Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos Apologizes to Pharrell

Singer recants theft accusations against producer

Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, Pharrell.
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images; Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS
February 3, 2014 9:55 AM ET

Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos has apologized to Pharrell after accusing the producer of "borrow[ing] a riff" from one of his songs.

Last Friday, Kapranos wrote, "Hey Pharrell - I love your tunes. If you want to borrow a riff, just ask..." and linked to "Can't Rely on You," a song by British pop singer Paloma Faith produced by and featuring Pharrell. Kapranos didn't explicitly say which Franz Ferdinand track he was referring to, but many saw it as a thinly veiled reference to "Take Me Out," the group's 2004 breakthrough hit.

50 Top Tweeters in Music: Alex Kapranos

In a tweet posted Monday morning, Kapranos walked back the accusation. "@Pharrell Sometimes I forget how easily things can get exaggerated on here," wrote Kapranos. "I know you didn't borrow any riffs. Sorry for all the press BS." 

When Rolling Stone caught up with Kapranos last year, the singer admitted that the group had stopped talking to each other before the recording of new album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action and discussed his songwriting process.

"There's usually two stages," he said. "There's an effortless stage where the idea just comes out. Then there's a lot of editing and whittling away. I remember reading about Raymond Carver and how he worked with his editor [Gordon Lish]. There are two versions of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, the edited version and the unedited version. Personally, I prefer the edited version. There's a starkness and a leanness to the text, which I really love, and I think that's what you find in good pop music. There's almost a masochistic pleasure in cutting away something which you created yourself."

Pharrell's 2014 should be as busy as last year. After performing "Get Lucky" with Daft Punk, Stevie Wonder and Nile Rodgers for the first time at the Grammys, he's prepping for five shows with Bruno Mars and Aloe Blacc alongside recording his first album since 2006. He's also been nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar for "Happy" from the film Despicable Me 2 and is currently working on the score for Spider-Man 2, alongside Hans Zimmer and Johnny Marr.

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