Dale Turner is MusicZeitgeist.com’s October 2011 Indie Artist of the Month

Dale Turner - Artist Photo
In a sea of overly clever hipster band names usually comprising a sentence fragment having to do with an obtuse emotion or something levitating, “Dale Turner” may not be considered a standout moniker that draws your attention. But we are here not only to assure, but persuade you that he must and should. Because Dale Turner is a prodigious, inventive and very special musical talent.

Recordings that kick trendy cliches to the curb, Turner is assembling legitimately crafty, complex arrangements. And he can back them up with true musicianship, lyrics and production.

In searching for the latest innovators, for those musicians who make us take pause and leave us no option but to stop all else but listen, Dale Turner was a clear choice for MusicZeitgeist.com’s October 2011 Indie Artist of the Month. Jellyfish-style pop layered with Brian Wilsonesque vocals co-mingle with complexity that beckons the prog association, and abilities that recall Stan Clarke’s Animal Logic, Mr. Bungle and even the Miss-Piggy-on-crack vocal stylings of Tiger Lillies. This is an extraordinary effort.

Here is the aggregation of data resulting from our informal interview with this true independent, much deserving of your time and attention.

MZ: Where did you come from? Explain yourself!
I’m a singer-songwriter and one-man band who loves a wide array of rock music, and is also influenced by jazz, modern classical, and comedic sounds–I consider myself a closet “voice-over” artist, and like using funny “cartoon”-like voices in some of my work. The music on my new disc, “Mannerisms Magnified,” is like a late-1990s rock version of the Beach Boys, mixed with Frank Zappa-like freakiness and theatricality, all in sort of a “non-electronic Radiohead”-type framework. I refer to it as “moody, acoustic art-rock.”

MZ: Talk about the motivation behind your latest release
“Mannerisms Magnified” is the result of a challenge I gave myself: To write an entire record of eclectic rock music that felt fresh and fun to me, as well as produce, perform all the instruments–acoustic and electric guitars, bass, real acoustic drums, piano, mandolin, and accordion–arrange, and engineer myself, including the disc’s artwork. It took a few years to pull off, the most time-consuming aspects being the lyrics, and getting my drumming up to par. The whole thing was mixed through vintage/modern analog gear by sonic wizard Robert Wawoe and myself, and mastered by Eddy Schreyer (Jon Brion, Fiona Apple, Take 6, Korn, Queen) at Oasis Mastering.

MZ: Where did you develop these tracks?
I’m based in Los Angeles, and have lived here since I moved from Seattle, at age 18. There are a lot of great clubs here that are a nice fit for singer-songwriters; Café Largo, Hotel Café, Genghis Cohen, Molly Malone’s, Pig ‘N Whistle, Room 5, Kulak’s Woodshed. It’s a great city to live in, provided you don’t get sucked into the cliques of negative people, the “all talk, no action” or “anything to make a quick buck” crowds that many seem to.

MZ: Talk about your developmental years
I’ve played one or more instruments since I was in first grade, beginning with piano, adding trumpet to the list in fifth grade. I finally got a guitar in my hands at age 15, and started getting into singing some time after that. Drums are a fairly recent addition to the arsenal. In the late 1990s, I wrote several guitar instructional books that include CDs I played on. In 2004, I released my first solo album, “Interpretations,” which is mostly wacky solo arrangements of cover songs for acoustic guitar and voice, ranging from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” to Jimi Hendrix’s “Castles Made of Sand” and Nilsson’s “Coconut.”

MZ: What’s Next For Dale Turner?
I still have another year of “work” promoting “Mannerisms Magnified”–intensify my live performance schedule, gun for more terrestrial and satellite airplay, continue exploring film and TV song licensing opportunities, finish a couple music videos, design a T-shirt and other merchandise, etc. before I go back in and make another full-length record like this. I’m basically on a “two-year” promo plan, trying to do what a “real” label would, only I’m doing it all myself. Luckily, I have many songs “musically” close to finished, so I may complete this next disc quicker! But I don’t want any of my records to sound the same–my next may even be an all “a cappella” vocal collection! Whatever path I take, I will still write, record, perform, arrange, and produce all the material myself.


Listen now to “Exit Wound” by Dale Turner and other artists we have featured at the MusicZeitgeist.com’s free Indie Music Jukebox

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