Long-time guitarist Nick McCarthy has announced he has parted ways with Franz Ferdinand. It's sad news, but hopefully we'll get plenty more Franz music in the future. Here are 50 geeky facts about the Glasgow indie rockers. For starters, did you know that the B-side of breakout single ‘Take Me Out’, ‘All For You, Sophia’, is about their namesake Archduke? It includes nods towards his assassin and secret society ‘Black Hands’.
On Record Store Day in 2009, Franz Ferdinand released 'Blood', an album completely made up of dub versions the tracks from their album, 'Tonight: Franz Ferdinand'.
The band is well versed when it comes to cover tracks, with renditions of hits by the likes of Pulp, David Bowie and Britney Spears.
Their songs have also been undergone the remix treatment by several big names from the electronic music world, including Daft Punk, Hot Chip and Erol Alkan.
Of their track ‘The Fallen’ Alex Kapranos has said: "This song is about someone I know coming back as the reincarnation of Christ, and imagining what they would do. In this my case turning water into wine and getting it on with Mary Magdalene.’’
Alex Kapranos worked as a welder and chef before getting his break in the music industry with Franz.
A consistent theme of Franz Ferdinand’s in both their videos and sleeves are nods to Russian avant-garde artwork and the Dada movement.
The music video for the hit single ‘Take Me Out’ took inspiration from the graphic novel ‘Une Semaine de Bonte' by artist Max Ernst.
Franz Ferdinand took their name from a racehorse called the Archduke Ferdinand.
They then went on to research Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who was a catalyst for the start of World War I. But each member of the band has a different spin on why they decided on him as their namesake.
Bassist Bob Hardy on the band’s name: "Mainly we just liked the way it sounded. We liked the alliteration."
Alex Kapranos on the band’s name: "He was an incredible figure as well. His life, or at least the ending of it, was the catalyst for the complete transformation of the world and that is what we want our music to be. But I don't want to over-intellectualize the name thing. Basically a name should just sound good ... like music."
Paul Thompson meanwhile said "I like the idea that, if we become popular, maybe the words Franz Ferdinand will make people think of the band instead of the historical figure.’’
On "Auf Achse," a track from Franz Ferdinand's debut album, the last part of the song references Jesus's crucifixion. Alex studied theology at university.
Franz Ferdinand got themselves into hot water after Alex advised young artists to avoid covering Oasis songs, tweeting: "Never cover Oasis. Never forget your friends. Always have a laugh. RT.’’
When asked why, the singer replied: "Ach. Nothing personal. Just because everyone does. And they're so f***ing boring. RT’’
Alex Kapranos was born to an English mother and Greek father in Gloucestershire.
Kapranos previously played in some of Glasgow’s best-loved bands, including The Yummy Fur, The Amphetameanies and The Blisters.
Alexander Paul Kapranos Huntley apparently dropped the ‘Huntley’ from his name due to the association with murdered Ian Huntley shortly before forming Franz Ferdinand.
Alex's middle name Paul is a tribute to Paul McCartney, whom his mother had a crush on.
Franz Ferdinand turned down a set at Live 8 in the name of love. Guitarist and keyboard player Nick McCarthy married his fiancé Manuela Gernedel in Germany in July 2005.
Franz Ferdinand and Kanye West have a mutual admiration for one another. The two acts were introduced at the 2004 MTV Europe Awards.
Late 2005 saw singer Kapranos begin a weekly food column for the newspaper The Guardian, detailing the vast variety of food he encountered whilst touring internationally.
Nick McCarthy can also play cello, double bass and the lute.
Kapranos told the Daily Mail in an interview that performing to large audiences is similar to ‘‘going to bed with a woman.’ He went on: ‘'to do a good gig or perform well between the sheets you need to lose all self-consciousness.’’
Alex interviewed Wilco Johnson for the Big Issue earlier this year.
He has also interviewed The Doors organist Ray Manzerek. It didn’t go so well, though: "’I told Ray Manzarek I loved how you could play the organ line from Light My Fire almost entirely on the white keys.’’ Manzarek replied: "What? Are you implying my music is simplistic, you moron?”
Franz turned down an offer from Prince William for a Royal Command Performance at the Queen's Buckingham Palace Christmas Reception in 2004. "Ideally, musicians belong outside the Establishment. When they cross that line, it's like something in them has died," Alex explained.
Franz was only meant to be "a bit of a laugh" for frontman Alex instead of a career, having inherited a bass guitar from Mike Cooke of Belle & Sebastian.
The band once put on a show during an art exhibition at friend Celia Hempton’s flat.
Kapranos cites Soviet-era author Mikhael Bulgakov as a key influence.
Drummer Paul Thompson’s record label NEW! only deals in vinyl.
The rock band started their own book club whilst touring.
Kapranos delivered a speech at the Edinburgh Lecture in which he called for state support of rock music, campaigning for bursaries to be available to bands in addition to orchestras.
Alex Kapranos drove a Land Rover across Kosovo for an anti-landmine charity before he found fame.
Franz Ferdinand performed with Black Eyed Peas and Maroon 5 at the 2005 Grammys.
The song ‘Lucid Dreams’ was used in the Madden '09 video game.
Nick McCarthy was dressed as '80s dandy-man Adam Ant at the party where he and Kapranos met. After a punch-up resulting from some cheeky vodka-grabbing the two became friends.
Thomson used to work as a nude model and participate in medical research trials.
Soon after forming, the band set up a rehearsal space in a derelict Art Deco warehouse fringing on the River Clyde called the Chateau. Kapranos was later arrested by police who accused him of running it as an illegal drinking den.
A lightswitch was once the catalyst for an argument between Kapranos and McCarthy so severe that it nearly split the band up.
The album ‘Tonight’ features the sounds of a human skeleton, bought for £12 ("it seemed like too good a bargain to ignore, even though there was no head on it," claimed Alex.) The band then snapped the bones and used them to drum – which they believe gives the album it’s urgent sound.
McCarthy celebrated the success of the band's debut album by buying himself "a Y-reg Mercedes estate, which cost me £250. That's about as carried away as I got.’’
Hardy spent his youth in Wyke, Bradford, where his baker-dad was renown for his pain au chocolat and experiment brioche.
Hardy’s creative juices stem beyond music - his synaesthesia (which enables him to hear smells) inspired paintings saw him secure a place in Bradford College’s BTEC Foundation Course of Art and Design in 1998.
When Hardy first met Kapranos at the 13th Note in Glasgow, he apparently disgusted the frontman with a string of dead baby jokes.
Though repulsed by Hardy’s humour, Alex ended up chatting to him and found he was unemployed. The vocalist got him a job alongside him as a dessert chef.
Hardy is said to enjoy receiving pretzels from fans on tour.
Paul Thomson is also a talented dancer. Having tapdanced his way to a part in a West End production of ‘Oliver!’ as a child, he also reportedly choreographs many of the band’s music videos.
In an interview where they were asked about one of the strangest places they had found themselves in following fame, Hardy said: "I think it might've been Usher's [post-MTV Awards] party in Rome, when he came out cuddling two tiger cubs."