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Frank Turner Interview – “I love touring, I like to keep busy, I have ideas”

Following the premature end of his latest tour, Frank Turner was brilliant enough to answer a couple of questions we had.

How was the latest tour? Any memorable moments?

The last tour was awesome, as long as it lasted. The last 5 days or so were completely surreal, as the outbreak gathered pace, and in the end we had to make the awful decision to pull the rest of the shows, which was horrible. I won’t forget those last few in a hurry.

You’ve been in the industry for a long time, do you have any advice for those trying to break into and survive in the industry? 

The music industry isn’t the easiest place to make a living, but I suspect it never was. It has changed constantly since I started, thanks to the internet, so I’m not sure how much specific advice I have for beginners right now, other than to be the best you can be. It might be old fashioned of me, but I do believe that really excellent music makes its own path still, so it’s worth pushing yourself to be good, to be unique, to stand out, as much as you can, and things will follow. Beyond that, both at the start and along the way, being aware of the business side of the industry is a must; educate yourself about the way the industry works.

Has the music industry seen any significant changes over the time you’ve been apart of it?

It’s barely stood still, to be honest.

Any big projects coming up for 2020?

I had a bunch of plans that are now on the backburner, thanks to current events. I am still working on songs for a new record.

What’re some of your favourite albums?

Where to begin? Born To Run (Springsteen), August & Everything After (Counting Crows), Soviet Kitsch (Regina Spektor), Phoenix (Pedro The Lion), Left & Leaving (The Weakerthans), Damaged (Black Flag), Out Come The Wolves (Rancid)… I could go on.

Who would you say your biggest musical influences are?

The people who made those albums!

Any dream collaborations with musicians for future songs or even albums?

I’m not the most collaborative musician, but I’d love to talk about songs with Nick Cave some day.

Do you think the relationship between artist and fan is important? If so, how do you maintain that relationship?

I don’t really buy into the concept of “fans” to be honest. It’s just people. I like to be contactable, but that’s because I don’t consider myself any different from the people who listen to my music.

I’d say you’re one of the few musicians with a consistently driven work ethic, is there any reason for this or do you just love touring?

I love touring, I like to keep busy, I have ideas, I get bored easily! That’s about it.

It looks like a difficult time ahead for artists and creative groups, have you got any advice for how to help those that need the support?

Everyone is trying to figure out the best way forward right now, it’s very early days for all this. I’m doing my best to support those I can.

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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