Gigging throughout California last week, Frank Turner speaks to Colin Sweetman about his upcoming Irish show and new album
Frank Turner is not someone you would recognize as a ‘big act’ immediately, especially since his split from Million Dead in 2005, but his new album Poetry of the Deed (released last month) has gained significant attention in America as well as the UK, and was dubbed “hottest record in the world today” by BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe.
“Every time I sit down to do a record, I can only do my best”, relates Turner of his newest release. He is not of the opinion that this is his best work, as “you cannot really have a good perspective until you’re about twenty years into your career.” This is true in the sense that Frank Turner has only been a prominent musician in the UK and Ireland since he went solo. His other albums, Sleep is for the Week and Love Ire and Song, have both been viewed by the press as progressions of increasing creativity for the artist – so it is easy to see why he will need another ten years to decide which of his albums he thought were best.
Turner was educated at Eton College as a scholarship recipient. Could this have affected his musical style? Possibly so. “I was socially removed from people I went to school with” – for those who don’t know, Prince William was in his year, so it’s easy to see how socially removed you can get – “so you could say that it pushed me into punk rock in a way”.
Since that period of his life, Turner has gone on to tour in America a few times – otwo calls as he travels home from playing a gig in the Fillmore Theatre in San Francisco – and is now making his way to Dublin to play to “that crowd again”. “The weird thing about playing in Ireland is that I find that I drink more, but in terms of audience it’s a much of a muchness really in comparison to other gigs.”
Turner is also well known for his quirky videos such as ‘The Road’, in which he films 24 shows in 24 hours, and also in ‘Photosynthesis’ – where he teaches children “how to rock”. A sign, perhaps, that he doesn’t wish to see kids alienated as he was?