Franz Ferdinand will finish out another massive year with a UK tour, three shows in Japan and then European dates which will see them visit Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Austria and Russia where they will play at the RAMP Awards. Ticket details below.

A few years ago, former chef and singer Alex Kapranos published a book of restaurant reviews that he had compiled while on the road with the band called ‘Sound Bites’. Continuing in this tradition, drummer Paul Thomson recently spoke to the Vancouver Sun about his particular food fetish – the burger.

Franz Ferdinand’s drummer Paul Thomson is a burger fanatic. As the Scottish dance-rockers wind their way through North America with two new albums, Tonight and Blood, he’s trying to sample as many patties as he can.

Thomson occasionally posts photos and reviews of his favourites, such as Town-Topic Burgers in Kansas City, Mo., on

“They’re certainly better on this side of the Atlantic,” he says. “When I go back to Europe or the U.K., there’s nothing that really compares. It’s an American thing. It’s one thing they do properly.”

So where should Thomson go before Franz Ferdinand performs on Sunday at the Malkin Bowl? Vera’s Burger Shack? The Spot? He’s looking for a rather simple patty.

“Not too big,” he says. “Everybody makes the mistake of having a huge cut of beef and masses of toppings as well. I just kind of like the classic hamburger sandwich, not even with cheese on it. Just pickles, mustard and a soft bun.”

The Glasgow natives aren’t self-destructive rockers or precious lads who obsess over the ahh-tistic process or cultivating a too-cool-for-school mystique. Nor are they wussy whiners who like to grumble about the rigours of the road or the staleness of the studio.

After four albums — including Franz Ferdinand and You Could Have It So Much Better — Thomson and his mates seem to be having more fun than ever. Just listen to Tonight and its goofy Inspector Gadget-style synths, or watch the low-budget video to their new single, Can’t Stop Feeling. The clip features ridiculous editing tricks to make it look like the musicians are being pushed, pulled and lifted from one side of the screen to the other.

“It’s got that same kind of vitality and freshness that music videos first had when MTV first started,” says Thomson. “It was fun to do.”


The same vitality extends to the entirety of Franz Ferdinand’s third dance-rock album, Tonight. They were so inspired in the studio, they also finished a fourth record, Blood. It features dub — looser, spacier and bassier — versions of songs such as Lucid Dreams, Can’t Stop Feeling and No You Girls from Tonight, produced by Dan Carey.

“Often, when we finally finish a mix of a song and print it, we get another song up on the desk, get some drinks in and start mucking about with echoes and stuff,” says Thomson. “It’s kind of like an extracurricular thing you get to do when you’re in a recording studio. Not that we actually did any of the record in a proper recording studio — it was in a town hall and in Dan’s house.”

The Franz foursome are starting to think about their next record, but they don’t want to reveal too much before it’s ready. They did with Tonight — and it backfired. They were initially working with pop producer Xenomania (a.k.a. Brian Higgins), but when they ended up using Carey, Thomson and his bandmates were peppered with more questions about what went wrong than the results.

“Especially in this whole Internet age, you say one thing and it gets cut and pasted to hundreds of news sites,” he says. “It reflects negatively on us —it’s like ‘You said it was going to be an African record!’ No we did not. ‘Why did you stop working with (Xenomania)? Did it not work out?’ No — we were working with lots of people. We went with Dan because we liked him best. It was a popularity contest, and ultimately, he won.”

Franz Ferdinand: bigger beats and better burgers, By Sandra Sperounes, September 4, 2009, Vancouver Sun

Full dates of international shows and ticket links below.



Photo credit: Stuart Cameron