Franz Ferdinand Biography
Franz Ferdinand is a British rock band based in Glasgow named after Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. As of 2006, Franz Ferdinand are composed of Alexander Kapranos (lead vocals, lead guitar), Robert Hardy (bass guitar and backing vocals), Nicholas McCarthy (rhythm guitar, keyboard, backing vocals), and Paul Thomson (drums, backing vocals).
The band's debut self-titled album (released in 2004) debuted on the UK album charts at number three and won the 2004 Mercury Music Prize before their second album charted at number 1. So far, the band has released eight singles, a double single and two video-clip-only singles, of which "Take Me Out," "The Dark of the Matinée," "This Fire" (on the download chart) and "Do You Want To" were top 10 hits in the UK.
They are primarily known as a Scottish band yet only the drummer, Paul Thomson, was born there. The other three members were born in England, moving to Scotland later in life. Alex was born in Almondsbury, South Gloucestershire; Nick was born in Blackpool, Lancashire; and Bob was born in Bradford, Yorkshire.
The name of the band was originally inspired by a racehorse called The Archduke. After seeing the horse run on television the band began to discuss Archduke Franz Ferdinand and thought it would be a good band name because of the sound of the name and the implications of the Archduke's death (his assassination sparked World War I). They discussed it in a very early interview with Scottish magazine, Is This Music?
"Mainly we just liked the way it sounded," says Bob. "We liked the alliteration." "He was an incredible figure as well," continues Alex. "His life, or at least the ending of it, was the catalyst for the complete transformation of the world ... he was a pivot for history. But I don't want to over-intellectualise the name thing. Basically a name should just sound good ... like music." Paul has a much grander notion. "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."
The song Take Me Out, on the band's first album, was the second single to be released by the band. The single release of Take Me Out came with the B side, 'All For You Sophia', based on the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, whose name was Sophie, not Sophia. (The band changed the name Sophie to Sophia to give the song a better ring to it.) There are many historical references to that day, including "June the twenty-eighth" and "the Black Hand,".