Germs Of Perfection :: Frank Turner

Yesterday I told you guys about the new Bad Religion tribute album that’s being streamed on MySpace. I’ve now decided I’ll do a daily post for each new cover, just to make sure you check out some very cool songs, covered by some very cool artists. Today we have one from a very familiar face.

Polar Bear Club’s cover of ‘Better Off Dead’ was streaming yesterday and they took the typical punk rock route with their cover. Today it’s Frank Turner’s turn and, as per usual, Britain’s premier punk rock troubadour put his own spin on his version of a classic Bad Religion track. It’s a much slower take on the song, and reminded me of his cover of Black Flag’s ‘Fix Me’. It’s different, and probably not to the taste of most hardcore Bad Religion fans, but I prefer my covers this way. If it was the same you’d just listen to the original, right?

‘My Poor Friend Me’ comes from Bad Religion’s, 1993 album, Recepie For Hate. An album which features one of the band’s most iconic songs ‘American Jesus’. If you’re not a punk fan or not really into Bad Religion, be sure to give this album a go anyway. I guarantee there’ll be something on here you like.

You can listen to the track as well as tracks from Polar Bear Club and Tegan & Sara here.

Frank Turner, Tegan & Sara, Fake Problems Featured On Bad Religion Tribute Album

Germs Of Perfection

The words “tribute album” might send shivers down your spine, as you think about all those terrible CDs sold in infomercials. Fear not, you won’t be getting anything like that here. I’ve talked a little about this on Under The Bridge, but haven’t had any solid details until now. To celebrate their 30 years as a band, Epitaph – with partners MySpace and Spin Magazine – are putting out a Bad Religion tribute album.

Germs Of Perfection: A Tribute To Bad Religion will feature artists like Polar Bear Club, Fake Problems, Tegan & Sara, Frank Turner and Ted Leo covering some of Bad Religion’s most famous songs. The album will be available to stream online, with a new track being debuted each day, before being compiled and available to download. The best thing about all of this is that it’ll be free of charge. You can’t argue with that, can you?

You can listen to the tracks here. Polar Bear Club’s cover of ‘Better Of Dead’ is streaming now.

Bad Religion’s latest album The Dissent Of Man was released on Monday (27th) and you can buy it from the official Epitaph Records store.

Gig Review :: Bad Religion – Academy 2, Manchester – 24/08/10

The Only Religion I Can Get Behind

©Emma Stone 2010

It’s hard to review a band that have been around as long as Bad Religion. In their 30 years they’ve influenced countless musicians, released 15 studio albums and helped revive the punk rock genre. It was always going to be special to see these guys play, but I didn’t think it’d turn out to be one of my favorite gigs of 2010. Some might consider them amongst the ‘dads army’ of punk but if this gig showed anything, it’s that they’re far from past it.


With a new album on the horizon, some bands would choose to play their more recent stuff. Not Bad Religion. The setlist was fantastic. It was like being at a greatest hits show. Anything a Bad Religion fan would’ve wanted played was.

Greg Graffin was in fine voice as he blasted his way through songs like ‘Suffer’, ‘New Dark Ages’ and, a personal favorite, ‘Los Angeles Is Burning’. I have so much respect for him – even more now I’ve seen the guy do what he does best with my own eyes. He’s not only a great singer, but a great showman too. He commanded the stage (and the attention of the crowd) better than I’ve seen anyone do it before.

The audience isn’t usually an element of a gig I’d comment on, but I really feel the need to here. Given who these people were watching, you’d have thought there’d have been a bit of energy about them. The crowd may have been the most inanimate I’ve ever seen a group of people at Academy 2. There were definitely small pockets really going for it, as they should be, but the majority of people were stood perfectly still throughout the gig. I’m sure some of that was down to the amount of people packed into one of the smaller venues in Manchester, but my point still stands. This is a punk gig people, a bit of movement would be nice.

There’s no doubt that Greg was on top form, but the rest of the band were too. After a little bit of a shaky start, they really got into it and were really tight through to the end. It has to be said, that this was Bad Religion sans-Brett Gurewitz. I overheard some fans outside who sounded disappointed that he wasn’t there. Admittedly, it would’ve been awesome had he been, but the show was great regardless.

‘American Jesus’ closed out the main part of the show and, at last, the crowd finally seemed in good spirits. The band left stage and it seemed the encore everyone wanted wasn’t going to happen. After a little while, the guys came back out and played more fan favorites. This was the highlight of the show for me. Stranger Than Fiction is my favorite Bad Religion album, so to hear ’21st Century (Digital Boy)’ live was a great thing to behold. It was a great show and I don’t think anyone was doubting it would be. 30 Years and still going strong. I think some up and coming bands out there need to take notice.


