English folk-punk singer FRANK TURNER will perform for the first time in Slovakia tomorrow (April 10). In Bratislava he will perform with his band SLEEPING SOULS and he prepared one of his songs in Slovak language as he is used to do this in every country. He told us which language was hardest to learn, whether he is working on a new album and which bands had an impact on him and inspired him to play punk.
The show in Bratislava will be your first in Slovakia. Have you been to Slovakia before? Do you have any expectations from the Slovak audience?
I have never been to Slovakia before, but I am excited to be coming, if only for a short time. I studied Central and Eastern European history when I was younger, so there are some things I’d like to see in Bratislava! I don’t have expectations of the audience as such, I try not to expect anything, but we will do our best and hopefully the crowd will respond.
At each concert you sing one of your songs in the language of the country you are visiting. Is it hard to remake you own songs this way? Which language was the most difficult to learn?
I get help from local people for the translations, and I don’t really learn them as such, I have them written down on a sheet of paper! Polish has been the hardest one so far. I’m looking forward to having a one at Slovakian.
At the beginning of March you released a new EP Mittens. Why not a full-length album?
The songs on the EP were written at the same time as the previous record, “Positive Songs for Negative People” (which came out in August). I wanted to get them out into the public, because they belong together, thematically.
Are you already working on songs for a new album?
Yes I’m working on some stuff right now, it’s quite different from the stuff I’ve done before. It’s a little too early for me to say more than that, we have over a year left on tour for this record as it is!
Which one of your songs is your favorite and why?
I can’t really pick just the one, they each have their meanings and significances for me. It’s like choosing between your children – you’re not supposed to do that!
Which part of your music career have you enjoyed the most? Or of which part you have the best memories?
I like touring; I like the fact that most of my job involves traveling around the world playing music and meeting people. It’s a huge privilege, I’m grateful for that every day.
I read that first record you owned was Killers by Iron Maiden. Which other albums had impact on you when you were a child?
Iron Maiden were my first love, and with that metal more generally. Then Nirvana, particularly “In Utero”, hit me hard, and pointed me towards punk rock. From there, The Clash, Green Day, Offspring and NOFX slowly brought me around to Black Flag and hardcore punk, and from then on I was a goner.
Who is your guitar idol? Who inspired you to learn to play guitar?
At the beginning it was metal people, and then Kurt Cobain, of course. In more recent years, as I’ve started to be more of a guitarist, I’m inspired by Neil Young’s acoustic playing more than anything else.
If you were to choose one musician, who is already dead, to play one show with… Who would it be?
Nina Simone maybe.
Few days ago you got a new tattoo. How many tattoos do you have on your body? Which one means the most to you?
I lost count a while back. They’re like stickers on a suitcase for me. I guess I like my lucky 13 on my right middle finger the most, it has a lot of meaning for me.
What is your motto you would like to share with the readers of rocker.sk?
Don’t be a dickhead, enjoy yourself.