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Ο Frank Turner στο Mix Grill: Ο νέος δίσκος, το φεστιβάλ και οι συναυλίες του στην Ελλάδα

Frank Turner on his festival, the upcoming album and the shows in Greece

"I have work to do to win some new friends in Greece and Bulgaria, and it's exciting to me to do that."
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Frank Turner has endless gigs in small venues in England, 10 appearances in Reading and Leeds Festivals, several albums and two books. In a few days he visits Greece to open the concerts of Dropkick Murphys. In between he found some time to answer our questions.

Mix Grill: You tour a lot and you're just back from the festival you are running, Lost Evenings. Was this something that you had in mind since the beginning of your career?
Frank Turner: I always wanted to be an artist who tours a lot, I grew up idolising bands like Black Flag who were always on the road. Lost Evenings is a newer idea, and if you'd told me years ago that I'd have my own festival, I would have thought you were crazy. It's very, very cool to have, and it's going well!

MG: Ten years ago you were doing the "toilet circuit" and visited several small European countries, but you' ve never toured so deep in Southeastern Europe. Had you tried to visit these countries before?
FT: I've always wanted to - I want to play everywhere, and I feel very lucky to be able to travel around the world simply because I play music. I like to try to meet new people, visit new places, learn new things. I came to Greece on holiday when I was about 14 once, for a history school trip, but I have not been back since. Happy to be correcting that, and bringing my guitar!

MG: There are several fans who follow you passionately and in a kind of organised way. I know some of them are travelling to Greece and Bulgaria from the UK or elsewhere. Does this fan community influence your decisions when planning the next tour destinations?
FT: I think people who do that are awesome, but I try to think about the people in cities or countries who can't travel to my shows, and try to make sure I bring my shows to them, when I can.

MG: How does doing smaller or support shows in smaller countries/markets feel for you these days?
FT: It feels cool, it feels old school. I have work to do to win some new friends in Greece and Bulgaria, and it's exciting to me to do that.

MG: Back to the Lost Evenings, can you tell us about its first outing in the US and how different do you think it was from its UK version? When did you first think of bringing it to the US?
FT: I always wanted Lost Evenings to be something that travelled. We did it twice in London simply because we were learning how to do the festival, it was a new venture for all of us in 2017. The US one was amazing, to be able to do it that far from home. It also went well because each year gets better as my team and I get better at the whole thing. Next year even more so I hope!

MG: What about the LEIV (2020) in Berlin? I guess that's far off in the future, but have you considered new things that you try there (Brexit-related or not)?
FT: We're always thinking of ways to improve and expand the festival, so hopefully LE4 will be the best one yet. I want to make sure the bill has a lot of German and European music on the bill. As for Brexit, urgh, well, no one yet knows how that is going to go. I suspect that for larger touring bands things won't be too complicated, but the impact on smaller tours might be much bigger. We shall see in time, I guess.

MG: It's been a couple of months since you released your second book. Both this and the first mostly document your first few years in music. What would you say was (or still is, maybe) the main inspiration for these projects?
FT: I guess when I was a kid, people would probably have bet that I'd write a book before I became a singer, I was a bookworm for as long as anyone can remember. It's a cool challenge for me, very different from writing and recording music. I'm happy with the two books I have, next time I might try to write a book about something other than me and my music!

MG: Do you see yourself working on another book soon? Have you considered writing (and publishing) something not related with your work as a musician?
FT: Ha, see above! Yeah I actually think that would be a bigger and better intellectual challenge for me. I have a few ideas, but I also know how much work that would be, so it'd take some time to make any of them real...

MG: You've never been one to stand still and stick to a music formula that seems to work. What's your approach to new musical challenges and when do you choose to embrace them?
FT: I guess I believe that artists have a duty to keep changing. If I make a record in a style and it feels like it went as well as it could have done, that's a reason for me to try to change up and do something different, to challenge myself. The old records still exist, I just don't want to repeat myself. Ever onwards.

MG: Your collaboration with Choir Choir Choir! in your latest EP was an interesting move that clicked. How did this come to be? Are you considering any other collaborations for the near future?
FT: That was so cool; they do those kind of collaborations a lot, and got in touch and asked if I'd be interested in being part of it. Working in a room full of singers like that is a really physical thing, it's very different from working with a band. I enjoyed it a lot.

MG: You recently mentioned working on your upcoming album. Would you like to share some details on the creating process for this one or when do you plan to release it?
FT: I have a new album in the can, yes, it should be out by the end of the summer this year I think. It's exciting for me. It's very different (hopefully!) - it's a history record, 13 songs about different female historical figures who are not well known. I actually have a Greek subject in there, the Byzantine princess Kassiani. I can't wait for people to hear it.

MG: My final question is mostly for the Greek fans. I have several arguments to convince someone to come early to the DKM shows and enjoy your show too, but what would you say to the people down here?
FT: I am so very excited to come and play in Greece for the first time. I actually studied ancient Greek for about 10 years when I was a kid, and have some Greek script tattooed on my wrist. I know this isn't the same as the modern language, but I am going to try to sing one of my songs in Greek at the show...!
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