Franz Ferdinand are trending, but for entirely the wrong reason

"I naively presumed that history was something best learned from rather than repeated."

Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos has spoken out after his band’s name started trending on Twitter in the wake of the killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani.

Today (Friday January 3) saw US President Donald Trump order a drone stroke which killed Major Soleimani in Baghdad amid rising tensions between Washington and Tehran. Seen as one of the most powerful men in Iran, Soleimani’s leadership saw Iran strengthen Hezbollah in Lebanon and other pro-Iranian militant groups, as well as expanding Iran’s military presence in Iraq and Syria.

As well as this, Soleimani also played a key part in organising the tackling of rebel groups in the Syria’s longest civil war.


Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said “severe revenge awaits the criminals” behind the attack and announced three days of national mourning.

Qassem Soleimani (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

In fear of retaliation leading to a global catastrophe, many took to Twitter today to compare Soleimani’s assassination to that of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose death in June 1914 led to World War One.

As a result at the horror of the potential of international warfare, Franz Ferdinand started trending on Twitter – much to the dismay of the Scottish Mercury Prize winners.

“This is not how I wanted to see the name of my band trending on Twitter,” said frontman Alex Kapranos. When quizzed on why his band chose that name in the first place, Kapranos replied: “I naively presumed that history was something best learned from rather than repeated.”

The band’s official account added: “For the record, we think #WWIII is a bad idea.”


A number of fans also took to social media to share their dismay.

Explaining the band’s name back in 2005, Franz Ferdinand bassist Bob Hardy told NME: “Mainly we just liked the way it sounded. We liked the alliteration.”

In response to the news of the killing, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK “recognised the aggressive threat” that Soleimani posed, but “further conflict is in none of our interests”, while Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said the “US assassination” was an “extremely serious and dangerous escalation” and that the UK “should urge restraint”.

Franz Ferdinand recently completed touring for their acclaimed 2018 album ‘Always Ascending’.