Alex Kapranos interview

Noisey (February 9, 2018)
Rank Your Records: Alex Kapranos Contemplatively Ranks Franz Ferdinand’s LPs

4. FFS (2015)

I have to put FFS [at number four], if I’m being honest, because it was a really fun record to make. I liked being in the studio with all of those guys, including John Congleton. John’s a really cool guy and a great producer. But it’s the one I have the least personal connection with. I mean, really it should be number five, but I’m trying to be nice to Ron and Russ.

I can only imagine this scenario was a dream coming true for you guys. But the idea first came up ten years before you made the album?
That’s right, yeah. I really liked Sparks. There are those three early records from the 70s— Kimono My House, Indiscreet and Propaganda—that I loved, as well as the Moroder stuff. When our first record came out, Ron and Russell were into what we were doing and came to some of our gigs. And we were hanging out backstage and they said we should collaborate. Originally it was going to be a seven-inch. We would write a song for them to perform, and they would write one for us to perform. But, going back to 2004, it was too insane and intense. We didn’t have time to do it. And then we were in Montevideo, Uruguay, and I broke my tooth. I hung on until I got back to San Francisco to go see a dentist. I was lost walking up and down this street in San Francisco looking for the dentist and, unknown to me, Ron, Russell and his girlfriend Emmy were watching me from the other side of the road. They had spotted me. And so they came up and tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Alex, what are you doing in San Francisco?” I was like, “I’m going to the dentist and playing a gig.” And they said, “We’re playing a gig too tonight. Why don’t you come down and see us?” So we went down, and backstage at their gig we said, “Why don’t we make this collaboration happen.”

We had been on tour at the time and they were back in Los Angeles so, like a pen pal relationship, we sent songs back and forth to each other via email. And then the record was there. Making the record in RAK was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed that.

Did any of you try and grow a Ron moustache?
At different points of my life I’ve had a moustache, including a pencil moustache, but after collaborating with Ron I don’t think I could go near one again. That’s his territory. I will leave Ron the moustache.

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Location Tokyo, Japan
Sparks, Ron Mael and Russell Mael fan site.