Epic Records calls Franz Ferdinand the band that ushered in a new British invasion and altered the landscape of modern rock radio.
Singer Alex Kapranos might appreciate Epic's enthusiasm-after all, they're talking about his band. But he takes a bit more modest view of the impact Franz made with their 2004 self-titled debut.
"I think we did one thing," he says. "It would be great for other bands to look at what we did and see that we were four ordinary guys from a place like Glasgow that just decided to pick up guitars and play some tunes ourselves. If anything, I think some bands [could say], "If those guys can do it, then we can have a go as well.'
"And to me, the best bands always come around that way. If you look at the Beatles or the Stones or the Clash or the Buzzcocks or the Smiths or whoever-all these bands were just a bunch of guys, a bunch of friends, who enjoyed hanging around together and decided they wanted to make some tunes."
Kapranos' humility shouldn't be mistaken for a lack of ambition. He obviously believes his band has talent, and admits Franz Ferdinand does aspire to the kind of huge impact that Epic Records thinks they've already made.
"You have to want to do great things," Kapranos says. "You look up to the greatest icons and you think, "I want to do that. I want to do what Led Zeppelin did or Bowie did or the Beatles did or the Clash did. Those are people who changed rock 'n' roll as we know it. You know, I'll have a go at it as well.'
"You've got to try. You've definitely got to try."
Of course, we can't seriously put Franz Ferdinand in the same category as the Beatles or the Clash. It's possible that no modern band will ever have that sort of impact. It was the time, the place, the movement.
But their debut album, with sales of 941,000 copies and a peak position of No. 32 on the Billboard chart, gave Franz more success in the States than virtually any other new band from the United Kingdom not named Coldplay. And all signs point to Franz Ferdinand being anything but a flash-in-the-pan story.
In approaching their new album, You Could Have It So Much Better, Kapranos and his bandmates took some necessary risks.
"For us to repeat ourselves and do the same thing again would have been appalling," Kapranos says. "We already recorded the album last time.... We've always had a sense of adventure as a band, always felt that we should be doing something new.
"There's just a subtle difference between reinventing yourself and being adventurous," he continues. "To me, the great bands were always adventurous, but they kept their own character.... That's what we want to do."
Fans of "Take Me Out"-their breakout single from their debut-will get their share of similar dance-rockers on the second album, with first single "Do You Want To," "Evil and a Heathen" and the title track adhering to that signature sound.
But two songs-"Eleanor Put Your Boots On" and "Fade Together"-bust out of the band's signature sound by employing no drums at all. Meanwhile, the synth-laced sound of "Outsiders" is unlike anything on the first CD.
"I think people are going to be surprised," Kapranos predicts. "I think that's a really good thing to be surprised and to feel that things aren't predictable and you're not going to get everything that you heard before.... If anything, we wanted to take all the different elements [of our debut] and make them more extreme, take them further than we had gone before."Franz Ferdinand plays at SDSU's Open Air Theatre, 8 p.m. on Oct. 9. $30. 619-220-8497.