Heavy Metal legends Iron Maiden’s influence goes right across the board, defying genres, artists and generations. Acoustic soft rock couldn’t be much further from the archaic sound of Bruce Dickinson and co but for a young musician from Meonstoke in Hampshire, England, this was the start of a musical journey that has spanned three decades. With a soaring passion for live music, singer/songwriter Frank Turner remains one of the most versatile artists on the contemporary music scene. Growing up in the era of American Grunge, it was impossible not to be totally fascinated with the musical exploits of Nirvana who have now become infamous in kickstarting a whole musical revolution during the early nineties. Frank strongly recalls being at school when he heard the news of Kurt Cobain and having to hear it through a fellow pupil, set him apart from his peers. It was at that moment that he realised that music wasn’t just a hobby but a way of life.
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Being interested in music from a young age, it wasn’t long before Frank was joining and creating bands as a significant rite of passage. Inspired by a wide range of influences including Pedro The Lion, The Weakerthans and Metalica, he had already honed an extremely mature musical palette which may have been key to his approach to the music he would go on to create. Such a passion would transcend his teenage years until it was time to join a band. Joining the post Hardcore Rock group Million Dead offered Frank insight into the many complexities of collaborating on a project and how passion can create divisions within a group of people. Together for around four years, Million Dead were their own democracy which seemed a good idea and were determined to take care of all creative decisions. However, all being such creative types with passionate ambition to conquer the world, led to the breakdown of the group and was a major factor in their decision to split.
The decision to go solo encouraged Frank to reflect upon the kind of artist that he wanted to be. Being an independent artist has always offered much more freedom to performers who absolutely know what they intend to achieve in their career and removes them from the commercial control of major labels. From the outset, this was definitely the route which Frank wanted to follow, giving him more freedom to make his own music. Having just signed a deal to one of the major record label has reminded him of the reason for being independent. Following seeing out the deal, Frank returned to his independent roots and never looked back. Having your songs played on radio and being able to play bigger venues remains the holy grail for any singer/songwriter. Yet Frank prefers nurturing and cultivating his audience and knowing that they’re there because they like his music rather than because he’s on the radio.
Now with a career spanning almost a quarter of a century, Frank is no longer the up and coming kid on the black and with support from radio royalty; Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley, has become comfortable with the idea of edging into the mainstream. With his new album expected to be released later this year, there is still so much yet to come from this evergreen singer/songwriter. It was a great pleasure to welcome the accomplished Frank Turner to Beyond The Title and I can’t wait to see what lies in wait for this supremely talented artist.