Alex Kapranos

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Alex Kapranos
Franz Ferdinand (band) 2008.11.24 007.jpg
Kapranos performing in November 2008
Background information
Birth name Alexander Paul Kapranos Huntley
Born (1972-03-20) 20 March 1972 (age 45)
Almondsbury, Gloucestershire, England
Genres
Occupation(s) Musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, author
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards
Years active 1990s–present
Labels Domino
Associated acts
Website www.franzferdinand.co.uk

Alexander Paul Kapranos Huntley (born 20 March 1972) is a Scottish[1] musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and author. He is best known as the lead singer and guitarist of Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand.[2]

Early life

Alexander Paul Kapranos Huntley was born on 20 March 1972 in Almondsbury, Gloucestershire, the son of an English mother and Greek father.[3] He moved to Scotland at the age of seven, attending Blackhall primary school in Edinburgh and high school in Bearsden.[1] He attended the University of Aberdeen to study Theology. After dropping out, he continued studying at the University of Strathclyde, gaining a BA. In 2005, he was awarded Strathclyde's Alumnus of the Year.[4]

Kapranos worked as a chef, barman, music promoter, driver, welder, and IT lecturer prior to finding fame.[5] From the early 1990s, he was a fixture of the Glasgow music scene, running live nights at the 13th Note, most notably The Kazoo Club.[citation needed] While working at the city's Anniesland College, he played in some of Glasgow's popular bands, including The Blisters (later known as The Karelia), The Amphetameanies, and The Yummy Fur. He is also known to have contributed to the noise act Urusei Yatsura and Lung Leg recordings.[2]

Career

Performing

Kapranos performing with Franz Ferdinand in October 2005

After dropping "Huntley" from his name, Kapranos formed Franz Ferdinand in 2001. The band is composed of Alex Kapranos, Nick McCarthy (guitar, keyboard, backup vocals), Paul Thomson (drums, backup vocals, sometimes guitar) and Bob Hardy (bass). The band saw chart success after their second single Take Me Out" was released on 12 January 2004[6] and reached Number 3 in the UK Charts[7] followed by their debut album Franz Ferdinand (released 9 February 2004)[8] which debuted on the UK album chart at Number 3.[9]

The band went on to win the 2004 Mercury Music Prize[10] and two Brit Awards in 2005[11] for Best British Group and Best British Rock Act.

In 2015, the band collaborated with American band Sparks to form a supergroup named FFS.

Producing

Kapranos produced Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever – the third album by British indie rock group The Cribs in Vancouver BC, released on 14 May 2007. He also produced their single-only track, "Don't You Wanna Be Relevant?", which was featured with "Our Bovine Public" (from Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever) as a double A-side.

Kapranos makes a cameo appearance in the video for Our Bovine Public.[12]

His remix of the single "New in Town", by British pop singer Little Boots was featured on various formats of the singles release.

He produced the debut album by British indie rock band Citizens!Here We Are, which was released by Kitsuné on 28 May 2012.[13]

He produced the second album of Scottish guitarist RM Hubbert, Thirteen Lost & Found.

Other work

Writing

In September 2005, Kapranos began "Soundbites",[14] a weekly food column for G2 in The Guardian newspaper, which detailed his culinary adventures as Franz Ferdinand traversed the globe on their world tour. Sound Bites: Eating on Tour with Franz Ferdinand, a book of the column and unreleased material illustrated by Andy Knowles was released in 2006.

Sound Bites: Eating on Tour with Franz Ferdinand was read by Kapranos on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week for 4–8 December 2006, described as "his account about what he ate while touring the world."[15]

Narration

Kapranos narrated the 2008 BBC Scotland documentary Edwyn Collins: Home Again on the recovery of Orange Juice singer Edwyn Collins.

Also in 2008, Kapranos narrated the BBC Radio One documentary The Story of Kraftwerk.

Film

In 2016, Kapranos took part in a documentary about Glasgow music, and Chemikal Underground Records, called Lost in France. The film was directed by Niall McCann and brought Kapranos (along with members of The Delgados, Mogwai and others) to Mauron, Brittany, to recreate a gig they played when Kapranos was in his earlier band, The Karelia. The film features Kapranos playing live with Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai, and other musicians such as Emma Pollock and RM Hubbert, and Holy Mountain, as well as interviews with Kapranos and his old label-mates. Lost in France premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival to wholly positive reviews and was called "Funny, vital and sobering[16]” by Scotland's arts bible The Skinny.

Personal life

In his spare time, Kapranos enjoys crafting abstract furniture in his carpentry workshop.[17][18]

In June 2005, Kapranos was detained for around an hour by officials at Domodedovo Airport after being mistakenly identified as belonging on a U.S. "no-fly" list. This occurred due to the surname on his passport, Huntley, also having been previously used as an alias by the former MI6 agent Richard Tomlinson. Tomlinson had been fired, imprisoned, and labelled a security risk after circulating to publishers a draft of a book on MI6. Kapranos was released after officials determined that he did not fit Tomlinson's description.[19][20]

References

  1. ^ a b "Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos in Wikipedia dispute". Deadline News. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  2. ^ a b [1] Archived 17 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Neil Scott. "The Mind's Construction Quarterly » Alex Kapranos". Tmcq.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  4. ^ [2] Archived 26 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Battaglia, Andy (14 February 2007). "Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 30 June 2017. 
  6. ^ [3] Archived 29 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ ""Music Charts: "Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out"". Acharts.us. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  8. ^ [4] Archived 8 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ ""Music Charts: "Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand"". Acharts.us. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "Ferdinand win Mercury Music Prize". BBC News. 8 September 2004. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  11. ^ Kaufman, Gil (10 February 2005). "Franz Ferdinand, Scissor Sisters, Keane Win Big at Brit Awards". Mtv.com. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  12. ^ "The Cribs – Our Bovine Public". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  13. ^ "Citizens! debut album "Here we are" announcement". Kitsuné Journal. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  14. ^ Kapranos, Alex (23 September 2005). "Whine tasting". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  15. ^ "Radio 4 Programmes – FM Schedule, Saturday 5 November 2011". BBC. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  16. ^ http://www.theskinny.co.uk/festivals/uk-festivals/film/alex-kapranos-on-lost-in-france
  17. ^ Marianne Dowling (23 November 2009). "CANOE – JAM! Music – Artists – Franz Ferdinand : Franz Ferdinand keeps it interesting". Jam.canoe.ca. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  18. ^ [5] Archived 2 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ Fielding, Nick (19 June 2005). "Russians hold Franz, the MI6 rock agent". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  20. ^ "ON THIS DAY: June 2 – Queen Elizabeth was coronated 62 years ago today". North Devon Journal. 2015-06-02. Retrieved 2016-11-01. 

External links

  • Franz Ferdinand official website
  • Alex Kapranos talks about Sound Bites to stv.tv
  • Alex Kapranos interview with World Hum
  • Alex Kapranos interview with SPIN
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