Frank Turner on his new album: ‘It’s about having a shit year and getting through it’

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The singer-songwriter recently shared the first track from his 'rawer' sixth LP

Frank Turner has spoken to NME about ‘Get Better’, the first song to be taken from his forthcoming sixth LP.

“It seems like an appropriate concerto. Stylistically, lyrically, it’s in the zone of the new record. I’m not saying every song sounds like it, but it conveys the general message of the new record,” commented Turner, of the track, which he shared yesterday (March 20). “It’s a record about pulling yourself up and dusting yourself down, and about having a shit year and getting through it, and resolving to not surrender.”

Discussing the album’s sound, he said: “I’m really happy with the production… I knew I wanted it to be a live, raw record. The missing piece of the puzzle was [producer] Butch Walker.” The as-yet-untitled LP was recorded in nine days in Nashville at the end of 2014. “I play electric guitar on more than half the record, including ‘Get Better’,” added Turner.

The album will be mastered next week and features a guest appearance from singer-songwriter Esmé Patterson, on a song about Christa McAuliffe, the primary school teacher who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986. It also features a track called ‘The Angel Islington’, which picks up where ‘Broken Piano’, the final song of Turner’s last album, 2013’s ‘Tape Deck Heart’, left off.

Click below to watch the lyric video for ‘Get Better’.

Meanwhile, Turner played a number of gigs at SXSW in Austin, Texas this week and also took part in a panel discussion called ‘Are Books The New Vinyl?’ with Public Enemy’s Chuck D. “Sitting on a table with Chuck D was pretty awesome,” he commented after. Turner publishes his tour diaries, The Road Beneath My Feet, later this month. He told NME that Henry Rollins’ Black Flag memoir, Get In The Van, was an influence on his own book, calling the 1994 publication “life-changing”.

“If you read a book about AC/DC, it doesn’t tell you what being on tour was like, particularly at the grunt level. But Get In The Van smells of the road,” he said. “I didn’t really want to be in a stadium rock band, I wanted to be in a band in a van. I remember the first time I read it, it was just like a whole world opened up. Great book.”

The book documents a number of significant gigs in Turner’s life. “I didn’t want to write an autobiography, because I’m 33 and I haven’t won an international war. I hate the whole ’28 year old footballer writes an autobiography’ thing. So I wanted to keep it separate from that.”

Turner embarks on a book tour later this month in support of The Road Beneath My Feet. The tour will see Turner chat with fans and take part in an ‘in conversation’ session with journalist Ian Winwood, as well as perform solo and sign copies of the book. He will appear in Manchester, Birmingham, London and Liverpool.

Turner will visit:

Glasgow, Oran Mor (March 24)
Birmingham, Glee Club (25)
London, Cecil Sharp House (26)
Manchester, Bridgewater Hall (27)
Liverpool, Library (28)

Turner has confirmed that his ninth straight appearance at Reading and Leeds Festival this year will be an official record. Turner will play the festival without his Sleeping Souls band, headlining the Festival Republic Stage with a special solo appearance in August.
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