Folk punk pioneer takes to the road with new tracks

Frank Warren releases new music and heads out on tour (photo: Ben Morse)Frank Warren releases new music and heads out on tour (photo: Ben Morse)
Frank Warren releases new music and heads out on tour (photo: Ben Morse)

‘We’re at this agonising point in history – we don’t know what’s going to happen’

Punk and folk singer songwriter Frank Turner has a new album out.

During his ongoing tour, he discusses his latest release and coming tour dates.

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The album released last week via Xtra Mile Recordings/Polydor is called FTHC.

Having started his tour dates in January, Turner continues to perform throughout this month to promote his new music.

What kind of album is it?

Your new album’s name is clearly a nod to hardcore punk. But it’s not strictly a hardcore album. What was your thinking about that?

“It’s quite hard to have a logo as a solo artist that isn’t naff, so when I first started out on my own in 2007, I was toying around with various things and drew up the FTHC logo, which is obviously a reference to the old American hardcore thing, as in New York Hard Core, Los Angeles Hard Core and so on."

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Frank Turner's FTHC logoFrank Turner's FTHC logo
Frank Turner's FTHC logo

He added: “It was kind of a joke, but it became a thing that people liked, so it went on backdrops and t-shirts etc. I always thought it would be a cool title for an album, so when the material for this one started going in the way it went, I just thought ‘it’s got to be this one!’

"The record isn’t necessarily a hardcore record in itself, though tracks like My Bad and Non Serviam are as close to old-school hardcore as I’m ever going to go as a solo artist, I think.

Album concept

“In some ways though, it is going back thematically in many ways, but at the same time I’ve never made a record like this before. There are bits in there that sound more like Million Dead than I’ve ever done before as a solo artist, but it’s more going back to the roots of my music taste.

“I grew up listening to punk songs and the whole the album isn’t full of them, there’s a general attitude and approach to the record that comes from that.

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“I wanted it to be in your face and on the front foot, which is very much where it ended up.”

Thoughts on recording new album

You’ve spent almost your entire adult life on the road playing gigs, but with the last two years putting that on hold, how much was that in your mind when you were writing and recording the new album?

Back on tour

And what were your thoughts about getting back onstage for long-awaited UK tour?

“It’s weird as I’ve made records in the past that have been constructed in a very live way, in a room, with the band.

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“With this one, as it was all remote, there’s people on it I still haven’t met in the flesh, but the general vibe and approach of it is that it’s 100 per cent designed to be played live.

“It’s supposed to be played in a hot sweaty room with bodies flying and the floor bouncing. It was written with that in mind.

“We’re at this agonising point in history where we don’t know what’s going to happen next, but that’s what it was made for.

“One of the things about lockdown and particularly about livestreaming, which I did more than my fair share of, is that it really pinpointed why live music is so good and why it’s different from that.

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“It’s not just about the music and the bands, it’s about everybody in the room.

“That’s what live music is all about and I really can’t wait to get back out there properly and do it again.”

Tour dates include ...

Feb 16 – Bristol, O2 Academy

Feb 18 – Bath Forum

Feb 19 – Southampton, O2 Guildhall

Feb 20 – Brighton, Dome

Feb 22 – Exeter University

Feb 23 – Reading, Hexagon

Feb 25 – Oxford, O2 Academy

Feb 26 – Folkestone, Leas Cliff Hall

Feb 27 – London, O2 Academy Brixton.