Franz Ferdinand lead singer Alex Kapranos has opened up about conversations the band has had with their Russian fans, insisting that they don’t want their country to continue waging war with Ukraine.
Over the past few weeks, several artists have cancelled upcoming gigs in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine ordered by Vladimir Putin, with Louis Tomlinson, Green Day and Yungblud calling off dates.
When Franz Ferdinand revealed that they were scrapping their performances in Moscow and St Petersburg, they wrote in a statement that they had ‘built a rich and deep relationship with our Russian fans’, adding: ‘We know you see the madness of your country’s leadership. We know you do not want war.’
During an appearance on Good Morning Britain on Friday morning, Alex, 49, said that he ‘loves going to Russia’ as Ben Shephard pointed out that he and the rest of the band were celebrating their 20-year anniversary with their tour this year.
Speaking about the cancelled concerts in Russia, the singer said: ‘I love going to Russia. Russia culturally has had a big impact on the band, big influence on our artwork, and feel a close connection with our Russian fans over there as well.’
He continued: ‘And that’s the tragedy of it, because speaking to our fans – which nowadays you do on social media – they don’t want this war. The overwhelming response is we don’t want this to be happening. It just seems [to be] the craziness of the leadership.’
Alex recalled how Franz Ferdinand performed in the ‘beautiful’ Ukrainian cities of Odessa and Kyiv on their last tour, saying how now he is ‘seeing tanks arriving in them, and thinking, “That’s my apartment block being blown up.”’
In order to show their support for Ukraine, the band took part in a fundraising event called Night For Ukraine, which was held at The Roundhouse in London on March 9.
‘All of us feel helpless and want to do something,’ he said.
‘Music will lift our spirits no matter where we are and what we’re doing. It’s always a help.’
When Franz Ferdinand announced the cancellation of their Russia dates on Twitter on March 1, they wrote in a statement shared on Twitter: ‘We are cancelling our Russian shows that are scheduled for this summer. The only reason for this is the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian state.
‘We love Russia. This great country has inspired our band through its art and literature and since we first played there seventeen years ago.’
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.