Frank Turner – Interview, Newcastle 02 Academy 17.11.2012
Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls is currently on a mammoth tour covering every corner of the country, I meet up with Frank in Newcastle for his sell out show at the 02 Academy, where he kindly spares me a few minutes of his time.
Frank is friendly and relaxed and is clearly happy to be in the North East again, he loves it up here and loves the crowds.
Music Eyz: So how is the tour going so far?
Frank Turner – yeah, really pleased with it, it’s going really well, got the usual cold that comes with it but it’s good.
Music Eyz: Any stand out shows?
Frank Turner – I would have to say Reading, there are no shows in London this time, which was a conscious
decision, I wanted to go back to the smaller venues, so Reading was the closest and lot of my friends turned up which made it a personal gig for me, it was good to have a drink and catch up.
Music Eyz: You seem to tour relentlessly, what is it that keeps you going, what do you like about touring?
Frank Turner – Touring is just the norm for me, I don’t know anything else. I exist by touring, it is in me and I don’t know how to do anything else. This is what I choose do for a living, this is my job, this is my 9
to 5, not that it is 9 to 5 if you know what I mean.
Frank lives and breathes music and touring is his life and he could go on with a passion why he does what he does, and while ever he still finds touring exciting and fresh then clearly there is no other place that he would rather be than on the stage, when asked if it ever got that it was stale or mundane, would he quit? The surprised look on his face would say that this thought has never occurred to him but after a thought he says that if it ever got to that stage then he might consider stopping the recording element but he wouldn’t stop playing live.
Music Eyz: How did the recording of the new album go?
Frank Turner – it went really well, we worked with Rich Costey (American producer, mixer and engineer, previously worked with, Muse, Bruce Springsteen and Jane’s Addiction) on this one, incredible pedigree and he really pushed me as an artist and dragged every last drop out of me!
Music Eyz: You are playing some new songs on this tour, what is the reception so far?
Frank Turner – yeah really well, it’s always hard you know, to engage people with brand new songs that they haven’t heard before but the reception has been really positive.
Music Eyz: How did the I Believe, beer come about?
Frank Turner – basically they approached me and I mean who doesn’t like a beer and who wouldn’t want to be involved in something like that, so they took me out for the afternoon and I basically sampled a few beers and it went from there.
Music Eyz: Anymore ventures outside music that you would like to pursue?
Frank Turner – no, listen, I am not interested in brand I haven’t got a list of things that I want to put my name to, the beer thing wasn’t about making money just a bit of fun and I like a beer.
I have had the odd comment from punk kids who say that I have “sold out” and they have a rant but I’m an approachable human being and I think that they are a little surprised when they write these comments that I respond, I’m an honest guy, you can contact me and I will respond and majority of the time once a discussion has taken place they tend to back down.
What I would like to do is get more involved in is charities, not be like Bono or anything and take the moral high ground but if I am in a position where I can help create awareness or raise money for good causes, then that is something that I am interested in.
Frank is currently sporting a “movember” to help raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer
There is a little knock on the door to signal that time is running out, I ask Frank his opinion of
the music industry at the moment and he laughs and suggests that we haven’t the time to
get into this to deeply and he could on and on regarding the state of the industry, there’s the
positive side like You Tube, which allows new unsigned artists to gain an audience and then
there is the negative side the business, what he does want to make clear is why his t-shirts are
£20, the highest that they have ever been, this is due to the venue now taking a 25% cut on the
merchandise on top of what they paid for the venue itself and at the end of the day he has to
make a living as well you know.
Music Eyz: Apparently our time is nearly up, but Frank still allows time for a few quick fire questions
Frank – It’s controversial but CD
Frank -Travelodge, every time! All you need is somewhere clean to rest your head at the end of the
night; you shouldn’t spend that much time in a hotel, right?
Frank – well seeing as I am wearing, Vans, trainers, socks & t-shirt, I had better say Vans, a friend
works for them so that helps
Last random question I promise! “If you discovered a new species what would you call it?”
Well I’m a bit of a geek, with science and there are all sorts of laws about naming a new species but
if I did and it was within the rules then I would have to name it after Henry Rollins, maybe it would
have to be a big hard as nails beetle and I would call it Henry Rollins or Rollins Rolling or something
Interview by Lorraine Littlechild