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Turrentine Jones

Scout Beck, Editor
Turrentine Jones
Turrentine Jones
Manchester's (UK) alt-rock band Turrentine Jones have made a serious impact over the last year and this is set to continue with the release of their debut album this spring.

Having already performed on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury, the bar is set high and 2014 promises they will need no introduction.

The three piece comprising of Julian Neville on vocals and guitar, Thomas Scotson on Hammond organ and Rich Watts on drums are fearlessly storming the music world with their arresting and provocative sound.

Self declared as the 'antithesis of contemporary music,' the band's deep and dirty rock influences have led to comparisons to The Doors and Lou Reed.

But this is new, definitive rock.

Lead singer Julian Neville's Australian heritage can be heard as he drawls his way through their highly assured debut EP, titled - 'Le Debut'.

He does so with style and irony and accomplished backing from his band mates. Masterly use of the Hammond organ from Scotson and impassioned drums from Watts, this band are fearless.

The debut is exciting and driven, slick and inventive.

It already has the sound of a classic.

Lyrics such as 'Monkey junk fever/made me wanna love/ made me wanna crawl' on 'Candy Snake', are reminiscent of the grit and depth of The Doors darkest moments.

Sensual and sleazy, Neville has the strength of vocal to give a meaningful and powerful performance.

In 'Slam the door', Neville sings, 'But love became an empty bottle baby/And we've forgotten that taste in our mouth'.

This is darkly decadent rock.

As the band prepare for their album release they describe a little of their experiences of the last year and their plans for the year ahead.

You have gone deliberately against the grain with your musical style, if you are the antithesis of popular music right now what do you think is explaining your appeal?

"We wouldn't say we've gone "deliberately" against the grain you know? All we hear on radio is commercial music. It's not hard to be different as a band in this current climate. People get us because we're different. Completely different. Nothing out there sounds like us today and it's a true fact that there's a revolt towards the current popular music scene which has really brought us into the limelight. Who would have thought we'd be playing Glastonbury 3 years after forming?"

The Jim Morrison comparison is accurate but who do you cite as the main influences for your sound?

"We all have a similar taste in music - soul, rock n roll, blues. We're drawn naturally to this sound we have. We never set out to 'be' like anyone. We're not sure where the Jim Morrison comparison came from but we guess it's not surprising to be drawn into a comparison with The Doors when you're working with a Hammond. Neville's lyrics and voice have been compared to a number of artists! He's a great songwriter and vocalist so it's not surprising he draws comparisons to others alike.
"We set out to play music and enjoy ourselves, meet new people, places and get a little high off the buzz of it all."

You say you play like the people you enjoy hearing, who is that now?

"Booker T & The MGs, The Animals, The Strokes, Black Keys, The Mar-Keys, Music Machine, The Shadows... got time to hear all the rest?"

Can you try and sum up 2013?

"Ridiculous. Selling out FAC 251 for our Manchester homecoming show, playing London Mayfair, signing to Rough Trade, receiving the invitation from the BBC to perform at Glastonbury... it's been one hell of a year and I don't think it's far off the mark what others say about it being the turning point for us. Who knows what 2014 will bring? Hopefully more of the same."

A question for Rich, - how was the Google Glass experience?

"Pretty good. A little distracting, with a bit of practice could have got some decent footage. Great to be a part of something like that and hey, first musician to perform on stage using them in the world? I'll take that too."

Where are you up to now with the album?

"Album is currently being mixed in LA and then it's off to get mastered in London. It's been so long since we've heard the music we've forgotten what it sounded like! We've had comments coming through the wire from Chris, our engineer, and others so we're getting excited about it and looking forward to having back in February. It will be officially released storewide and online in April right before we set off on our UK tour starting April 4th April at Ruby Lounge in Manchester."

What can be expected from 'Our Days'?

"Great question. It's our first album so it's going to be an honest reflection of us as a three-piece band. There's no surprises. It's pure-cut rock and roll and a hint of our influences like Booker T, The Shadows, even a little of The Troggs and James. It really is a fresh sound. There's no 'vintage' about it, no tributes. I think everyone will be surprised by the amount of sound we get out of three instruments. We've also pulled in some guest stars and we've got a great producer working on it. You could say we're pleased!"

You chose to use Pledgemusic to fund the album,do you find it provides a greater incentive? Does it give you a connection with the fans?

"Spot on really. It's all about allowing you to connect with your fans. It's extremely rewarding and satisfying to have your own fans funding your debut album. A great feeling of love and trust. We thought about using Pledge for some time although there's been certain elements, certain factors which stopped us up until now. You have to have a fan base numero uno. And a great product. We have both now and I guess we thought it was the right time after last years' heroics."

What are your plans for this year?

"Release our debut album, tour the UK, get onto a few summer festivals and perform on Jools Holland - more news on that later...."

Finally, where does the band name come from?

"Some say it's the alter ego of Julian and maybe it is in a way, but it's a character we created. A man of love and lust, a gentleman, a heartbreaker and rule breaker.

"Sometimes magazines think it's a solo artist. In a way it is. Turrentine Jones is the personality of the music we create - a little off-edge, sultry, sometimes dark, unkept, but sometimes also bright and radical."

The debut album, Our Days can be preordered here