Interview: Frank Turner & Lauran Hibberd Discuss Covers for Others & Fundraising for the Frontline

Frank Turner & Lauran Hibberd Discuss Covers for Others
Frank Turner & Lauran Hibberd Discuss Covers for Others
Atwood Magazine speaks to Frank Turner & Lauran Hibberd about their involvement in Covers for Others, which supports frontline healthcare workers via the RCN (Royal College of Nursing) Foundation’s COVID-19 Support Fund.
RCN (Royal College of Nursing) Foundation




During these uncertain and frankly scary times, through live streams and other mediums, artists have provided some much-needed musical accompaniment to this new normal we’ve all collectively been plunged into.

Stadium-conquering giants have been reduced to performing in their living rooms, albeit very large ones, while emerging artists poised on the brink of a breakthrough have had their well-structured plans halted abruptly. Nevertheless, livestreaming has allowed artists to maintain meaningful connections with their fans, and as a result of the Covers For Others challenge, some artists will make a meaningful difference, too.

While many of us are stuck in lockdown mourning lost plans, frontline healthcare workers are battling through unprecedented circumstances to provide much-needed care. To support those who are risking their own lives to provide essential care, the RCN Foundation has just launched a COVID-19 Support Fund. Every donation to the RCN Foundation until the 1st of June will go towards this urgent fund, which will respond directly to the challenges faced by nurses, midwives, and health care support workers in the UK – providing them with extra support as they carry us through this international emergency.

RCN Foundation
RCN Foundation

Having previously supporting causes such as mental health, Covers For Others is now supporting the RCN Foundation with much-needed funds to support frontline medical staff. The music project allows artists and bands to raise money for causes they care about by covering a song. Fans can then decide which song the artist has to cover, and cast votes by making a small donation towards the charity.

Like the rest of the world, Cover For Others’ founders are in awe of the efforts of those on the front-line of this pandemic. Speaking of why they choose to support The RCN Foundation, Laurie Ainley and Cecile Communal tell Atwood Magazine, “The RCN Foundation is an independent charity in their 10th year with close links to the Royal College of Nursing. Their aim is to be there for every current and former nurse, midwife and health care support workers and supports. The money raised will be going towards their RCN Foundation COVID-19 Support Fund, which will support healthcare staff through psychological and economic support.”

“At an extraordinary time like this, I think many of us feel a huge debt of gratitude towards healthcare staff and it’s heartbreaking to see the number of deaths amongst workers already operating in extremely difficult conditions,” Ainley and Communal express. “I think many people feel a bit helpless at this time, so in the smallest way we wanted to try and support them and the RCN Foundation’s services are a crucial part of that.”

Kicking off the project are the legendary Frank Turner and the incredible Lauran Hibberd. Turner’s unique folk-punk anthems have seen him build an extraordinarily passionate fanbase, who devour every single project he releases. Whether he’s singing about lost love or holding up a mirror to today’s society, his engaging lyricism never fails to enthrall.

Frank Turner © Mark Dektor
Frank Turner © Mark Dektor

While Frank Turner has clocked up over 2000 gigs in his extensive career, Lauran Hibberd is still in the relative infancy of hers. In recent years she has undoubtedly signaled herself as an artist-to-watch. Having recently hit the road with the likes of Hippo Campus and The Regrettes, Hibberd has also proven herself to be an intoxicatingly enthralling live prospect. On the recorded front, her debut EP Everything Is Dogs and successive single releases have seen her showcase her distinctly unique style in a way that only she can.

At the end of the Covers for Others campaign, Turner and Hibberd will learn and perform their respective song with the most votes, and livestream their cover versions on Saturday 9th May – at 7pm for Lauran Hibberd on Instagram, and at 8pm for Frank Turner on Facebook.

Speaking about how they initially came up with the idea for Covers for Others, the founders share, “We’re big fans of innovative cover versions – from Hendrix’s take on All Along the Watchtower to Electrelane’s The Partisan and more recently CHVRCHES’ version of Do I Wanna Know? by Arctic Monkeys, there is so much magic to a reinvention of an original song. We were also looking for an idea to combine our passion for music with a new, fun and interactive way to raise money for charities. So we thought it’d be a nice idea for fans to be able to challenge an artist to cover a particular song, which they vote on by donating a small amount to a charity the artist cares about.”

