Having dinner with Turbowolf in a small restaurant wasn’t exactly how I imagined interviewing the band before the penultimate show of their UK tour. However, I definitely wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity. After the band and I had ordered our food we took a plunge into the mind of what is the somewhat strange but nevertheless interesting world of Turbowolf. Vocalist and keyboardist Chris Georgiadis talked me through their thoughts in regards to touring, the musical scene in the UK today, their new album ‘The Free Life’ as well as an insight into how animal sperm can be used effectively to aid the band’s performances. All whilst chowing down on a tasty meal.
You have toured extensively in Europe and the US, how does touring Britain differ from touring abroad?
CG: Well I guess that there are some things culturally with people that translate differently in live shows. Like in general I think people in mainland Europe tend to wear their hearts more on their sleeves when it comes to music. People there seem to be more likely to have a broader range in their musical taste, especially in the world of Rock. You will find that people in Germany will be into bands like Slipknot as well as a band such as Blink 182 - so there is no doubt of a love for Rock music in general over there.
I think that in England and the US, people tend to look over their shoulders a little musically; always trying to find what is deemed cool or hip at the time. This is all obviously a generalisation, as at our gigs everyone tends to have a similar experience in my opinion. We have such a great fanbase that whenever we have our own shows the audiences everywhere are great, we are proud of our fans, they are very varied.
Do you feel that fans vary due to the sheer amount of festival performances you do around the world?
Yeah for sure! As well as the many support tours that we have done over the years. We have supported loads of different bands, so we pick up listeners from all over the place. Our fanbase consists of fans from across the Rock music spectrum. They always tend to be good people too - we are incredibly proud in that sense. In Rock you always tend to run into a sort of macho or meatheaded stereotype, and I am glad our fans don’t fall into that as much.
What are the best and the worst things about touring in Turbowolf?
CG: The best thing about touring is that you get to travel. On a personal basis that is definitely one of the perks! Getting to see different places as well as meet interesting people and their differing cultures, I feel that is a very important aspect of my life. I would recommend travelling and trying out new things to anyone. Obviously, playing the shows is also great fun. You get to have fun with your friends on stage! Every night we will have a blast and enjoy ourselves whilst putting on our show.
Some of the worst parts of touring are the travelling aspects too. Long hours in a Transit van with Blake (Drums) usually driving isn't always fun. It is no doubt very hard on him. He basically drives and then plays drums on the side.
Blake Davies: Mainly a driver though! (Laughs).
CG: There are no windows in the back of our van too so it gets quite uncomfortable at times, usually resulting in a lack of sleep. But touring the UK is definitely easier as the drives are shorter, it only ever takes a couple of hours. It is all worth it in the end though, the pros certainly outweigh the cons.
What can up and coming acts expect from the music scene in the UK now, compared to when Turbowolf started out 9 years ago?
CG: Well yeah, comparing now to the time when we started shows that things have changed drastically. I guess that new artists can expect to have to do everything by themselves for a while, but really they shouldn’t expect anything at all. Don’t expect that anyone is going to give you anything and don’t even expect fans - you will play empty shows a lot to begin with. Don’t expect that labels will be interested either. Just be great at what you do, hone your skills. If you aren’t enjoying it you might aswell try something else, this isn’t an industry that you can make a lot of money in most of the time. Don’t expect anything.
How do you keep up your energy for Turbowolf’s chaotic shows?
CG: We drink large amounts of sperm, animal sperm… Nah, sperm doesn’t actually come into it that much in all truth these days. I guess I just try to take care of ourselves now, just try to not booze too much, drink lots of water and basically be boring. I feel as though everyone has different ways of energising, that’s just what I do to keep healthy on tour.
Where do you love playing most in the UK?
CG: A Bunch of places really, we have great shows everywhere. On this tour though especially. We love places like Bath, Exeter and Leicester. I think Brighton and London have always been great to us too. There aren’t many shows that we do that we don’t enjoy! I would say that the UK tends to always deliver great shows due to us touring here extensively.
Where would you like to play in the future that you haven’t already?
CG: Personally, I think we would all like to go to Japan and Australia, that’d be real good fun, I find the Japanese culture very interesting, plus the food is great!
What are some of the craziest things you have seen at shows?
CG: Well what is crazy? We have seen a few naked people I suppose. One of the crazy things we see is that people keep injuring themselves, which is a problem. Some guy snapped his arm in half one tour whilst crowd surfing. He somehow got his arm caught in the barrier. Blood was spilled at our Bath show this tour too. We keep seeing horrible injuries, people need to chill out sometimes. We don’t incite the crowds to kill each other.
How does the psychedelic imagery in the artwork of your releases come about?
CG: Andy does our artwork so I will pass you onto his representative, Blake.
BD: The majority of it is Andy’s unique way of getting things out of his head and onto paper. Also some nice sweets like ice cream help. He will tend to spend a lot of time in his bedroom doing it whilst we are in the recording process.
AG: It’s just a combination of Biscuits and Isolation.
CG: Biscuits = Psychedelia
‘Rabbits Foot’ catapulted your band’s popularity and is your most streamed song, are you proud of that
CG: It is our simplest song, yes. We love it though! We wrote it and as soon as we got the vocal and the main riff in the right place we instantly thought it had something cool about it. We still love playing it too.
Andy Ghosh (Guitar): I think the song resonates with people who might not be fans of ours yet, almost like a gateway into our music.
How does your new album: ‘The Free Life’ differ from previous releases?
CG: It differs because it is new music, obviously. We are different people now than we were when we last recorded, people change. It’s a reflection of our world at this point in time, and we are extremely proud of it, we worked really hard to make it and can’t wait for everyone to hear it.