Frank Turner has had two albums in the Top 10 charts, sold out Wembley Stadium,and played at the Olympics opening ceremony. He has a special spot in his heart for Kingston, where he has played 16 times. Before his latest New Slang show, Turner spoke exclusively to The River about touring, recording and why he likes Kingston so much.
This time round was Frank’s sixth New Slang show. Indeed, he was the first artist to play at the Banquet Records’ indie and rock night, and he has no plans to stop returning any time soon.
“The Kingston scene is awesome,” he told The River. “It’s pretty much entirely based around Banquet Records and the labours of Jon Tolley. It’s a great lesson in how much one dedicated place and group of people can achieve for a local scene.
“I’m always happy to be part of what they’ve built down there.”
Unlike his regular performances, his sixth New Slang gig was a solo show and was not backed by his band, The Sleeping Souls.
He said: “The full band sets are more of a show, more representational.
“Solo gigs are a lot more conversational, loose – me just kind of fucking around and playing what I want.”
The show was in support of his newest compilation of B-Sides, radio sessions, covers and live tracks, which together are called The Third Three Years. As the name suggests, there have been two before that, The First Three Years, released in 2008, and The Second Three Years released in 2011.
“We did the first one because there were a ton of weird little releases that were going out of print, with songs on that weren’t anywhere else. I wanted to collect all that material somewhere so it didn’t get lost.
“Three years later, it made sense to do a second one, and now it seems like the whole thing has assumed its own momentum. People were bugging me about the third one before I’d even noticed that the time had rolled around.”
Other than his compilations, he has released five studio albums since beginning his solo career in 2005. His most recent album, Tape Deck Heart, was released in April 2013, and another one is coming out next year.
Frank said: “It’s ready to be recorded. We’re flying to Nashville shortly to hit the studio.
“I’m excited, I think it’s going to be great.”
His solo career began in 2005 after the split of his post-hardcore band Million Dead. Since then, his music has been influenced by both folk and punk, but he still indulges in his love of hardcore through his side-project, Mongol Horde, which was started in 2012 with Sleeping Souls’ keyboard player Matt Nasir, and former Million Dead band-mate Ben Dawson. Mongol Horde released their first album in Ma , but they have previously played together at the Leeds and Reading festivals in 2012.
Turner has also worked with singer-songwriter Emily Barker and was even featured on her single “Fields of June.” The musician has also recorded a collaborative album with Jon Snodgrass titled Buddies; which they wrote and recorded in under 48 hours.
According to Frank, there are ‘loads’ of artists he’d like to work with in the future.
“I’ve recently been fortunate enough to get to know Counting Crows and they’re one of my favourite bands ever,” he said.
“Hopefully we could do something musically sometime.”
Much to his fans’ relief, he does not have any plans to slow down yet. While he may not be back in Kingston in the immediate future, he is always touring the world and finding new places to play.
“I sort of want to play everywhere. South and Central America and Japan are at the top of my list right now.”