OffBEAT

 

OffBEAT with Frank Turner

OffBEAT with Frank Turner

Listen to Frank Turner on iHeartRadio 

Frank Turner has proven he is a talented, world class musician. He's performed at the 2012 Olympics pre-show in London, performed for a massive sold-out crowd of 12,000 at the prestigeous Wembley Arena, and is releasing his 5th studio album on April 22, Tape Deck Heart, which he calls "a slightly bigger, kind of warmer rock record than things I’ve done." The lead single, "Recovery," is making waves throughout the rock world.

Frank stopped by the iHeartRadio studios in New York City recently, where he talked about everything but his music, including tattoos, Olympic medals, and croc-jumping. Check out OffBEAT with Frank Turner below.

What do you still believe?

Lots of things! Specifically to the song in question I guess is about, an attempt to kind of just remind myself what I enjoy about rock and roll. It’s kind of a cliché thing to say but the reason I get up in the morning is rock and roll music, and I’m an adult and proud to still say that. But I’m one of those people who likes to make out that I’m a cynic but I’m really, secretly a disappointed idealist so I sort of have a fair amount of faith in people. 

 What would you win the Olympic gold medal in?

Nothing sporting! I’m the least sporty person in the world. So, what would I win the Olympic gold medal in? Iron Maiden trivia, history of central and eastern Europe, I’m wearing my new “History Is Important” t-shirt today. Scrabble maybe, you know I used to think that and then I met a guy a couple years ago called John, a Scottish guy, who makes me look like a rank amateur when it comes to Scrabble, he’s really kind of punctured my kind of self-image a little bit there. I had it in my head that I was a Scrabble champ and I’m nothing next to him. But I’m comfortable to not have Olympic gold medals in my life, I can get up in the morning without an Olympic gold.

What point in time or what moment would you use a time machine to go to?

Being a history geek, I’ve got kind of endless answers to that. I’m actually endlessly fascinated by the American west in the 19th century and that idea of a kind of essentially lawless, borderless part of the world, so that could be interesting. Although at the same time it would probably be pretty miserable with kind of toothache and getting shot in bar fights and stuff like that. But yea I’d be interested to know what it was like back then.

What is your most meaningful tattoo?

I have many tattoos and I’m one of those people who can kind of talk for hours about every single one in a way that’s really quite dull. I’ll pick one for now, my lucky 13. A lot of tattoo culture comes out of the circus and out of sailors and stuff like that and the circus had a tradition build up in the 19th century that 13 is an unlucky number for normal people, then it’s a lucky number for outcasts. So tradition developed that on Friday the 13th, if you ask a tattooist to give you a 13 tattoo, they have to give it to you for free and I did a show at Wembley Arena on Friday the 13th  last year, Friday the 13th of April, and my tattooist was there and I came off stage and I sat down and I said, do me my lucky 13 and he said, “yea, ok fair enough,” and he did it on my finger and I was being interviewed while he was doing it after the show and I was trying really hard to make out like it didn’t hurt but it really, really, really hurt and I was trying to tough it out. I don’t think I was successful.

What makes a good beer?

Something cold, wet and alcoholic. I did a thing last year where I designed a beer and I went down and did a tasting where they had this master brewer and all these shot glasses full of different types of beer. And the idea is you drink one, then you drink the other and then you discuss the differences between them. This way he could ascertain what I liked out of beer and my very, very good buddy Ben, who was a drummer in my old band, came down with me and he was just laughing because he was like, “Man, you just like Budweiser. What are you sitting here pretending like: ‘that one’s quite malty and that one’s quite wheaty.” He was just like, “you like fizzy, tasteless, cold beer.” So I’m not sure that he’s 100% accurate on that but I’m not fussy, let’s put it that way.

What are you recovering from?

Ha! Everything. All self-inflicted. My own inability to kind of stick to the straight and narrow, there we go.

What is the best part about croc jumping?

I have a thing about trying to go to new places, and every time we tour Australia everybody just does kind of the five major cities. And last time we went out, I said to the Australian promoter, I was like "come on there’s got to be other places to go other than Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth." He said "well there are but people don’t usually want to go there." So we went to Darwin which is in the north and it’s an extremely long way away from everywhere else in the world and yea, we went croc jumping - which involves sitting on a boat whilst crocodiles jump out of the water and eat chunks of flesh on our hooks and it’s completely terrifying. They are absolutely massive they’re just dinosaurs. I think the best part about it though is that my keys player in my band, Matt, who was not with us on the croc jumping thing, is absolutely paranoid phobic of crocodiles and the best part was taking videos of these crocodiles and then showing them to him when we saw him and he peed himself with fear. I’m a nice guy.

What is good and what is gone?

Good is being a traveling musician for a living. It’s that secret that everyone who’s a traveling musician for a living doesn’t want the world to know - which is, we’d probably still do it if you didn’t pay us, because it’s just great! You travel and you play guitar, what more do you want? What is gone? A number of people that I left behind when I started moving. That sounds terribly melodramatic and I try not to be a self-pitying person in life but the kind of downside of what I do for a living is it’s difficult to keep up with people, and there are people who are important to me in my life who I don’t see anymore. 

Watch "Recovery"

Photos by Katherine Tyler

 

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