We all know Alex Kapranos for being the leader and vocalist for Franz Ferdinand, one of the bands that blew our minds in the mid-2000s because of those giddy riffs they play and who gave us songs that became instant classics like “Take Me Out”, “Do You Want”, “No You Girls” and plus. But around him there are quite curious stories that perhaps very few knew.
After thrilling the world with his debut album, in 2005 Franz Ferdinand released his second studio album, You Could Have It So Much Better. Like any other band, Alex Kapranos and company had planned a world tour to promote their latest record material and where they would demonstrate why they were a sensation in Scotland and England, and they did so.
They passed through different European cities, but things got interesting when they got to Russia. In the art and visual aesthetics of Franz Ferdinand, we could find obvious influences from Russian constructivism and artists like Alexander Rodchenko –It goes without saying that the cover of You Could Have It So Much Better is influenced by a propaganda poster from the USSR years – so we assume that this trip would be an unforgettable experience for them, at least for Kapranos it was.
The band had agreed three presentations for May 2005 in that country, one in Saint Petersburg and two more in Moscow. Of course the Russian fans – just like us when we see Franz Ferdinand live – were amazed by the energy and the vibe they transmitted on stage. Their concerts were a total success, they promised to return and the band was preparing to continue with their scheduled tour.
On June 2, 2005, Franz Ferdinand arrived at the Moscow airport, where they would board the plane that would return them to London. However, when Alex Kapranos was trying to take his seat, he was arrested by the Russian police for allegedly being an MI6 spy, the Secret Intelligence Service from United Kingdom, a fact that ended in a slight altercation. Yes, this is not a joke at all.
All of this happened while his bandmates Bob Hardy, Nick McCarthy and Paul Thomson they knew nothing of what was going on. But, Why was the Russian police accusing the singer of being flesh and blood 007 himself? Well, it turns out that on that trip, Alex did not use the exotic Kapranos when identifying himself, so that there was no problem he decided to use his maternal surname, Huntley.
This was the only mistake Alex made since, to his misfortune, the former MI6 agent, Richard Tomlinson used the surname Huntley as his secret name when he was an undercover agent In Russia they were especially careful with him, because in the early 90s and in the last days of the Soviet UnionThis man stole secret information, so his name had been released.
According to Music News, an anonymous source spoke to Alex Kapranos and he said that at first the police did not believe he was a Scottish musician and not a spy who had come to his country to outwit Russian intelligence: “Alex protested his innocence, but officials initially would not believe his story.” Before, they didn’t think that he had a submachine gun in his guitar case, jiar jiar.
But intelligently, Alex told the agents holding him that the Huntley they were so concerned about was 42 years old., 13 years older than him, so there was no way Kapranos was the man spying on them. Given the logic of the vocalist and frontman of Franz Ferdinand, the police could not do anything, so they had no choice but to free him to take his flight.
Alex Kapranos returned with all his bandmates and luckily everything ended in a scare.Because the Russian policemen have a reputation for not being so friendly. Since then he has not spoken on this topic, but he certainly is one of those stories that reminds us of the importance of always using the names with which everyone knows us, but ask poor Alex.