10 COMMANDMENTS: ALEX KAPRANOS
Franz Ferdinand’s frontman reveals his musical code of honour.
Wise words from the Franz Ferdinand man.
1 WHAT GOES ON TOUR, STAYS ONLINE
It used to be What Goes On Tour, Stays On Tour. Some guys in bands still act as if it is still the case. Then they see the pictures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. Then their wife sees them. Then they can’t tour any more. Or they get a divorce.
2 FROM INDOLENCE COMES INGENUITY
Embrace your laziness. Cast off all guilt. When you are not working or worrying about working, your imagination is free to go for a wander. Then it will take you somewhere you weren’t expecting to go.
3 FROM REHEARSAL COMES EMANCIPATION
It’s only when you know a song instinctively, without thinking about it in the forward part of the brain, that you can be totally free in your performance. How can you express the emotional essence of a lyric if you’re trying to remember the next line?
4 LOOK OUTSIDE YOUR OWN MEDIUM FOR INSPIRATION
If you look to other musicians for inspiration, chances are you’re going to sound like them. If you look to see how a director, author or artist you love works, learn from their techniques and methodologies, you’re more likely to come up with something original.
5 WHERE’S THE “WHAT THE FUCK?” MOMENT?
Every song needs one. Every life needs one! That moment where you have established a world, but something happens and the listener is left asking, “What the fuck was that?” It could be subtle, even subliminal, or it can be brutally in the face. It’s my favourite part of any song.
6 POSSESS THE STAGE
As soon as you walk on, find the furthest corners of the room. Engage with them. Lock eyes. Take in the whole room, then rest your eyes on those in the front row. Now you are ready to perform.
7 NEVER TALK ABOUT A SINGLE – IT MAKES THE OTHER SONGS JEALOUS
I learned this from Philippe Zdar, our producer. It is so true. When you make an album, you’re making a body of work, not concentrating on one song. The single can often be a surprise. I thought Tell Her Tonight was going to be the big single off our first album. It wasn’t.
8 NEVER FUCK YOUR FRIENDS
Figuratively, not physically. Imagine a friend. A close one that you trust. Now imagine them fucking you over. Really doing the dirty. How does that make you feel? Make sure they never feel like that about you. That feeling doesn’t go away.
9 THE ONLY ONES WHO ENJOY A JAM ARE THOSE WHO JAM
You know that shady guy hanging out round the fringes of the park? The one with his hands down his joggers? Furious in his self-pleasure? He’s really enjoying what he’s doing. Nobody else in the park is. It’s exactly the same for jamming.
10 SWING YOUR ARMS LIKE PRINCE NASEEM
I loved the way he used to walk into the ring. It was the opposite of every other boxer. Instead of holding his arms up in a defensive pose, he let them swing by his side, revealing the soft, vulnerable parts of his body. The confidence to do that? Totally intimidating. As an artist, you have to accept and be unafraid of your vulnerability.
Prince Naseem: “totally intimidating.”