Frank Turner released his 7th Solo Album ‘Be More Kind’ last year and he couldn’t have been more excited about it. 

 

"It feels good to have endured this long in the music industry” and to release what he says is one of the best records he has made in his career, and he can’t wait to get back out on the road with new material…

By Simon Neal

‘Be More Kind’ represents a thematic and sonic line in the sand for the 36-year old. It’s a record that combines universal anthems with raw emotion and the political and the personal, with the intricate folk and punk roar trademarks of Turner’s sound imbued with new bold experimental shades. Where his two previous albums (2015’s Positive Songs For Negative People and 2013’s Tape Deck Heart) were, as Frank puts it, about “affairs of the heart”, Be More Kind is a record about his reaction to the outside world.  “I feel like the world is becoming a less easily understandable place and a much more terrifying place. It’s a record about how we, collectively and individually as humans, react to a scarier and more hostile world”.

‘Be More Kind’ get its name from a Clive James poem entitled Leçons Des Ténèbres in which the sadly terminally ill poet (one of Frank’s favourite writers) writes about the end of his life;  ‘I should have been more kind. It is my fate. To find this out, but find it out too late.’ And to Frank, it is more than just an album title. “It’s a gentle piece of advice”. Although he is well aware that “rock n’roll records don’t change the world” (and he is by no means claiming that they do), “Being more kind won’t solve all the problems in the world but it is not a bad start”.

“If there is any finger pointing or message delivering on the album, I hope it is clear that it is directed at myself as much as anybody else” Frank asserts about ‘being more kind’. “I very much had to take my own advice”.

Frank admits that stepping out of his comfort zone to create the album has been a difficult one. “It’s an important thing for artists to do, and I decided to do it more on this one than on previous records. I just like messing around with different technology; loops and synthesizers and so on”. 

“My aim was to satisfy my own creative urges and make what I think is the best record I’ve ever made”. 

Frank Turner has achieved a lot in his career. He has played sold-out arena tours, had three Top 3 charting records, written a book (and soon to release his second!) and even released a movie. However, one of the most intriguing developments in his career was when he was asked by Danny Boyle to take part in the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. “It was an amazing thing, being asked to do something like that was totally surreal. It was flattering to be asked by Danny Boyle himself.” Frank was concerned about the reaction from his fans to this potentially massive career boosting opportunity. “I thought an influx of people checking out what I do might in some way swamp the people who’ve been supporting me for a long time but it didn’t work out that way, there was definitely an uplift of people interested in who I am and what I do but it was just a nice boost of what had already happened”.

Despite his many successes, Frank occupies an interesting place in music. “I’m not underground, but I’m not overground either. I guess maybe that means I’m ‘cult’…”.  “I’m definitely not a mainstream artist. I don’t get invited to Birthday parties, and I wouldn’t go if I did!” he laughs.  Frank Turner can have all this success, a singular artist and songwriter of considerable talent, he’s able to sell out arena tours, Alexandra Palace and four consecutive nights at the Roundhouse but still walk down Holloway Road untroubled. “It’s a great privilege. I’ve been doing this for a long time now”. Frank recounts how often he sees pop stars come and go and how he has managed to stick around. “In a way that doesn’t sound cruel, I’ve got used to the hoards of ‘hangers on’ and photographers freely passing me in one direction with somebody and I’ve got no idea who they are. And I know that six months later they’ll be gone”.

“And an awful lot of people have no idea who I am and don’t know my name. I’m fine with that. And it does tend to mean that the people that are into my music have purer motives. No one as of yet has come to a Frank Turner gig to be ‘seen’ or to be ‘cool’, do you know what I mean? And I think that’s awesome, and I’d like to maintain that If I could.”

 

BE MORE KIND TOUR - UK & IRELAND DATES:

JANUARY

22nd - Birmingham Arena

25th - Manchester Victoria Warehouse

26th – Manchester Victoria Warehouse

27th - Leeds First Direct Arena

29th - Glasgow O2 Academy

FEBRUARY

1st - Bournemouth Windsor Hall

2nd - Cardiff Motorpoint Arena

3rd - London Alexandra Palace

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