Setlist:

  • Do What You Want
  • Overture/Sinister Rouge
  • We’re Only Gonna Die
  • Recipe For Hate
  • Flat Earth Society
  • Before You Die
  • A Walk
  • How Much Is Enough
  • No Control
  • Requiem For Dissent
  • Sanity
  • Atomic Garden
  • New Dark Ages
  • Dearly Beloved
  • Suffer
  • Germs Of Perfection
  • No Direction
  • Los Angeles Is Burning
  • Along The Way
  • Fuck Armageddon…This Is Hell
  • You
  • Infected
  • American Jesus

Encore:

  • Generator
  • 21st Century (Digital Boy)
  • Sorrow

Podcast :: Under The Bridge – Episode 4: If We Don’t See You Through The Week, We’ll See You Through The Window

“Hey look, that’s Marilyn Manson. He’s got shit loads of money. Let’s suck on his dick” – Ian Critchley

This is episode 4 of Under The Bridge and after we’ve solved one problem, we run into another. The sound quality is better, but Anthony had his microphone too close to his mouth. Apologies for the perverted heavy breathing. This week we talk a lot about Epitaph’s bands, Anthony talks about Real Ghosts Caught On Tape and we attempt to further beat the dead horse that is illegal downloading.

Music this week comes from Monster-0. The tracklist is as follows:

  • ‘Terminator Vs. Robocop’
  • ‘Ryan Writes Plays’
  • ‘Never You Mind’
  • ‘Burt Bacharach Was Right’
  • ‘Keep Me Informed’
  • ‘Doubt It’
Thanks to Matt Volp for the wonderful False Conundrums artwork.

Go on, have a listen:

Under The Bridge – Episode 4: If We Don’t See You Through The Week, We’ll See You Through The Window


Under The Bridge Podcast  – Episode 4: If We Don’t See You Through The Week, We’ll See You Through The Window
With: Anthony Barlow & Ian Critchley
Guests: N/A

News

  • Weezer sign to Epitaph
    • New album ‘Hurley’ coming soon
    • What an awesome album cover
  • Bad Religion compilation on the way
    • Very few details
    • Fake Problems on the record
  • Greg Graffin to release new book
    • Anarchy Evolution
    • Out Sept. 28th
    • Coming out alongside new BR album ‘The Dissent Of Man’
  • Set Your Goals headline dates – more to be announced
    • Liverpool Academy – Dec 8th
    • Leeds Cockpit – Dec 11th
    • Northampton Soundhouse – Dec 14th
  • Jimmy Eat World announce UK dates – more dates to come. No Manc date!
    • Nov 13 – Norwich UEA
    • Nov 14 – Bristol Academy
    • Nov 17 – Belfast TBC
    • Nov 18 – Dublin TBC
    • Nov 19 – Glasgow Barrowlands
    • Nov 23 – Brixton Academy
  • Guns N Roses cancel Leeds/Reading?
    • Afraid not. What a piss take.
  • Jay-Z is the highest earning man in hip-hop
    • Made $63million in the last year according to Forbes
      • New album, tour, clothing line and investments
    • Top 20:
      • 1. Jay-Z: $63 million
      • 2. P. Diddy: $30 million
      • 3. Akon, $21 million
      • 4. Lil Wayne, $20 million
      • 5. Dr. Dre, $17 million
      • 6. Ludacris, $16 million
      • 7. Snoop Dogg, $15 million
      • 8. Timbaland, $14 million
      • 9. Pharrell Williams, $13 million
      • 10. Kanye West, $12 million
      • 11. Drake, $10 million
      • 12. T.I., $9 million
      • 13. Swizz Beatz, $9 million
      • 14. Eminem, $8 million
      • 15. 50 Cent, $8 million
      • 16 Young Jeezy, $8 million
      • 17. Common, $7 million
      • 18. Soulja Boy, $6 million
      • 19. T-Pain, $6 million
      • 20. Lil Jon, $5 million
  • Katie Price to launch iPod range
    • Sold through her website
    • Who buys this shit?
  • Marilyn Manson splits with fiancee Rachael Evan Wood
    • Seemed amicable
    • He went and got smashed the night after
      • Well done
  • Katie Perry Gatecrashes, all male, high school prom in Australia
    • Heard her song playing and went to investigate
    • Did a bit of karaoke
    • Apparently she was smashed
  • Smell like the Sex Pistols
    • Sex Pistols launch new perfume
    • What the fuck?
  • Bono’s started smoking again
    • Hopefully he’ll die quicker this way

Main Topic

  • Illegal downloading: A discussion.

What Anthony’s Been Listening To:

  • Fake Problems – Real Ghosts Caught On Tape
  • Monster-0
  • Rise Against

What Ian’s Been Listening To:

  • Joy Division
  • Charles Manson
  • Our Podcast
  • Fu Manchu

Emails

  • Hahahaha John Berna is amazing – Pete Sk
  • How do you guys get all of these interviews – Danielle via Formspring
  • Why did you put “Scoop!” at the end of your Monster-0 review. It really didn’t make any sense – Anon.

