FRANK Turner has always been a musician with a mission and as her prepares to play two shows at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse next week, he’s keen to continue to spread the message of his most recent album - the appropriately-named Be More Kind.

Released last year he said: “I feel like the world is becoming a less easily understandable place and a much more terrifying place. It’s a record about how we, collectively and individually as humans, react to a scarier and more hostile world.”

Be More Kind get its name from a Clive James poem in which the terminally ill poet (one of Frank’s favourite writers) talks about the end of his life;

To Frank, it is more than just an album title. “It’s a gentle piece of advice,” he said. “Being more kind won’t solve all the problems in the world but it is not a bad start.”

Frank admits that stepping out of his comfort zone to create the album has been a difficult one.

“It’s an important thing for artists to do, and I decided to do it more on this one than on previous records. I just like messing around with different technology; loops and synthesizers and so on,” he said.

“My aim was to satisfy my own creative urges and make what I think is the best record I’ve ever made.”

Frank has achieved a lot in his career. He has played sold-out arena tours, had three top three charting albums, written a book (and soon to release his second!) and even released a movie. He was also asked by Danny Boyle to take part in the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.

“It was an amazing thing, being asked to do something like that was totally surreal. It was flattering to be asked by Danny Boyle himself,” he said.

Frank occupies an interesting place in music.

“I’m not underground, but I’m not overground either. I guess maybe that means I’m ‘cult’…

“I’m definitely not a mainstream artist. I don’t get invited to birthday parties, and I wouldn’t go if I did!” he laughs.

Although his shows invariably sell-out he can still walk down the road largely unrecognised.

“It’s a great privilege. I’ve been doing this for a long time now,” he said.

Frank recounts how often he sees pop stars come and go and how he has managed to stick around. “In a way that doesn’t sound cruel, I’ve got used to the hoards of ‘hangers on’ and photographers freely passing me in one direction with somebody and I’ve got no idea who they are. And I know that six months later they’ll be gone”.

“An awful lot of people have no idea who I am and don’t know my name. I’m fine with that. And it does tend to mean that the people that are into my music have purer motives. No one as of yet has come to a Frank Turner gig to be ‘seen’ or to be ‘cool’, do you know what I mean? And I think that’s awesome, and I’d like to maintain that If I could.”

Frank is particularly pleased to be playing two night in Manchester.

“We’re excited to come back here again. Quite a few of my crew live in Manchester. We will be in town for a few days rehearsing before the tour starts which will be nice,” he said.

Frank notes how he feels about any North / South divide in his music. “I’m aware that I’m a southern chesty. Where I’m from (the deep south of Hampshire), London is up north! I’m always grateful that people from the North have allowed my southern kind of vibe and enjoy the music. Shows up North have a good reputation for having better crowds than down South, which is true. I’m looking forward to the show!”

Frank Turner, Victoria Warehouse, Manchester, Friday, January 25 and Saturday, January 26