Alex Kapranos

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Alex Kapranos
Franz Ferdinand (band) 2008.11.24 007.jpg
Kapranos performing in 2008
Background information
Birth name Alexander Paul Kapranos Huntley
Born (1972-03-20) 20 March 1972 (age 43)
Almondsbury, Gloucestershire, England
Origin South Shields, Tyne and Wear, England
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, author
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards
Years active Early 1990s–present
Labels Domino
Associated acts
Notable instruments
Fender 1972 Telecaster Deluxe
Fender 1952 Telecaster
Gibson Les Paul Junior Double Cut

Alexander Paul Kapranos Huntley (born 20 March 1972), commonly known as Alex Kapranos, is a Scottish[1] musician, best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the Glasgow-based rock band Franz Ferdinand.[2]

Early life[edit]

Alex Kapranos was born in Almondsbury, Gloucestershire, England to an English mother and Greek father.[3] He moved to Scotland at the age of seven, attending primary school in Edinburgh and high school in Bearsden, a suburb of Glasgow.[1] At the age of 17, Kapranos attended the University of Aberdeen to study Theology. After dropping out, he continued his studies at the University of Strathclyde, eventually gaining a BA. In 2005, he was awarded Strathclyde's Alumnus of the Year.[4] He worked as a chef, barman, music promoter, driver, welder and lecturer prior to finding fame with Franz Ferdinand.[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 as a chef, bartender, lecturer in IT at the city's Anniesland College, and other various jobs, 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]

Franz Ferdinand[edit]

After dropping "Huntley" from his name, he 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 (released 12 January 2004)[6] 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.

Alex Kapranos performing with Franz Ferdinand

In 2015 the band collaborated with American band Sparks to form a combined group named FFS.


In September 2005, Kapranos began "Soundbites",[12] 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."[13]


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.[14]

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.[15]

He produced the second album of Scottish guitarist RM HubbertThirteen Lost & Found


When not on the road or recording in the studio,[16] Kapranos spends time in his carpentry workshop, crafting abstract furniture.[17]


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.

Incident in Russia[edit]

On 2 June 2005 Alex Kapranos was detained by Russian police after being suspected of being a spy. Kapranos was attempting to board a plane in Moscow when the altercation took place. Travelling under his actual surname, Huntley, Kapranos was accused of being an MI6 agent who was previously suspected of stealing information on Russian weaponry. Unluckily for Kapranos, the surname Huntley was also used by actual former MI6 agent Richard Tomlinson, who did steal secrets in the early 90s. The singer was freed after he pointed out that the Huntley they were so concerned about was notably older than he.[18]


  1. ^ a b "Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos in Wikipedia dispute". Deadline News. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  2. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  3. ^ Neil Scott. "The Mind's Construction Quarterly » Alex Kapranos". 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 2011-11-05. 
  6. ^ [3] Archived 29 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ ""Music Charts: "Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out"". Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  8. ^ [4] Archived 8 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ ""Music Charts: "Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand"". 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". Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  12. ^ Kapranos, Alex (23 September 2005). "Whine tasting". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  13. ^ "Radio 4 Programmes – FM Schedule, Saturday 5 November 2011". BBC. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  14. ^ "The Cribs – Our Bovine Public". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  15. ^ "Citizens! debut album "Here we are" announcement". Kitsuné Journal. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  16. ^ Marianne Dowling (23 November 2009). "CANOE – JAM! Music – Artists – Franz Ferdinand : Franz Ferdinand keeps it interesting". Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  17. ^ [5][dead link]
  18. ^

External links[edit]