Folk-punk singing and songwriting troubadour Frank Turner sure has a lot going on lately: a pre-show at the London Olympics opening ceremony, a sold out show at Wembley Arena, his latest album reaching the top of the iTunes chart and the second place on the official UK album chart. Not bad, eh?! He was initially the vocalist of post-hardcore band "Million Dead" and afterwards he commenced his acoustic-based solo career. Well, not completely solo - Turner is always accompanied by his backing band "The Sleeping Souls", which consists of Ben Lloyd (guitar and mandolin), Matt Nasir (piano), Nigel Powell (drums), and Tarrant Anderson (bass). His latest studio album "Tape Deck Heart", released last April, is all about love, loss, heartbreak and the coping mechanisms that'll get you through it all. Sometimes the songs feature breezy choruses and bouncy wordplay, sometimes they can be rather gut-wrecking. I got the chance to chat with Frank about his work and thoughts on music and personal life. Pretty awesome, right? Read on ...

Hi Frank! First is first: how are you doing?

I'm good, thanks. About to hit the road again after some time off over Christmas, I'm excited to be heading out again.

You started off with metal, continued with punk-rock, and now folk rock/punk. It's really interesting to watch you move from one genre of music to the next one. How did your music taste evolve?

I started off listening to Iron Maiden and then other metal stuff. It still has a place in my heart. After a while I got into Nirvana, and through them into punk rock and hardcore, and that was most of what I cared about for a long time. After a while I got into more acoustic, country and folk stuff, I discovered Springsteen and Dylan and Neil Young and so on, and things changed again. 

Your last and fifth album "Tape Deck Heart" has been out since April last year. I read somewhere that it was also your most commercially successful album to this date. Are you happy with the public reaction to it? Did the critical reaction resemble the consumer reaction?

Funnily enough, before this record I'd generally been one of those people who gets great reviews and doesn't sell a million records. We sold more this time around (not quite a million!) but some of the press weren't as into it. Looking back now, it's quite a dark, difficult album, pretty intense and personal. While I do notice the public reaction, reviews and sales and so on, I don't care that much about it, it's more important to me how I feel about the record, whether I feel like I did my best. Which I do in this case.

There has been a lot of talk about you being in a pretty dark place when you published the "Tape Deck Heart"; the lyrics are at some points kind of heart breaking too. Is that true? If it is, do you sometimes find it frustrating to live a life without privacy?

It is true, yes, it's a breakup record of sorts. I do live with privacy, there's a way of being honest and personal in your art that does not necessarily mean you lose all privacy in your personal life. Sometimes it can be hard to sing very personal songs live, but I deal with that, it's more important for me that art is more honest than comfortable.

While we're on the lyrics theme, I've noticed that the lyrical topics changed quite a bit from the previous album "England Keep My Bones". How come? Did the sense of patriotism played any role throughout "England Keep My Bones"?

I don't think of "England Keep My Bones" as a patriotic record, I'm not really a patriot. The record is about being English, for good or bad, it's not something that I think is a value judgement in and of itself. The topics changed, sure, I don't want to repeat myself.

What's your opinion on music and politics mixing? Do you think there could be some kind of political solution found trough music nowadays?

I don't think any political solutions have ever been found through music. Occasionally music soundtracks politics in an interesting and significant way, but it's a reaction to events, not the cause of them. Personally I find political music pretty boring these days, I don't find the idea interesting at all. But if other people want to do that, fine.

Your writing process - what does it look like? What inspires you? What makes your imagination run wild? Has the way you write your songs changed over the last few years?

I don't really have a process as such, that makes it sound way too formal. It's always different and actually I try not to think too hard about the process, I just like to let it happen. I like to think that I've got better at songwriting in the last few years, haha.

If you had to pick someone from the times when you were mostly creating punk, who do you think could considerably contribute to your sound?

NOFX and the Descendents, and maybe Rancid too. Black Flag as well, but that was as much about attitude for me as it was about music.

In retrospective, do you think that your records have been linked by common themes? They all seem to work together so well - does that just happen or do you carefully plan that out?

I don't sit down and plan them that way, but they are usually the product of a pretty intense period of writing and living, so they often end up with a thread running through them. It's also something you can tease out after the fact, in the way you record the songs, or tracklist the album, or whatever.

What's your favorite memory from your musical journey so far? Do you regret anything in particular?

Hanging out with the Weakerthans in Hamburg was pretty incredible, I played a song with them as well. Amazing. But I'm just happy and proud to do what I do for a living, it's pretty fucking cool. Regrets? Sure. Anyone who says they have no regrets isn't thinking hard enough. But I don't dwell on them.

Thanks for your time and answers Frank, I really appreciate it.


Since I totally dig those folk-punk rhythms lately I can't wait for the gig. Yup, Frank and The Sleeping Souls will be performing live, on the 7th of March at Kino Šiška.
See ya there! 



  1. very very nice my dear!!!! beautiful!!!

  2. Great interview! I really liked the questions you asked him Gita, he sounds like a really interesting guy.

    Hannah x

  3. Super! Razturaš s temi intervjuji! :) xx

  4. Fun, interesting interview, as always! What a handsome gent :)


  5. Love it love it! Very interesting and entertaining!

  6. Girl you are way talented at interviews! I need to check this dude out, I'll YouTube him later tonight at home. I love anything with a bit of alternative edge.

    Have a splendid week my pretty,

  7. OMG I just saw the follow for follow thing below! Bahahahaha! POW!

    I need to do the same

  8. Glad you had time to interview them and share it to us :)

  9. You seriously always have the best interviews! Love this :)
    xo TJ

  10. Great interview! Love it so much :)
    Definitely going to look more into them--especially Frank! Seems so down-to-earth xx
    Hope you're having an amazing day,Gita!

    ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ Creme de la Chic ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡

  11. very beautiful my dear!!!!