SXSW 2018: A Conversation with Frank Turner

By: Hartzell Gray

March 16, 2018

It was Shakespeare that said, “All of Austin is a stage.” Okay, maybe not, but when it comes to the SXSW Music Festival, that’s exactly right. Enter: Frank Turner, who found his SXSW stage in the comfort of a hotel bedroom.

The intimate setting made for a beautiful acoustic set, which included a performance of his recently released, “Be More Kind,” the title track of his soon-to-be-released seventh album. “It’s a record about responding to the outside world,” said Turner, “which I haven’t done for a couple of albums.”

In a room filled with only a few industry professionals, Turner spoke of the influences that helped to shape Be More Kind, a different sort of “affair of the heart” which Turner himself admitted is a bit of a departure from what he and his audience may be accustomed to, but one that he felt was important and necessary. 

Interestingly enough, Be More Kind was initially set to a much different record, one in which Turner sought out the highlight the systemic dismissiveness shown towards women throughout history. That was until Turner found a collection of works from Australian poet, James Clive. “I should have been more kind, It is my fate. To find this out, but find it out too late.” A moving sentiment that sparked a fire in Turner and led him to ultimately change the direction of the entire album.

“In a world that has decided that it's going to lose its mind,” sings Turner, “Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind.”

Hear "Be More Kind" below: