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Joel Turner - Out Of The Box

Author: Jane Stabler
Friday, 19 October 2007
Beat-boxing Joel Turner is not idle nor idol. 3D's Jane Stabler caught up with him in between sessions in the studio.

My first attempt to speak to Joel Turner doesn't quite go to plan, as he is out shopping. When I do finally get in touch with him, he's full of apologies. “I'm so sorry about the mishap before,” he says as soon as he's on the phone. I laugh and tell him that one thing I understand is getting caught up in shopping. “No, no, I've been running around recording and stuff all day, I'm so sorry.”

Joel Turner is certainly a busy man. With his new album Out Of The Box released earlier this month, and a tour schedule covering most of the country, Joel isn't one to take it easy.  “I'm enjoying it,” he enthuses. “I can't wait to get to get back on the road. When I'm in the studio, I can't wait to be out on the road, and when I'm out on the road, I can't wait to be back in the studio.”

Is there anywhere in particular that seems especially rich with adoration- “Canberra always goes off,” he admits. “They love it in Canberra. Perth goes off too. In Brisbane everyone knows me, so it's a bit like, 'Hey Joel, how you going-' when I'm on stage!”

I ask if he thinks a lot of people are still surprised when they hear the music he actually creates. “Yeah a lot of people still don't even know I did the production on the first album. People think I'm a rapper!” he laughs, “They don't know I did all the instruments. I think with the new album, people get a gist of what I do, but the best is yet to come. I'm coming up with better stuff every day. I'm on fire at the moment! I'm always looking forward to getting back in the studio.”

Joel is clearly devoted to all aspects of his work, but beat boxing holds a special place. “I'm about beat-boxing. The beat-boxing on the album is nothing compared to what I can do live. I'm saving the best stuff for live. I don't want people to come to see [me] and think (he puts on a whiny girl voice) 'Aaaaw man, I heard that already!'”

And what about the whole Australian Idol thing- Is that a curse- He hesitates. “I think of course I wouldn't have been seen on that scale if I didn't go on the show, but I was beat-boxing and singing way before that. I had other people who were interested so I believe I would have got to this point anyway - it just gave me an early ticket into the industry.”

From the funky tracks crammed onto the new album, and collaborations with the likes of De La Soul, I have no doubt he is right. So big plans for the night- “Nah, back to the studio I think.” Very hardworking, very determined, and very polite. And the boy likes to shop. How could you not be a fan-

WHO: Joel Turner
WHAT: Out Of The Box on sale / plays Empire Hotel
WHEN: Out now / Saturday 24 November