Episode 286: Franz Nicolay


You may know Franz Nicolay as the multi-instrumentalist for The Hold Steady and World/Inferno Friendship Society but that merely scratches the surface of his accomplishments. Nicolay is also a successful solo artist, producer, session player, composer and arranger whose musical resume spans everyone from Leftover Crack and The Loved Ones to the chamber music collective Anti-Social Music. Nicolay is also the author of “The Humorless Ladies Of Border Control: Touring the Punk Underground from Belgrade to Ulaanbaatar,” a fascinating recollection of DIY touring in the former Communist world . During this podcast we discuss all this as well as his transition from living in NYC to a more meditative upstate dwelling, why he doesn’t enjoy playing shows in jeans and a T-shirt and his experience witnessing the Nomad Olympics in Mongolia. (For the full story, pick up the book.) “There was a constituency that thought keyboards ruined the Hold Steady but those people are lost to history,” Nicolay says with a laugh when the subject turns to the band and their recent run of anniversary shows. “At this point we’re just doing every step of the way with everybody in the band, so these days the stakes are low as far as a time commitment.” With two more books in the works as well as a myriad of musical projects, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Visit Franz Online

Buy “The Humorless Ladies Of Border Control”