Name: Franc Moody
Members: Jon Moody, Ned Franc
Interviewee: Ned Franc
Occupation: Songwriters, producers, performers
Nationality: British
Recent release: Franc Moody's Into The Ether is out via Juicebox.
Recommendations: The Word II by Shigeo Sekito - stunning piece of music
Peter Grimes, Op. 33/Prologue: Interlude I: On The Beach by Benjamin Britten - so hauntingly beautiful and makes me think of the sea

If you enjoyed this interview with Franc Moodyand would like to find out more about the duo, visit their official website. The band are also on Instagram, Facebook, twitter, and Soundcloud.

When did you start writing/producing/playing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?

I first started writing music when I was about 12 or 13, just messing around on my first guitar.

I was obsessed with 50’s rock n’ roll music from around the age of 6 or 7 when my mum and dad would pick up compilation CDs at petrol stations. People like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Dion & The Belmonts, Fats Domino etc.

I guess I always found it thrilling, and used to fantasise about playing the guitar on stage.

When I listen to music, I see shapes, objects and colours. What happens in your body when you're listening and how does it influence your approach to creativity?

So many things I guess. Depends on the style of music. Really great music has that innate ability to transport you to another place.

When you’re writing or working on a riff, every so often you’ll pluck something out of the ether that will illicit a strong response. It’s something guttural, intangible.

How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?

For the most part it takes time to find your own (for the most part) unique sound or voice. With Franc Moody it’s taken us time to get to where we are now in terms of sonics, lyrics and also performance.

Into The Ether to us is definitely the most realised body of music we’ve released up to this point. With any musical act the journey is one of the most intriguing things.

Albums are snapshots of that person's life, experiences and place within the world at that moment.

Tell me a bit about your sense of identity and how it influences both your preferences as a listener and your creativity as an artist, please.

We’re all constantly reassessing our identities as we get older, go through different experiences and take on new responsibilities. We’re different people now, say to the people that wrote our first EP back in 2017.

Life’s transitions have inevitably fed into the songs we’ve written.

What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?

This has constantly changed and evolved over the years. But I think in general we’re dead set on evolving, and improving. We never rest on our laurels, and are constantly discussing themes, concepts and aesthetics for new records. Keeping it fresh is the key, never letting it stagnate.

I also think you have to push yourself with each record, challenge yourself and strive to produce something with integrity that will hold up years down the line.

How would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?

With Franc Moody as mentioned above we always want to make something that challenges us, and will hopefully stand the test of time. The idea of people coming to our music years down the line is deeply satisfying.

We feel our music is modern in general but our influences are so wide and varied, there’s always links to gospel, old soul, rhythm and blues and classical music that is indelibly woven into the sound. It's a modern sound but steeped in the music that influenced us.

Over the course of your development, what have been your most important instruments and tools - and what are the most promising strategies for working with them?

For me having my craggy, home made guitar is my go to weapon of choice in the studio. For Jon his bank of synths and oboe are his meat n’ veg. Also a good sandwich.

Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please.

This varies but for me, wake, boiled egg, scotch egg, fried egg, can of beans. Then dress. Then brush teeth. Walk my dog. Head to the studio. Sort out admin. Then work on tunes.

Maybe a session with another artist or other musical ventures. Egg for lunch. More music. Egg for tea. More Music. Head home. Egg for dinner. Watch something appalling on Netflix. Bed. Midnight egg.

Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that's particularly dear to you, please?

Normally with songwriting Jon or I will start with an idea which might be a bass line or some chords or a lyric and we’ll slowly start to build a little flesh around those bare bones.

Then, normally at the end, when the song is written, we apply the finishing touches, the flourishes if you will. This is always the Franc Moody percussion, hot sauce bottles, shakers, zippers, gaffer tape and the like which just makes it all come together like an egg goulash.

Listening can be both a solitary and a communal activity. Likewise, creating music can be private or collaborative. Can you talk about your preferences in this regard and how these constellations influence creative results?

Again this varies song to song. But as above normally one of us will start something and the other will come and help finish it. Equally sometimes we’ll start something in the room together, something out of a jam say.

Other times an idea could come in the confinement of your own home, over a boiled egg say.

How do your work and your creativity relate to the world and what is the role of music in society?

Music is so woven within the tapestry of our world it's almost as important as eating.

What’s interesting is the different musical languages that exist from place to place. The common denominator is melody, and rhythm. I think it’s so important to be open to different musical cultures.

Art can be a way of dealing with the big topics in life: Life, loss, death, love, pain, and many more. In which way and on which occasions has music – both your own or that of others - contributed to your understanding of these questions?

So much of the music we write, whether explicit within the lyrics or not, is a way to channel feelings of love, loss and pain etc. It’s deeply cathartic.

How do you see the connection between music and science and what can these two fields reveal about each other?  

We did once write a song called “Dopamine”, so we do try to wedge a little science in here and there.

“Skin on Skin” also mentions the word “Chemistry” a few times …

Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you feel as though writing or performing a piece of music is inherently different from something like making a great cup of coffee? What do you express through music that you couldn't or wouldn't in more 'mundane' tasks?

I like coffee but it’s not really writing or performing a song you love is it.

Now a boiled egg is a different thing entirely, like music it can be a transcendental experience.

Music is vibration in the air, captured by our ear drums. From your perspective as a creator and listener, do you have an explanation how it able to transmit such diverse and potentially deep messages?

You could potentially quantify that with science.

But I think like all good things sometimes it’s just best to enjoy them without thinking too deeply on them.