the west (ilasgow wilderness. with a couple of regular-looking blokes in jumpers. Admittedly. singer Alex Kapranos' jumper is a police-issue one. with badge and epaulettes and everything. which is cool. But still.
So after a brief drink with Kapranos and bassist Bob Harvey. and a quick decamp to the quieter Ben Nevis pub round the corner (there‘s a drum soundcheck going on in Stereo — there‘s nothing more annoying in
the world. trust me). it’s down to business.
The band’s extraordinary success is. of course. partly down to hype. Hype is a four- letter word for bands. Such is the desperate
edged sword. ()n the one hand it provides young bands with the vital oxygen of turn for the big push over the top. But — and it's a very big but — l‘ranz l‘erdmand look like they might just have what it takes to put their music
state of Britain‘s music press that the frantic publicity. but on the other it can provide a rod to beat that band to death with if they fail to where their mouths are. They are making the kind of brilliantly simple and refreshingly raw guitar pop that hasn‘t existed since the days of X'l‘(‘ and
turnover of over-hyped bands is reaching meltdown. But hype is that classic double-
. GLASGOW' deliver. Menswear. anyone'.’ (iay Dad'.’ Terms?
And so it seems to be Franz. l‘erdinand's Teardrop lixplodes. While a handful of American bands (Interpol. Hot Hot Heat. the Rapture) are using similar influences. the difference with Franz
Ferdinand is that they are aiming straight for the pop jugular. livery one of
the II songs in their eponymous debut album (out on 9 lieb) is dripping with singalong melodies. idiotically brilliant guitar lines and some seriously booty-shaking rhythms.
So are they worried about the hype'.’ ‘liverybody is aware of how tickle certain elements of the press can be. . .’ says Kapranos.
. you take it with a pinch of salt.” says Harvey. finishing Kapranos' sentence. They do this to each other a lot. It‘s quite sweet. ‘You should only be wary of it if you believe in your head that you are the most amazing band on earth and that you are going to change the world.’
‘If you believe that. then . . .‘ Kapranos starts.
‘. . . there's something wrong with you.’ finishes Harvey.
‘lmagine being in our situation] says Kapranos. 'If you‘ve got people saying they’re excited about what you‘re doing and they want to cover it. what kind of an arrogant shit would you be if you said. "No. we don‘t want you to cover trs."'.’ I can’t stand that attitude. that's horrible inverted snobbery. which is something that we really. really want to kick against.‘
As you speak to Kapranos and Harvey it quickly becomes apparent that they are the exact antithesis of their hands pretentious. hoity—toity image. I suggest that their populist attitudes and open demeanours are somewhat at odds with the general public‘s impression of art school graduates.
'We used to go to exhibition openings because there was free boo/.e. basically.‘ says Harvey.
‘Most of the people that we hung around with had really down-to-eaith attitudes. which may sound strange to some people] says Kapranos.
‘l‘d say there are much more pretentious people in (ilasgow making music in indie bands. wanking over their guitars.‘ says Harvey.
‘Artists are the most straight-talking people in (ilasgow.' agrees Kapranos.
‘Yeah. you meet David Shrigley and he‘s just the most normal. down-to- earth guy in the world.‘ says Harvey.
‘()r (iregor Wright] says Kapranos. "I‘hey‘re also people with real drive. so they‘re not scared of their ideas and want to take them out to the world.‘
‘And they can see the funny side in what’s happened to them. in their success.’ says Harvey. ‘lt‘s much better than that wanky musician attitude.‘
‘Jim l.ambie is like that too.’ says Kapranos.
Yeah.~ agrees Harvey. ‘l le once said: “Ah. you see. art‘s easy.”
"l‘hat's brilliant] says Kapranos. laughing. 'Ait‘s easy. That’s so true.’
OK. you wouldn‘t catch the (lallagher brothers namechecking David Shrigley. but that‘s no bad thing. is it‘.’ Since their inception two years ago. the band have always had an unconventional approach. preferring to stage one-off events rather than trudge round the gigging toilet circuit. They have put on joint gigs and art exhibitions in people’s flats. abandoned art deco warehouses and most recently in a place they call the Chateau. a disused courtroom and jail in (ilasgow’s Bridgeton area.
‘We basically wanted to do gigs that were a little bit different. that's how it started} says Kapranos. “'l‘hose early gigs were exciting and different. It felt that things could go wrong at any minttte. and that’s really good fun. The environment affects whatever it is you're doing. so if you can be 'n interesting places like those then it makes everything seem more exciting.‘
The fact that they’re now at the top of their hype wave has seen an amazing amount of green—eyed sniping from other. lesser. Scottish hands. And while they‘re wildly enthusiastic about the bands they like (endlesst bigging tip the likes of Sons and Daughters. Park Attack and ‘the inbred genius' of Belle & Sebastian). they simply can’t be doing with the whole elitist. indier-than-though crowd.
‘Within music. when you have people with weak ideas they try and disguise them as strong ideas by saying that they can only appeal to a certain amount of people.’ says Kapranos. ‘And I hate that. That is not what pop music should be about.~
93.1.1." 5» l (it? Rim-1 THE LIST 17