# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Turn - Interview

  by Peter Liddle

published: 13 / 1 / 2002

Turn - Interview


It is a typical rowdy Saturday night gig at the Glasgow Barrowlands, with lots of beer fights, and the crowd is getting impatient waiting for Idlewild to finally take the famous stage for the first ti

It is a typical rowdy Saturday night gig at the Glasgow Barrowlands, with lots of beer fights, and the crowd is getting impatient waiting for Idlewild to finally take the famous stage for the first time ever. But first comes the two support bands, the second of which is very curious. On walk three very thin Irish men in expensive suits. The singer, Ollie Cole, starts plucking away quietly at his guitar and singing "You spend too much time looking at yourself" in a quiet, finely balanced voice. The crowd sighs at the prospect of yet another Muse-Coldplay-Buckley type act and begins to lose interest. Ollie lifts an eye brow, cocks his head, begins to thrash his guitar and suddenly the place starts to go crazy. The floor instantly becomes a massive moshpit, and people begin to smile at the way they were fooled. Turn are the band, and by the end of the night, everyone in the Barrowlands will know of them.. Turn are a three-piece group from Ireland who've only been touring since the beginning of this year, but who have already supported lots of bands around the UK. Even they were overwhelmed by the crowd's response to their set. "It was crazy. We made so many new fans and played one of the greatest gigs of our lives" says Ollie backstage afterwards. "The Barrowlands in Glasgow will remain in our memories forever." The band's music is very diverse, ranging from rock tunes to ballads. This makes them a hard act to swallow at times for many crowds, but they seem to have developed the knack of winning them over. "Our first tour was in March, with Seafood" Ollie continues. "We would go on stage every night not knowing what we were going to play. We'd only ever played small gigs, and we'd know the first three songs, then we'd just have to look round the room and decide on what to do" The band's diversity has lead to them supporting pop divas Bellatrix and art rockers Seafood as well as Idlewild and in between they've managed to fit in appearances at the Reading, Leeds and Witness festivals. "I don't think we'd really stopped and looked at what we'd achieved in the last year and a half until those festivals" Ollie continues. "We had nothing, and now we have at least a direction. Going on to do Reading and Leeds was amazing. At Witness in Ireland we were first on, but five and a half thousand people turned up. It was amazing .We'd only been releasing 7 inches here and there and it was the first chance for us to really see how we were doing" Their album, 'Antisocial', had only been out a week when they played Glasgow, but already the band were beginning to get a positive response about it from crowds after gigs "People have started coming up and saying they've bought the album, but I think it will be the next tour we do before people start singing along!" jokes Ollie. Though the set Turn delivered in Glasgow was very rocking, the album has a more diverse side. There are acoustic ballads as well also as louder songs.. We wanted to make a record that had depth to it, and was not just full of loud stuff such as 'Beretta' and 'Beeswax'. We thought that too much of that might be boring, so we tried to make a record that was interesting. It might be hard to listen to it all together, but it's one of those albums you might feel likelistening to a loud song one day and a soft one the next". The underlying messages of many of the songs are often very painful, but the band don't think that this pain is completely negative. Ollie says there's hope in the honesty they give to their songs. "I think there's a certain amount of optimism in the honesty - if someone else feels that they'll really know what I'm talking about". "Ollie's just got to stop being a whingy shit" pipes in drummer Iain Melady, joining in the conversation. Ollie, however, decides that it's not just him being a "whingy shit" any more, as both Iain and bassist Gav Fox helped to write songs on the new album.Indeed, one of the songs is called 'Gav and Anne'. Was this song really a true story? "Yes - we don't find it disturbing that songs, like Gav and Anne are about us" says Ollie. "Gav's girlfriend went to San Francisco and he wrote that song about her" This honesty in their songs is a defining feature of their work - it's a return to great songwriting, something it seems many bands don't do enough any more. The credits on the album sleeve perhaps surprisingly list AC/DC. "We thanked AC/DC because they were one of those real bands that met as friends and stayed together" Ollie reflects. "There's a lot of shit business type bands, but AC/DC grew up in the same town and still made it. It's inspiring for us. With regard to inspiration, I also like people like Elliot Smith and Neil Young.". The music in the songs seems like a sort of therapy for Ollie, as if he's managing to confront his fears through writing. "With the song 'Beeswax', people all have their own ideas what it's about - but in fact it's a mishmash of ideas all from one day. At the time, I was at the lowest point of my life ever and lines like "I can't sleep for weeks now" indicate that. I was completely insane." He also thinks he will