Nick McCarthy

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Nick McCarthy
Nick McCarthy performing in 2008 with Franz Ferdinand
Nick McCarthy performing in 2008 with Franz Ferdinand
Background information
Birth nameNicholas John McCarthy
Born (1974-12-13) 13 December 1974 (age 47)
Blackpool, England
  • Guitar
  • piano
  • keyboard
  • synthesizer
  • bass
  • vocals
  • drums
Years active2001–present

Nicholas John McCarthy (born 13 December 1974) is an English[1] musician. He was the guitarist, backing/lead vocalist, and keyboardist of the Glasgow-based band Franz Ferdinand, and is a member of the band Box Codax. He is also a member of the German reggae collective Das Lunsentrio.[2]

Early life[edit]

He grew up in Vagen near Munich, Bavaria, Germany. He was trained classically as a pianist and double bassist at the Munich Conservatory.[3]

Whilst residing in Germany, McCarthy was a member of a band called Kamerakino.[4] He also played double bass, cello and Arabic lute[3] in a band called Embryo, whose music is described as a 'fusion of jazz, rock and ethnic world music.' After extensively touring internationally with Embryo, McCarthy decided it was time for somewhere new, returned to the UK and, on a friend's suggestion, moved to Glasgow.

There, McCarthy broke into Glasgow's underground cultural scene as a member of the jazz band Scatter, shortly after he met Alex Kapranos, with whom he would form Franz Ferdinand.

Franz Ferdinand[edit]

McCarthy met vocalist and co-guitarist Alex Kapranos at a party. Although he was classically trained on the piano and double bass, he initially tried to play drums. The two met up with Paul Thomson who had played drums with The Yummy Fur. Thomson was originally going to play guitar because he wanted to try something other than drums. With the addition of Bob Hardy, the band became Franz Ferdinand. McCarthy left the band in 2016 to focus on family matters and other musical projects.[5][6]

Box Codax[edit]

McCarthy and his long-time friend Alexander Ragnew formed a band called Box Codax, and released their first two singles, "Boys and Girls" and "Naked Smile," on the label The Thin Man (previously known as Thin Man Records). The band's first album, "Only An Orchard Away" was released on 4 September 2006. McCarthy's wife makes several appearances on the album. The band released the album on the Gomma Records label and it is described as "a collection of songs often romantic and whimsical nostalgia, at other times scrappy and punky"[7]

In May 2011, Box Codax released their second studio album called Hellabuster, which Nick McCarthy wrote and produced. The album is an eccentric take on the peculiar and young life of Hellabuster, with each of its 13-song accompanied by its own video.[8]

Personal life[edit]

On 2 July 2005, McCarthy married his Austrian fiancée Manuela Gernedel in Bavaria, Germany. Franz Ferdinand turned down a Live 8 spot so that the pair could marry. In June 2011 Gernedel gave birth to a son.


  1. ^ Lynsey Hanley (27 August 2006). "Compose yourself..." The Observer. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Lunsentrio: Für diesen Wahnsinn hat Nick McCarthy Franz Ferdinand verlassen". Musikexpress (in German). 30 June 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b Mugan, Chris (26 August 2011). "Nick McCarthy helps to devise an original take on The Tempest". The Independent. Archived from the original on 20 June 2022. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Nick McCarthy". IMDb. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  5. ^ Monroe, Jazz (8 July 2016). "Franz Ferdinand Part Ways With Guitarist Nick McCarthy". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  6. ^ Geslani, Michelle (8 July 2016). "Franz Ferdinand guitarist Nick McCarthy is leaving the band". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  7. ^ Box Codax – Free Music Downloads – MP3 Downloads – Music Archived 1 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ MacKay, Emily (11 May 2011). "Album Review: Box Codax – 'Hellabuster'". NME. Retrieved 2 January 2012.

External links[edit]