‘The Album Is Like A Night Out’ – Alex Kapranos On ‘Tonight: Franz Ferdinand’

Alex KapranosUlysses
The album is like a night out, and this is the sound of psyching yourself up for it. I loved the stories of Ulysses [‘The Odyssey’], being lost for ten years. It’s what being in a band is like. Either that or being too stoned.


Turn It On
This was going to be the lead single on ‘You Could Have It So Much Better’, but we left it off in the end. It’s a psycho stalker anthem. I’ve had a couple.

No You Girls
This has totally got the idea of dirty pop. It’s another version of ‘Katherine Kiss Me’. Both songs are about kissing someone for the first time. This one is sung as an anecdote, the way you tell a story to your pals in the pub where everything is more glamorous and sexy than it actually was. ‘Katherine Kiss Me’ is how you would remember the same thing on your own, remembering how it was actually a little awkward and you felt pretty vulnerable.

Send Him Away
My favourite song on the album. Bob’s best bass moment, and the only song that has any vague African influence – and it’s very vague, maybe just a bit of an Ethiopian rhythm.

What She Came For
It started as a tune called ‘Favourite Lie’. I remember ad-libbing the vocals and the only mic set up in the room was on the kick drum, so I sang it lying on my front.

Bite Hard
This is the heavy rocker on the album. It’s about rejecting god, but acknowledging that we all need to believe in something, and that it would be easier if there was a Charlton Heston in the sky with an omniscient beard.

Live Alone
This is the point in the album where it properly hits the dance floor. I love the middle-eight, it’s about how whenever Bob [Hardy, bass] gets a taxi in NYC he’ll put the word ‘man’ at the end of a sentence unconsciously, as if it makes him more American.

Can’t Stop Feeling
This is an older song. This version only has the lyrics and the chord progression from the original. Probably the biggest riff we’ve ever played.

Lucid Dreams
This is the climax of the night out. You’ve come up and you’re flying. It’s the most out-there musical moment from us yet. The electronic section at the end was the last thing we recorded. It’s probably an indicator of how things could go in the future.

Dream Again
This is the moment where you start to come down. A very delicate, optimistic song. Some of Dan [Carey, producer]’s best dub moments here. There’s a dub version of the whole album [with the deluxe edition]. It’s my favourite way to listen to the songs – only narcissistic arseholes love the sound of their own voice. In the dub mixes it’s hardly there.

Katherine Kiss Me
Evening’s over. Dawn’s ripping through the curtains. You kind of wish everything would be normal again. This is the sort of song I’d play to soothe myself at a time like that.