Cell turnover is the body’s replacement of old cells with newly generated ones. It’s an essential element of a human being’s function. It’s also an appropriate metaphor to use to describe the creation process of Good Nature, the forthcoming album from beloved Virginia Beach rockers Turnover.
A journey of self-discovery and reinvention drenched in dream-pop harmonies and fuzz-filled guitars, Good Nature takes the early 90’s emo introspection of its precursor Peripheral Vision and turns it even further inward, resulting in a warm and inviting record that soothes the soul with an aura of awakening and peaceful self-acceptance.
As frontman Austin Getz explains, the aura that engulfs every second of Good Nature is very much intentional. “I wanted to make it a record about identity, and the concept of reshaping and recreating my own identity and sort of relearning what it means to be myself, the truest version of myself,” he says.
While the results of that process are immediately evident as the overriding lyrical narrative of the album, Getz is not the only member of Turnover to have undergone a process of reinvention on Good Nature. In fact, the mature, focused songwriting and accomplished musicianship presents Turnover as a band far removed from debut Magnolia or even the critically applauded Peripheral Vision, instead positioning them as a timeless rock band, offering up a record that owes as much to the likes of The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds as it does Sunny Day Real Estate’s Diary.
This is the result of the band working with longtime friend and collaborator Will Yip to give the songs the emotional and sonic depth their creation process deserved. Recently in Australia to tour with Turnover in support of post-hardcore stalwarts Touché Amoré, Austin Getz took time out mid-tour to discuss all things Good Nature and Turnover while taking in the sights of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.
Music Feeds: Hey Austin, thanks for taking the time to talk to us on an off day, it’s really appreciated. How’s the day treating you so far?
Austin Getz: So far, it’s wonderful man. We’re on our way from Melbourne down the Great Ocean Road to check out some of the southern coast and then we’ll stay somewhere about halfway through the drive to Adelaide. We were expecting [it] to be rainy and stuff today, but it’s hella’ beautiful, so it’s a good day.
MF: Yeah you caught Melbourne on a rare, nice winter’s day. It’s still freezing, but it’s crystal clear skies overhead so it’s not too bad.
AG: Yeah brisk and bright is cool with me man.
MF: Alright, you’re out here in Australia with Touché Amoré. How have you felt the tour has gone so far? Is it a good vibe?
AG: Yeah, man it’s a great vibe. We didn’t really know what to expect from this tour, because our last tour was with Basement which is probably more of a fit from a stylistic perspective, but this time with Touché Amoré we weren’t so sure how we’d be received, but so far it’s been really good. We’re playing a lot of the same venues, but they’re completely packed out, which is great.
MF: Touché Amoré are definitely a nosier proposition than Turnover, but you both pack a ton of emotional intensity into your music, so I can see potential for crossover in the audience. Did you have any concerns about how you’d be received on this particular tour?
AG: Firstly, Touché Amoré is a band that we’ve admired since we started the band and it’s just so inspiring to watch them do their thing every night. As for the crowds, it’s been really positive so far. I didn’t really know what to expect in Australia, ’cause I’m not too familiar with the music scene. But, Touché Amoré and us actually come from a similar scene back home, and I remember when we first started the band they were always going on tour with bands like Title Fight all the time and we’d be playing to those crowds too, so a decent sized crossover developed naturally, but as the band’s sounds have developed we’ve kind of gone in opposite directions.
So I think there’s probably more people that are at the show strictly to see Touché Amoré or strictly to see Turnover, with a smaller amount of people here for both bands. So I think there is good opportunity for both bands to play to new fans. Which is one of the best things about doing a tour like this.
MF: You’ve got a new record Good Nature coming out in late August — have you been playing any of the new tracks so far?
AG: We’re playing ‘Supernatural’ which is the first song we put out off of Good Nature.
MF: Has it been going down well?
AG: It has been man, people seem pretty into it. The Peripheral Vision songs have become a well-oiled machine at this point, having played them nightly for two-and-a-half years, so it’s pretty cool to have ‘Supernatural’ in there to freshen things up and give people a feeling of what’s to come from Turnover. It’s definitely a little more nerve-racking though, but in a good way — that nervous energy gets me psyched up to play it.
MF: Speaking of Good Nature, I’ve all but expired my advance stream of it already, just sitting in my car, hiding from the rain, playing it on repeat, finding comfort in the warmth it emits. It’s such a great record.
AG: Thanks man, I’m glad you like it, super hyped to hear that.
MF: It’s a very organic sounding record, but at the same time it’s still super lush and polished. What was the recording process for it like? Did it differ from what you did with Peripheral Vision?
AG: Making it was a similar process as far as recording it goes, because we worked with [producer] Will Yip again, so that part was super comfortable, but as far as writing the music goes, and the end result of that writing process, it’s definitely a departure from what we did on Peripheral Vision. We do a lot of different things instrumentally, incorporating different rhythmic ideas and experimenting with different types of chords and scales to establish different moods.
MF: It sounds like a bit of a rebirth to my ears, and that theme really seems to cut through on the lyrics as well. Was there a specific focus you had when you sat down to pen the lyrics for the record?