move on from such introspective writing. "I've learned not to always write about myself. John Lennon used to nearly write about himself and his mother and things like that, but Paul McCartney could write about Penny Lane and other stuff. I realised that I just wrote about me, and I think I've learned a lot about myself from it, but now I can look at other people's situations, and write about them as well. I'm sensitive to other situations and I am starting to write about those too as well." As well as the powerful album tracks, the fans of the band have also praised the B-sides of their singles, which Ollie puts down both to the prolific nature of their songwriting and their regular B-sides producer, Ronan McCue. "We have a lot of songs. We've never trawled out a B-side, and our live engineer records them, which is why they're so good." The simple honesty of their approach is something they feel is present in all their work, even in the artwork on their singles. "All the artwork on the singles was based around the songs"Ollie says. "Facedown" is about someone who might commit suicide, so we used an image of this person face down in a swimming pool. The cover of 'Beeswax' has a picture of my daughter on the swing the day she fell and hurt herself, which is where the words "Check her teeth she's bleeding" which appear in that song come from." The new album sees a change in artwork style, with a photo on the front cover of the band on top of a hill, playing computer games and watching TV. Ollie explains that this was not the cover that was originally planned for the album. "The cover of 'Anti-social' was originally just going to be a press shot, but with deadlines and stuff, it ended up as the cover shot .We went up a really big hill in Ireland and there was torrential rain, and absolutely no shelter. We weren't going to use the shots at all for album artwork, but as we decided to change the album name from "Tired Love Songs" to "Anti-social" because it sounded too negative, we had to come up with new artwork straight away. It annoys me, because we lost our ideas for the artwork. But I suppose 'Anti-social' ties in well with being on top of a mountain or playing with a play station)." The introspectiveness and the thought that goes into their artwork might lead people to think Turn are taking life too seriously, but it would appear not. Ronan McCue comes into the room as they're answering a question and talking about him. He gives them a look and all three members of the band start to talk about how "insane" he is." "He's an insane guy" laughs Ollie. " We played in this primary school. It was 9 in the morning, and we staggered in late and drunk, and the headmistress put us on this stage, and 500 kids were sitting in their little chairs watching. It was terrifying. We were playing the first song, and I knew over the side of the stage something was going on, I could see Gav and Iain laughing, but I didn't want to look over because I knew I'd just burst out laughing. " Ronan butts in and leaves exactly what happened hanging with the statement "It's okay. Noone under 18 could see me. Apart from Gav!". Gav responds wryly with "Ronan definitely keeps it alive on tour" Suddenly the band go off on a tangent about what it's like on tour with so many "insane" people. "Touring every night is just insane" Ollie sighs. "Everyone starts drinking, and you end up in Idlewild's dressing room with a whole load of strangers you've never met before, and because you're getting bored you go mad and just lie to everyone and insult them. It's just insane. Then you go from that to sitting at home on the couch, watching TV, and then you're used to that, and you get a call and you're going on tour. That's how it's been going on for a few months. We're definitely due a breakdown of some sort soon! In fact Gav almost did. He had the flu or something on tour, and he had a hell of a time on the tour bus. We're packed together like we're in the army or something." "It's like being in the army with absolutely no discipline!" adds Iain. This, only their first year of touring, has been a big year. How did they cope with it? "We have low points" concludes Ollie. "And sometimes wonder why we are on tour when we've been away for a long time. Then you go home and sit wondering what's going on. We like going out and playing music and if we were home all the time we'd be unhappy." At the end of the day, Turn seem made to play. Their songs are powerful and uplifting as well in inciteful and, rather uniquely, honest. Their set at Glasgow ends with people calling for an encore, who earlier that evening had never heard of Turn. Turn are just full of surprises, and they can come at you from so many angles that you just have to keep watching out.

Picture Gallery:-
Turn - Interview

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

live reviews

Shepherd's Bush Empire, 26th Oct 2000
Turn - Shepherd's Bush Empire, 26th Oct 2000
Turn is not a terrible name for a band. As a result of their name, however, and also the fact that they are on Infectious records (home of the likeable Ash, but the boring My Vitriol among others), I


Anti Social (2001)
"Don't expect a warning when I come ! " They bring it all out in the open right from the first line. Turn aren't here to make you feel cosy. Painfully realistic, they're here to be brutal and hone
Check My Ears (2001)

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors