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Interview: Turbo (Evan Frizzle)
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I got into music when I was 14. I already had a guitar that I barely touched kicking around for a couple of years by that point, but there was one summer when I was bullied so hard I couldn’t go outside and play. So I sat down plugging away at the thing for most of that summer. By the time I could actually play songs, the guitar had given me a sort of identity - all of a sudden I was a musician, and people stopped picking on me so much. That was all the encouragement I needed to make the thing my entire life’s work. If I hadn’t gotten into music, I might be a criminal ahaha not even gonna lie.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Crimes. Hahaha no, I’m just joking. I like extreme sports like skateboarding/longboarding, I like getting together with friends, and I love to party. Anything for that same rush I get from playing music. That rush is probably the biggest influence on my creativity, and Turbo’s sound is sonically built around that feeling I find.
How long has your band been around?
Turbo has been around for almost two years now.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Halifax has a great music scene with a lot of intense heavy-hitting metal/punk/hard-rock acts, and I think competing with them has had a heavy hand in influencing our music. The scene has the air of a grimy town full of fun-loving pirates, so that always helps. We also wanted to make a band that didn’t sound like anything else from around here - combining aspects of all three aforementioned sounds - so I think trying to find that niche has shaped how we sonically come off in a profound way.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Naming the band is honestly one of the hardest parts of making a band. We had a bunch of names tossed around for months, but none of them really stuck cause they didn’t have the right feel for our sound. One day, we got fed up and had a big brainstorming session about it while we were drinking together. As soon as somebody threw out the sentence “we need something like… motorized… like Turbo or something.” we all latched onto the name pretty instantly, and haven’t looked back since.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Due to corona hitting directly after the band was formed, we only really have a few to choose from thus far. I’d say the most memorable one was our first show with Diner Drugs and Iron Giant at The Caveau in Moncton, New Brunswick. The bands really fit well with our sound, the crowd was simply insane, and the fact that our first show was out-of-town didn’t hurt. Everybody we talked to couldn’t believe it was our first show, they said it was the tightest first-set they’d ever seen! Plus, the rip-roaring afterparties New Brunswick offers made it a more than memorable night for sure.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Both Gus’ Pub and the Seahorse tie for my personal favorites in Halifax; they’re really dingy bars with a real vibe to them that pack a lot of people and are super fun to play. We have our first show at Gus’ Pub planned for the second weekend in April coming up, and we still haven’t played the Seahorse in this band yet, so that’s definitely something to look forward to.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Being realistic about it? Us, Cancer Bats, Skull Fist, and Kill Cheerleader (if they were still a band). All of which are local enough that it’s an actual possibility, and they’ve all had a heavy hand in influencing Turbo’s sound. Toronto’s scene really kicks!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Be open to criticism, don’t quit, don’t sell your instruments, stay humble and don’t believe your own hype, don’t take yourselves too seriously, don’t get too drunk to play, and above all be a cool dude and have fun. All of this will save you from making an ass out of yourself.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
All of the above are hard lessons I’ve had to learn, so I think I’d just tell myself that pretty much verbatim. Except for the being a cool dude and having fun part. This has always been fun, and I’ve never been cool.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
It’s hard to pick one - I write all the lyrics personally, and they’re all pretty intimate with my personal experiences. I’d say maybe The Serpent’s Coil - it’s a song I wrote about dark-magic stuff but in the end it actually ended up being about my own dark experiences with hard drugs without me realizing it. Your inner self can speak to your outer self through writing in such a cool way sometimes. It’s also our longest, most epic song to date, so it’s a goddamn marathon to whip out and play.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Burning the Wick, Alive, and Silver Spoon are probably my personal favorites to play, cause they’re so frantic right out of the gate. Burning the Wick and Alive probably get requested the most, those are fan favorites for sure.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Well usually we’ll be having a few beers, already be jamming our songs with no intention to write. One of us will come up with a riff by accident - we try to find something that’s not too metal, not too punk, not too straight-ahead rock. Right in that sweet spot between the three. The Goldilocks Zone. Then we’ll build off that, and it usually happens pretty organically. Then we’ll make a crappy phone recording of what we have so far, we’ll bring it home, and then I’m off to the races writing lyrics to turn my voice into sand with. After that, it usually takes a few sessions of frankensteining to get the song perfect.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I like to write about anything I see that gets me all riled up. I don’t personally like to sing about fantasy stuff, as it doesn’t really fit the band’s sound. Anything that’ll hit you like a suckerpunch to the throat. My bandmates are also really good to bounce ideas off of - they always tell me if my lyrics are crap. We mostly write about the rock-and-roll lifestyle and things pertaining to that - it gives us a lot of lyrical ground to cover.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We have disagreements all the time while writing. Basically, as soon as Turbo practice starts, we’re already IN a fight, especially if we’re writing something we’re all excited about. We get by this by having no ego and doing what’s best for the band. If it fits, it fits. If it doesn’t, we just trash it. We have no qualms about throwing ideas in the garbage.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Well we’ve just come out with a new music
video for “Alive” that we want everyone to see, and we’re working on our second album now - “Ruthless Forever” - we have almost half of it written already. We also have a short tour around Maritime Canada with our buddies from a band called Deadwolff that we’re really excited about. That starts at the beginning of April. Apart from that, follow us on instagram, facebook, youtube and bandcamp for more updates and news!
Music Video - Alive -