Nick McCarthy

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Nick McCarthy
McCarthy performing in 2008 with Franz Ferdinand
McCarthy performing in 2008 with Franz Ferdinand
Background information
Birth nameNicholas John McCarthy
Born (1974-12-13) 13 December 1974 (age 48)
Blackpool, England
  • Guitar
  • piano
  • keyboard
  • synthesizer
  • bass
  • vocals
  • drums
Years active2001–present
Member of
Formerly of

Nicholas John McCarthy (born 13 December 1974) is an English-born German musician. His main focus is on songwriting and song production. He is also a guitarist, singer and keyboard player.

McCarthy was the rhythm guitarist, backing/lead vocalist, and keyboardist of the Glasgow-based band Franz Ferdinand until 2016.[1]


McCarthy was born in Blackpool, England. He grew up in Vagen near Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The artist Anna McCarthy is his younger sister.[2] As a teenager he stole a car with friends and since then has been nicknamed "McCarThief".[3] He graduated from High School in Bad Aibling and was trained classically as a pianist and double bassist at the Munich Conservatory.[4][5]

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. They have two children.[6]

Musical work[edit]

Before his breakthrough with Franz Ferdinand, Nick McCarthy was a member of the bands Kamerakino and the jazz band Scatter. He also played double bass, cello and Arabic lute in the band Embryo, whose music is described as a "fusion of jazz, rock and ethnic world music".[7]

He is active in numerous bands and music projects and works as songwriter and producer at "Flokati Studios" in Munich as well as at "Sausage Studios" in Hackney Lane in London.

The Flokati Studios, founded in 2020, are where Nick McCarthy works with the musician Mario Schönhofer among others. He co-founded Sausage Studios with Sebastian Kellig in 2012.[8]

Franz Ferdinand[edit]

In 2001 McCarthy moved to Glasgow. There he met vocalist and lead guitarist Alex Kapranos at a party. The two met up with Paul Thomson who had played drums with The Yummy Fur. With the addition of Bob Hardy, the band became Franz Ferdinand. Although McCarthy was classically trained on the piano and double bass, he initially tried his hand on drumming but then became the band's rhythm guitarist, keyboardist, backing vocalist and (co-)songwriter.[9]

McCarthy left the band in 2016 to focus on family matters and other musical projects.[10][11]


Together with actor Niklas Mitteregger and producer and mixer Emin Corrado McCarthy forms the band Nitsch.

It´s his latest band project. They have been signed to the German label Staatsakt since 2022.

Their debut single "Mutant Funk" was released in July 2022. Musically, the song is described by the label as "high-energy indie rock with Suicide's electro twist." The single "Is ok" followed in November 2022. They released their latest single "Ende der Welt" in Spring 2023. The debut album is planned for Fall 2023.

Ströme x Nick McCarthy[edit]

In 2022, Nick McCarthy collaborated with the band Ströme. Together they released the singles "Right Now", "Stadlberg" and "Das Modul" on Compost Records.[12] In these songs they used the legendary modular synthesizer Moog IIIp, the same machine the Beatles used to record some of their greatest songs in the 1960s.[13][14]

Das Lunsentrio[edit]

Together with Seb-I Kellig (among others dub producer for LaBrassBanda) and the berlin artist Hank Schmidt in der Beek, Nick McCarthy forms the band "Das Lunsentrio".[15] Their first album "Der Lunsen-Ring" was self-published in 2011.[16][17] In 2017 they released their second album "Aufstehn!" on the label Problembär Records.[18] The album was recorded and produced at East London's Sausage Studios. It encompasses a musical palette "from sweaty post-NDW to lyrically surreal agitprop three-part and protest funk in the musical tradition of the band Ton Steine Scherben to alpenglowy rockers reggae."[19]

Most recently, the album "69 Arten Den Pubrock Zu Spielen" was released in 2021 on Tapete Records.[20]

The Nix[edit]

The Nix is a project by Seb Kellig and Nick McCarthy. Together with a variety of guest vocalists (including Laetitia Sadier from Stereolab, KT Tunstall and Vula Malinga from Basement Jaxx) they recorded their debut album "Sausage Studio Sessions" in 2020.[21] It was released on the label Moshi Moshi Records and produced at their East London Sausage Studios. McCarthy says about "Sausage Studio Sessions" this is an album he always had in mind to record after leaving Franz Ferdinand. Something that felt at the same time like farewell and a new start party incorporating all the amazing musicians and people he met around the world. The songs, he said, were written collectively and very spontaneously with the artists who came by Sausage Studios, and the whole record was recorded with a backing band, Motown Style on party nights.[22]


Under the name "Manuela", McCarthy and his wife Manuela Gernedel released the eponymous indie pop album "Manuela" on Lost Map Records in 2017.[23] It was created at the Sausage Studios in London. Gernedel is described as the creative main force behind "Manuela" in an interview by the cultural magazine The Skinny. While she wrote the lyrics for the songs, McCarthy composed the music for them.[24]

Box Codax[edit]

In 2003, McCarthy and his long-time friend Alexander Ragnew formed the band Box Codax. They 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.[25] McCarthy's wife makes several appearances on the album. The band released the album on the label Gomma Records. In a review the music is described as "a collection of weird, whimsical and nostalgic songs - sometimes rough, sometimes punky."[26]

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,[clarification needed] with each song being accompanied by its own video. The music on Hellabuster moves between distorted disco, post-punk and glam-prog[27] and includes contributions and appearances by Mike Fraser, Joseph Mount, Metronomy, Paul Thomson and many more.[28] The videos for the songs, which were directed by British artists (including Turner Prize winner Martin Creed), contributed to the critical acclaim of the eccentric album. All video episodes of Hellabuster are freely available.


