Isaac Turner knew he wanted to play music after attending a punk rock show featuring Less Than Jake and Hot Water Music when he was 14. He started stashing $3-worth of his lunch money every day until he could afford to buy a guitar on Ebay.
Throughout high school he played with hometown punk band Society’s Victim, an outfit that frequently competed in Newberg High School’s battle of the bands, and performed at the Fernwood Grange. Society’s Victim disbanded in 2005, the same year that Turner graduated from NHS. He decided to pursue a solo career after realizing that it would be difficult to find band members who were equally passionate about creating music as he was.
“I couldn’t find musicians who were dedicated and sober enough to commit to making good music and give the necessary effort,” Turner said. “I saw guys playing shows and doing albums by themselves and realized I didn’t need a band to pursue music … (I) decided I would just do it alone.”
Turner dedicated himself to becoming a solo artist and started saving money so he could pursue his music full time. He began working on his first album, “IT,” in 2013, and began booking shows all over Oregon.
He approached Breedlove guitars, an Oregon-based company, to see if they were interested in endorsing his tour. At the time he was relatively unknown, so Breedlove declined his request.
Undaunted, he hit the road for the three months and gathered a solid following. Venues started calling to book him for gigs and he approached Breedlove once again after releasing several videos and playing even more shows. They were impressed by Turner’s progress and began endorsing him as a featured artist.
Turner released IT in June and it has received airtime on Portland’s KINK-FM as well as the online radio service Pandora.
After releasing a video for his song “Boomerang,” Turner was invited to audition for NBC’s television show, “The Voice.”
“While I was there one of the staff told us that everyone in the room should feel pretty proud, whether we made it or not, because only 30 of us were selected from Oregon,” Turner said.
“I didn’t make it (on the show), but it was a great experience.”
Turner has deliberately limited his live performances to Oregon so far, but he plans to venture out of state in the near future.
“I told myself I wouldn’t leave the state until I built a solid foundation … So far I’ve kept to that but I have my eyes set on venturing into California and Washington,” he said.
You can view Turner’s music videos on YouTube at www.bit.ly/1DvR32Q. Information about upcoming shows can be found at www.isaacturner