Living in the moment could not be more of a priority for Turnover right now. Seeing in the New Year bright and early with a run of UK headline dates and a slog across Europe with previous touring partners Citizen, the Virginia Beach quartet have their work cut out for them for the first half of 2016.
“Right now I’m excited, but I don’t know how I’m gonna feel at the end of it”, chuckles drummer Casey Getz, sat backstage on the last night of their UK headline tour at The Joiners in Southampton. “I’m stoked right now, and this tour was really cool. This is a good way to start for sure.”
From a trek across their homeland (again alongside Citizen as well as Sorority Noise and Milk Teeth), to their first venture down under on Basement’s Australian tour, Turnover’s unflagging schedule on the road is testament to the burgeoning sense of community spirit amongst them and the punk rock contemporaries who have become “really close friends” over time. “It’s [more] exciting the bigger the tours are”, says bassist Danny Dempsey. “We’ve always toured a lot too, so it’s kind of like truly not that much different for us.
Even if incessant touring habits have stuck with the band in their six years together, it’s nigh impossible to ignore the seismic shifts elsewhere for Turnover. The most noticeable of these changes came last year in the form of ‘Peripheral Vision‘: the band’s second full-length record that is worlds – nay, universes – away from the identity previously established by the band.
Having once fired out sombre post-hardcore and swelling emo hooks on debut album ‘Magnolia‘ the tones heard on Peripheral Vision are far more expansive, the rhythms more minimal, and the choruses more enchanting. Although the band blatantly take cues from shoegaze and psychedelic indie, it is substantially fresher than just another indulgence in 90s nostalgia: a dreamy and endearing departure that was undeniably in the moment, and gloriously unconscious.
“I don’t think it was anything deliberate, ever”, ponders singer, guitarist and principal songwriter Austin Getz. “I don’t think we’ve ever said [that] we need to change our sound; it’s always been a thing where Eric [Soucy, guitarist] or I will write guitar parts, we’ll all have different ideas, and whatever comes out comes out. I don’t think we decided [that] we want to make this kind of record.”
Although it’s agreed amongst the huddle of band members that Soucy’s arrival in 2014 has had a major influence on Turnover’s creative process, quite where, when or how the decision was made (if it was even made at all) to venture into new sonic territories seemingly remains a foggy area even for the band themselves, but the need for Peripheral Vision as a means of progression is crystal clear.
“[‘Magnolia’ is] not something that I would take back by any means”, Austin admits, before reassuring: “I think it’s a good record, and I think it was what it was for the time and for what we were going through. It was tumultuous, and it was uncertain of itself, but I mean we were at that point as a band. I think it is what it is, and things went that way for a reason.”
“You learn from everything that you’ve put out. [There were] a lot of contemporary artists that have put out albums that led them in certain directions, and ‘Magnolia’ put us in this weird place where nothing really happened for a year and a half. I felt like that gave us an interesting setting for Peripheral Vision to come out, because people didn’t have these expectations of us as much. It was almost easier to have a fresh start.”
“Magnolia gave us the freedom to be able to do whatever we wanted without feeling any pressure”, Soucy adds. “It’s not like all eyes were on us.”
Looking and sounding far more confident, Turnover were then faced with the next string of challenges that inevitably entail with such radical change. From convincing fans to nailing the more spacious sound on stage, the Virginians dealt with matters in the same cool and collected manner. “I feel like it’s more comfortable to play the songs from ‘Peripheral Vision’ than it is from ‘Magnolia’, because it’s something we’re all proud of, and something we all enjoy listening to ourselves” says Eric, clearly settled with his compatriots after recording his first full-length with them.
“I think the fact that we don’t play any songs off of ‘Magnolia’ [anymore] says something” claims Austin. “I think every song on ‘Peripheral Vision’ is better than any song on ‘Magnolia’, but I would say that the difference and the most difficult part is that the songs are more so ‘songs’: they’re more developed and it’s not like ‘here’s a rhythm guitar part that repeats throughout the entire song’.”
“The songs are more intricate, and you can’t hide behind energy as much as you can when you’re a punk band. I feel like the most difficult thing [has been] having to learn to write two individual guitar parts that work well together with the bass line or with a vocal melody, and create something that’s kind of orchestral. But that’s been great, and I feel like we’ve all learned individually and as a group that write and perform together because of the record.”
