Virginia Beach's Turnover are one of indie/pop-punk's best kept secrets, often compared to bands Title Fight and Transit. After just releasing their highly-praised self-titled EP, they're planning to head to the studio once again and then hit the road with a bang. Bassist Danny Dempsey, who coincidentally shares a birthday with hip hop artist Drake, was kind enough to speak with me today.
Let's start off with a quick introduction. What's your name/role in the band and favorite turnover?
Well my name is Danny and I play bass in an indie/pop-punk band called Turnover. To be completely honest, I had my first turnover this week and I hated it. It was blueberry. Might have been the brand though, haha.
How did the idea of forming Turnover come to life?
Austin, our singer, played in a band before Turnover called Our Better Years and after that broke up he still wanted to make music. So he talked to some friends from school and his area and started the band. I didn't join till about this time last year.
What other band names were tossed around before the name Turnover was agreed on?
I've been waiting to answer this question for a long time. Some other ideas I'd been told about were "Sports" and "Slam Dunk". I wasn't in the band at this time, but I'm sure there were a lot of others.
All of you are in your teens. Would you say ageism affects the band for the better or worse?
I feel being so young is only hurting us right now because we can't tour as much as we'd like to. Two of our members are in high school which holds us back a lot. I think it helps us in some ways too though. I've noticed a lot of people surprised to see younger kids making music and trying to tour. We get complimented on that a lot. A lot of people don't know about our age though so they treat us equally for the most part.
That support has been more than noticeable, because your self-titled record continues to be well-received across the board. Did you expect to receive so many positive responses?
No way. We recorded it with no expectations of doing any of the things we've done. It's been really crazy to see the change in our band from this time last year up until now. Everything is happening really fast and it's really cool but really nerve racking at the same time.
Many bands offer something that makes them stick out, whether it's high energy performances, lyrics with a storyline that fans follow, the band name itself, whatever. What do you guys bring to the table?
All of the above. We move a decent amount on stage. We have lyrics everyone can relate to. We're young, and a lot of our fans are our age or close to it. Our band name is a pastry and everyone loves pastries. I'm overly cocky. And we're pretty. But honestly, I don't know how to answer that. I feel our fans should be the judge. Come to a show and let us know what you like and don't like.
Your songs deal with experiences that kids your age and the average person can identify with. What crazy surprises can expect from new material… a raging song? Comedy?
I don't think we'll have too many surprises with this next record. We're writing everything a little darker but that's about it. Less like "Sasha" and more like "Solitude". We'll still have a little of everything though. If we did end up writing a funny song it'd definitely be something we just randomly sent out to everyone for free. I don't see us ever putting out anything like that on a record though, haha.
Funny question then: what genre do you wish would disappear forever?
Oh geez. Probably country. The lyrics are almost always so bad and corny.
I might have to agree with you on that one, haha. So, "Sasha" has marked itself as the fan favorite. Is it quite the explosive experience when you guys perform it live?
Yeah, it's definitely the fan favorite. When we play it at home it's nuts. Most of the time Austin gets pulled off the stage before the songs over. I'm glad I'm not the vocalist.
Being up there on stage, how do you deal with nervousness?
I usually just don't make eye contact with a lot of people and keep in my mind that if we sound bad at least four other people are sounding bad with me, haha.
How do Turnover song arrangements work?
For the most part everyone will be working on ideas on their own and then usually once a week or so we'll get together and try to work off each other to get what we want out of it. The lyrics are always written after the song is completed. Usually Austin will write something and then ask us what we think of it. For the most part everything is influenced by our surroundings at that time. Weather, where we've been hanging out, what's been happening to us, etc.
A number of "big" underground labels have bands on their roster that are fairly well known in pop punk/indie scenes. What made you guys decide on Broken Rim Records, who are relatively new?
We talked to a couple of different labels and Kyle (Broken Rim Records) just really seemed to stand out. He was really eager to help us get our music out to as many people as possible just like we were. A lot of people weren't ready to put the vinyl out before we went on tour like we wanted and he was. Kyle worked everyday on getting it done in time and at the same time helped us book our tour. I can honestly say he is a huge part of why we've done what we've done so far. We're really glad we decided to work with him.
In other words, you'd give Kyle your firstborn.
Pretty much, haha.
Now that you're gearing up for a complete tour, what bands would you love to hit the road with?
If it had to be something realistic I'd have to say Hostage Calm or Transit. Both of those bands are awesome live and I'd really enjoy seeing them play every night for a while. If it could be any band ever, then I'd pick Crime In Stereo. But right now we'll pretty much do any tour we can.
What trend do you feel is due for a comeback?
Definitely JNCO jeans so that I could laugh at people who are wearing them. Maybe even get a few pairs to wear on stage.
A must have album?
This is a really tough question for me. I'd probably have to either go with Braid's Frame & Canvas, or The Jealous Sound's Kill Them With Kindness. I could listen to either of these for hours on end and never get bored. American Football would also be up there.
Any last words?
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Tell your friends about us!