John Berna’s Ian Critchley’s Words Of Wisdom:

  • “Act like a ho, you get smacked like a ho”

Where Can We Find You On The Internet?

Housekeeping

Gig Review :: Hot Water Music – Irish Centre, Leeds – 22/06/10

Here’s one, of time passed…

We thought it would never happen, after break ups and semi-make ups, Hot Water Music have finally touched U.K shores and are blasting the hell out of some, or what seems like, some old mans social club in the middle of fuck knows where known only as, the Irish Centre. Okay, I’ll do a little run down first, because it’s me writing this and it’s never a straight forward day is it?


We started the day, met in Manchester, got the train to Leeds. My heart was broke at one point when a 5 or 6 year old girl on the train turns to her mother and says, “Mummy, I love you.” I’m such a sucker.

In Leeds, we meet up with the fourth member of our usually 2 strong team, Mr Joe Brownridge. So far we have Anthony Barlow, Danny Rayner, Mr. Joe and myself. Being the ultimate arsehole I am, I decide it’ll be a good idea to walk to the Irish Centre, with not an ounce of knowledge of where it is, after an hour or so of walking through Leeds council estates (big fun) we decide to rely on the bullshit technology that is the iPhone.

So we get to the Centre, eventually get an interview with the lovely Jason Black and as we return to the venue Milloy are part way through their set. They play with such intensity I have to take a moment to think back to when I saw a support band play so well, can’t think of any right now. Next up is the Magnificent, who supported the Lawrence Arms on their Leeds venture, the crowd do not seem interested in the bands songs or on stage banter, but I do not think they played bad. At the end of their set, Chuck Ragan joins them for a full band cover of Alkaline Trio’s “Bleeder” which frankly, was the perfect start to what everyone had been waiting for…

Hot Water Music take to the stage and the crowd, frankly, go ape shit. A brief introduction and we’re straight in there. They open with ‘A Flight And A Crash’ (check the title duh!) and the place explodes. Before anyone can take a breath we’re followed by ‘Remedy’, a fan favourite and the last single (to my knowledge) to be released by the boys. The set continues with other well known songs such as ‘Wayfarer’, ‘Giver’ and the song that gave the album ‘Caution’ it’s title ‘I Was On A Mountain’ (such a tune).

The intensity of the band cannot, or has not been matched by any band I have ever seen. Chuck Ragan’s hard rocking antics, Chris Wollard’s borderline cocky crowd smiles and the deep concentration of the face of one of punk rocks best bassists, Jason Black. I’d say it is unfortunate, and I guess it is, but due to joining Against Me! George Rebelo is not on the drum kit tonight, luckily, Lagwagon drummer Dave Raun, who does exceedingly well (Oh Mr. Kipling!), playing songs that he didn’t write.

The set is a brilliant blend of new and old, featuring old classics such as ‘Free Radio Gainesville’, ‘Just Don’t Say You Lost It’ and ‘Alachua’. After and intense non stop perpetual boner of a setlist, the band retire, leaving the crowd anxious and almost riot bent on just a few more songs, and like fuck they’re not gonna give them to us! The band return to stage, and give a shout out to their good friends, a band called “The Bouncing Souls,”  they tear into a rendition of “True Believers” (much to Sarah Hadfields regret as she was not there) which rivals the original in a way that I’m sure shocked a few BS fans.

A couple more songs, Kerrang! favorite, ‘Choked And Seperated’ and finally ‘Turnstyles’ and the best night of my life comes to a close. Well kind of….

We ring a taxi under the pseudonym  Sebastian DeBlanc, and head towards Santiago’s, the best pub in the world. A lot of Against Me!, Nofx and Black Flag and then a lovely train ride home. Fuck yeah!

Video Interview :: Derek Grant (Alkaline Trio)

One out of three ain’t bad.

After a day spent out in the sun, watching and waiting we (“we” being about nine of us at the time of this interview) and not getting anywhere we were greeted by the presence of, Alkaline Trio drummer, Derek Grant. The plan had originally been to speak to all three of the guys (a plan that may still go ahead), but due to some last minute scheduling issues it wasn’t to be. Thankfully, Derek obliged and we have something special for you, dear reader.

Courtesy of, our friend, Jodie Weatherley’s new production company, Trust No One Productions, we have a video interview. That’s right, you don’t have to read a wall of text. Although, if you want to, it’s been transcribed anyway.

This was in Derek’s own time, hence why it’s only a quick one. Massive thanks to him.



Ian Critchley: On your new album you’ve returned to your roots. Was that a conscious decision, or did you just start jamming out and it just kind of happened?

Derek Grant: It just happened, it was more coincidental. We knew that we wanted to work with the producer that the band used to work with and record at the studio, do something in Chicago, and I think it was just a matter of those elements and where we were at as people and, like, the songs that we were writing. So it just came out that way.