  • For the opera "The Sandman" by Anna Calvi and Robert Wilson which is based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, McCarthy played Live-Music together with Philipp Plessmann, Theresa Stark and Lisa Wilhelm at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg in early 2023.[29]
  • McCarthy co-composed songs with Polina Lapkovskaya and Federico Sanchez for the play "Ronia, the Robber's Daughter", which premiered at the Residence Theatre in Munich in 2019.[30]
  • In 2018, McCarthy produced the album "WAX" by the Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall. McCarthy co-wrote several songs on the album. He also appears as vocalist as well as musician on bass, keyboard and synthesizer.[31]
  • Together with Seb Kellig, Nick McCarthy composed the music for the police series "Heiter bis tödlich - München 7" for over 20 episodes, including the fifth season of the series, which was broadcast in 2014.[32]

Discography (selection)[edit]


  • 2001: Djaosch Macholi Orchester
  • 2003: Kamerakino: Paradiso
  • 2004: Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand
  • 2005: Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have It So Much Better
  • 2006: Box Codax: Only An Orchard Away
  • 2009: Franz Ferdinand: Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
  • 2011: Box Codax: Hellabuster
  • 2011: Das Lunsentrio: Der Lunsen-Ring
  • 2013: Franz Ferdinand: Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions
  • 2015: FFS (Franz Ferdinand and Sparks): FFS
  • 2016: Embryo: It Do
  • 2017: Das Lunsentrio: Aufstehn
  • 2017: Manuela: Manuela
  • 2020: The Nix: Sausage Studio Sessions
  • 2021: Das Lunsentrio: 69 Arten, den Pubrock zu spielen

Singles, productions and collaborations[edit]

  • 2009: Single Inaugural Trams (on the album Super Furry Animals - Dark Days/Light Years)
  • 2010: Killa Kela: Single Everyday (Nick McCarthy & Sugar Tons of Ferdinand Nightmare Remix)
  • 2016: Serienmusik für "Tinkershrimp & Dutch"
  • 2018: KT Tunstall: Album WAX
  • 2019: KT Tunstall: Single Extra Wax
  • 2019: Compositions for the play "Ronia, the Robber's Daughter" at Residence Theatre in Munich
  • 2022: Ströme x Nick McCarthy: Single Right Now
  • 2022: Ströme x Nick McCarthy: Single Stadlberg
  • 2022: Ströme x Nick McCarthy: Single Das Modul
  • 2022: Single The Pike (on the Single The Fernweh - Pas Devant Les Enfants)
  • 2022: Nitsch: Single Mutant Funk
  • 2022: Nitsch: Single Is ok
  • 2023: Nitsch: Single Ende der Welt


  1. ^ "Franz Ferdinand reveal the secrets of superstardom". the Guardian. 27 August 2006. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Der Rebell als Antiheld". Deutschlandfunk Kultur (in German). Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  3. ^ "Nick McCarthy". IMDb. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Nick McCarthy". IMDb. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  6. ^ "Nick McCarthy". IMDb. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  7. ^ "Nick McCarthy". IMDb. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  8. ^ Zeitung, Süddeutsche (29 January 2021). "Willkommen in der Wurstfabrik". Sü (in German). Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  9. ^ "Franz Ferdinand (band) biography". Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  10. ^ Monroe, Jazz (8 July 2016). "Franz Ferdinand Part Ways With Guitarist Nick McCarthy". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  11. ^ Geslani, Michelle (8 July 2016). "Franz Ferdinand guitarist Nick McCarthy is leaving the band". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Official Ströme Website". Ströme (in German). Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  13. ^ "Stadlberg, by Ströme x Nick McCarthy". Ströme. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  14. ^ "Right Now, by Ströme x Nick McCarthy". Ströme. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  15. ^ "69 Arten den Pubrock zu spielen, by Das Lunsentrio". Das Lunsentrio. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  16. ^ "LUNSENTRIO". Discogs (in German). Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  17. ^ "Lunsentrio: Für diesen Wahnsinn hat Nick McCarthy Franz Ferdinand verlassen". Musikexpress (in German). 30 June 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  18. ^ "LUNSENTRIO". Discogs (in German). Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  19. ^ "Lunsentrio: Für diesen Wahnsinn hat Nick McCarthy Franz Ferdinand verlassen". Musikexpress (in German). 30 June 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  20. ^ "LUNSENTRIO". Discogs (in German). Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  21. ^ "The Nix: Sausage Studio Sessions (CD) – jpc". (in German). Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  22. ^ "Sausage Studio Sessions, by The Nix". The Nix. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  23. ^ Manuela Gernedel - Manuela (in German), retrieved 7 September 2022
  24. ^ "Manuela introduce their debut album - The Skinny". Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  25. ^ "Box Codax". Discogs (in German). Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  26. ^ "Box Codax – Only an Orchard Away – Maria Stacks" (in German). 4 September 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  27. ^ Chester, Tim (11 May 2011). "Album Review: Box Codax - 'Hellabuster'". NME. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  28. ^ "GOMMA » New Box Codax Album out early 2011!". Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  29. ^ "Der Sandmann". Thalia Theater (in German). Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  30. ^ "Ronja Räubertochter |". Residenztheater (in German). Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  31. ^ "KT Tunstall on the Making of Her New Album, WAX | Performer Mag". Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  32. ^ Zeitung, Süddeutsche (29 January 2021). "Willkommen in der Wurstfabrik". Sü (in German). Retrieved 7 September 2022.

External links[edit]