Mick Turner is an Australian artist and musician, known as guitarist with acclaimed instrumental group Dirty Three. He is also a seminal figure in Australian 1980’s post punk being a member of Venom P Stinger, Sick Things and Fungus Brains. He has also lent his unique musical prose upon recordings by Catpower, Bonnie Prince Billy and Nick Cave . Mick Turner has been making solo instrumental records since 1997 for Chicago label Drag City. Now he’s touring in support of his 5th solo album “Don’t tell the driver”.
I’ve been playing in band s for 38 years, I’m also a visual artist.
Last year two records came out with my name on them – my solo album ‘Don’t tell the driver’ and an ep collaboration with Bonnie Prince Billy – ’Solemns’ both on Drag City Records.
If I don’t make the stadiums soon I’m going to quit.
What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
How and when did you get into making music?
I got my first guitar at 14, joined my first band at 16 (1976)
What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
this week its –
Kid Sam – Kid Sam
Marquee Moon – Television
I’m strand ed – the Saints
Arise therefore – Palace music
Li-lo-ing – Crow
What do you associate with Berlin?
I stayed in Berlin for 3 months in 1997 in Friedrichshain. I had a great time, there were people everywhere doing amazing creative things it was inspiring.
What’s your favourite place in your town?
my house and my art and music studio space
If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
What was the last record you bought?
Dream river by Bill Callaghan
he’s one of my favourites.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I like to collaborate with singers, after playing instrumental music for so long.
it is the thing I wish I could do the most, sing, I can’t whistle either, at all, damn it.
What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Dirty three have had so many amazing gigs through our 20 years
travelling the world with them was a river of best gigs.
that I’ve seen – Crow at Evelyn hotel in Melbourne 1992
Swell Maps at the lounge in 1983 in London
the Fall 3 times in Melbourne 1982 ….
I’m sure I’ve left so many out.
How important is technology to your creative process?
not essential but it is something. I grew up in the age of dial phones, vinyl and cassettes,
your mind and mojo is the thing you need working!
Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
yes, mostly indifferent. we all have diverse non-colliding interests.
Don’t Tell The Driver
The Bird Catcher