IC: On the Heart & Skull Records front, it’s a partnership with Epitaph, what was the decision behind that entire thing?

DG: Well, we were gonna self release the record, so we started our own label, and then Epitaph, basically, we’ve been friends with them for a long time and they said: ‘we know a lot about the business, we can help you out with some of the details’, so we licensed the record to Epitaph.

IC: Good for that, Epitaph, aren’t they? Do you think there’ll ever be a Dan-fronted single?

DG: You never know.

IC: There never has been though.

DG: Yeah, I mean, there hasn’t been and it’s a mystery to me why that hasn’t happened. A lot of times, the singles are picked by the record label.

IC: Right.

Anthony Barlow: I really like the horn section in ‘Lead Poisoning’, but it’s somewhat of a point of contention with fans.

DG: Sure.

AB: What do you personally think of it?

DG: I think it suits the song just fine. When I first heard the idea, I was a little surprised but…

IC: Did you not write the horn section?

DG: No. It was all Matt.

IC: I thought you did, because you did the orchestral thing on ‘Sadie’

DG: Yeah, it was all Matt’s idea.

IC: No way.

DG: Blame Matt.

IC: You and Matt, apparently, bought each other Church Of Satan memberships and then, kinda, went back on it.

DG: A long time ago. I didn’t.

IC: Did Matt?

DG: Maybe a little bit, but I think he shy’s away from talking about it.

IC: It’s nothing like…

DG: It wasn’t the most serious decision to begin with. You know, in my opinion, being a part of any sort of organisation is kinda foolish.

IC: Yeah, yeah definitely.

DG: Especially an organisation that preaches free thought. To be part of a group mentality doesn’t make a lot of sense. So it was more of a, I don’t want to say it was a joke, but it was more of something that was a bonding experience for us. It was pretty early on, once I’d joined the band, and one of the first things Matt and I bonded over was Satanism. Like, I grew up, my mother was a follower of Anton LaVey and LaVey and Satanism, and Matt was into it from an early age as well. So, when we first started hanging out, we didn’t know each other that well and we were trying to find things in common and that was one of the the most outstanding things.

IC: On that same level, you have a pentagram on your nipple. Could you show that to the camera?

DG: No.

IC: No. Are you not gonna do that?

DG: That’s a tattoo for my mom.

IC: Oh right, ok.

AB: You’ve done some pretty surprising covers over the years you’ve been going, is there anything like that coming in the future? *

DG: Yeah, we’ve been talking about doing a covers album for some time so…

IC: Is that Those Crooked Vulva’s?

DG: No, that’s a totally different project, but maybe some of the same songs.

AB: You’ve been playing Ramones covers as well

DG: Yeah, we haven’t played any Ramones covers in a while. We’ve been doing some Misfits songs lately.

IC: Is any of that gonna be played tonight?

DG: Probably.

AB: Nice.

IC: Good stuff, yeah. What’s your favorite Trio album as a drummer? What album do you feel you’ve played best on as such?

DG: Well that’s interesting actually, because my favorite Trio records are the ones I didn’t play on. Which is, maybe, becuase I’m a fan of those records and it’s a little bit easier to be objective about things. As far as records I’ve played on, I’d have to say this one.

IC: Oh yeah, right. If Chuck Ragan, this is kind of a joke question, if Chuck Ragan, Henry Rollins and a shark had a fight, who do you think would win?

DG: Oh man, I would say Chuck. Chuck’s pretty tough.

IC: Everyone goes for Chuck.

AB: It’s four nil!

DG: I like Henry Rollins just fine, and he seems tough enough. To be honest, I’ve never seen Chuck in a fight, but I know what lies beneath. Henry Rollins seems like kind of a nice guy. As is Chuck, but Henry seems like, I don’t know, like he wouldn’t fare well in that situation.

IC: *laughs* he’d kinda separate himself.

AB: We talked a bit about the setlist, is there any songs you refuse to play?

DG: No.

IC: None that are boycotted, as such.

DG: No. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll play anything. The other guys might have different opinions.

IC: Do you find it hard choosing a setlist, because you’ve got seven albums out now and a load of other stuff as well?

DG: Yeah, it’s impossible. You can never please everybody.

IC: Finally, is there anything you’d like to recommend: music, film or literature? Because there’s a lot of stuff I’ve gotten into through Alkaline Trio.

DG: Oh man, so much stuff. House Of Leaves, the book is amazing. That was very influential for all of us actually. House Of Leaves is an amazing book. I’m trying to think of, as far as films are concerned. There’s a film called Martyrs that’s pretty interesting. We just watched that one. Bronson, you’ve probably seen, I think it did pretty good over here. Musically, I listen to, mainly, older stuff. I don’t listen to a whole lot of new music.

IC: Is there not any new bands you’re into at the moment?

DG: Not really. I mean, I’m always looking for new stuff, but I tend to be disappointed.

