It’s been a while since the last time I did an interview as the interviewer. Being in charge of the press for Longboard Girls Crew makes me answer interviews quite often. But Frank Turner was in town and thought it would be fun to interview him and The Sleeping Souls -the band he’s been touring with- for our webpage. I discovered his music at the same time I started longboarding -almost 5 years ago- and songs like Photosynthesis reinforced my thoughts about being a 30 year-old skater, so this interview made perfect sense to me. I also tricked him to wear our new Longboard Girls Crew t-shirt while looking sexy at the camera.
As usual, I started the best possible way I know: giving shit and screwing up. Giving him shit for not coming to Madrid before, suggesting he should do a solo show in Madrid while the entire Sleeping Souls members were sitting right behind me (sorry, I meant all of you!) and saying that the recording machine was pointless -as I would later write whatever the hell I wanted to. Here it goes.
LGC. You’re about to release a new record, and with every new record you get bigger. How do you deal with your ego? It’s really easy to loose it when you have so many people telling you how great you are, even though they don’t really know you.
FT. Haha. My mom always taught me not to be selfish or egocentric, so hopefully that still works. Plus, the guys from Sleeping Souls basically spend all day every day taking the piss out of me and they are a really good counting balance if someone have a really good opinion about me they would call me a dickhead and make a joke and balance things out. I hope it does, I don’t think I’m an asshole.
Now the Sleeping Souls start laughing and taking the piss out of him (ha, love what I’ve achieved so far)
LGC. Is there a workout routine during tours (laughs) besides drinking (more laughs)?
FT. Ok the thing is I’m 31 and it’s not like when I was 20something that it really didn’t matter. I mean my basic fitness is on stage. The show is very physical and that’s a good workout.
LGC. Any board sports?
FT. I once stood on a skateboard when I was 14 and I fell hard on my back and hurt it badly, so I thought to myself that it wasn’t my thing. I think I’m too tall to skateboard
LGC. Tony Hawk is super tall, almost your height, and he’s an awesome skater
(Lots of laughs, from everyone in the room, haha, I’m evil)
LGC. We’re a female longboard community, what are your thoughts on female skateboarding?
FT. I grew up in the hardcore scene, and the hardcore scene and the skating scene in the UK where pretty much the same thing, essentially. There were always more guys than girls and there were always these agonizing articles in magazines on how we get more girls in the scene.
LGC. Well that’s kind of our thing, what we’re trying to achieve and actually had succeed at it.
FT. I think it’s great. I had a very funny conversation with Tim Barry from Avail the other day and we were talking about the 90’s scene and he was just like “a lot of the times there were awful tons of dudes sitting around talking how to get more girls in the scene”
LGC. We used to have that same problem in the skating scene but now I like to think it’s changing. We created this community and now it’s a worldwide movement that supports and spreads female longboarding so yeah, we like to think it’s changing. Back to you, what were you thinking when you first step foot in a sold-out Wembley last year?
FT. I tell you what I was thinking: “don’t fuck it up, don’t fuck it up” That’s mostly what’s going on through my head most of the shows. “Don’t forget the words, don’t unplug your guitar..” I did that, we were playing at Cricket Gran, the stadium show and I run out to the front of the stage for my solo and I unplugged my guitar so I just stood there in front of 50.000 people like.. “fuck me” so yeah, that’s the main thing I think: don’t fuck up.
LGC. Have you ever finished writing a song and thought… damn I good!
(everyone laughs, and Ben Lloyd from The Sleeping Souls says he does that with every song)
FT. No I don’t think I have ever done that. When I finish writing a song I kind of leave it cooling of and not think about it for a while and then listen to it fresh, you know what I mean?
LGC. Yeah, sometimes you need to back off to see things with other perspective
LGC. But when you finished writing Photosynthesis, for example, weren’t you like WOW?
FT. Historically I have a thing, I can’t tell which are my good songs. My favorite songs are really not the popular. I remember finishing this song and thinking maybe it would be good and then I played it they would be like “Really? Dude, finish that song”
LGC. Sometimes you influence people worldwide. Do you feel that pressure? How do you handle it?
FT. Occasionally I do feel weird about that. My email address is public so I spend a lot of time every day answering letters from people. I think that’s cool; it’s really important to do that.
LGC. Weirdest fan experience? Stalkers?
FT. […] Well, there are some crazy people out there.
[Frank Turner has albums on his Facebook fan page with all the tattoos people get of him or inspired by his music, take a look here and get freaked out]
LGC. I just attended the Ispo, which is the biggest action sports fair worldwide and felt a strong sense of companionship between everyone in the business. Do you feel the same thing when it comes to the music business or its way more selfish?
FT. It depends on what scene and what part of the world you’re talking about. There’s definitely something like that going on in The Revival Tour scene with Chuck Ragan, Brian Fallon, Jon Snodgrass, me and many others… that’s kind of a community of people, it’s not really based in one place, it’s all over the place but definitely we all play together as friends. It’s weird for me as I’m not closely associated with punk rock in the UK. I used to be as I was in punk bands but got fucking sick of the UK punk scene and when I started to play solo I did other types of shows, I didn’t wanna be part of that scene anymore. But in the States my record is out with Epitaph Records and I think there’s a bigger sense of community between punk bands in the states in a really good way, its much more familiar. But it releases some funny stuff, like this incredible country punk rock band from Memphis Tennessee called Lucero, they are kind of underground and they came to the UK and I got on stage with them and everyone starts booing cause in the UK Lucero is very underground and they fucking hate me cause I played in Wembley which isn´t underground. And the band was like “wtf, why don’t the people like you?”
On one hand its really great when people support you and look out for each other but from a purely artistic point of view I think it’s a shit reason to make certain type of music just because your friends might like it. I think you should make the kind of music you like.
LGC. How many days a year you spend home? Do you think we’re addicted to the strong experiences we live on the road? Meeting so many great people, the stories, the travelling, everything that comes with life on the road?
FT. Definitely. The thing is until last Christmas I didn’t have a place to go back to in the UK. And now I’ve got a place, which is interesting and I’m not quite sure how to feel about that, haha. Life on the road, it takes longer. The first day of tour was like three weeks ago and it feels like six months ago
LGC. Well yeah, so many things happen all the time
FT. Yes. Life is short and that means you’re actually getting shit done, and that makes me feel good.
LGC. What’s next?
FT. The new record is coming out in April and that means I’ll be touring forever. Tons of press & promo. Press days are the worst. There are some days I would do 24 interviews in a row
LGC. So much fun! Did you have some real Spanish food or had to survive the catering?
FT. Yesterday we had the day off in Barcelona and went for a nice meal. And then we got really fucking shit-faced drunk.
LGC. Really? You look great today……. (was ironic; I could tell it’s been a long night for him)
Everyone laughs and I smile. I got it.
Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls’ show was amazing. They made everyone dance and jump and sing and laugh. Later, Frank also played some songs with Dropkick Murphys wearing our Longboard Girls Crew t-shirt. How awesome is that?
Frank Turner new album “Tape Deck Heart” is out in April 22 and you can pre-order here.
Big thanks to Frank Turner, The Sleeping Souls & Graham Key for being so normal & fun. Huge thanks to Marla & Felix from Pias Records; Karlos Sanz for the awesome pictures (not these last two, they are from my jaded iphone) and Eva Nieto from B&BComunicación.