The New Kings of Funk: Franc Moody

Enter a world rooted in a thick, warm blanket of electrified funk. The kind that warps the senses and constricts the soul with mind-melting glee, bringing a delirious smile across the face of any man, woman, or child. It’s Franc Moody and their brilliant funky, disco-fied creation.

The duo, who is oftentimes backed by an incendiary collection of talents to form a full ensemble, has delighted and tantalized with unrelenting grooviness. They first gained prominence through the underground, rave scene of London; soon after, they saw success on streaming with Dance Moves and its scrooching single, “Dopamine”. Their follow-up, 2020’s Dream In Colour, further proved their genius and command over the gospel of funk. The album is gooey, molasses-like funk that is nothing short of mesmerizing and one that was easily a top album of 2020. In particular, the album highlights Franc Moody’s talent to take listeners on a journey across the full spectrum of funk and nu-disco. You have the sultry, sexy babymaking tunes, “Flesh and Blood” and “Skin on Skin” that are perfectly intertwined with the dancefloor enticers, “Night Flight”, “She’s Too Good For Me”, and the album finale, “A Little Something for the Weekend”. It’s simply a perfect album.

Fortunately for us, their hiatus was short-lived with the duo returning to the studio to create “House FM” and its live rendition. Once again, Franc Moody highlights their talents to unlock a radiant EP to keep us dancing through the summer. Post-release, we were able to connect with the duo and talk to them about the EP and more. Here’s our exclusive interview with Francy Moody.

How have you handled the pandemic? What have you done to pass the time or stay sane?

I think we’ve just tried to keep our spirits up in general. Like everyone else, it’s disrupted our lives. We were actually midway through a tour when the first lockdown came.  We were desperate to make sure that the momentum we’d built up going into the album release and the subsequent tour weren’t lost so we almost doubled down on our efforts to create, writing an EP (which is out now) and starting compiling a load of tunes working towards our next album. It was writing time we wouldn’t normally be afforded due to being on tour till October so in a way it was a blessing. We hope lots of good tunes came out of it! Other than music, I got my green fingers into gear and created a small
veg patch. There’s nothing to brighten the spirits quite like your first radish yield.

What’s the story behind your name, Franc Moody? 

After having zero luck with band names, most of which are way too bad to mention we decided to simply combine our surnames (Ned Franc and Jon Moody) and it seemed to work out nicely!

Besides Daft Punk and Jamiroquai, what are some of your musical influences? What about non-music influences?

So we’re both heavily influenced by many great funk and soul artists. James Brown and George Clinton have to be right at the top of that list for us. But there are also many more; for example we’re both huge fans of Zydeco and Swamp Pop and the music of South Louisiana in general (Lil Bob & The Lollipops, Tommy MacLain, Lil Band O Gold to name but a few).

Non-musical influence wise, I would have to say there are a great number of visual artists we admire today too, people like Flik Got No Hair who we collaborate with or Becky Tong who is our creative director, or filmmakers like David Lynch, David Lean, Chris Morris, and Alfred Hitchcock. The list is huge!

Walk us through the creation process behind House of FM. How long did it take to record? Where did you record it? What tools, instruments, software, etc. did you use?

“House of FM” was created in the aftermath of the first lockdown in England ending. I think it was the result of being cooped up for so long, that release. For us it was a slightly looser way of writing, the result of long, extended vamps and jams rather than the more traditional “verse, chorus” song structure. We wanted to create something inspired by some positive, dance floor energy as that had been something we’d been missing for so long. We also wanted something that showed clearly the two sides to the project, the studio Franc Moody where it’s just Jon and myself playing and producing the records and the live Franc Moody where the band becomes a 7 piece funk-fuelled outfit. It was a way of getting us all together and went some way to assuage the dearth of live experiences we’d all had in 2020! We recorded the A-Side of the record at our little studio in West London whilst the B Side with the full band was recorded at the Fish Factory in Willesden. The A-Side of the record took in actual fact very little time, probably a month or so. The tunes lent themselves to not being overthought and overly manicured whilst the B-Side was done in 2 days. In the studio, we use our usual tried and tested mix of synths, guitars, our craggy ole bass, and our blend of homemade, lo-fi percussion-like our collection of hot sauce bottles. 

Your music always has a thick, groovy bass line that everyone I know loves. What is the secret behind having such a sticky, mind-blowing bass line?

That’s very kind of you! We have a cheap rickety Fender Squier Bass but with Bootsy Collins strings. Then on Logic, we copy the audio of the bass to a new channel, rolling off the lows on the duplicate track and whacking it through a Mutron Biphase, a 70’s phaser that affects all that high and “squits” it into oblivion whilst on the other track you still have that lovely thick bass tone…

Your music is very groovy and has a very natural seduction to the dancefloor. When you set out to make your records is it about getting people onto the dancefloor first and foremost? Or some other musical idea you’re trying to get across?

I think both Jon and I have always loved playing music that makes people dance. Playing to a packed house wherever it is, and having that connection with an audience is about as good a feeling as one can get. For us that energy is so addictive and integral to the whole Franc Moody experience. We put so much into our live shows to ensure that people don’t forget them!

Follow-up question, how does your live show experience and style play into crafting songs in the studio?

Hugely! I think it’s one of the fundamental building blocks to a tune of ours that will cut the mustard, if there’s a clear vision of sweaty crowds, chaos, and big stages right from the very beginnings of an idea it’s definitely a good sign! It’s always fun dreaming up that live energy when it’s just the two of us bubbling up ideas in the studio and we hope it comes across in the records too.

Besides seeing you guys perform House of FM, where would the perfect place to listen to the EP be?

I reckon either with a scotch egg close at hand, or if that’s impossible on a good, bass heavy sound system with as many friends around as possible.

To stream House of FM, follow the link here or continue scrolling.