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Frank Turner Discusses Opening For Mineral, Musical Influences, and Which Band He Would Love to See Live

by Vasilis

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Many music fans have a hard time picturing their favorite musicians as music fans themselves. We tend to put these artists on a pedestal and imagine them as rock stars who are above the sort of idol worship that we often demonstrate. However, contrary to that belief, these musicians are no different than us; they love the art of music and grew up admiring a wide ranger of musicians who often became the foundation which helped inspire them to create their music. That feeling doesn’t just go away once a musician becomes popular or well-known. It’s this beautiful cycle that allows the music we connect with so deeply to be created, to continue to influence future musicians who create music that influences a whole new generation, and it’s a wonderful thing to watch. Frank Turner is a musicians who completely shatters the false belief of musicians as being above the fans. Frank conducts himself in a very honest and open manner with his audience; he is just a guy who makes music for a living, one who builds a strong connection with his fans through his lyrics and approachable personality.

Frank is also not one to shy away from the music that inspired him. At shows, he can often be heard covering anyone from Blink-182 to Bruce Springsteen (his “Thunder Road” cover is a staple at his New York City shows). Frank has also made it known that he is a huge fan of 90’s emo group Mineral, whom he described as one of his very “favourite, foundational bands”. When Mineral announced their reunion tour earlier this year, Frank did what any fan would do when presented with a rare opportunity to see such an influential, once-dead band: he bought tickets to their New York City performances and planned a trip without a moment’s hesitation. I was instantly fascinated by his own connection to the band and found it refreshing to see one of my favorite musicians speak so highly of one of his and demonstrate such unbridled passion for their work.

On top of flying out to New York City to catch some of their shows (their first full tour in 17 years), Frank also opened for the first of show. We reached out to Frank Turner via email to ask him about his experience opening up for Mineral last Thursday at St. Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. Frank was kind enough to answer our questions and provide some insight into his experience, some of his other big influences, and which band he would love to see live if given the opportunity. You can check out a full review of the show on Noisey’s blog, as well as Frank’s first-hand experience of the show.

Lyrically Addicted: Thank you for talking the time to speak with us Frank. You called Mineral’s sophomore (and final) album EndSerenading “near-perfect” on Noisey’s blog. Was there any one particular song on that album (or by the band in general) that made you go “wow” on first listen or that really made you connect so strongly with their work?

Frank Turner: Yes, the song “&Serenading”. I remember being a little confused by the record at first (I was about 16), but when that song kicked in, with the chorus line about symphonies in seashells, I was pretty blown away. Once the ice cracked like that, I fell for the rest of the record very quickly.

LA: You had the unique opportunity of opening for a band that meant so much to you on their reunion tour. Can you briefly describe what the experience was like and why you decided to play a set of new songs.

Frank: It was a great experience, one for the obituary. I was pretty jet-lagged and had a nasty cold, so perhaps not on my best form, but I enjoyed the expeirence. I thought I’d play new stuff because I’m working on a new record right now and no one bought tickets to see me play, so it seemed like a good opportunity to try some new stuff out in a live setting.

LA: Was there any particular aspect of Mineral’s music (lyrics, guitar tones, etc.) that really influenced your current sound?

Frank: The whole way Chris [Simpson] sings and writes is a huge influence to me now – the way he uses his voice, both in the physical sense and int he literary sense. I still think that’s probably the biggest influence on me in that area. I also love the production on the second record, I think Mark Trombino’s drum sounds are pretty foundational.

LA: Are there any other bands from the mid-90’s emo era that influenced your music?

Frank: I listened to a bunch of that stuff – Jimmy Eat Wrold, The Promise Ring, Christie front Drive, and so on. Mineral were far and away my favorite of the bunch, but I still listened to a fair amount of Jimmy Eat World.

LA: If you could attend a hypothetical reunion tour for one “dead” band you never had the chance to see live, who would it be?

Frank: Nirvana, circa early 1993.

Thank you to Frank Turner for taking the time to answer our questions. You can catch Frank Turner on the road with Koo Koo Kangaroo in the UK starting Thursday, September 11 in Norwich. For a full list of Frank’s tour dates, go to frank-turner.com/live-gigs. Frank Turner is expected to release his upcoming sixth studio record in early 2015. Mineral continue their reunion tour, which ends in Austin Texas in November, before hitting the United Kingdom in early 2015. You can also check out a full review of Mineral’s Bowery Ballroom show in New York City on our blog.

