Who is Frank Turner?



You may find yourself asking that question.  Who is he?  And why is he important to Rock & Roll Saved My Soul.   Without Frank, there would be no RRSMS.  Author Kate Marie Robbins heard him on the radio back in 2013 and fell in love.   All it took was one song...  Just one song and she was hooked.  I'm sure that some of you know how that goes.  You then delve in head first, listening to everything that's been recorded on albums and spend A LOT of time watching YouTube videos.  This was very much the case for Kate.   She stumbled upon an album called England Keep My Bones.  What she didn't know is that the album would change her life.   Upon that album was a song--a song that hit her extremely hard.  Suddenly everything made sense.  She knew what she had to do; or rather, she knew what she needed to do.  

What song was it?  And why did it inspire her?  This is why:


"I Still Believe"


Hear ye, hear ye, friends and Romans, countrymen.
Hear ye, hear ye, punks and skins and journeymen
Hear ye, hear ye, my sisters and my brethren.
The time is coming near.

Come ye, come ye, to soulless corporate circus tops.
Come ye, come ye, to toilet circuit touring snobs.
Come ye, come ye, to bedrooms, bars and bunker squats.
The sound is ringing clear.

Now who'd have thought that after all,
Something as simple as rock 'n' roll would save us all.
And who'd have thought that after all, it was rock 'n' roll.

Hear ye, hear ye, now anybody could take this stage.
Hear ye, hear ye, and make miracles for minimum wage.
Hear ye, hear ye, these folk songs for the modern age,
Will hold us in their arms.

Right here, right now, Elvis brings his children home.
Right here, right now, you never have to feel alone.
Right here, right now, teenage kicks and gramophones.
We hold them in our hearts.

Now who'd have thought that after all,
Something as simple as rock 'n' roll would save us all.
And who'd have thought that after all, it was rock 'n' roll.

And I still believe (I still believe) in the saints.
Yeah, in Jerry Lee and in Johnny and all the greats.

And I still believe (I still believe) in the sound,
That has the power to raise a temple and tear it down.

And I still believe (I still believe) in the need,
For guitars and drums and desperate poetry.

And I still believe (I still believe) that everyone,
Can find a song for every time they've lost and every time they've won.

So just remember folks we not just saving lives, we're saving souls,
And we're having fun.

And I still believe.

Now who'd have thought that after all,
Something as simple as rock 'n' roll would save us all.

Now who'd have thought that after all,
Something so simple, something so small.
Who'd have thought that after all it's rock 'n' roll?


Kate found such power in those words and Rock & Roll Saved My Soul was born.  



So who is Frank Tuner exactly?  


For three long and often lonely years of life on the road, plying a brand of honest and passionate folk/punk, Frank Turner continued to rise to prominence with an ever increasing following. But it was in the sweaty climes of the Lock Up Stage at Reading and Leeds 2008 that his solo career really started to take off. Inside the packed out tents, heaving with adoring fans and intrigued passers-by, Frank led the congregation in a mass sing-a-long; a stirring set that not only sparked the interest of the British mainstream but resonated unassumingly across the pond as a wealth of American punk bands watched approvingly from the sidelines.

No stranger to the festival, Frank had not only played the Lock Up Tent with former hardcore band Million Dead back in 2005 but also as a tentative solo artist in 2007 when debut album ‘Sleep Is For The Week’ was just an underground success. Within the following year, Frank’s popularity grew with yet more touring and the release of second album 'Love Ire & Song' in March 08. He started to play larger headline shows and develop the live band that he was looking for.

The profits of all his hard work came together that festival weekend; it kicked started a new wave of interest and thanks to the unwavering support from Radio 1 DJs Mike Davies and Steve Lamacq, the rest of Radio 1 began to follow suit. Soon enough when Frank’s single 'Long Live The Queen' – taken from ‘Love Ire & Song' – was released in October, it made the R1 C-list, was Single Of The Week on Sara Cox’s show and helped sell out Frank’s largest UK headline tour culminating in a bursting-over-capacity-finale at London’s Scala. The following single 'Reasons Not To Be An Idiot' released in January of this year eclipsed those successes by graduating to the R1’s B-list, 6Music’s A-list and XFM’s daytime playlist, prompted a Live Lounge session for Sara Cox, a Hub Session for George Lamb as well as making iTunes Single Of The Week all helping to recruit a new army of Frank followers.

It was also during this time that sections of the US punk fraternity began to take notice. Having watched the infamous Lock Up Stage set at Reading and Leeds, Vinnie from Less Than Jake got in contact asking to release 'The First Three Years' album (a collection of all early and previously unreleased material, live tracks and b-sides released in the UK in December 08 on his vinyl label Paper and Plastick. Chuck Ragan took him on the Revival Tour with Tim Barry across America, he did a few shows with up and coming stars Fake Problems and New Jersey boys The Gaslight Anthem invited him to support them on their huge UK and European dates in the early part of this year. It was evident that word was spreading throughout the punk scenes both sides of the Atlantic and by the time Frank flew in to Austin, Texas for the annual industry showcase SXSW in March, a whole new chapter in his story was about to begin.

Frank’s brand of folk songwriting, catchy melodies and punk passion had reached the ears of the CEO of US independent label Epitaph Records, Bad Religion’s legendary guitarist: Brett Gurewitz. Excited by what he had heard and seen when Frank headlined LA’s notorious Viper Rooms in March, Gurewitz got in contact and soon enough plans were formulated and a worldwide deal was inked. With loyalty and integrity firmly intact, Frank kept his relationship with his existing label Xtra Mile Recordings for all releases in the UK and Ireland and so the two labels will work closely for what will undoubtedly be an exciting new era in Frank’s ever evolving career.

“Frank Turner’s music is a revelation to me,” says Gurewitz. “I can’t stop listening to it. It’s a real privilege to get out there and help Xtra Mile spread the Frank Turner gospel.”

Epitaph is the perfect home for Frank. With its fiercely independent spirit, rich in punk and hardcore history it is also home to the song-writing talents of Nick Cave and Tom Waits on sister label Anti; mirroring Frank’s cross-over appeal of punk ethics and strong song-writing abilities. Inspired by the likes of Bad Religion as a kid, this really is a dream come true for Frank.

So with this exciting plot in place the year ahead is looking pretty good. His third studio album, ‘Poetry Of The Deed’, released worldwide in September, sees Frank venture in a more rock direction recruiting his outstanding band for the recording process. Performing live has always been at the very heart of the Frank Turner experience and whilst he’s still writing all the songs, they will be recorded live to help bring that experience to the album. Grammy nominated producer Alex Newport – who has previously worked with Death Cab For Cutie, At The Drive-In, Two Gallants – is on production duties after contacting Frank directly asking if they could work together. Coinciding nicely with the release are tours in America and Europe as well as the massive UK headline tour in October, where having previously supported The Gaslight Anthem at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire, he will return triumphantly to headline for the last night of the tour.

Before that though, another summer of further touring and festivals lies ahead. He will jet off to the East Coast of America to support The Offspring for 12 dates of their tour in July, performing solo to potentially 30,000 people. He’ll play at Camp Bestival and Jersey Live fest and return full circle to this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival. This time, however, he will play the larger Radio 1/NME tent midway through the afternoon and judging by what happened last year it’ll be another defining moment in this story of one beardy man and his acoustic guitar. The best is yet to come.



For more information about Frank, please visit:

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