Lauran Hibberd © Emily Marcovecchio
Lauran Hibberd © Emily Marcovecchio

They continue, ”We’re aiming for a Triple J’s Like a Version / BBC Live Lounge meets La Blogothèque’s Take Away Shows vibe, the beauty of it being that musicians can just use their phone to record/stream the cover anywhere. We started with a campaign for Action for M.E. and more recently did one around World Mental Health Day, and thought now would be a great time to show some support for the frontline healthcare heroes risking their lives, while hopefully bringing a little bit of joy to people’s lives.”

The campaign, voting, and performances are hosted on the Covers for Others website at https://coversforothers.co.uk/, where updates will appear throughout the week under the hashtag #CoversForCarers.

With voting already underway and the deadline on Thursday fast approaching, we spoke with Lauran Hibberd and Frank Turner to discuss their involvement in the project. We urge all who read this to consider getting involved and donating as well:

coversforothers.co.uk

COVERS FOR CARERS



Frank Turner

Frightened Rabbit – Heads Roll Off
THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM – 59 Sound
Tracy Chapman – Fast Car
Amy Winehouse – Rehab
The Wildhearts – I Wanna Go
Flogging Molly – If I Ever Leave This World Alive

Atwood Magazine: Why did you want to get involved with Covers for Others?

Frank Turner: They got in touch and explained the project to me, and it sounded great – worthwhile and fun. I like to learn new covers all the time, it’s a great discipline as a songwriter and performer. And of course the work done on the frontlines by carers and NHS staff right now is invaluable. A civilian like me can only sit back in awe and appreciation, and try to lend a hand where possible.

How did you choose the list of songs that fans can choose for you to cover?

Frank Turner: I asked people to nominate songs – we had several thousand suggestions! I picked out the most popular ones, and cut the list down a tiny bit to my own taste – I made sure there was nothing on there I’ve done before, and tried to give it some musical breadth as well.

Out of the songs you’ve picked, which one would you most like to cover and why?

Frank Turner: Probably Tracy Chapman – I’m a big fan, but I never learned one of her songs before.

Obviously the effects of the pandemic are far-reaching. It’s obviously significantly impacted bands and artists. How do you think people can best support the music industry during these challenging times?

Frank Turner: I think the effects of this will be generational, and it’s a scary time to be someone who’s built their career on performing and touring. For the time being people can support artists by paying for music and merch, that’s still a viable income stream. Beyond that, once we’re allowed to go to shows again, people can support the industry that way, but who knows when that will be.

— —




Lauran Hibberd

White Stripes – Hotel Yorba
Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
Phoebe Bridgers – Kyoto
Elliot Smith – Say Yes
Weezer – Buddy Holly

Atwood Magazine: Why did you want to get involved with Covers for Others?

Lauran Hibberd: I think it’s important to all do what we can at this time, and without gigs and my musical life on a slight hiatus from the real world – it feels like a good thing to keep everyone going. It’s great to get people involved, donating and choosing which song they’d like to hear the most. I’m not big on covers traditionally, so this will be something fun and different for me.

How did you choose the list of songs that fans can choose for you to cover?

Lauran Hibberd: I basically just chose some of my favourite songs, alongside a few curveballs and tracks outside my comfort zone. I tried to make it a mixed bag, but also keep it true to who I love and what I like to think I’m about.

Out of the songs you’ve picked, which one would you most like to cover and why?

Lauran Hibberd: Definitely ‘Elliot Smith – Say Yes’. It’s just the most gut wrenching song in the world, and I get off on feeling sad and would just love to get my teeth into this track. I’m getting known for this slacker pop kinda thing, but I started out as a folk artist and with tracks like Shark Week still coming out of the gate I think I feel heavily drawn to artists like Elliot Smith.

Obviously the effects of the pandemic are far-reaching. It’s obviously significantly impacted bands and artists. How do you think people can best support the music industry during these challenging times?

Lauran Hibberd: There’s lots of ways to support the industry at this time, buying artist merchandise, donating to your local music venue, buying new singles as opposed to streaming them. There’s a donate option on Spotify now for certain artists too. I think just looking forward to things to come, buying gig tickets for rescheduled tours and postponed festivals, etc, are all small ways to keep it going.

— —



— —

RCN Foundation

— — — —

COVERS FOR CARERS

Connect to Covers for Others on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Discover Frank Turner on Atwood Magazine
Discover Lauran Hibberd on Atwood Magazine
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
📸 © 2020


Written By
More from Luke Pettican

This Just In: Luz Astounds with the Devastatingly Beautiful “i’m lonely”

18-year-old Irish, half Argentinian musician Luz celebrates her astounding ascent with the...
Read More