I wrote a thing for a Franz Ferdinand fans’ project. I thought I’d share, as it may give some interesting backstory on WHY AM I HERE AND WHY DO I INVEST SO MUCH TIME IN ALL OF THIS.
Without more introduction, if you are interested, a little text for you under the cut.
We are in 2012. I’m looking at Montréal’s Osheaga just-released line-up for the festival. Headliners? Don’t care, don’t care, OH! Franz Ferdinand!! I LOVE Dark of the Matinee and Take me out. I buy a one-day pass on the spot. A couple of weeks pass, and I decide to make my homework for the upcoming fest : I buy the three albums and listen to them on repeat until August 3rd. The festival itself is a blurry experience, drowned in alcohol, sweat and pot fumes. I remember asking myself why I don’t know the band members’ names. I go back to my normal life.
RTRWRA comes out, a year later. I pre-order it. Somehow, in that year, I had stopped thinking the lead signer’s name was Kapronos, and that the band was made of Alex, Bob, Nick and Paul. I had watched Andy’s amazing short film on the upcoming album. Never before in my life, I had been pumped up for an album release – I listen to RTRWRA in my bed on that release day morning, as it downloaded in my phone song by song. It’s an instant coup de foudre. I love this album, and I don’t know why. Maybe because I feel attached a little more to the faces that made it?
October 23rd, 2013 au Métropolis, Montréal. Franz Ferdinand is back in my town. I bring my wife, who’s definitely not as enthusiastic as me, especially after having endured my 2 months of listening NON-STOP to only Franz Ferdinand (exception to that rule : Box Codax, baby!). I know all the songs by heart now. The show itself is heaven. I sadly couldn’t make it to front row, but I was front enough that I’m pretty sure that I’ve made eye contact with Nick a couple of times. Probably because he was wondering if that girl three rows down was going to have a heart attack or something from jumping so high, so often. It was an amazing show, full of so many little things that won’t ever make history :
• That damn feedback in the monitor board during Stand on the horizon (shout out to Paul : I felt your pain!)
• The two foul-smelling chicks that tried (and FAILED!) to sneak front row after Frankie Rose and Casual Sex
• The dad, hidden behind his iPhone, who was chaperoning his daughter on the front row…
• How the air outside after the show was FREEZING.
• How Nick shouted at me at the back door “You! You were always jumping and dancing!” and how I got my first experience as being starstruck, when he hugged me.
Over the next months, my personal blog shifted from “general geekery, jokes and politics” to “FRANZ FERDINAND”. A similar story happened to other people, and we all quickly became friends. We were all being such huge nerds. Deconstructing songs, digging deeper in the B-Sides and backstories, creating photoshopped absurdism with the premise “be as wild and as destructive as possible”. We used Franz Ferdinand as a canvas, because we needed to reach out to each other, because we loved each other so much. Franz Ferdinand gave us amazing songs, amazing shows, and amazing friends.
We began to part ways as passions drove us in various places. Personally, I got obsessed with side-projects. I began to listen to new music all the time, which was very new to me. I became obsessed with Nick and his sister’s projects. With Damenkapelle, Kamerakino, with Embryo, with krautrock in general and then it all went downhill : what about this other band member, what are his/her other bands? In 2014, I somehow became the expert of the Munich underground music scene. This is another story, anyway.
So here we are, September 2015, I’m prepping my next trip to Munich, to go back to the people I love, to their studios and record stores, to the best gigs in the world, to my Helles Bier and my writings. The soundtrack of my journey is complex now, with roots in kraut, glitch, disco and dub. But the opening track can be found somewhere in the dark of the matinee.
Through Franz Ferdinand, I opened myself to music. I became curious. I became interested in how humanizing a band’s music makes the music touch you more. I got to grasp how important gigs are. Speaking about gigs, I hope you had a jolly good time with Pollyester!
Thanks for existing, Franz Ferdinand (and FFS, of course). Thanks for making my life way more interesting, Alex, Bob, Nick and Paul. As long as you make gigs, I’ll be there, jumping up and down and dancing and nearly having heart attacks.