Interview: Turnip

San Antonio rock band Turnip has recently been making noise in the heavy music community. Their crushing guitars, banging drums, and soaring vocals take cues from an assortment of genres, including but not limited to southern rock, doom, sludge, blues metal, and many more. As heavy metal and hard rock have been growing increasingly stale, the band takes the juiciest bits and cooks up a fresh sonic stew. Turnip produces a special brand of desert rock that is as oppressive as it is meditative, painting rugged pictures of final duel stare-offs between spur-janglers. Simply put, nearly everything about this band and its music is exponentially badass. We were fortunate enough to get personal with the band, discussing their newly sprouted internet recognition, as well as some film influences, in the interview below. WINDOW KILLER, their second release which was featured in the latest Larios List, is available for listening on Bandcamp here.

First off, how did Turnip come to be? What brought all of you together?

We are IT nerds. We worked together. After a few months we figured out that we all played and were into the same music, so we got together and everything fell into place.

Has San Antonio treated you well? How’s the music scene there?

Our reception has been okay. The scene here is not great. For example, this week our steel guitarist, Joe, went to a Led Zeppelin tribute show that packed the house… around 300 people.  Down the road, Monolord played to about 25. This isn’t the place to be if you want to “get heard.” There are definitely better places to be if you want to be in a scene. We live 60 miles south of the self-proclaimed music capital of the world. Honestly, the concept of a “scene” is dead. It was important 20 years ago to rally around local heroes and help push them to the national stage. Today, you can post an album on Bandcamp and instantly have access to the world.

 

With WINDOW KILLER on both Bandcamp and Spotify, which of the two platforms do you think brings more to the masses?

It’s hard to say. Bandcamp has seemed to bring us more attention. Nobody knew who we were until we posted our album. YouTube is another great way to get your music out. Unfortunately, you need to connect to a popular channel for it to be effective, which means no money for the artist.

WINDOW KILLER and YOU’RE A FUCKING LIAR arrived on Bandcamp around the same time. Was there an evolution between the two? How was the recording process?

YOU’RE A FUCKING LIAR was recorded by us. It predates WINDOW KILLER by a few months. We changed course after that recording. Joe picked up the steel, we started writing the songs on WINDOW KILLER, and we recorded them in our friend’s home studio (bedroom). The original intent was to use the recording as a demo, but we said fuck it and released it. We had zero expectations, so it was nice to see the good reviews start to come in.

 

In developing your sound, are there any bands that have been heavy influences? Anyone you would dream of touring or collaborating with?

Our musical influences are pretty far reaching. Everything from Robert Johnson to Mayhem. That’s probably why people have a hard time nailing down our sound. We try not to listen to a lot of current bands. We prefer to write in a vacuum. We draw a lot of inspiration from movies. It would be a dream to collaborate with Jodorowsky or Lynch.

 

What films in particular do you think pair well with Turnip’s music?

BLUE VELVET, RIVER’S EDGE, EL TOPO… Anything that takes place in a desert and revolves around drugs and murder.

 

There’s somewhat of a biblical feel to the lyrics, with subject matter revolving around God, sins, and the end times. Is there something deeper behind this?

Yeah there’s some of that. Our vocalist Mike writes the lyrics. The goal is to match the lyrical content to the mood of the song. We’re not religious zealots… just fatalists.

How did you decide upon the name Turnip?

We like the absurdity of Turnip. It was the first thing we threw out and it stuck.

While we’re at it, is there meaning to the names WINDOW KILLER  and YOU’RE A FUCKING LIAR

YOU’RE A FUCKING LIAR is an album written for broken hearts. It’s about deception and redemption. WINDOW KILLER is about that impending feeling of doom that sets in when you’re watching TV or eating your cereal. What’s lurking outside your window right now?

What does the future look like for Turnip?

We’ve got about three albums worth of material we’re sitting on, so we hope to have something out in the next few months that’s going to make some waves. People need to stay tuned for sure.

Turnip is Michael – Guitar/Vox, Joe – Steel, Steve – Drums.

Mr. Alexander Ignacio Larios used to own a Sega Dreamcast. Follow him on Last.fm at: http://www.last.fm/user/KeroseneBath. on RateYourMusic at: https://rateyourmusic.com/~KeroseneBath. on Letterboxd at: http://letterboxd.com/Phallixander/.

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