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’.
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.
Bassist Bob Hardy on the band’s name: “Mainly we just liked the way it sounded. We liked the alliteration.”
Kapranos previously played in some of Glasgow’s best-loved bands, including The Yummy Fur, The Amphetameanies and The Blisters.
Alex’s middle name Paul is a tribute to Paul McCartney, whom his mother had a crush on.
Nick McCarthy can also play cello, double bass and the lute.
Alex interviewed Wilco Johnson for the Big Issue earlier this year.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.”