IC: Have you heard a band called Crazy Arm?

DG: No.

IC: They’re from round here, and they’re really good.

DG: Ok, I’ll check them out. I appreciate the suggestion.

IC: Right, thank you very much.

DG: Sorry it took me so long to get out here.

Interview :: Frank Turner

It’s become an inevitability that whenever Frank Turner sets foot in the North West of England, we will be there to pester him.

Just back from supporting Flogging Molly in the states, Frank has embarked on another Europe-wide tour, just five months after his last, in order to appease the cries of his ever growing fan base. We concocted theories as to why Fake Problems postponed their UK tour, awkwardly talked about his new single and failed in getting some ‘top secret’ information.


Anthony Barlow: Hi Frank, how’s it going?

Frank Turner: I’m good thanks. A little bit rashed today, but tonight is going to be the biggest headline show of my career so I’m excited about that. It’s gonna be a fun evening and it’s St. Patrick’s day so I’m sure that madness with ensue after the show.

Ian Critchley: There’s that ‘Pop, Bubble, Rock’ thing going on after the show, it’s supposed to be your after-show party. Do you actually know about it?

FT: No, I don’t. That happens quite often, people going “official aftershow” and I’m like “no one told me”. I think I’m gonna head off with some friends and go and get trashed somewhere. I’m not drinking Guiness. I can’t stand Guiness. Horrible shit.

IC: Get on the Jameson’s instead.

FT: Exactly. You’re a wise man.

AB: You’ve just come off the Flogging Molly tour, have you not?

FT: Yes

AB: Well, what happened to reducing your tour schedule then?

FT: I said I was going to reduce my tour schedule? Well, nothing really happened with that. It must be said actually. The Flogging Molly guys offered me that tour, like the day after we announced this tour and if they’d have offered it to us 24 hours earlier, we would’ve shifted the whole of this tour back a little bit. We missed the last few shows and I did a thing where I played Saturday night in Chicago, on Sunday I got on a plane, arrived Monday and then played Monday night in Newcastle. That was a fucking headache, to be honest with you. By the end of the show in Newcastle, I was a dead man walking.

AB: I was just going to ask, how’re you not dead yet?

FT: Well, I’ve got some creature comforts. Touring at this level in the UK is cool. I’ve got quite a big crew working for me now and I don’t have to re-string my guitars and stuff like that anymore, which is fine because I’ve got a lot of interviews to do and shit like that in the meantime. There’s not enough hours in the day. It does mean that, once the show’s done, I can get to bed or go out and have a drink or whatever. So it’s, in some ways, more relaxing.

AB: Fair enough, you’re off to Europe straight after this as well aren’t you?

FT: We’ve got three days off, I think, and then to Zurich.

AB: You’ve actually got a day off whilst you’re here to. Has no one commandeered you and got you to play a show yet?

FT: People have asked but, again, I haven’t really had a day off between Flogging Molly and this. I think I’m gonna take advantage of it and maybe have a bath, watch a lot of telly, maybe go to the cinema. Y’know, just chill out for a day.

AB: Yeah, definitely. You had to cancel a show as well in Detroit

FT: I did. I’m still fucking seethingly pissed off about it. I would, literally, rather torture small children than cancel shows. I just fucking hate it. There was a throat infection going around on the Flogging Molly tour and when drummers have throat infections it doesn’t really matter, but when singers do it is a problem. I kinda struggled through. We had three shows in a row where I had a really croaky, horrible voice and it just wasn’t gonna get any better unless I took time off. So I took a day off and just felt like an arsehole about it. Although it has to be said, Detroit is a fucking horrible place. The gigs are alright, the people there are quite nice, but as an actual city it’s a fucking shit hole. I must admit, I wasn’t actually that bothered about going to Detroit.

AB: Did you actually get people turning up this time?

FT: I got a few emails from people saying they were bummed that I missed the show, but I’m going to try and do a show during the summer some time so hopefully that’ll make up for it.

AB: Your new DVD arrived in the post yesterday

FT: Oh cool. I’m glad they’re sending them out. That’s good. I’m really pleased with how that came together. We got as much footage and sound on it as humanly possible to get on to discs. Yeah, I’m pleased that came together.

AB: Chris Farren from Fake Problems seemed pretty surprised that it was actually out.

FT: Shit, we need to send those guys a copy actually because they’re on it.

IC: I bet he’ll have to see if he can fit it into his busy Lost-watching schedule because That’s all you get on Facebook: “lost, lost, lost, lost” about 40 million times

FT: *laughs*

AB: I never thought about that actually. Fake Problems postponed their UK tour.

IC: I reckon it’s because of Lost.

FT: *laughs*

AB: Yeah, I think Chris would miss the Lost finale if he went on tour.

IC: He wants to watch it that much that he just canceled the whole tour

FT: It would not surprise me.

