From punk to folk, Frank Turner has had many careers in his career. A British Bruce Springsteen, as he has been dubbed, the singer-songwriter has released eight albums (not including live albums or collabs like the one he just did with Fat Mike from NOFX), published books, founded a festival, shared the stage with some legendary acts, and earned acclaim from fans all over the wide world. He has played thousands of shows, from basement small to arena awesome, over the course of his 25+ year musical career. It took a pandemic to slow him down enough for us to bother him, so get ready for some rubbish questions with brilliant answers from the one-and-only Frank Turner.
1. What is the last poetry you read?
I recently got a book of Leonard Cohen poems (not lyrics). Beautiful work, predictably enough.
2. How do you personally feel you can be more kind?
I do my best day to day, both in terms of trying to be charitable and so on, and in terms of treating the people around me better. I can always improve, of course.
3. Aretha Franklin or Tina Turner?
Tough shout, both legends; on balance, I’d probably pick Aretha personally. But Tina Turner is an icon, too.
4. How often do you dye your hair?
(Laughs) Hadn’t done it for probably 20 years before lockdown, but have done it twice in the last few months. I’m now in the middle of regretting it. It’s growing out badly, I look like I’m in a 90s boyband, frosted tips.
5. Who would win in a real boxing match, you or Fat Mike from NOFX?
I think we’d both run away, haha. But probably Mike. I cannot fight for shit.
6. How do you take your tea?
I’m more of a coffee man, actually; something I accepted touring the USA, where a decent cup of tea is hard to come by. Milk and two.
7. What was it like the first time you drove in the states?
I only passed my [driver’s] test a couple of years ago actually, but shortly afterwards I was driving in California. Driving in the US is really easy, by comparison – automatics! No bother.
8. Have you been binge watching any shitty shows during these wacky pandemic times?
I’ve been watching a lot more TV than usual, like most people, but hopefully nothing too shitty. Giri Haji, Fauda, Succession…there’s some great TV shows out there.
9. If you could travel back in time to any year or era, when would you go and what would be the first thing you’d do?
Good question; I’m tempted by the American West in the 1870s, the high Roman Republic, the Peasants Revolt, stuff like that. Though of course it’s worth noting that life was immeasurably worse at pretty much every point in history, we’re very fortunate to live when we do, broadly speaking.
10. What do you want your last words to be?
Ha, I’m not sure I get to choose, but “thank you and goodnight” would be pretty cool.