Nicholas John "Nick" McCarthy (born 13 December 1974) is an English musician. He is the guitarist, backing/lead vocalist, and keyboardist of the Glasgow-based band Franz Ferdinand, as well as a member of the band Box Codax.
Nick McCarthy grew up in Vagen near Munich, Bavaria, Germany. He was trained classically as a pianist and double bassist at the Munich Conservatory.
Whilst residing in Germany, McCarthy was a member of a band called Kamerakino. He also played double bass, cello and Arabic lute 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, now of Franz Ferdinand fame.
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 Yummy Fur. Thomson was originally going to play guitar because he wanted to try something other than drums. With the addition of Robert Hardy, the band became Franz Ferdinand.
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"
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.
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 tie the knot. In June 2011 Gernedel gave birth to a son, Vito Gernedel McCarthy.