AB: Is the DVD on sale at the merch stand?

FT: Yep. It’s out and about now so.

AB: Are we going to hear any new material tonight?

FT: We’re not actually, but I’m writing a lot of new songs at the moment. Poetry Of The Deed we recorded very quickly. Which is fine. I want to take a little bit more time this time, so I’m doing something I haven’t done for a while, which is writing songs and then sitting on them for a little bit just to kind of mull them over. I’m very, very pleased right now with the material that I’ve got. Again, with Poetry Of The Deed, it was kinda like we wrote 13 songs, put 13 songs on the album and then put it out. I kind of want to write more songs this time and pick and choose a little more. Plus, there was that song called Pass It Along that didn’t make Poetry Of The Deed, but which footage exists of on the web and loads and loads of people keep going on about how much they like that song so maybe that might make a resurgence. So, no new material but every time I do a tour I’m mindful of the fact that quite a lot of people will have gone to the show in October who’ll be here tonight, so I want to make sure the setlist is kinda different. I’ll be playing some old songs that I haven’t played for a long time. We’ll be playing some material from Poetry Of The Deed that we haven’t played before, just to try and keep it fresh and interesting.

AB: And, of course, you’ve got people like us who just seem to follow you everwhere you go…

FT: *laughs*

IC: I’ve got to ask this, what do you think about people quoting you? Like getting tattoos of your lyrics or using them as a basis for things

FT: I think that’s cool man

IC: Oh good, because I’ve got a question and it’s got a quote in it so…*laughs*. On St. Christopher’s Coming Home, you sing the words “chances are that I am far away and so I’m phased out of the plan” and your new single is Isabel, which is about your ladyfriend.

FT: Yes

IC: How does she feel about your insane tour schedule and constant distance. Does it affect your relationship in a may you might regret? I don’t just mean with her, but with family and friends

FT: Well, without going to far into the details, the answer to that question is yes, I am no longer an attached man.

IC: Oh…

FT: No, it’s alright. It’s just fucking terrible because that song’s just getting played on a bunch of radio stations and shit and she’s got the radio where she works, so it’s like she’s sitting there at work all day with this fucking song coming at her. Which makes me feel like an arsehole. You know what, it’s very difficult and I just kind of… Again, I don’t want to get to personal. I’ve taken a decision recently that I’m just gonna do personal life in like five years. I fucking love what I do. There’s loads to do and I’m just gonna focus on my job for now.

IC: Fair enough. A lot of your friends are musicians and in terms of gig tickets, album sales your probably the most successful. If you write a song and Jay [Beans On Toast] gives you his opinion on it, do you find it hard to take on board?

FT: Not at all, no.

IC: You’ve not gotten to the point where you’ve got a massive rock star ego?

FT: No fucking way. I take criticism off Jay. Chris T-T is someone I run material by. I have a small circle of people who I run new songs by and get their opinion. How best to say this? I’m very grateful for the success I’ve achieved, but I’m not going to sit here and say it’s because “I’m fucking Jesus”. It’s a combination of luck, hard work and all that kind of thing as well. I think Chris T-T is one of the best songwriters in the fucking world. I actually think Ben Marwood is one of the best songwriters in the world as well. I will always, always listen to their opinions on their stuff and take it deathly seriously.

AB: You’ve not turned into Morrissey then? Shutting yourself away in a darkened room whilst you write.

FT: I fucking hope I never do. You guys can call me out on it. I like Morrissey, but c’mon the guy cancels gigs because he doesn’t like the acoustics of the room. I’d be like “fuck you mate”.

AB: Are you playing any festivals this year?

FT: Yeah, I’ve got quite a few. I’m not quite sure which ones I’m allowed to talk about. I know I’m allowed to talk about ‘T In The Park’, which is gonna be great. I’ve not done that one before. I’m headlining ‘2,000 Trees’, which is great because it’s an awesome festival. I’m also headlining a festival called ‘Wood’, which is a folk festival run by the guys who do ‘Truck’ festival. I’ve not actually been to ‘Wood’, but I know the Bennett brothers, who run ‘Truck’, very well. They’re old friends, so that should be fun as well. I’ve never headlined a festival before and now I’m on two, so that’s great.

AB: Can you say anything about Reading/Leeds? There was a ‘leaked’ line up and you’re on it so…

FT: I actually, in all honesty, I heard about it I didn’t actually see it myself. I’ve no idea whether it’s true or not. I’m gonna be at Reading and Leeds this year, but I don’t know on what stage, basically. That’s what I can tell you at this stage. In fairness, I should be finding out any day now. In fact, my booking agent is coming to the show tonight so I’ve got a feeling she might know and she’s saving it to tell me in person because she’s like that. So, we’ll see.

IC: What’s going on with the Neil Young thing? Can we talk about that yet?

