Frank Turner opens up about new album No Man's Land
Frank Turner has opened up about his new album No Man's Land.
Having previously sworn he'd never make a concept album, the troubadour breaks that promise today (August 16th) with the release of new LP No Man's Land.
Speaking to hmv.com about the album, Turner said: "I try and push myself and get out of my comfort zone and do a different thing with every record I do. This is getting out of my comfort zone for real and pressing the ejector seat. I promised that I'd never make a concept album and I'm now breaking that promise. It's a history record."
He continued: "I've been collecting stories, remarkable stories about characters you wouldn't have heard, and, because of the nature of human society and history and culture, most of those stories are about women. I've written 12 songs about historical female characters you were unlikely to have heard of, and one song about my mum."
Among the characters Turner has written about are Sister Rosetta Tharpe, widely known as the inventor of rock and roll, Byzantine princess Kassiani and Egyptian feminist activist Huda Sha'arawi.
Asked about writing the record, he said: "It was a very different style of writing for me. Usually, I let ideas arrive in the moment of their own choosing. Once I had a structure I could out and find people to write about. It was a lot of fun and it was weirdly like being back at school. That wasn't terrible, because I was a bit of a nerd."
Recorded with Foals/Wolf Alice producer Catherine Marks, the album also sees Turner backed by an all-female band including Anna Jenkins and Gill Sandell of regular collaborator Emily Barker’s Red Clay Halo band, Lock drummer Holly Madge, Paloma Faith’s bass player Andrea Goldsworthy, Kat Marsh of Choir Noir and a full West End brass section.
Turner also spoke about the need to change his approach for the album and why he decided to take it. He said: "This is my eighth solo album and after putting out that much music, you need not only inspiration, but justification. I think a lot about the question 'Does the world need another album by me?' I need to make records that interesting and not repeating myself. Taking this approach has been liberating."
The singer was speaking on hmv's new podcast My Inspiration, where he opened up about his life-long love of Canadian indie types The Weakerthans. You can listen to the full episode below: