Press Release

Frank Turner Joins WaterBear, Brighton’s Alternative Music College, as Patron.


Waterbear are proud to announce that Frank Turner will be a WaterBear patron offering his expertise and advice to their students. What’s more, Frank will be cutting the ribbon at WaterBear’s inaugural launch on 30th August 2018.

WaterBear is a private music college for musicians and creatives. It works in partnership with the University of Chichester to offer creative people fully-accredited Master of Arts and BA (Hons) degree programmes, delivered in modern, engaging, and industry-relevant ways. Run by its founders (Bruce John Dickinson, Adam Bushell, and Mark Clayden) , WaterBear draws together highly-experienced professionals, each with significant experience in the music industry as established touring musicians and recording artists. The founders also all share a deep-set passion for music education, with 20 years of experience in the UK’s well-respected private music education sector.

"I'd like to announce that I'm teaming up with WaterBear as a patron to launch an exciting new music college in Brighton,” says Frank,““Mark Clayden (WaterBear Principal) gave me my first break in 2003. Since then I've watched Mark help and assist young people coming up through the music industry and I want to get involved."

“Frank is and always has been a total inspiration to me,” says Mark Clayden (Principal of Waterbear, formerly the founding member, songwriter and bass player for the UK group Pitchshifter), “His spirit, resilience, versatility and his DIY attitude is a perfect match for everything that WaterBear stands for."

Frank Turner is an English folk/punk singer-songwriter from Winchester. He joined the post-hardcore band Million Dead as vocalist back in 2001, having been a former bandmate of drummer Ben Dawson in Kneejerk. In their four years together, Million Dead released two albums, but announced in 2005 that they would be parting ways. Around that time Turner acquired a tape with Bruce Springsteen's ‘Nebraska’ on it. Later, he explained "that was a really big moment for me, hearing that record, in terms of a turn-around in my music career: from hardcore punk bands to what I’m doing now.” Frank also felt that “When Million Dead finished, I wanted to stay on tour, but I didn’t want the hassle of putting a band together."

These things inspired Frank to embark upon a mainly acoustic-based solo career, working In studio and on tour with his backing band The Sleeping Souls( Ben Lloyd (guitar, mandolin); Tarrant Anderson (bass); Matt Nasir (piano, mandolin) and Nigel Powell (drums)). So far, Frank has released seven solo albums, three rarities compilation albums, one split album and five EPs. His seventh studio album, Be More Kind, was released on 4th May 2018.

As WaterBear’s Education Director, Bruce John Dickinson (who enjoyed 11 Top Forty hits and a Number 1 album in the early 90’s with his band, Little Angels) says: “As a person, artist, and performer, Frank stands as a shining example of the WaterBear ethos. We’re delighted and thrilled to welcome him, and his expertise, as patron of the college.”

UPDATE (July 2018): WaterBear Wasn’t Built in a Day, But the New College is Coming Together Brilliantly!

Work on the brand-new WBHQ college building and its state-of-the-art facilities is continuing apace at Hanover House in Brighton.

As you can see in Bruce’s video blog and walkthrough on Facebook, the walls are up and the college’s structure and layout are taking shape. The main classroom is designed to accommodate around 15 students at a time (as per the college’s commitment to small class sizes). All mod cons are being built into the room, such as A/V equipment, Wi-Fi boosters and charging points for your tablets, phones and other devices.

The classroom’s layout is designed from the outset to encourage discussion and interaction, it is not designed for didactic, teacher-led lecturing. “Learning is a 360 degree thing,” as Bruce says, emphasising part of the distinctive WaterBear philosophy.

The cinema and mixing room is also under construction. The room will have facilities for mixing and mastering and will also serve as a cinema, where we’ll be showing a variety of interesting films and videos."

We’re also building a room for you to work on creating your social media content, as that’s an essential part of the modern music and media world. The space will include a green screen facility, enabling you to shoot and compose all manner of imaginative video for your bands and projects, including promos, video blogs and band/music videos.

The building’s exterior will be decorated, college signage added, and security system put in place.

“We’re well on the way now!” says Bruce.

NEWS: Rob Chapman Joins WaterBear as Director of Innovation in Guitar

As you may be aware, WaterBear recently announced the exciting appointment of Rob Chapman, as Director of Innovation in Guitar. As Rob explains, “It’s my job to call upon my many years of experience to help you guys reach your final form and reach your absolute potential in what it is you want to do, through a forward thinking and practical curriculum. One of the big differences with WaterBear is that your own music and projects form the foundation of the course. WaterBear will help you expand on what you already do. They will give you one- to-one mentoring to really help you take your playing and your career to the next level”

Rob Chapman is a guitarist, singer and content creator from Brighton. In both 2015 and 2016, Rob was named Total Guitar Magazine’s ‘Guitar Personality of the Year’. He was also featured in Forbes magazine as an entrepreneur who had made exceptionally good use of YouTube. Rob Chapman also founded and owns Chapmans Guitars, the UK’s fastest-growing guitar company. He also served as the frontman of chart-topping heavy rock band Dorje and has built a well-established reputation for creating and delivering charismatic, entertaining and educational videos on YouTube for the past decade, currently getting over 5 million views per month.

The classroom’s layout is designed from the outset to encourage discussion and interaction, it is not designed for didactic, teacher-led lecturing. “Learning is a 360 degree thing,” as Bruce says, emphasising part of the distinctive WaterBear philosophy.

IN OTHER NEWS: WaterBear Social Media for Students, Induction Week and our Launch Party!

WaterBear has set up a private Facebook group page for new students. This is designed to provide an opportunity to make contact with your peers and start getting to know each other, even before the term starts. All students signing up to WaterBear will be invited to the group – make sure you join and get involved!

Induction and Enrolment will take place on September 13th at WBHQ Hanover House, Brighton BN1 3XG. This will be your chance to meet the team, your fellow students, see the facilities and collect your timetable and students cards. More details will be emailed to you in advance of enrolment, to make sure you’ve got everything you need.

....And finally

WaterBear ’s official launch event will take place on 30th August 2018. Frank Turner will be cutting the ribbon to officially open the college. WaterBear’s students are all invited to attend the event, which will feature an exclusive live performance by Frank. Keep a look out for the official invite coming your way, soon.