Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand on fanfic:
Once upon a time, four Scottish boys moved to London with dreams of becoming rock stars. Struggling to survive, Alex, Bob, Nick and Paul became rent boys. Things seemed hopeless until, one night, this charming man named Steve took Alex to his hotel room. The two fell in love almost immediately and Steve declared that he simply couldn’t bear to think of Alex returning to the streets. When asked if there was anything else he could do for money, Alex told Steve about his band. Grinning, Steve said that he might be able to help. As it turned out, Steve Morrissey was a singer…
No, that’s not the secret history of Franz Ferdinand. It’s rock ‘n’ roll slash (ahem, viewer discretion advised).
For the uninitiated, slash is fan fiction that deals with homosexual pairings. It’s generally inspired by homoerotic subtext, like the smoldering tension between Kirk and Spock on Star Trek, the way that Triple H smacked Kurt Angle’s exposed bottom on WWE Smackdown or lyrics about sticky lips and beautiful dance whores in Franz Ferdinand’s "Michael." Most of it is written by women.
Singer Alex Kapranos has recently stumbled on this world and he’s fascinated with the results.
"It was pointed out to me at one point and I thought it was very humorous," Kapranos says. "The thing I didn’t realize is that there are so many hot blooded girls who are really kind of into this voyeuristic thing about homosexual sex. At first I thought they’d been spying on my private life and then I realized it’s just fantasy."
While many stars are opposed to the idea of writers using them in real person slash (RPS if you want to get really geeky), Kapranos is actually amused by it.
"I think it’s brilliant. It’s really, really funny. And I like that sort of thing cause it means that there’s people who have imagination who are inspired by your personality and the things that you’ve done, so it’s a good thing," he says. "There’s absolutely nothing wrong with fictionalizing a genuine character as long as you make it clear that you are fictionalizing, which I think all that slash stuff does. I think it gets dangerous when people start believing that those things are actually true, and I think for the obvious majority of people that that’s not going to be the case. There are a few people who get crazy obsessed and start imagining they’re having relationships with people that they don’t have relationships with. That sort of thing’s a little bit frightening, but I think that’s very rare."
Another reason that Alex isn’t bothered by the fictionalization of real people in slash is that he doesn’t think it’s that different from what Franz Ferdinand do.
"It’s what we do in songs as well," he says. "I mean, we take characters who are around us and write stories, write songs about events that have happened in their lives. Of course, when you tell any story, you make it dramatic, you use the tools of drama to make an exciting story. All they’re doing is an extreme example of what we do."