The Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand, whose fourth album is scheduled to drop in August, likes alliteration, horse racing and selling records. A restlessly creative quartet, they named themselves after the archduke whose assassination changed the shape of the 20th century and they record songs with titles like “Ulysses.” But smart though they are, they’re also intellectuals conscientious enough not to hit it too hard (“I don’t want to over-intellectualize the name thing. Basically a name should just sound good… like music,” drummer Paul Thompson once said.)
The band has been effective enough to trump its namesake in Google, where a search for “Franz Ferdinand” shows lots about the band before you get to the murdered royal with the memorable mustache. This original Franz was brought down by a bullet through the jugular fired by a 19-year-old member of the Bosnian unification group the Black Hand. It was the second assassination attempt in a trying day for the archduke, the failed first one being by grenade, which he deflected, yelling angrily, “So you welcome your guests with bombs?” (He and his wife, Sophie, were killed later leaving the hospital where they’d gone to visit the victims of the failed first attempt.) World War One, sparked 99 years ago by the assassination, saw 37 million casualties and more than 16 million dead. The band’s new album is titled Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. It is much anticipated.
Photo: Franz Ferdinand Fan Blog