Frank Turner performs in The Current studio

Frank Turner, together with bandmate Matt Nasir, performs "Blackout" from his 2018 album, "Be More Kind," live in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
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Frank Turner performs in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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  • Frank Turner performs in The Current studio (full session + interview) 21:20
  • Frank Turner - Blackout (Live on The Current) 03:22
  • Frank Turner - Make America Great Again (Live on The Current) 03:16
  • Frank Turner - Be More Kind (Live on The Current) 03:56

Whereas Frank Turner's previous albums dealt heavily with matters of love — "Or romantic ineptitude, if I'm being honest," Turner clarifies — Be More Kind tackles more topical matters. "This time around, I just really felt I needed to talk about what's happening in the world, and not just what's happening here but what's happening back home in England as well," Turner says. "It just seems to me that we live in very divided times, a period of time where we seem to have forgotten how to disagree with each other like adults."

Be More Kind is The Current's Album of the Week, and that happens to coincide with Turner's visit to the Twin Cities, where he's playing an all-ages show at Myth Live Event Center in Maplewood, Minn., along with Lucero, The Menzingers and The Homeless Gospel Choir. Ahead of the show, Turner, along with his Sleeping Souls bandmate Matt Nasir, stopped in The Current studio for a session hosted by Mac Wilson.

Turner's new album has been described as an optimistic album; Turner says the songs didn't necessarily come from an optimistic place, but he understands how people can arrive at that conclusion. "I think the reason for my incorrigible optimism is just that, if a song is going to be a normative thing — if it's going to be something that can point a direction — I feel like it should be constructive," Turner says. "We can all agree that there are a lot of problems in the world right now and things we should pay attention to and do about it, but then let's do something."

Among the tracks on the album is a song called "Make America Great Again," which had its origins when Turner was touring the U.S. during the 2016 Presidential election campaign. "I'm a kindly and friendly observer of the society, and it felt to me like there were a lot of people giving in to their baser instincts around that period of time," Turner explains. "It just seemed to me that there was a certain movement that — in my opinion, for whatever that's worth — had slightly misidentified what's great about America, because there are so many, many, many great things about this country; I could spend hours listing them. And it seemed to me that the movement that had adopted the slogan had picked all the wrong ones, in my opinion. So I thought that I would try and write a song that kind of talked about this and put my side of the argument on this.

"It is taken from an album called Be More Kind, so it is supposed to be an open song that's reaching out to people," Turner continues. "Whether or not people will take it in that way remains to be seen."

Turner acknowledges that taking on such topical matters can be challenging for an artist. "Believe me, there's an easier life to be had for not talking about anything vaguely political," he says. "I would sleep much easier in my bed at night if I didn't talk about this stuff, but there comes a time in anyone's life where you have to stand up and say something."

Use the audio player above to listen to the complete in-studio session.

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Songs Performed


"Blackout"
"Make America Great Again"
"Be More Kind"
All songs are from Frank Turner's 2018 album, Be More Kind, available on Xtra Mile Recordings.

Hosted by Mac Wilson
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Nate Ryan
Web feature by Luke Taylor

External Link

Frank Turner - official site

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6 Photos

  • Frank Turner performs in The Current studio
    Frank Turner tunes his guitar in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Frank Turner performs in The Current studio
    Frank Turner, along with Matt Nasir, performs in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Frank Turner performs in The Current studio
    Matt Nasir performs with Frank Turner in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Frank Turner performs in The Current studio
    Frank Turner performs in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Frank Turner performs in The Current studio
    Frank Turner performs in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Frank Turner performs in The Current studio
    Matt Nasir performs with Frank Turner in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)

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