Live Preview: Frank Turner

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Besides being the title of your new album, isn’t Positive Songs For Negative People also a personal motto?

Yeah. It’s not a humorous title and it’s also not entirely po-faced; there’s a slither of tongue in the cheek.

By comparison, your 2013 album Tape Deck Heart was a ‘glass half-empty’ experience.

That’s one way of putting it [laughs]. In a lot of ways this record is the companion piece to its predecessor because it’s the flipside of the coin. This time it was quite liberating – I no longer had to write songs about being a dickhead.

Although it’s your sixth album, you attempted to approach things like you would a debut.

When a band reaches its sixth album they tend to become flabby and comfortable. I was keen to avoid falling into that trap.

What made you want to work with Butch Walker as producer?

I was unaware that he had worked with Taylor Swift until it was pointed out to me, if that’s what you mean. But he was fantastic from the word go.

Many rock bands now have a signature drink, but in 2012 you were ahead of the pack with your wheat beer called Believe.

[Laughs] Yeah. I’m so far ahead of the pack that mine is no longer manufactured. Maybe we’ll bring it out of retirement as some kind of retro drink.

In 2014 you won Celebrity Mastermind answering questions on Iron Maiden. Let’s see whether you still know your stuff. Which song on their new album, The Book Of Souls, includes the lyric: ‘Face the danger, a battle of wills/Strength and courage, a cure for all ills’?

Oh, God… Is it Death Or Glory?

No, it’s Shadows Of The Valley. You, sir, are a charlatan!

Dammit. I own the album and of course I love it, but I haven’t got the lyrics down yet.

Turner’s UK tour ends in London on November 26.

Classic Rock 217: News & Regulars