FT: Yeah, well…I think Neil has postponed his summer tour, which is kind of annoying, but I have got a tour in the sates this September that I can’t really talk about now. It’s with one of my fucking all time favorite bands and I’m getting really, really piss excited about it, but I can’t talk about it yet.

AB: Oh, go on

FT: No, I can’t. I literally can’t. I’ll get in so much shit if I do.

IC: What about the, Turner-fronted, ‘super band’ with Jim Ward?

FT: *laughs* Yeah, I saw Jim Ward the other day actually. I stayed at his house for a night, in El Paso. It’s kinda the same as it was last time, in a sense that everyone thinks it’s a fucking awesome idea, but my tour schedule currently runs through til February 2011 and then I’ve got a plan put together that’s gonna take me through until next summer.

IC: So it’s gonna be a while then

FT: Yeah. I mean, oh this is actually worth talking about actually. I’ve got a plan for next year. I’m gonna do a summer tour of the UK, which I haven’t done for a long time. I wanna do small venues, 200 cap. kinda places, but it’s gonna be a 12-week long tour. I’m gonna play fucking everywhere. So, for example, instead of just playing Manchester I’ll play Manchester, Wigan, Preston, Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool…

IC: Do you realise you’re gonna get really, like, stalked by us?

FT: *laughs* Literally we’re trying to put together a 60-date UK tour. The thing is, I’m trying to put together an album of traditional English songs out next year as well. The idea is that, we’ll do that together and I’m gonna, this is concept here, because what I’m gonna do is get local people to support in each show and I’ve got a whole bunch of books about English folklore, legend and myth and I’ll read-up about each town before I go there and maybe do a bit of a talk between songs about local folklore and shit like that. It’s gonna be called The Folklore Tour. It’s gonna be really long and really fucking hard, but I think it’s gonna be fun. A thing a lot of people say, which I totally sympathise with, is that it’s been a long time since a lot of people in the UK saw me play a solo show in a smaller club and it is a different thing to see me play a full production show downstairs here. I’m sensitive to that, and I want people to get what they want,  so we’re gonna do that.

IC: Hypothetically, if your music career stopped today (or perhaps didn’t happen at all) where do you think you’d be?

FT: I’d like to be a history teacher. Yeah, I’d like to teach A-Level history. I had an A-Level history teacher who just completely turned me around on so many different things. I like telling stories and, it’s not the whole thing, but there’s a degree to which history is story-telling. Particularly at that kind of level. When you get to university it gets a bit more analytical. I just like the idea of telling people the story of the Second World War or whatever it may be. It’s kind of cool so, yeah, that’s what I’d like to do. Anyway, sorry that got cut short guys. It’s nice to see you again and I’ll see you downstairs.


Massive thanks to Frank and everyone who helped us sort this out yet again. Needless to say, next time he’s about we’ll be there to ask more questions. You never know, we might not put our collective feet in it as much next time. Look for Anthony’s gig review very soon.

Promo :: Frank Turner – New Single ‘Isabel’ Released April 12th

Here’s someone who needs no introduction, especially to readers of Moon & Back. For the ill-informed and misguided out there, this is Frank Turner. He makes folk music and this is his new single.

Isabel is the third single to be taken from Turner’s, critically acclaimed, third album Poetry Of The Deed. It’s a bit of a change in direction when you compare it to anthems like The Road and the album’s title track, but that certainly doesn’t make it bad by any means. It’s a little less punk rock and a little more chilled out. Perhaps it’ll be another one that’ll make people worship at the temple of Turner.

Check out the video below.


Buy Poetry Of The Deed here.

Album Review :: Alkaline Trio – This Addiction, Released 23/02/10

Having been a massive Alkaline Trio fan for nearly ten years now, my opinion on their records is often biased. I’ll try and keep my opinions free from as much ass kissing as possible. This is the seventh studio instalment (8th if you count the S/T L.P) from the crowned dark princes of pop-punk. The trio have apparently returned “back to their roots” on this record, but let’s see how it pans out…

The album opens with This Addiction the albums title track, this has been previously reviewed by fellow writer ‘Anton B-Low’ so I won’t go into it much. A lot of people have called this the weakest track on the album, and if so, this album should kick some serious booty.

Next up is Dine, Dine My Darling – the title being a parody of The Misfits’ classic Die, Die My Darling – and the first track from the man Andriano on this disc. What a fucking ear shredder, (in a good way). In my opinion, Dan has been the stronger force in Trio post From Here To Infirmary, and this song is total proof of that. Good wholesome punk rock with a fucking meaty hook of a chorus, especially on the final chorus in the song, showing just how much Mr. Andriano has progressed in both vocal talent and confidence since the early days.

For the third installment it’s back to Matt, who gives their claim of “back to roots” all the more clarification. Fast, furious and dark as hell, Lead Poisoning is Skiba at his best. Wait, what’s this, a ska-punk horn section in an Alkaline Trio song?! But wait…again, this actually works, and works well! REALLY FRIGGIN’ WELL!!