AG: I wanted to make it a record about identity, and the concept of reshaping and recreating my own identity and sort of relearning what it means to be myself, the truest version of myself. During the Peripheral Vision run, I started questing a lot of the beliefs that I had been brought up with, insofar as what defines a ‘good’ or ‘worthy’ person and what the overall goal or ‘achievement’ of life is, and that made me take a bit more of an introspective look at what I did and didn’t like about myself and what I felt was authentic and inauthentic about how I was and had been living life.
MF: You can really feel that notion of reinvention leaping out of each of the tracks on Good Nature, you sound like a new man at times.
AG: Thanks. I think Good Nature is just kind of a statement on certain things that I found that might have been answers to those questions or maybe other questions that I found looking for the answers to those questions. I hope that it ends up being what other people need to hear.
MF: A record like Good Nature has the potential to make others take stock of their own lives, and perhaps address issues or concerns they otherwise might not have delved into. Is that something you hope to achieve as a musician?
AG: It’s one of those things that I’m the most anxious to see. I’m hoping it can inspire some good energy in people and make people feel something good. It might help them out. Following Peripheral Vision, I’ve had a lot of people tell me that a certain song or the record as a whole means a lot to them and it’s helped them in whatever ordeal they were living through, and I hope that Good Nature does that, even to a larger degree. I definitely found a lot about myself in the last few years and tried to put that into the record. I hope that people pick up on that.
MF: There’s definitely been an evolution in the last few years, particularly in the punk/hardcore/emo/whatever scenes towards more human sounding production. Do you think that’s a reaction to how mechanical everything had started to sound?
AG: Yeah, I think that it’s kind of like anything that is a trend. Certain things start and get to the point where they get overdone. I know what you’re talking about, like really well polished drum sounds and really well polished guitar sounds that sound really great, and everybody tries to mimic it and gets a little bit watered down and it all just starts sounding the same. There’s nothing unique about it and it sounds like mechanical or robotic.
I think that the trend to the opposite is just a reaction to that and people realising that’s not what they want to hear in music. I think that’s, personally, cooler because I do think that music is a human thing, and so I think it’s cool that there is a trend of having it sound like musicians playing the records and I hope that trend persists. But, we’ll see.
MF: There’s similarities between what you’re doing, what Balance And Composure are doing, the ground Title Fight and Citizen are covering, in that you all seem to be exploring more dreamlike soundscapes that blend elements of dream-pop, old-school emo like Sunny Day Real Estate and The Promise Ring and injecting it with your own styles and personalities.
AG: I know with the advent of more digital stuff all the time it gets easier for anybody to make a record, which is great. Our early records are a little bit more on the sample kind of sounding side of things. So it’s cool that it gives the opportunity for, maybe, musicians that don’t have the capability of recording something really well to make a record and hear what it’s like, and see what it’s like to make a record for themselves. But I do hope that the trend of being a player, actually being you playing the guitar, hitting the snare drum, on the record, seeing where you are at and inspiring you to want to be a better player, or maybe not even a better player, but have your own personality as a player persists. I just think it’s definitely important.
MF: Something I find particularly interesting is that in a world seemingly obsessed with instant gratification, where the loudest and most immediate voice gets heard and pushed, and a lot of music is processed in a way that meets those demands, so that the youth will like it, you seem to be going in the opposite direction, producing more considered, warm and human-sounding records, and the kids — so to speak — are absolutely loving it. Why do you think that is?
AG: I mean, that’s one of the things I trip out about the most and think about the most. In this new digital age, the age of information and misinformation and constant distraction that we are all living I think maybe music has become an outlet of escapism for that.
When you’re constantly inundated with just an onslaught of advertising everywhere you go, if you look at the TV, or listen to talk radio, or take a walk down the street, or catch a train, you are just inundated with this information overload, and I think music is becoming an outlet for people who want to find an organic connection with their inner selves and with other people to do just that.
Historically music has always had a way of helping people find a sense of community and if that is becoming even more the case, then I’m glad I can be a part of something that’s a step back to something real. ‘Cause I definitely think there’s a lot that gets missed out on in the constant blur.
MF: The line has been breaking up a bit man and I know you’ve got a beautiful part of our country to go an explore, so I’ll let you go in a moment. But before I do, I have a bit of a fun question for you if that’s cool?
AG: Yeah man, bring it on!
MF: Okay so my mother is obsessed with apple turnovers — they’re probably her favourite pastry and maybe one of her favourite things in general, so with this in mind I thought it might be fun to get you to rank the following kinds of turnover.
AG: I’m in, give them to me.
MF: 1. Apple turnover. 2. Basketball turnover. 3. ‘Turnover’ the song by Fugazi. 4. Cell turnover, so your body replenishing. 5. Financial turnover.
AG: Oh my god, umm, I think my favourite turnover would have to be cell turnover, the body regenerating.
MF: That’s a pretty good fit for the overall theme and sound of Good Nature too.
AG: Haha, yeah it just feels right man.
‘Good Nature’ by Turnover is set for release on 25th August.