No matter how at ease the band seem to be with the direction of their latest body of work, it would be for nothing if it didn’t strike the same chord with the fanbase that Turnover had accumulated during Magnolia’s touring cycle.
“I think they definitely moved with us” nods Casey. “People feel like our band grew with them – I’ve heard that a million times.”
“There’s a fear [that] we had while we were in the studio”, Casey’s brother explains nevertheless. “People saying that they liked ‘the old stuff’ is a very real thing, with, and we do get that but it’s rare. At the end of the day, that’s elitism, and if a fan doesn’t like the band and can’t respect the art as the artist is making new art, then they’re not a real fan.”
On the day that we sit down with Turnover, the devastating news of The Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey’s passing had broken mere hours ago, making talk of childhood influences a sore point of conversation, especially for Eric. “[Frey’s death is] intense because The Eagles were pretty influential when I grew up. My parents loved them, and I think the first song my dad ever played me on guitar was ‘Hotel California’.”
With that sentiment in mind, it’s brought to the fore that the blueprint of sun-soaked, slightly stoned rock music laid down by bands like The Eagles has played a remarkable role in Turnover 2.0’s less urgent approach to melody, but as conversation turns to what’s been occupying the stereo in their van while on tour, the band’s expansive tastes may prove less inspirational, and more of a cause for concern.“I don’t take my taste in music very seriously”, laughs Casey, soon after revealing the band’s recent penchant for soft rockers Chicago.
“I think we all listen to literally everything from Linkin Park to Drake.” Eric continues before dropping a bombshell with Staind – hardly the picks you’d expect from a band who have been compared to the likes of Ride and Teenage Fanclub on ‘Peripheral Vision’.
“They’re all influences for the next record!” Austin ‘confirms’. “You can quote that.”
All jokes of jazzy ballads and early-00s radio rock aside, when we bade farewell to what was arguably Turnover’s breakthrough year, their label, Run For Cover Records, made an announcement on Twitter so exciting that it almost eclipsed the remainder of their release schedule (which also includes Basement, Modern Baseball and Elvis Depressedly): there will be new music from Turnover in 2016. This nerve-wracking premise, which will come to fruition with a 7” later this year, has been teased ever so nonchalantly on stage every night, and as two fresh tracks spiral promisingly in tandem with the material played from ‘Peripheral Vision’, there are definite hints at a stylistic continuation from their sophomore record.
When quizzed about the imminent arrival of new material, the band are typically elusive, insisting that “there’s no expectations” whenever they return to the metaphorical drawing board.
“I don’t think any of us are ever the type of people that want to do something deliberate”, Austin shrugs, echoing the mindset adopted during the making of ‘Peripheral Vision’. “I’ve never been like ‘okay, I want to write another song that sounds like ‘this’; I just sit down with the guitar and start playing.”
The future of Turnover’s sound as we know it is as uncertain on both sides as ever, but whether the band decide to relocate from the hazier pastures of ‘Peripheral Vision’ or not, at least we have a band to keep captivated by their intense desire for progress, and an album to adore for years to come. “It’s an organic evolution, we’re not setting any standards”, Eric explains. “We’re just going to release material that all four of us agree on.”
Turnover return to the UK as support for Citizen before heading off to the US alongside Milk Teeth and Sorority Noise. Dates below.
28 Leeds Brudenell Social Club
29 Glasgow Classic Grand
30 London Tufnell Park Dome
09 Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar
10 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
11 Pontiac, MI @ The Crofoot
12 Chicago, IL @ Double Door
13 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
15 Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th St Collective
19 Grand Prairie, TX @ So What? Music Fest
20 El Paso, TX @ Mesa Music Hall
22 Mesa, AZ @ Nile
23 Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
24 San Diego, CA @ Lamppost Warehouse
25 Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
26 San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
29 Portland, OR @ Analog Theater
30 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
01 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
02 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
04 Springfield, MO @ Outland Ballroom
05 Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
06 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
07 Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
08 Margate, FL @ O’Malley’s
09 Orlando, FL @ Backbooth
10 Jacksonville, FL @ 1904
12 Greensboro, NC @ Greene Street
13 Virginia Beach, VA @ Shakas Live
14 Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
15 Philadelphia, PA @ TLA
16 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
17 Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
18 Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium
19 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
20 Ottawa, ON @ Ritual
21 Toronto, ON @ Virgin Mobile Mod Club
22 Buffalo, NY @ The Waiting Room
23 Columbus, OH @ Skully’s