Dead On The Floor sounds a lot more like the more recent Trio, which isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s a lot slower pace-wise to our opening three, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Number four on the album has one of the slickest bass lines I’ve heard in a long time and really cool vocal line. This will surely have fans drowning out Skiba at concerts, in true Trio live fashion.

It’s back to the upbeat with The American Scream. Out of the entire album so far, this is the one that brings me back to the old school. The lyrics are as darkly poetic as most on Maybe I’ll Catch Fire and the chorus riff just begs for many drunken air guitar motions in future listens. The track title itself reminds me of The Misfits tinged play on words that I know from other reviews and interviews Skiba loves so much. You can tell he’s having fun in every word.

Easily the strongest track on the album in my opinion, if I was a woman or a more openly minded man, I would fall deeply in love with Dan Andriano. Fuck it, I think I have anyway. Not only is it sticking with the old-school etiquette, but this song seems to have kept the awkward romance of Dan’s songs and lyrics since his marriage. It’s reminiscent of the Good Mourning classic Every Thug Needs a Lady and Dan’s heartfelt track on Crimson, I was a Prayer. If Off the Map isn’t Alkaline Trio’s first Dan written single, it REALLY should be.

Draculina is unfortunately, in my opinion, the weakest track on the album, with the famed darkness the Trio hold dear seeming very forced. When I read the title I didn’t think I’d be keen on this song, and after a few listens my opinion hasn’t changed. Not a poor song as such, it just seems like a song that would appeal to a younger generation of fans, more a song for the My Chemical Romance era of fans. Though the line, “I’m leaving heaven behind for good this time the angels can keep it,” is absolutely fucking awesome.

What the hell is this, The fucking Human League? Eating me Alive starts like some 80’s synth track, but make no mistake; this song is no laughing matter. This is the best track on This Addiction to come from Skiba. A clever combination of the pop-punk and Skiba’s influences from artists such as Sisters of Mercy. With lines such as “I can’t stand this dark feeling, this shark eating me up inside,” and “I was bound by your father the jewel thief that night, as you said he was still behind bars,” sung over such an upbeat backing. It’s another prime example of what makes Alkaline Trio such a unique figure in the punk rock scene.

Not sure what’s going on here, maybe due to Against Me! front-man Tom Gabel marrying Trio merch lady Heather Hannoura, (now Heather Gabel, obviously), but it seems the Trio have been stealing song titles from the Against Me! boys, but I’m sure it’s all in good fun. Piss and Vinegar is another awesome track, a bit more laid back and also the shortest on the track, but a bloody good tune none the less.

Dorothy is the closest in my mind to their previous album, Agony and Irony. It reminds me a lot of the track I Found Away for two reasons: it has a very similar feel and also is nearly ruined by some strange, somewhat pointless sound effect. I Found Away had a clock ticking before Skiba sang the word “time“, this track, on the line, “like the scratching sound of insects,” there’s, well, you get the point, but this a minor fault in an otherwise kick ass tune.

The album closes with the Andriano track Fine. The most mellow of all the songs on the album, and definitely the right choice for a closer. This song isn’t even close to punk-rock and it doesn’t try to be, though there is a kick in at the end. It’s a deep, open, heartfelt and even somewhat cheeky song, which is surprising for Dan. Lyrically it is best on the whole record, lines such as “You see a storm knocked out my super powers,” and, “If I’m captain of this ship, then all my shipmates are fools,” see’s Dan mocking himself in an innocent way. Not only is it heart warming, but also quite humorous. The song draws to a close as does the album. Fine? This albums a lot more than fine, its Alkaline Trio just as I like them, darkly poetic, tongue in cheek and slick as hell.

And for any drum fans out there, don’t worry, Derek Grant might not have much mention in this review, but he is very much up to form on this record.

Single Review :: Alkaline Trio – This Addiction

It’s been two years since we last saw Trio put out a record, now they’re back with ‘This Addiction’. The first single from their forthcoming 7th studio album.


Agony & Irony saw Alkaline Trio move in a more mainstream direction, with Matt Skiba stating that the band wanted to make an “anthemic hard rock record”. The album was good, but there was something about it that just wasn’t right.

It seemed they couldn’t capture what made past albums like From Here To Infirmary great, with some (I’m talking to you Rolling Stone) going as far as calling the band emo and making comparisons between them and My Chemical Romance.

This year sees the return of the Chicago-based trio, and their new track suggests a return to form that might shake off their newly acquired emo label. This Addiction, the title track to their forthcoming album, is two and a half minutes of greatness. You can’t help  but move in a disorderly fashion whilst it’s playing and, with a hook so darkly catchy, you won’t be able to resist singing along. It certainly looks like the guys are back to their best. This track only intensifies my need for the new album. Ok I’ll say it, I am officially addicted.

Alkaline Trio :: This Addiction