In the last six months, Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand have sold more than a half-million albums in the U.S. alone, they've won a VMA, were nominated for three MTV Europe Music awards, and they're finalists for the prestigious Shortlist Music Prize.
Now Hollywood is calling — specifically, the people behind the "Harry Potter" films.
"We've been asked to write some music for [the upcoming 'Harry Potter' film]," singer Alex Kapranos said. "There's a section where there's a band of ugly sisters playing and I think, well ... some members of Franz Ferdinand may be the ugly sisters in the band," he noted coyly.
Although Kapranos stressed that the project is still being negotiated, he said it's one he would love to do. "There's an excitement and innocence about those films. I like how there's good and evil, and that's a clarity which is quite refreshing."
Next month, the band will share the stage with some of the world's biggest musical stars at the MTV Europe Music Awards — Eminem, Usher, Nelly and Gwen Stefani — and to keep their own star on the rise, the group has shot a new video for the second single from their debut album, "This Fire."
Visually, the clip picks up where their last one, "Take Me Out," left off. Mixing the geometric style of the Russian constructivist art movement and the bold graphic style of DC and Marvel comics, the video finds Franz Ferdinand in an alternate world where history has been rewritten.
"We were joking [with each other], saying, 'Could you imagine what might have happened if the Cold War had been lost, and the [comics'] graphic style had been completely changed over and mixed with that Russian style?" Kapranos said. " 'This Fire' is taking over the world and there's these dark, villainous characters — who are Franz Ferdinand — in their underground bunker in Glasgow sending out this orange peril across the planet. [It's] not like the proliferation of communism, but the proliferation of Franz Ferdinandism," he smiled.
The clip — which uses a re-recorded version of the song that the bandmembers feel better captures their onstage energy — is a long way from the song's original meaning.
"The song is a metaphor for passion," Kapranos said. "That sort of all-engulfing, obsessive passion that you get when your eyes lock with somebody else's and you feel it completely takes over everything else in your life. It takes over all reason and all logic and you feel like you could destroy anything with this fire, and it's the most exciting thing in the world."
Not ones to rest on their laurels, the guys are already at work on their sophomore record. They have a title and a new color scheme for the album's artwork (though they won't reveal what either is) and a pile of new songs, including "Blonde Ambition," "Doing Fine," "Made to Minx by Lung Leg" and "I've Got Ten Pounds" (see "Franz Ferdinand Pen Songs Like Most People Write Postcards).
One thing's certain: the quartet won't be taking any major left turns with their sound.
"I've been mucking about with a 12-string [guitar] and Nick's been playing slide, but we're not going to be drastically different," Kapranos said. "We're certainly not going to start using a bunch of effects pedals. We like the idea of capturing a band in a room playing live."
For more on the Shortlist Music Prize, see "Shortlist Prize Finalists: A Mixtape From the Stars."