Bob Hardy from Franz Ferdinand and I after the show in Manchester… omg why do I look so creepy hahah
From setting fire to beds and cutting holes in walls to throwing TV sets into swimming pools, rock musicians have not had the best of relationships with hotel rooms.
But Bob Hardy, bass player with Franz Ferdinand, opted to take a different route.
For the past decade Bob has been taking pictures of himself in hundreds of hotel rooms around the world, but in each one he has obscured his face with whatever he was reading at the time.
From sci-fi epics by Neal Stephenson to Seneca’s Letters, Noam Chomsky and random magazines, it’s not most people’s idea of ‘rock and roll.’
Bob explains, ‘It’s part OCD and I’m interested in documentation and recording, and have been since I was at art school – it was part of that.
‘I graduated in 2003 and then started out on tour soon after that, so it was a continuation of that.
‘Some of them bring back memories.
‘They’ve all got associations, but some are so anonymous I can’t even remember what country they’re in.’
‘There’s one with a bandage on my head where I had fallen over backstage when I was drunk and it was an incredibly embarrassing incident.’
Radio interview with Alex and Bob before their show in Cologne 12.03.14
A discussion on flat parties, sabbaticals and the latest Franz album
List music writer Malcolm Jack once put on an impromptu Franz gig in his flat. Ten years on, he and Bob Hardy chat about the new album, and what’s been happening in the decade since their debut album
'It’s kind of like a holiday with your pals,' muses Franz Ferdinand bassist Bob Hardy, of the Glasgow artisan guitar pop artistes’ rationale for taking a good long break prior to making their latest album, following three records in quick succession up to 2009’s Tonight. 'If you went for a three-week holiday together,' he continues, “you’d probably have to avoid each other for a bit after you got back before you went for a drink again. It was kind of like that, but compounded.'
And so Franz reconvene again for their fourth set Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, and by goodness do they sound glad to see each other. It’s comfortably the most energised, exciting and plain enjoyable thing they’ve done since their Mercury Prize-winning self-titled 2004 debut. ‘When we did come back we felt fresh again,’ says Hardy, ‘and I think that translated into the music.’ Over the phone from a hotel room in Paris, he talks flat party gigs, fresh starts, why he should be allowed to walk his dog in Pollok Park without a leash and peeing in the dark at the Barrowland.
A spring morning in Paris, that has to be quite pleasant?
Ehm, I’ve got a bit of a hangover, so it’s not quite as pleasant as you’d think.
Franz Ferdinand - Karaoke at Le Before du Grand Journal, 10/03/2014
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