Franz Ferdinand discuss songwriting

They say there are ‘no rules’

Franz Ferdinand discussed the art of songwriting at the Edinburgh International Book Festival yesterday (August 22).

Members Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy revealed there was no secret formula to writing a song.

Kapranos told the crowd, made up mainly of children: “When it comes to songwriting there are not any distinct rules – there isn’t any right or wrong way to go about it. Some of the best things you do are mistakes.


“I didn’t have any music training – most songwriting is messing about until it sounds good.”

The singer also stuck up for his craft: “I’ve always felt like song writing is overlooked – in particular lyric writing has for a long time been seens as the poor cousin in the literary world.

“But the most famous Scottish writer wasn’t an author or a poet, Rabbie Burns was a lyricist.”

Kapranos went on to say that many of his lyrics were “nonsense” but somehow sounded right. He revealed he was inspired to write when he was 14 and picked up a Queen songbook.

The pair went through the writing process of debut album track ’Auf Asche’, using guitar and piano. They revealed that the song was inspired by an Eighties German TV show.

McCarthy also showed how his father’s cheap effects organ, when set to Bluegrass was used on ’Take Me Out’, BBC News reports.


The band headline the main stage at the Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds Festival this weekend (August 25-27).