British troubadour Frank Turner confesses to being "a little nervous" about making his latest album, "Tape Deck Heart."
While he made its four predecessors in the U.K., Turner opted, at producer Rich Costey's request, to record in Burbank, Calif., and he wasn't sure how the change of scenery would work for him and his band.
"I was a little apprehensive about the idea of recording in California," Turner, 31, explains. "There's a cliche about bands who achieve a certain level of success and then go to California and start singing about freeways and driving Cadillacs. It becomes compromised in a way. That was something I wanted to avoid. If the music sounds like it's from anywhere, I want it to sound English.
"But in the end we were in the studio so much that we barely ever left Burbank. I think we drove to a guitar shop one time to buy a mandolin. Other than that we were pretty much on lockdown, so to be honest we could've done this anywhere."
"Tape Deck Heart," which debuted at a career-high No. 2 on the U.K. charts in April, is also one of Turner's most personal albums to date, with several song stemming from a romantic break-up after 2011's "The Second Three Years." Turner says he hopes there's a certain universality to those tracks, although it's also been hard to couch their true meaning -- especially from the woman they're about.
"I remember a year ago reading a great interview with Bob Mould, and somebody said, 'You've written all these songs about girls. You must get a lot of action,' " Turner notes. "And (Mould) says, 'Are you...crazy? They're all about the same person!' It's the same deal with this. There are songs on this record at different angles on the situation with the same person.
"And, yeah, I got a pretty angry phone call when it first came out, shall we say. I guess we're not on the best of terms right now..."
Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, Koo Koo Kanga Roo and the Smith Street Band perform Friday, Nov. 22, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.
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