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Mineral and Into It. Over It. at Bowery Ballroom, 9-06-14

by Vasilis

The past and the present collided on Saturday, September 6th at New York’s Bowery Ballroom for a reunion tour that showcased the best the genre has to offer. Seminal emo group Mineral took their reunion to New York for the third of four straight nights of nostalgia, bringing along with them Evan Weiss’ emo revivalist project Into It. Over It. Mineral, who broke up in 1997 after releasing only two albums, announced their comeback in April to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of their formation. Along with a full U.S. tour to celebrate their first shows in 17 years, the band also announced Mineral – 1994-1998: The Complete Collection, containing both their albums along with some bonus tracks and recordings to mark the occasion.

Into It. Over It. strolled to the stage at 9pm to open the show. Evan, who used to perform with nothing more than a stool and acoustic guitar, has built Into It. Over It. into a four-piece band over the past two years with the help of some hometown musician friends. Following a headlining tour earlier this year with A Great Big Pile of Leaves and a supporting tour last year with Saves the Day, the band appears more comfortable with each performance, and playing the songs with full instrumentation has allowed Evan’s songs to come to life and take on a new level of energy. Songs like opening track “Embracing Facts” and “Upstate Blues” are particularly more vibrant thanks to the addition of a full backing band as opposed to a lone acoustic guitar.

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Evan’s exhibited a refreshingly self-aware attitude, announcing to the crowd “Thank you to Mineral for allowing us to come on tour and bum you guys out.” The band’s emo roots felt at home on this tour, and Evan seemed to appreciate the opportunity and embrace it fully, performing some sadder tunes (“No Amount of Sound”, “22 Syllables”). The band made sure to sprinkle in the high-energy “Discretion & Depressing People” and “Brenham, TX”, which Evan added to switch up the setlist for fans attending more than one night. The group was joined on-stage by Matt Fazzi (A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Ex-Taking Back Sunday) to perform keys on some new songs and to close the set with fan-favorite “Midnight: Carroll Street”. Into It. Over It. received a warm reaction from the crowd and proved the perfect opener for this type of show.

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Into It. Over It. Setlist:
Embracing Facts
Staring at the Ceiling
Upstate Blues
No Amount of Sound
Spinning Thread
Obsessive Compulsive Distraction
Discretion & Depressing People
Brenham, TX
22 Syllables
Wearing White
Midnight: Carroll Street

Mineral, the main attraction of the night, took the stage a little after 10pm to a raucous ovation. Vocalist/guitarist Chris Simpson playfully stated, “Tonight, we’re gonna party like it’s 1995” and truer words have never been spoke. This tour is the culmination of a wave of nostalgia which has brought about a heightened demand for emo bands from American Football to Texas is the Reason to Mineral. While these influential bands were popular in their day, the emo resurgence has allowed a younger generation to discover these bands, which existed and made their name in the mid-to-late 90’s.

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Though the band just played their first show in 17 years, they sounded great and inspired the crowd to fold their arms, nod their heads, and sing along (as Evan Weisshumorously noted during his set as being the proper action to take at an emo show). Their on-stage set-up was simple and lacking any flashy lights or colorful backdrops, focusing instead on four men pouring their heart into the music. With only two albums to choose from, the group presented a balanced mix of their heavier debut album The Power of Failing with their more emotional and slowed-down EndSerenading. Chris Simpson’s classic crooning was in top form, bringing the emotional weight of “Five, Eight, & Ten” and “February” out. The audience sang along to fan-favorites like “Gloria” and “&Serenading” as if they had been waiting their whole life to experience it. While the band members didn’t seem to exude much camaraderie as is seen during some reunion tours (turmoil while recording EndSerenading led to the break up), they all seemed genuinely happy to be playing music again and gave the audience a solid 90-minute trip down memory lane.

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The term “emo revival” is often met with scorn from older fans, finding the idea that emo went away laughable while condemning newer bands as not worthy. But what’s clear is that there is a demand for emo bands reviving. With new music from Sunny Day Real Estate, an upcoming sold-out reunion tour from American Football, and more Mineral shows in America and Europe coming for Mineral, it’s safe to say the emo resurgence continues to find an audience in older people who experienced it as it happened and younger kids who are experiencing the revival now and want to get a first-hand look at the bands who influenced the fresh wave of up-and-comers. On a night like this, it was clear that there is no competition between old and new, they can each exist in perfect harmony and compliment each other nicely.

Mineral Setlist:
Five, Eight, & Ten
Gloria
Slower
February
M.D.
ALetter
ForIvadell
SoundsLikeSunday
Unfinished
If I Could
WakingToWinter
&Serenading
LoveLetterTypeWriter (encore)
Palisade (encore)
Parking Lot (encore)

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March Sadness Playlist

by Vasilis

March is a good month to be sad: We lose an hour of sleep to Daylight Savings (though we do gain an hour of daylight), the weather is still wintery, and it’s a never-ending 31-day month with no holidays to give us time off. So in honor of March Sadness (full disclosure: this is not an original idea) I put together a playlist of some classic emo bands.

