We heard that Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls were booked to headline at Beautiful Days Festival in August 2017, we chatted to Frank last year when he played in Exeter so thought it was about time that we got together again to shoot the breeze. Read on to find out about Frank's top three festival survival tips, some information about his new album and just what he's been upto in Texas lately....
We’re feeling pretty spoilt this year as we have the pleasure of catching you at BOTH Boardmasters AND Beautiful Days Festival, how does your festival set differ from a regular live show set?
I always feel that festival sets are a time to hit the big tunes. People are watching a lot of music across a bunch of days and you need to appreciate that their attention span is a little challeneged as a result. So perhaps it's not time for the experimental cover or the new material. It's time to make sure everyone has a good time, and you want to win new people over, so you lead with your strongest suite.
Music festivals can be messy affairs (usually caused by terrible weather!) please tell me your top three tips to surviving one….
I'd say you want to be ready for all weathers, hot and cold, dry and wet. You want to make sure you have some of the facilities in life - qet wipes and painkillers! And most importantly, you want to say yes, be open to everything, enjoy your time in the weird unreality of the festival world.
You’re a busy man, will you be sticking around when you’re at Beautiful Days this year?
If I can I will be, I love Beautiful Days, one of the best festivals in the UK. That said I'm not yet sure of my schedule around then (I do what my tour manager tells me to do!) so I couldn't say just yet.
Which other acts on the bill are you looking forward to seeing?
The line-up this year, as per usual, is kind of amazing. The Levellers, Therapy?, Lightning Seeds, all great stuff. And there's some killer acts lower down the bill as well. In particular Sean MacGowan, he's an amazing writer.
I read that you’re playing a secret 'GiveaHomeshow' for just 100 guests with Amnesty International and Sofar Sounds in Tucson, Arizona on September 20th in support of the world’s refugees, how did this come about and will you be doing anything similar in the UK?
Amnesty have organised a kind of day of action for that and they asked me to be involved; it's obviously an important cause to support, and I love house shows, so of course I said yes. It's in Tucson for me because that's where I'll be on that day. Not sure if they're planning anything like that when I'm in the UK right now alas.
When you’re at festivals do you tend to stay ‘backstage’ or do you like to mingle with the crowd?
That depends entirely on my working schedule. There's often not actually that much free time in my day, there's a lot more to do than just being on the stage.
The food at music festivals is often pretty varied and sometimes just outright weird, what’s been the strangest thing that has passed your lips?
I tend to play it safe at music festivals for that very reason. I guess I've eaten some pretty dodgy burgers in my time.
We met you and chatted at the show you did last year in Exeter (Great Hall), I wanted to ask if you’ve added to your tattoo collection since then? (it was November 2016 if that helps…)
Ha ha yeah I think I've had one or two since then, though I'm now at a stage where I pick my battles when it comes to tattoos, I'm starting to run out of skin space!
You posted a pic on Facebook of you in Texas and you mentioned that you were “excited about the new material”, please tell me more!
I've been in the studio in Fort Worth for a month recently, got back yesterday. I'm excited about the songs and the arrangements, I've been trying to get out of my comfort zone as a writer, to make music that will surprise both myself and other people. There's a lot of soul and electronic influence on the new songs which is new territory for me. I'm not yet sure if the record is completely finished, but I think things are heading in the right direction for sure.
I enjoyed reading your book “The Road Beneath My Feet”, it was an honest and frank (no pun intended) account of a crazy and hectic life on the road, are you planning on following this up with another book anytime soon?
I've been thinking about writing another book, sure, but I'm not sure it'd be quite as simple as a sequel to the first one. That book was about the interesting part - getting from bars and squats up to arenas. Things have been a bit more regular since then. But I enjoyed the process, found it challenging, and would like to do it again.
I mentioned earlier about new material, are you able to confirm any dates for a new album release or a UK tour to support it?
Not yet alas. I've recorded a whole pile of material, but it's not been mixed, and I might want to add to it, so things are a little vague for the time being. Early next year, all being well.
Lastly, lets pretend that you’ve been asked to nominate the 3 headline acts for Beautiful Days Festival 2018, you can choose any band/artist, dead or alive, GO!
Well, the Levellers justly get one of the slots. I'd take Nirvana (circa 1993) and Black Flag (5 piece 1981 lineup). Maybe Springsteen as well....
We'd like to thank Frank for speaking to us and we're REALLY looking forward to seeing him perform at Beautiful Days Festival in August alongside his fab band The Sleeping Sould. We're also SUPER EXCITED about his new album, we'll keep you informed of any more news as and when we receive it.