What’s next for Frank Turner? He’s established himself as one of the biggest acts to emerge from the UK in recent years, has 5 albums under his belt in less than 7 years of performing as a solo artist, has spent the last few months touring North America and is about to embark on his first ever UK arena tour, and, he even had the chance to play at the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. It would be naïve to think that Frank is ready for a break, because he certainly isn’t! A long time friend of AMBY, we were able to speak with him again recently, where we discussed his thoughts on Tape Deck Heart, his first religious picket experience, and what’s next for him.
AMBY: Hello Frank, thank you for speaking with AMBY once again! How have you been?
Frank Turner: All good, thanks – well, apart from my back being fucked up, but I’m working through that. I’ll live.
AMBY: You were on your North American tour back in December, what were some of the highlights?
Frank Turner: Denver, LA, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Chicago… and of course, being on the road with The Smith Street Band and Koo Koo Kanga Roo. Two amazing bands that I get to watch every night.
AMBY: What are the best and worst parts of being on tour?
Frank Turner: The best parts are obvious – traveling for a living, playing music every day (with amazing musicians, I might add), meeting new people, having fun. The hard parts are personal – it’s claustrophobic, it’s dirty and cramped, and it means you don’t have normal relationships with anyone outside your crew, really. But it’s my choice to be out here so I won’t complain.
AMBY: You’ve played in intimate pubs to performing at the Olympics opening ceremonies. Do you prefer playing in smaller venues, or arena-sized ones?
Frank Turner: I don’t really care about the size of the room. Atmosphere, connection with a crowd, is the important part for me.
AMBY: Your fifth record Tape Deck Heart was released earlier in 2013. What are your thoughts on the album now that there’s been time to reflect on it?
Frank Turner: It’s an interesting record for me, now that I have the beginnings of some hindsight on it. I think it’s a very dense record, and quite downbeat, but it was definitely something I needed to do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very proud of it, I think it’s a good record, but it’s not exactly happy-go-lucky, haha.
AMBY: You posted a rather funny video of your “first ever religious picket“. How was experiencing that for the first time?
Frank Turner: Well, the video has it all really. It was pretty funny to me; it’s kind of an American tour cliche, at least for bands like Iron Maiden, Sabbath and so on. It felt like we’d graduated to the club.
AMBY: If you could choose to have your music featured in any movie or show, which would you choose?
Frank Turner: Something by Wes Anderson would be pretty awesome.
AMBY: What is the best piece of advice you have been given regarding the music industry?
Frank Turner: Get it in writing.
AMBY: What’s your favourite release of the year?
Frank Turner: Chris T-T & The Hoodrats’ new album, “The Bear”. It’s very, very good.
AMBY: And lastly, what’s next for Frank Turner?
Frank Turner: I’m working on songs for a new record, I am producing an album for a friend over Christmas, and working on the Mongol Horde album too. Keeping busy…
February 2014 Full UK Arena tour dates are:
Thursday 6th Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Friday 7th Nottingham Arena
Saturday 8th Edinburgh Corn Exchange
Sunday 9th Manchester Arena
Tuesday 11th Plymouth Pavillions
Wednesday 12th London O2
Thursday 13th Portsmouth Guildhall