Emo has been going through what many are calling a “revival” over the past couple years; bands like Into It. Over It., Tigers Jaw, Balance & Composure, Dads, Modern Baseball, The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, and many more have led the “emo revival” charge. Those who love emo claim the genre never died. Regardless, the takeaway is that emo (past and present) has provided us with some honest, heartfelt music to scream at the top of our lungs and get us through the sad times.

This playlist is split into two, starting off with the revival and progressing to the classics like The Get Up Kids, Braid, Jimmy Eat World, American Football, Texas is the Reason. Enjoy the sadness everyone!

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Some of Our Favorite Christmas Songs

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by Vasilis and Cherie

Vasilis: I’m no fan of Christmas music honestly, especially the very cliché, religious-based sappy music; that is why I love when punk bands either put their own spin on Christmas classics or invent their own off-beat, humorous take on the holidays through their songs. The only songs that really go off that recipe are the Pogues and Run DMC (two classic songs!). My list is just a small sample of my favorite holiday tunes from some of my favorite bands. If you like this list, one of my favorite comps, (No Sleep Till Christmas) is available for free download through the label’s website. Now if you excuse me, I’m going to go listen to sad Christmas songs and rock out.

Bayside – Angels We Have Heard on High

Blink-182 – I Won’t Be Home For Christmas

Fall Out Boy – Yule Shoot Your Eye Out

Into It. Over It. – Jingle Bell Broke

MxPx – Christmas Night of Zombies

New Found Glory – Ex-Miss

Run DMC – Christmas in Hollis

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – This Time of Year

The Pogues – Fairytale of New York

The Wonder Years – Christmas at 22

Cherie: I have to agree with Vas, I’m not a huge fan of traditional Christmas music as such. But when my favorite bands put out a Christmas song, even if its just a remake of an old song, I’ll give it a listen. There’s no rhyme or reason to what I end up liking; sometimes it annoys me when bands don’t change anything in their versions but other times I think they change too much. The best, though, are usually new songs all together (the exception being Baysides version of Angels We Have Heard on High which is the best thing ever). Here’s my top ten favorite Christmas songs!

Tegan and Sara – The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)

fun. – Believe in Me

Laura Marling – Silent Night

The Killers – Don’t Shoot Me Santa

Dropkick Murphies – The Season’s Upon Us

Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler – Home for the Holidays

Frank Turner – Last Christmas

The Killers – Great Big Sled

Yellowcard – Christmas Lights

Bright Eyes – Blue Christmas

You can check out a playlist containing some of the songs by clicking here.

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Top Albums of 2013 (as chosen by Vas)

Band – Album – “Favorite Song”

  1. The Wonder Years – The Greatest Generation – “I Just Want to Sell Out My Funeral”

  2. Streetlight Manifesto – The Hands That Thieve – “Your Day Will Come”

  3. Balance & Composure – The Things We Think We’re Missing – “Keepsake”

  4. Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart – “Plain Sailing Weather”

  5. Kevin Devine – Bulldozer/Bubblegum – “Redbird”

  6. Into It. Over It. – Intersections – “Contractual Obligation”

  7. The Front Bottoms – Talon of the Hawk – “Backflip”

  8. Arctic Monkeys – AM – “R U Mine?”

  9. Citizen – Youth – “Roam the Room”

  10. The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – Whenever, If Ever – “Getting Sodas”

  11. Fall Out Boy – Save Rock and Roll – “Save Rock and Roll”

  12. Saves the Day – Saves the Day – “Ain’t No Kind of Love”

  13. The Swellers – Light Under Closed Doors – “Got Social”

  14. Mixtapes – Ordinary Silence – “Elevator Days”

  15. Sainthood Reps – Headswell – “Headswell”

  16. Allison Weiss – Say What You Mean – “One Way Love”

  17. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City – “Unbelievers”

  18. Have Mercy – The Earth Pushed Back – “This Old Ark”

  19. Polar Bear Club – Death Chorus – “WLWYCD”

  20. Paramore – Paramore – “Anklebiters”

2013 Top 5 EPs:

  1. Vinnie Caruana – City By The Sea

  2. Pentimento – Inside the Sea

  3. Their / They’re / There – Their / They’re / There

  4. Misser – Distancing

  5. Why Bother? – This Isn’t Very Good

 

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Saves the Day Turn Back Time with Youthful Self-Titled Album, Electrifying Tour

by Vasilis, contributing writer

Where does a band go after releasing three emotionally tormented albums, a conceptual trilogy packed with alienation, fear, turmoil, painful self-discovery, and eventual acceptance? For Saves the Day, the challenge provided just the fresh start they needed. Front man Chris Conley, the band’s only remaining original member, described the completion of the trilogy to Punknews.org as the moment the band “finally found peace”. Daybreak, the trilogy’s final piece, faced many problems with members leaving and re-recordings, but the finished product received solid reviews and re-introduced the world to the band. The trilogy spanned 7 years and countless line-up changes but in the end showed that the band had a lot more left in the tank.

