Frank Turner overdrive

Hard working singer-songwriter returns to Winnipeg

  • Frank Turner looks to the future, which will include touring, touring and more touring. – Supplied

Frank Turner is one of the hardest-working touring musicians in music today - he played approximately 184 shows last year alone.

This year doesn’t see the Englishman slowing down either as the road is where he feels most at home.

“I actually don’t have any other home,” Turner says by phone from Europe. “I haven’t had a place of my own for about eight years now, so that is another part of my motivation to continue traveling. It’s in my interest to keep moving.”

It’s that unrelenting touring that sees Turner return to Winnipeg for his second show since October. This time, he’ll be opening for Joel Plaskett on Saturday, April 21 at the Garrick.

If you caught Turner last time around, he insists you won’t be seeing the same show twice.

“Last time I was there I was with my band Sleeping Souls, which was great, but this time with Joel (Plaskett) I’m doing it completely solo. It’s fun to strip back my songs to just one voice and one instrument. It’s refreshing to me to dress up songs in different ways. It definitely will be a different angle to my songs.”

It’s sure to be an intimate interaction his fans will appreciate. Yet Turner doesn’t view listeners of his music as just fans.

“I kind of always get a bit weirded out by the word ‘fan.’ It always seems to me like a Marie Antoinette kind of word. It’s a little aloof,” he says. “To me it’s just people who play music and when I’m not doing what I’m doing I listen to tons of music by other people ... and as a music fan myself if there’s a band that completely holds themselves above their audience I don’t really like them.”

Turner also happens to be an avid blogger, which connects him all that much more to his listeners.

“Social media has leveled the playing field and really swept away the cobwebs of mythology. I never fancied that a band is this mythical group of people who play and then loom off into the stratosphere. I think that’s bullshit,” explains Turner. “If a band has no connection to their audience then they’ve got nothing to say to them. I don’t want to be removed from the people who listen to my music.”

It’s this approach, along with his work ethic and overall style and presentation, that’s garnered Turner mass appeal to listeners of many different genres. He’s been able to successfully bridge a gap and connect with many different people.

“I’m really happy that the demographic of people who come to my shows is really broad. I’m proud of it. I like the idea that there are people who might rub shoulders at my shows who might otherwise not cross paths. It’s beautiful. I absolutely fucking love what I do for a living.”

Published in Volume 66, Number 26 of The Uniter (April 5, 2012)

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