Published Feb 17, 2015Enduring pop brothers Sparks haven't issued a proper new studio album since 2009's The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman, but they've been keeping busy with stopgap releases and live shows. Now, they've got a whole lot on their plate, since they're prepping two musical films, plus a new collaborative album with Franz Ferdinand.
Speaking with Billboard, Russell Mael described the Franz Ferdinand team-up as "two bands actually playing together for an entire album."
He added, "We can't think of too many precedents for that. You can think of obviously two singers joining together, but this is actually two whole bands together."
Meanwhile, Franz frontman Alex Kapranos told Pop & Hiss, "We were both in San Francisco at the same time, and we started talking, you know, 'We should record a song together sometime.' A lot of times people say that, and nothing ever happens, but they followed up, and we started exchanging ideas, and pretty quickly we had six songs worked up and realized, 'This is going to be an album.'"
Franz Ferdinand and Sparks have a European tour due to start in June, with U.S. dates to follow. There's no word if they will come to Canada, and no dates have been confirmed just yet.
As for the films, one of them is a movie version of The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman. That album is a musical drama of sorts, as it weaves a fictional tale about late Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman getting wooed by Hollywood. The band have already turned it into a stage show, and they've been talking about a film adaptation for a number of years. This confirms that the plan is still a go. Excitingly, Canada's Guy Maddin will direct.
See footage from the stage show below.
The other film project is a newly announced one with French director Leos Carax. In regard to both projects, Russell said, "These won't be done in a Broadway, razzmatazz kind of way. They're both all music, where sometimes the story is being progressed through dialogue that's done in a hyper-stylized, sung/spoken way. They're both pretty uncompromising, but at the same time we think they're really accessible."
The Sparks member noted that "this project with Leo Carax is moving along the fast track quicker than the Bergman project has."
There aren't firm dates for when any of these projects will be out, but it looks as if we can expect to hear more from Sparks sooner rather than later.