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Saves the Day – Self Titled Album

With the trilogy behind them, Saves the Day asked fans to help fund their upcoming, self-titled album, which resulted in a hugely successful Pledge campaign. This allowed the band to write the album they wanted to while giving fans the opportunity to witness cool, intimate shows where played their classic early albums in return. The resulting album felt like a dream fulfilled for Saves the Day, who finally have a solid core line-up. The tracks are short and punchy with poppy melodies mixed with the old, aggressive feel of earlier Saves the Day music and a noticeably brighter outlook on life. The album combines the eclectic variety of In Reverie with the classic Saves the Day sound of Stay What You Are, with songs like “Remember”, “The Tide of Our Times” and “Ain’t No Kind of Love” feeling like a breath of fresh air for the band. With a new album in tow, the group embarked on a long-awaited headlining tour where they asked fans to weigh in on what songs they wanted to hear.

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Hostage Calm – Music Hall of Williamsburg

So on September 26, when the tour came to Brooklyn, the anticipation was sky-high as The Music Hall of Williamsburg was the earliest show to sell out. Connecticut-based punk band Hostage Calm opened, quickly marching through tracks from their latest full-length, Please Remain Calm,along with old fan favorite “War on a Feeling”. The band has been touring tirelessly in support of the 2012 album, and while their crowd was small, the dedicated group still showed up to sing along to every verse. Evan Weiss’s acoustic/punk project Into It. Over It. followed, sporting a full-band look that contrasted nicely to Evan’s usual solo acoustic set-up. While Evan’s witty, insightful and self-aware lyrics can often get a bit swallowed up in the full band setting, his stage presence and unmatched energy were still front-and-center. Evan and his backing band were on point during the 14-song set that spanned the entirety of the band’s catalog with some solid choice cuts, including “Humboldt”, “Heartificial”, and “Discretion and Depressing People”.

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                                                                                                       Into It. Over It. – Music Hall of Williamsburg

Saves the Day finally stormed the stage at 10pm, sporting a setlist that featured 30 (yes, 30) songs that touched on the band’s entire career. After opening with “Remember”, the first track off their new release, fans were whipped into a frenzy when the band launched into old pop punk favorite “Shoulder to the Wheel”, and there was no shortage of somersaulting stage divers and crowd surfers in the audience. The reaction to each song off Through Being Cool or Stay What You Are was nothing short of pure bedlam, but the band only became more invigorated to see the response they were getting. At times the crowd’s singing overtook Chris Conley’s nasally vocals as the show became a celebration of the band’s entire career. Fans showed some of the newer songs some love as well, displaying the devotion and appreciation to their entire catalog.

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                                                                                                       Saves the Day – Music Hall of Williamsburg

The great thing about Saves the Day is they always change their setlist up, so no two are the same. While the band would never leave off classics like “Holly Hox, Forget Me Nots”, “Firefly”, or “The End”, every show is an opportunity to hear songs like “Through Being Cool”, “Jukebox Breakdown”, “Get Fucked Up”, “Undress Me”, and “Bones”, some lesser known tracks that show off the band’s impressive range. By the time they ended with popular b-side “Sell My Old Clothes, I’m Off to Heaven”, fans were not ready to go, and neither was the band. Returning to the stage to play the hauntingly catchy “At Your Funeral”, the band busted out two more rare tracks to end the night with “Banned From the Back Porch” and “Jodie”. Finishing with the closer from their 1997 debut album Can’t Slow Down felt fitting, as the band paid tribute to their past while the fans rewarded them with the energy and passion they have earned. In the end, the set proved to be one of the most memorable I have ever witnessed.

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                                                                                                        Saves the Day – Music Hall of Williamsburg

Never ones to rest, the band also played a secret after-show at St. Vitus Bar in Brooklyn at 1am, playing through their 1999 pop punk magnum opus Through Being Cool. The band’s tireless work ethic, passion, and love for their fans and their own work is something to be admired and praised, and with so many people packing their shows on tour it was a just reward for another solid album and a fantastic live show. It appears stepping into the time machine has been the best thing Saves the Day could have done.

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