How did Franz Ferdinand (band) get their name?

The name of the band was originally inspired by a racehorse called Archduke Ferdinand. After seeing the horse win the Northumberland Plate in 2001, the band began to discuss Archduke Franz Ferdinand and thought it would be a good band name because of the alliteration of the name and the implications of the Archduke's death (his assassination was a significant factor in the lead-up to World War I).

"Mainly we just liked the way it sounded," says Bob. "We liked the alliteration." "He was an incredible figure as well," continues Alex. "His life, or at least the ending of it, was the catalyst for the complete transformation of the world and that is what we want our music to be. But I don't want to over-intellectualize the name thing. Basically a name should just sound good… like music." Paul offered, "I like the idea that, if we become popular, maybe the words Franz Ferdinand will make people think of the band instead of the historical figure" – talking to is this music?

In addition to this, in 2004 the band played a number of "secret" gigs under the pseudonym "The Black Hands", alluding to the secret society that was held responsible for the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.