Frank Turner on ‘Tape Deck Heart,’ Success in U.S., Beer + More
U.K. singer-songwriter Frank Turner is no stranger to the music scene. The Hampshire, England native has been performing for over a decade, reaching a new level of success with his latest album, Tape Deck Heart. Lead single “Recovery” in particular has gained a lot of traction in the U.S. Turner sat down with us before his show tonight (October 5) at The Intersection.
Frank Turner dropped Tape Deck Heart back in April of this year, describing it as a break-up album after a failed long-term relationship. While sharing a lot of personal pain in such a public way can be quite the burden, it’s the brutal honestly that connects the singer to his fans.
“There are some uneasy songs on the record,” Turner admits. “When I’m writing or when we’re in the studio recording, I think it’s important not to think about that. If you start crossing the streams thinking about that, then you’re going to compromise it in some way. There are some moments where there are songs I feel a bit weird about playing them out to an audience, but that’s just part of the territory. If I didn’t want to do that, then I wouldn’t be doing what I’m do for a living.”
Fans of Frank Turner’s more recent work may be surprised to learn that he was the lead singer for post-hardcore outfit Million Dead until they disbanded in 2005. This led to Turner taking the folk/punk path, similar to City and Colour’s Dallas Green, who was also part of a post-hardcore group in Alexisonfire. According to Turner, there wasn’t just one reason he decided to adopt a different musical style.
“A lot of it was just I really needed a change from being in a hardcore punk band, and playing an acoustic guitar felt like the opposite of that to a certain degree,” Turner says. “Part of it is just my taste in music shifted as I got older. It’s not like I don’t like hardcore anymore, but I felt like I listened to enough hardcore records by the time I was 23.”
Turner continues: “I didn’t really grow up with [Bob] Dylan and Johnny Cash. People like that I came across at a later age and was blown away by it. When I told people what I was going to do, literally everybody, with one notable exception, laughed in my face and just said, ‘Alright. Whatever, man. Call me back in six months when you’re in a punk band again.’ I feel kind of vindicated.”
Listen to the entire interview with Frank Turner below, where we also talk about his “Believe” beer, hearing “Recovery” in a Buffalo Wild Wings, the rise in popularity of folk and more.
Tickets to see Frank Turner, with special guests The Smith Street Band and Koo Koo Kanga Roo, tonight at the Intersection are on sale at the venue box office.
Listen to Dave Kim Interview Frank Turner
Watch Frank Turner’s “Recovery”