[pullquote quote="I choose to live the life I do, and I thoroughly enjoy it as well." credit="Frank Turner"]In England Keep My Bones, [lastfm]Frank Turner[/lastfm] returns with the clearest and most concise chapter of his folk punk career yet, placing his passion for life in the context of reflections on death. Turner carves timeless truths and ageless sounds from a gritty stone of DIY-infused, punk rock ethos and continues to spread the gospel of self-determination and salvation in rock and roll. Street Date caught up with Turner as he traveled the globe with his guitar to discuss the never-ending road, creating his most British sounding album yet, and his grandmother who taught him to drink whiskey when he was 10.
Turner opens England Keep My Bones with the prologue Eulogy, and lays out the underlying them of the album, “I haven’t always been a perfect person, and I haven’t done what Mom and Dad had dreamed, but on the day I die, I’ll say ‘at least I f*@king tried,’ that’s the only eulogy I need.” From there, Frank launches into Peggy, a rollicking tribute to his grandmother who taught him to play cards and drink whiskey as a boy. Frank described his Peggy to us as, “a plain old badass. She was idiosyncratic, impish, mischievous, and full of life right to the end.”
Frank’s unquestionable passion for life and his ability to translate that emotion into shout-along anthems has earned him legions of loyal followers across the globe. To say Frank is constantly on the road would be an understatement. Not only is he constantly on the road, Frank’s hopping trains, out at sea, and flying from continent to continent.
When we asked him about the sacrifices of life on the road and how it affects his songwriting, Frank was quick to point out, “I’m wary of using the word ‘sacrifice’ because I choose to live the life I do, and I thoroughly enjoy it as well. That said, obviously there are some things you give up for a life on the road, and that bleeds through into my music, because I write in a very personal, confessional style. Distance and longing are emotions I’m pretty familiar with.”
[pullquote quote="Distance and longing are emotions I'm pretty familiar with." credit="Frank Turner"]That distance and longing for not just friends and family, but also his homeland of England is evident throughout the album. Title aside, England Keep My Bones is Turner’s most “British” album to date throughout (if one really can quantify the quality of being British). While it may seem counter intuitive to some, spending so much time away from home, actually drew Frank closer to the subject, and amplified the British influences in his music.
“Being away from home the majority of the time actually makes me think about the place more. Most of the time, I’m the only English guy in a crowded room, and that context gives you time to think about what defines your national identity; why is it you understand the rules of cricket and no ones else does.”
Frank’s music has always exuded his undeterrable desire to make the most of life, however, England Keep My Bones places it in the context of examining his own mortality, giving his message wisdom beyond mere rebellion.