Twelve Hour Turn
Daniel L. Mitchell
I was saddened to discover that Twelve Hour Turn broke up this past summer; many of my favorite bands tend to break up way before their prime, and Twelve Hour Turn just kept getting better with each release, and they are no exception to said gripe.
Outside of Florida, Twelve Hour Turn was a greatly underappreciated band; this is due to several reasons, the biggest one being that violent emo stuff is not the flavour du jour lately, so many of the better bands of this genre get looked over, in favor of poppier, weaker, and more watered down emo stuff. C’est la vie, but Twelve Hour Turn is a band that many people will regret not seeing, years from now, when the band is but a memory in the minds of those lucky enough to have experienced their power. I was lucky enough to have an e-mail correspondence with Rich from Twelve Hour Turn, and he set me straight and gave me the low down on their final work, Perfect Progress, Perfect Destruction.
Who are you, and what did you do in Twelve Hour Turn?
My name is Rich and I played guitar and sang. John did the same, Dave played bass and sang, and Matt played drums.
How do you describe Twelve Hour Turn’s music to scenesters? Non-scenesters?
I think most of the time I would describe it as punk or hardcore. To people not familiar with these terms, I would call it rock and roll. Primarily you could call it d.i.y., ideally I would stay away from defining the way it sounds.
You have saddened many people by breaking up; any words to console them?
We will all always play music. Dave is playing with True North again, I am writing music with my girlfriend Andy, John writes on his own, and Matt still plays drums.
I honestly believe that Twelve Hour Turn will go down as one of great bands of the melodic post hardcore genre; doesn’t it suck to have something as powerful as Twelve Hour Turn end, or had it run its course?
Damn, those are kind words… I have been really depressed about us breaking up since we stopped playing this summer. The band was what I chose to put my heart into for the last five and half years, so to end it left a large gap on my life. But it had also run its course; I feel lucky that it lasted as long as it did. Although we were always great friends, and I still would love writing music with the band, we all were drifting and other things took priority in some of our lives.
Moving on, Perfect Progress is pretty much that, perfect, literally. How do you feel about it being Twelve Hour Turn’s swan song?
I feel very happy we wrote this record and also that it is our last effort. It is frustrating at the same time, since I felt we were always getting better at writing as individuals, and as a whole. No more. I see references to our demise throughout the record. I feel it is our strongest writing we have done.
“No Tomorrow” is my all time favorite Twelve Hour Turn song; is it about anyone in particular?
That song is about one of John’s old friends from school days. I can’t really speak for him anymore than that.
There are many references to sleep in Perfect Progress — what’s going on there?
It’s funny you mention that, since Jennifer at No Idea told me the same thing when she was reading over the lyrics. I guess we killed that metaphor somewhat unknowingly. I think we write about people using sleep, not wanting to recognize certain things in their lives, sleep as rejuvenation, and sleep as the end.
Is it just me, or is the new record a much more upset and (forgive me) emotional record than previous releases? In other words, did you guys know the end was near when you made it?
Yes, we did know the end was not far off.
Bend, Break, and Spill sort of marked the beginning of a relatively more subdued Twelve Hour Turn than seen on Victory and the record with Strikeforce Diablo; was this intentional or accidental?
When we wrote songs, we never consciously set out to write something in particular. We just wrote what we wrote. I think a lot of times we wrote in reaction to the last songs we wrote though. So if we wrote some particularly long songs recently, we didn’t feel like doing that again. So we played around with other ideas for structure. . .
Your guitar sound is delightfully unique; can you give me a quick run down of the equipment you used in Twelve Hour Turn?
John and I used pretty much the same amps and speakers, Sovtek. He played a Gibson SG and I played an old Rickenbacker. Dave had a Fender bass, and an Ampeg fridge, and Matt had an old set of clear drums, I forget.
Dave and I are vegan, John is vegetarian.
Were you in Palatka? I thought some Twelve Hour Turns were in Palatka, and my former Gainesville scenester friend told me not to buy Palatka records because they were just a joke band… is this true?! I rather enjoyed the record with the etched artwork on the vinyl.
None of us were ever in Palatka. We toured with them, and Dave plays in true north with two of them… No, they were not a joke band, although they had a biting sense of humor. Palatka was definitely an incredibly inspiring band to me.
When I lived in Bowling Green, my friend Rob and I had The Sorts play at our house. The Sorts’ drummer used to be in the legendary Hoover, and when I asked him about being in Hoover (one of my all time fave bands), he was totally off putting and acted like a dick for some reason… will you be negative when five years from now people ask you about being in Twelve Hour Turn?
I hope not. I don’t see myself ever reacting like that since I have seen plenty of people do it. One of the ideas we had in doing Twelve Hour Turn was always trying to be considerate of other people in all that we did. I think I will always believe in that.
Speaking with all honesty, will I ever see Twelve Hour Turn live again? A one-off show somewhere?
I don’t know. The odds are probably slim. John talks of coming back to town (he lives in Portland now) and writing songs here and there, and possibly touring again, but I don’t know…
Finally, what are your thoughts on Morrissey, and would he like Twelve Hour Turn’s music?
I like some Smiths… he would probably be indifferent to us…
I think I speak for everyone who ever heard Twelve Hour Turn and appreciated how you guys always gave it your all: you will be sorely missed. Thanks for all of the great records and thanks for sharing what was some truly amazing music.