Frank Turner (born 28 December 1981) is an English folk/punk singer-songwriter from Meonstoke, Hampshire. Initially the vocalist of post-hardcore band Million Dead, Turner embarked upon a primarily acoustic-based solo career following the band’s split in 2005. Both in the studio and during live performances, Turner is accompanied by his backing band, The Sleeping Souls, which consists of Ben Lloyd (guitar, mandolin), Tarrant Anderson (bass), Matt Nasir (piano) and Nigel Powell (drums).
To date, Turner has released five solo albums, two rarities compilation albums, One split album and five EPs. Turner’s fifth studio album, Tape Deck Heart was released on 22 April 2013.
Turner was educated on a scholarship at Eton College, where he studied alongside Prince William, and later went on to attend the London School of Economics where he read History. His father, Roger Turner, is the son of Sir Mark Turner, formerly chairman of high street retailer BHS, and had himself also attended Eton before becoming a City investment banker, while his mother, Jane, the daughter of a bishop, is a primary school head teacher.
Beginnings and Million Dead
First record he owned was the “Killers” album from Iron Maiden. Metal was the first musical direction he adored and he still does. Turner’s musical career began at school, with the short-lived alternative band Kneejerk. The band released three records and played several shows around the UK. The last record, their only full-length, was entitled The Half Life of Kissing and was released by Yorkshire DIY hardcore label Sakari Empire after the band had actually broken up.
In 2001, Turner joined London post-hardcore band Million Dead at the invitation of former Kneejerk drummer Ben Dawson. In 2005, after four years and two albums, the band announced that they were parting ways, as “irreconcilable differences within the band mean that it would be impossible to continue.” Around that time Turner got a tape with Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska on it – later he claimed that “that was a really big moment for me hearing that record in terms of a turn around in my music career, from hardcore punk bands to what I’m doing now.”
- Sleep Is for the Week and Love Ire & Song (2005–2008)
- Poetry of the Deed (2008–2010)
- Rock & Roll EP, England Keep My Bones and Möngöl Hörde (2010–2012)
- Tape Deck Heart (2013)
Turner recorded his fifth studio album, Tape Deck Heart, in Burbank, California, in October 2012. The reason for recording first time abroad in California was, that producer Rich Costey wouldn’t come to England with all his equipment so he convinced Turner to record it in Burbank. Frank Turner announced via Twitter on 28 October 2012 that recording was completed, and mixing and mastering would be done in time for a March 2013 release date. During the November and December UK tour a free CD titled Good Hangs from Xtra Mile Recordings was distributed for free at Frank Turner shows, this included a yet-to-be-released Turner song titled “Tattoos” plus the Möngöl Hörde song “Casual Threats From Weekend Hardmen”. On Christmas Day 2012, the song “Four Simple Words” was released on Xtra Mile Recordings’ website as a free download along with the b-side “Cowboy Chords”. On 4 January 2013, a video was shot for what would be the first single. On the same day Frank announced on Twitter that the single was the song “Recovery”. On 9 January, Frank uploaded a photo to his Instagram page showing the names of all 13 songs that would feature on his new album. This included songs played during the UK and US tours of 2012 such as “Anymore”, “Plain Sailing Weather”, “We Shall Not Overcome” and “Tell Tale Signs”. Frank also posted on his fan forum that an extended edition of his new album would be released that includes an extra 5 or 6 songs. On 19 February 2013, it was announced that Turner had signed a licensing deal with Interscope Records in the US for Tape Deck Heart. Following the release of the album Frank Turner embarked on a short U.K tour. He has also been confirmed as the headline act for the Two Thousand Trees Festival and main stage slots at the Reading and Leeds festivals.