgood playing Daft Punk songs?" and the band promptly responded, "Yeah, that sounds really good — let's do that!"
Look for Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action on August 27 and see Franz Ferdinand's upcoming North American tour schedule here.